It was The Diamond over Frawley Stadium in the final round of the Best of the Ballparks 2020 vote, as fans chose the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm as their favorite High-A facility.
The final margin: The Diamond 56 percent, Frawley Stadium 44 percent. With the win, The Diamond becomes the first California League ballpark to snare Best of the Ballparks honors. Since the voting began in 2015, five different ballparks have snared the High-A honors: Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium (2015), Winston-Salem’s BB&T Ballpark (2016), Lakeland’s Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (2017), Bradenton’s LECOM Park (2018 and 2019), and now The Diamond.
In the end, 32,000 individual fans participated in the High-A voting bracket, down 43,357 individual fans participating in the 2019 vote. We were expected smaller turnout in 2020; we saw a rise in the Low-A numbers, however, and so far both the Double-A and Triple-A numbers are running ahead of expectations. These turnouts show that fans love their hometown ballparks and their hometown teams; eliminating 40-42 of them may not be the best move for Major League Baseball at a time the sport is clearly suffering.
“Our fans truly are the reason we are here,” said Shaun Brock, Storm CEO / Co-General Manager. “We love our Storm community and thank them for their support during these trying times. We look forward to seeing them in their #1 voted stadium soon!”
“Congratulations to the Storm and their fans for snaring this title,” said Ballpark Digest Publisher Kevin Reichard. “It’s great to see a California League ballpark winning this title for the first time.”
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 (Whitaker Bank Ballpark)
High A: Completed (The Diamond)
Class AA: Now-July 8
Class AAA: Now-July 10
Short Season A/Rookie: Now-July 17
Independent: June 24-July 16
Summer Collegiate: June 29-July 20
MLB: July 19-August 14