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Best of the Ballparks 2017: Summer Collegiate, Finals

Ballpark DigestIt’s an all-Northwoods League final selection in the Best of the Ballparks 2017 summer-collegiate vote, as fans went for the traditional in selecting the two ballparks competing for the title. You know what to do: Get out and vote!

We will have a new fan favorite in 2017, as Homer Stryker Field, home of the Kalamazoo Growlers, was voted in over defending champ Kokomo Municipal Stadium, home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits, in the Final Four round. In the other bracket, fans chose Warner Park, home of the Madison Mallards, over Athletic Park, home of the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Overall, over 302,000 fans have voted in the MiLB, spring training, independent and summer-collegiate divisions of the Best of the Ballparks 2017 vote, with almost 25,000 fans weighing in our their favorite summer-collegiate ballpark, That’s by far the highest number we’ve registered for summer-collegiate ballpark, and we’re grateful to all the fans who voted and all the teams who promoted this vote.

Voting for this round ends July 5, 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 next week 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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