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Best of the Ballparks 2017: Summer Collegiate, Elite Eight

Ballpark DigestAfter a Sweet Sixteen round that saw seven Northwoods League ballparks advance, we’re ready for a Best of the Ballparks 2017summer collegiate Elite Eight facility vote. So you know what to do: Get out and vote!

History is really the binding force behind most of this Elite Eight set of ballparks. Two were built for summer-collegiate ball., but six were former MiLB ballparks at one point or another. These are not $70 million palaces, but a lot of baseball history can be found at these facilities. Yes, they may be a little scruffy at times, but they are loved. That love was shown by 9,528 voters who weighed in during the Sweet Sixteen round.

Voting for this round ends June 27, noon Central.

Here are the 16 summer-collegiate ballparks making the cut from a list of 50, as voted on by Ballpark Digest readers. Occupying the top spot is Kokomo Municipal Stadium, home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits, the winner of the Best of the Ballparks 2015 and 2016 voting. The remaining ballparks are listed in the order of votes received.

We began this year’s Best of the Ballparks vote in June with fans asked to choose their favorite Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A affiliated ballparks. (The 2017 Triple-A winner was Huntington Park; the Double-A winner was Dunkin’ Donuts Park.) The Best of the Ballparks vote for independent facilities is going on right now. We’ll launch voting later this month for Short Season A and Rookie ballparks. And, of course, we’ll run another round this month for MLB ballparks.

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, as we’ve overhauled our bracketing and voting system. First, you are allowed to vote multiple times, but you can only vote once per day. Second, you don’t need to fill out a full slate: partially filled votes will count.

Here are the ballparks selected by readers for the Sweet Sixteen round of voting:

1. Kokomo Municipal Stadium (Kokomo Jackrabbits; Prospect League)
2. Witter Field (Wisconsin Rapids Rafters; Northwoods League)
3. Warner Park aka The Duck Pond (Madison Mallards; Northwoods League)
4. Bismarck Municipal Stadium (Bismarck Larks; Northwoods League)
5. Homer Stryker Field (Kalamazoo Growlers; Northwoods League)
6. RE/MAX Field (Edmonton Prospects; Western Major Baseball League)
7. Athletic Park (Wisconsin Woodchucks; Northwoods League)
8. Simmons Field (Kenosha Kingfish; Northwoods League)
9. Copeland Park (La Crosse Loggers; Northwoods League)
10. Wade Stadium (Duluth Huskies; Northwoods League)
11. Kapco Park (Lakeshore Chinooks; Northwoods League)
12. Herr-Baker Field (Fond du Lac Dock Spiders; Northwoods League)
13. Fraser Field (North Shore Navigators; Futures League)
14. Grayson Stadium (Savannah Bananas; Coastal Plain League)
15. Carson Park (Eau Claire Express; Northwoods League)
16. Rivets Stadium (Rockford Rivets; Northwoods League)

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