Your winner in the Best of the Ballparks 2019 fan vote for Rookie-level facilities: Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park, home of the Pulaski Yankees, over Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark, home of the Elizabethton Twins.
The vote margin in the all-Appalachian League final wasn’t particularly close: 72-28%. Still, for the former Joe O’Brien Field, making the finals was a serious accomplishment: the E-Twins home was the bottom (#18) seed in our 2019 vote and made it to the finals with upset wins over Legion Field (Danville Braves), Dehler Park (Billings Mustangs), Ogren Park at Allegiance Field (Missoula Osprey) and Lindquist Field (Ogden Raptors).
For Calfee Park, the road to victory came after wins over Hunter Wright Stadium (Kingsport Mets), Burlington Athletic Stadium (Burlington Royals) and defending champ TVA Credit Union Ballpark (Johnson City Cardinals). Calfee Park has seen several upgrades in the past few seasons, including in 2019 the addition of a party deck with drink rails. new concourse, concession areas, seating, and a walk-in souvenir store. The club has led the Appalachian League in attendance in each of the past four seasons, including a league record-setting total of 91,226 fans last season. Upgrades to Calfee Park have been a major part of the Yankees’ strategy for the past few seasons, going back to 2015. A new videoboard, upgraded player facilities and seating upgrades have been part of the previous upgrades.
Overall, over 30,000 fans voted in the Rookie bracket of the Best of the Ballparks competition–almost triple the number of voters in the 2018 competition. Over 575,000 fans have voted in the 2019 Best of the Ballparks vote, with the summer-collegiate bracket still active.
“The Pulaski Yankees ownership has really shown a commitment to improving the fan experience at Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park, and that’s been rewarded by annual attendance hikes and fan loyalty,” said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest editor. “The Appalachian League has seen a lot of ballpark upgrades in the last few years, and the Pulaski ownership and management is a big part of this evolution.”
Other winners of the 2019 Best of the Ballparks fan vote:
MLB: PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates
Cactus League: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies
Grapefruit League: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Detroit Tigers
Low-A; Parkview Field, Fort Wayne TinCaps
High-A: LECOM Park, Bradenton Marauders
Double-A: Hodgetown, Amarillo Sod Poodles
Triple-A: Las Vegas Ballpark, Las Vegas Aviators
Rookie: Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park, Pulaski Yankees