We’re down to the Final Four in the 2019 Best of the Ballparks High-A fan vote, with all three leagues–Carolina, California and Florida State–represented after several upsets and tight margins. So you know what to do: Vote!
Two of the four teams are California League entries. In one bracket, Rawhide Ballpark, home of the Visalia Rawhide, edged Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers Miracle home, by just eight votes. In another bracket, San Manuel Stadium, home of the Inland Empire 66ers, edged Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium by just 20 votes. The five top vote-getters in this round: San Manuel Stadium, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, City Stadium, LECOM Park, and Segra Stadium.
So when we tell you your vote matters, this round should show you it to be true. And so we move on to the next round.
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’s our ranking of High-A ballparks, combining California League, Carolina League and Florida State League facilities. This was an extremely difficult list to seed and took plenty of thought and deliberation. As winner of the 2018 vote, LECOM Park begins as the top seed, while other seeds reflect previous rankings and performance in the 2018 vote. New to this lineup: Segra Stadium, the new home of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
1. LECOM Park (Bradenton Marauders; FSL)
2. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (Lakeland Flying Tigers; FSL)
3. Segra Stadium (Fayetteville Woodpeckers; CarL)
4. BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem Dash; CarL)
5. Hammond Stadium (Fort Myers Miracle; FSL)
6. George M. Steinbrenner Field (Tampa Tarpons; FSL)
7. Spectrum Field (Clearwater Threshers; FSL)
8. Frawley Stadium (Wilmington Blue Rocks; CarL)
9. Haley Toyota Field (Salem Red Sox; CarL)
10. Ticketreturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (Myrtle Beach Pelicans; CarL)
11. Banner Island Ballpark (Stockton Ports; CalL)
12. Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (Daytona Tortugas; FSL)
13. Rawhide Ballpark (Visalia Rawhide; CalL)
14. Charlotte Sports Park (Charlotte Stone Crabs; FSL)
15. Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals; FSL)
16. Five County Stadium (Carolina Mudcats; CarL)
17. Loanmart Field (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; CalL)
18. John Thurman Field (Modesto Nuts; CalL)
19. The Hangar (Lancaster Jethawks; CalL)
2o. First Data Field (St. Lucie Mets; FSL)
21. The Diamond (Lake Elsinore Storm; CalL)
22. Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick Keys; CarL)
23. Osceola County Stadium (Florida Fire Frogs; FSL)
24. Excite Ballpark (San Jose Giants; CalL)
25. Grainger Stadium (Down East Wood Ducks; CarL)
26. San Manuel Stadium (Inland Empire 66ers; CalL)
27. City Stadium (Lynchburg Hillcats; CarL)
28. Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium (Potomac Nationals; CarL)
29. Dunedin Stadium (Dunedin Blue Jays; FSL)
Why is Dunedin Stadium in last place? Technically, it’s not open, as it’s undergoing renovations this season and the Dunedin Blue Jays are playing the home season partially at Jack Russell Stadium and partially on the road. Only 29 ballparks are in play here, as the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinalsshare Roger Dean Stadium.
We are running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. Here’s our schedule for the Best of the Ballparks 2019 High-A vote:
First Round: Completed
Second Round: Completed
Third Round: Completed
Semifinals Round: Now through 6/11, 3 p.m. Central
Finals: 6/11, 3 p.m. Central through end of day, June 16
Here’s our schedule for Best of the Ballparks 2019 vote:
Low A: Now-June 9
High A: Now-June 16
Class AA: May 29-June 23
Class AAA: June 4-June 30
Short Season A/Rookie: June 14-July 9
Independent: June 10-July 7
Summer Collegiate: June 17-July 12
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 lineups will count. A running tally of the vote will be presented. Signing up for the Ballpark Digest newsletter means you’ll receive regular updates on the votes.