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Best of the Ballparks 2018: Independent Baseball Finals

Ballpark DigestIt’s Carshield Field versus Impact Field in the final round of voting in the 2018 Best of the Ballparks fan vote, independent ballparks. There’s a lot on the line, so vote daily!

In the Final Four round, Carshield Field (River City Rascals) edged TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots and winner of the first two Ballpark Digest fan votes for independent-baseball ballparks, by two votes. That’s all: just two votes. It was a back-and-forth battle in the final four round: we checked in several times in the final hour of voting, and the lead changed hands every time we checked. So it’s Frontier League versus American Association, established versus new, in the finals — and we can’t wait to see what the voters do!

This competition covers the top 32 facilities in the American Association, Atlantic League, Can-Am LeagueFrontier League and United Shore Professional Baseball League. For the purposes of this voting, we are presenting what we feel are the top 32 ballparks in independent baseball.

Here’s our schedule for Best of the Ballparks 2018 vote:

MLB: Completed
Class A and Class AA: Completed
Class AAA: Now-July 6
Short Season A/Rookie: Now-July 9
Independent: Now-July 10
Summer Collegiate: Now-July 22

We are running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. Here’s a breakdown of the voting schedule:

First Round: Completed
Second Round: Completed
Third Round: Completed
Fourth Round: Completed
Finals: Now-July 10, 4 p.m. Central

Some things to note. 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. A running tally of the vote will be presented, and you can view the results to date in the brackets graphic at the bottom of this page.

We know from marketing stats 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. We can’t wait to see what our readers — whom we consider to be the smartest folks in baseball — say about the best of the ballparks.

Here is our ranking of the top 32 independent ballparks. This is partially based on prior votes, partially based on our visits and partly based on advise from broadcasters and front-office folks in the indy world. Occupying the top spot is The Depot at Cleburne, home of the Cleburne Railroaders, the winner of the Best of the Ballparks 2017 voting. Yes, we know there are some good independent ballparks aside from this 32, but we went back to last year’s vote and adjusted this seeding to reward teams whose fans turned out to vote. Since the voting began in 2015, TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Atlantic League’s Somerset Patriots, won the first two fan votes.

1. The Depot at Cleburne (Cleburne Railroaders; AA)
2. CHS Field (St. Paul Saints; AA)
3. TD Bank Ballpark (Somerset Patriots; AtL)
4. Impact Field (Chicago Dogs; AA)
5. Rent One Park (Southern Illinois Miners; FL)
6. Shaw Park (Winnipeg Goldeyes; AA)
7. U.S. Steel Yard (Gary SouthShore RailCats; AA)
8. AirHogs Stadium (Texas Airhogs; AA)
9. Constellation Field (Sugar Land Skeeters; AtL)
10. Wuerfel Park (Traverse City Beach Bums; FL)
11. Palisades Credit Union Park (Rockland Boulders; Can-Am)
12. Clipper Magazine Stadium (Lancaster Barnstormers; AtL)
13. Joliet Route 66 Stadium (Joliet Slammers; FL)
14. PeoplesBank Park (York Revolution; AtL)
15. Bethpage Ballpark (Long Island Ducks; AtL)
16. Regency Furniture Stadium (Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; AtL)
17. RCGT Park (Ottawa Champions; Can-Am League)
18. Bosse Field (Evansville Otters; FL)
19. Jimmy John’s Field (Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers/Utica Unicorns/Eastside Diamond Hoppers/Westside Woolly Mammoths; USPBL)
20. Haymarket Park (Lincoln Saltdogs; AA)
21. T-Bones Stadium (Kansas City T-Bones; AA)
22. Boomers Stadium (Schaumburg Boomers; FL)
23. UC Health Stadium (Florence Freedom)
24. Newman Outdoor Field (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks; AA)
25. Stade Canac (Quebec Capitales; Can-Am)
26. New Britain Stadium (New Britain Bees; AtL)
27. Yogi Berra Stadium (New Jersey Jackals; Can-Am)
28. Skylands Stadium (Sussex County Miners; Can-Am)
29. Sioux Falls Stadium (Sioux Falls Canaries; AA)
30. Standard Bank Stadium (Windy City ThunderBolts; FL)
31. CarShield Field (River City Rascals; FL)
32. The Corn Crib (Normal Cornbelters; FL)

2018 Best of the Ballparks independent

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