It was the biggest upset in Best of the Ballparks history, as #20 seed Gesa Stadium (Tri-City Dust Devils) defeated five higher-seeded facilities to win the 2018 fan vote for best Short Season-A ballpark, edging Avista Stadium (Spokane Indians) in the finals.
No #20 seed has ever won a Best of the Ballparks fan vote for MLB, MiLB, independent or summer-collegiate facilities; previously, the lowest seed to snare a title was #16 seed Depot at Cleburne Station (Cleburne Railroaders), winner of the independent vote in 2017.
For Gesa Stadium fans, the win over Avista Stadium was doubly sweet, as it ended up a battle of the Brett Brothers as well. Bobby Brett is majority owner of the Indians, while younger brother George Brett is majority owner of the Dust Devils. And on this day, the little brother won after a long journey that also fans choose Gesa Stadium over Joseph L. Bruno Stadium (Tri-City ValleyCats), Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium (Aberdeen IronBirds), PK Park (Eugene Emeralds) and defending champion LeLacheur Park (Lowell Spinners).
“The Dust Devils turned out their fans to support Gesa Stadium through multiple rounds and close votes,” said Ballpark Digest Publisher Kevin Reichard. “That passion is one of the best things about Minor League Baseball, and seeing it in action is a joy to behold.”
“The Tri-City Dust Devils fans are incredibly loyal and faithful with their support year in and year out,” said Dust Devils Vice President and General Manager Derrel Ebert. “This competition was no different as they once again stepped up and showed how passionate they are about Dust Devils baseball and Gesa Stadium! We are very thankful to have this level of support from our fans and community partners and they are truly the recipients of this award.”
Gesa Stadium opened in 1995, with the Tri-City Dust Devils arriving in Pasco in 2001.