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Best of the Ballparks 2016: Rookie, Final Four

Ballpark DigestWe have a completely balanced Final Four in the Best of the Ballparks 2016 for Rookie-level facilities, as two teams each from the Appalachian League and the Pioneer comprise the four fan choices. So you know what to do: Vote!

Last year’s top choice, Melaleuca Field (home of the Idaho Falls Chukars) was edged out by another Pioneer League ballpark, Suplizio Field (home of the Grand Junction Rockies), while the upset special in prior rounds, Bowen Field (home of the Bluefield Blue Jays), hit the wall and was narrowly edged out by Pioneer Park (home of the Greeneville Astros). Also making it to the Final Four: Dehler Park (home of the Billings Mustangs) and Calfee Park (home of the Pulaski Yankees).

The 18 Rookie ballparks comprise some of our favorite small ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball. Small-town stalwarts, these facilities are certainly worth a visit on your part and worthy of attention from any serious baseball fans. There are 18 Rookie-level ballparks; after two rounds, we now have a field of eight, making for the next round of voting.

We began this year’s Best of the Ballparks vote in May with fans asked to choose their favorite Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A affiliated ballparks. The second round saw fans asked to select their favorite independent and MLB ballparks. This final round covers Rookie and Short Season A facilities.

We know from our marketing/user research a third of our readers work in the baseball industry, so we’re tapping into that collective expertise. And we know from our research that a third of our readers sell to the baseball industry, so that expertise will be valuable as well. The remaining third — fans, media, government — will certainly have a different view on things as well.

Some notes on the voting. First, votes are filtered by IP address, so we’re limiting folks to one vote. (Feel free to hit that reload as many times as you want, but multiple votes will be filtered out of the final tally.) Second, you don’t need to fill out a full slate: partially filled votes will count, and we want you to vote for as many ballparks as you like. Third: desktop users will see all the choices; tablet and smartphone users will see one choice at a time. (Tablet and smartphone users can move between choices by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the ballot.)

Voting for this round has ended.

Here is our ranking of Rookie-level MiLB ballparks. The two finalists in last year’s vote, Melaleuca Field and TVA Credit Union Ballpark (formerly Howard Johnson Field), are the honorary top two ballparks in this ranking. As you’ll recall, Melaleuca Field was the winner.

1. Melaleuca Field (Idaho Falls Chukars; PL)
2. TVA Credit Union Ballpark (Johnson City Cardinals; AppL)
3. Dehler Park (Billings Mustangs; PL)
4. Lindquist Field (Ogden Raptors; PL)
5. Pioneer Park (Greeneville Astros; AppL)
6. Burlington Athletic Stadium (Burlington Royals; AppL)
7. Calfee Park (Pulaski Yankees; AppL)
8. Ogren Park at Allegiance Field (Missoula Osprey; PL)
9. Suplizio Field (Grand Junction Rockies; PL)
10. Centene Stadium (Grand Falls Voyagers; PL)
11. Hunnicutt Field (Princeton Rays; AppL)
12. Hunter Wright Stadium (Kingsport Mets; AppL)
13. Bowen Field (Bluefield Blue Jays; AppL)
14. Boyce Cox Field (Bristol Pirates; AppL)
15. Kindrick Field (Helena Brewers; PL)
16. Legion Field (Danville Braves; AppL)
17. Brent Brown Ballpark (Orem Owlz; PL)
18. Joe O’Brien Field (Elizabethton Twins; AppL)

Here are the opening brackets for the Rookie vote:

Best of the Ballparks 2016, Rookie

Click on the image for a larger version

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