We’re on to the second round of the 2019 independent-baseball Best of the Ballparks fan vote, as fans choose between American Association, Atlantic League, Can-Am League, Frontier League and United Shore Professional Baseball League facilities.
Almost 30,000 fans weighed in during the first round, which saw most of the top seeds advance. Some upsets were registered: #29 Skylands Stadium over #4 Rent One Park, #23 T-Bones Stadium over #10 Palisades Credit Union Park, and #22 Yogi Berra Stadium over #11 Clipper Magazine Stadium. All in all, eight of the nine top seeds advanced. The top six vote-getters in the first round: Impact Field, Jimmy John’s Field, PeoplesBank Park, BB&T Point, U.S. Steel Yard and Shaw Park.
So we move on to the second round. And you know what to do: Vote!
This is a fascinating group of ballparks, ranging from historic old facilities like Bosse Field (which opened in 1915) to classic former MiLB ballparks like Stade Canac to high-end new facilities like Impact Field and BB&T Point. This independent-baseball category features facilities that run the gamut of fan experiences, so there are plenty of varied choices available. For the purposes of this voting, we are presenting what we feel are the top 32 ballparks in independent baseball. So, let the vote begin!
We know from marketing stats that 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 independent ballparks in the American Association, Atlantic League, Can-Am League, Frontier League and United Shore Professional Baseball League. Seeding in this category is difficult: there is such a wide variety of facilities that comparisons can be difficult. Results of last year’s vote played a part in our seedings, as well as improvements entering this season. Occupying the top spot is Impact Field, home of the American Association’s Chicago Dogs and the winner of the Best of the Ballparks 2018 voting. We don’t expect the voting to follow our seedings: our readers can be independent. and they share a love of ballparks and the fan experience.
1. Impact Field (Chicago Dogs; AA)
2. CHS Field (St. Paul Saints; AA)
3. TD Bank Ballpark (Somerset Patriots; AtL)
4. Rent One Park (Southern Illinois Miners; FL)
5. Shaw Park (Winnipeg Goldeyes; AA)
6. U.S. Steel Yard (Gary SouthShore RailCats; AA)
7. RCGT Park (Ottawa Champions; Can-Am League)
8. Constellation Field (Sugar Land Skeeters; AtL)
9. BB&T Point (High Point Rockers; AtL)
10. Palisades Credit Union Park (Rockland Boulders; Can-Am)
11. Clipper Magazine Stadium (Lancaster Barnstormers; AtL)
12. Jimmy John’s Field (Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers/Utica Unicorns/Eastside Diamond Hoppers/Westside Woolly Mammoths; USPBL)
13. AirHogs Stadium (Texas Airhogs; AA)
14. Haymarket Park (Lincoln Saltdogs; AA)
15. DuPage Medical Group Field (Joliet Slammers; FL)
16. PeoplesBank Park (York Revolution; AtL)
17. Bethpage Ballpark (Long Island Ducks; AtL)
18. The Depot at Cleburne (Cleburne Railroaders; AA)
19. Regency Furniture Stadium (Southern Maryland Blue Crabs; AtL)
20. Bosse Field (Evansville Otters; FL)
21. CarShield Field (River City Rascals; FL)
22. Yogi Berra Stadium (New Jersey Jackals; Can-Am)
23. T-Bones Stadium (Kansas City T-Bones; AA)
24. Boomers Stadium (Schaumburg Boomers; FL)
25. UC Health Stadium (Florence Freedom; FL)
26. Newman Outdoor Field (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks; AA)
27. Stade Canac (Quebec Capitales; Can-Am)
28. New Britain Stadium (New Britain Bees; AtL)
29. Skylands Stadium (Sussex County Miners; Can-Am)
30. Sioux Falls Stadium (Sioux Falls Canaries; AA)
31. Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park (Sioux City Explorers; AA)
32. GCS Credit Union Ballpark (Gateway Grizzlies; FL)
Sharp-eyed readers will note some changes on the list. First, two Frontier League ballparks are gone, as Wuerfel Park and the Corn Crib are now home to summer-collegiate teams. We also culled ballparks receiving the least number of votes in last year’s competition. And our policy is not to include ballparks that have not opened, so Routine Field, home of the Milwaukee Milkmen, did not make the list.
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 independent-baseball vote:
First Round: Completed
Second Round: Now through June 21, 3 p.m. Central
Third Round: June 21, 3 p.m. Central through June 26, 3 p.m. Central
Semifinals Round: June 26, 3 p.m. Central through July 1, 3 p.m. Central
Finals: July 1, 3 p.m. Central through end of day, July 8
Here’s our schedule for Best of the Ballparks 2019 vote:
Low A: Completed (Fort Wayne TinCaps)
High A: Completed
Class AA: Now-June 23
Class AAA: Now-June 30
Short Season A/Rookie: June 17-July 11
Independent: Now-July 8
Summer Collegiate: June 18-July 13
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.