TVA Credit Union Ballpark, home of the Appalachian League’s Johnson City Cardinals, was voted by fans as the best MiLB Rookie-level ballpark in the annual Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks vote, winning 2017 honors.
Fans selected TVA Credit Union Ballpark over Suplizio Field, home of the Grand Junction Rockies, in the finals of a bracketed online competition at ballparkdigest.com. TVA Credit Union Ballpark is the first Appalachian League ballpark to win this fan vote; the previous two winners (Dehler Park and Melaleuca Field) came from the Pioneer League.
Over 345,000 voters participated to date in this year’s Best of the Ballparks fan competition for spring-training, college, Minor League Baseball, independent and summer-collegiate facilities.
“There’s a great baseball tradition in Johnson City, and in the past few years the fans have been rewarded with a much-improved experience,” said Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard. “When Boyd Sports took over management of the Johnson City Cardinals and the ballpark in 2016, the firm immediately made improving the fan experience a priority. And it’s onviously paid off.”
“This is a tremendous honor for the Johnson City Cardinals and TVA Credit Union Ballpark,” added Johnson City General Manager Tyler Parsons. “We believe we have one of the best atmospheres in all of Minor League Baseball, and it’s great to know our fans share that belief. Thank you to all the great Johnson City Cardinals fans for voting and making our ballpark such a special place to be!”
Rookie-level MiLB baseball encompasses the 18 teams of the Appalachian League and Pioneer League. This is an interesting set of ballparks, ranging from historically significant ballparks like Burlington Athletic Stadium and Calfee Park to newer ballparks like Dehler Park and Melaleuca Field.
TVA Credit Union Ballpark opened in 1952, and Johnson City has hosted a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate since 1975. After management of the team and ballpark was assumed by Boyd Sports in 2016, several improvements to TVA Credit Union Ballpark were implemented, including a party deck/beer garden (“The Perch”), improvements to concessions, a new ticketing system and more.
Almost 340,000 fans have voted so far in the Best of the Ballparks 2017 competition. Other 2017 Best of the Ballparks winners:
MiLB Triple-A: Huntington Park
MiLB Double-A: Dunkin’ Donuts Park
MiLB High-A: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium
MiLB Low-A: Four Winds Field
MiLB Short Season-A: LeLacheur Park
Independent: The Depot at Cleburne Station
Summer Collegiate: Warner Park
College: McKethan Stadium
Spring Training, Grapefruit League: LECOM Park
Spring Training, Cactus League: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Photo by Mark Cryan.