After a first round with plenty of close votes, we’ve moved on to the Sweet Sixteen round of the Best of the Ballparks 2020 MiLB Double-A fan vote for Eastern, Southern and Texas League ballparks. So it’s time to vote!
We did see one major upset in the first round, with #25 seed The Diamond (Richmond Flying Squirrels) knocking #8 seed 121 Financial Ballpark (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp), along with a few less dramatic upsets. The closest vote: fans chose Toyota Field (Rocket City Trash Pandas) over Delta Delta Stadium (New Hampshire Fisher Cats) by just eight votes. We tell you your vote counts, and several brackets in this first round proved it.
The five ballparks receiving the most votes in contested brackets in the first round: Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona Curve), Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery Biscuits), Blue Wahoos Stadium (Pensacola Blue Wahoos), Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Hooks) and Smokies Stadium (Tennessee Smokies). So on to the Sweet Sixteen!
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 Double-A ballparks, combining Eastern, Southern and Texas League ballparks. This was an extremely difficult list to seed, as there are plenty of great Double-A ballparks, and it took several days of thought and deliberation. Occupying the top spot is Hodgetown, home of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the winner of the Best of the Ballparks 2019 fan vote. There is a new entrant in the rankings: Toyota Field, new home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. As we did with other new and renovated ballparks in the Low-A and High-A competitions, we placed the ballpark in the middle of the rankings: it’s not yet hosted a game. We also made some adjustments to previous rankings based on offseason renovations. We honestly 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. Hodgetown (Amarillo Sod Poodles; TL)
2. Dunkin’ Donuts Park (Hartford Yard Goats; EL)
3. Blue Wahoos Stadium (Pensacola Blue Wahoos; SL)
4. Regions Field (Birmingham Barons; SL)
5. Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco RoughRiders; TL)
6. FirstEnergy Stadium (Reading Fightin Phils; EL)
7. Peoples Natural Gas Field (Altoona Curve; EL)
8. 121 Financial Ballpark (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp; SL)
9. Smokies Stadium (Tennessee Smokies; SL)
10. Whataburger Field (Corpus Christi Hooks; TL)
11. Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery Biscuits; SL)
12. Dickey-Stephens Park (Arkansas Travelers; TL)
13. Toyota Field (Rocket City Trash Pandas; SL)
14. Hadlock Field (Portland Sea Dogs; EL)
15. Hammons Field (Springfield Cardinals; TL)
16. ONEOK Field (Tulsa Drillers; TL)
17. ARM & HAMMER Park (Trenton Thunder; EL)
18. Canal Park (Akron RubberDucks; EL)
19. MGM Park (Biloxi Shuckers; SL)
20. Delta Dental Stadium (New Hampshire Fisher Cats; EL)
21. UPMC Park (Erie SeaWolves; EL)
22. FNB Field (Harrisburg Senators; EL)
23. Arvest Ballpark (Northwest Arkansas Naturals; TL)
24. Trustmark Park (Mississippi Braves; SL)
25. The Diamond (Richmond Flying Squirrels; EL)
26. Momentum Bank Ballpark (Midland RockHounds; TL)
27. The Ballpark at Jackson (Jackson Generals; SL)
28. AT&T Field (Chattanooga Lookouts; SL)
29. NYSEG Stadium (Binghamton Rumble Ponies; EL)
30. Prince George’s Stadium (Bowie Baysox; EL)
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 2020 Double-A vote:
First Round: Completed
Second Round: Now through June 25, 3 p.m. C
Third Round: June 25, 3 p.m. C through June 29, 3 p.m. C
Semifinals Round: June 29, 3 p.m. C through July 3, 3 p.m.
Finals: July 3, 3 p.m. through end of day, July 8
Here’s our schedule for Best of the Ballparks 2020 vote:
Spring Training: Completed (winners: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium and Salt River Fields)
Low A: Completed (winner: Whitaker Bank Ballpark, Lexington Legends)
High A: Now-June 22
Class AA: Now-July 8
Class AAA: June 18-July 10
Short Season A/Rookie: June 22-July 17
Independent: June 24-July 16
Summer Collegiate: June 29-July 20
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.