We’ll have a new champion for 2020, as the results of the first round of the summer collegiate Best of the Ballparks 2020 fan vote yielded only a few close votes and plenty of blowouts. So we move on to the Sweet Sixteen round of voting!
Travis Field, home of the Brazos Valley Bombers (Texas Collegiate League), was voted down in the first round, but last year’s runner-up, Turtle Creek Stadium, home of the Traverse City Pit Spitters, is alive after a first-round win. The ballparks receiving the most votes in this first round: Turtle Creek Stadium, Grayson Stadium (Savannah Bananas) and Duncan Field (Hastings Sodbusters) (tie), Riverfront Stadium (Waterloo Bucks) and Bill Taunton Stadium (Willmar Stingers).
Most summer-collegiate leagues decided to pass on a 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns, but some did not. For this competition, we’re focusing on the ballparks hosting league play in 2020, including those hosting a “pod” of teams and minimizing travel. Normally we’d have a tough time limiting this competition to voting on 64 ballparks, as was the case in 2019, but this year the lack of play in markets like Madison, WI, dramatically lowered the number of ballparks in this competition. We did not seed the participants in this competition, either, deciding on a random system to generate the brackets.
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.
We began this competition with last year’s winner and runner-up–Travis Field, home of the Brazos Valley Bombers, and Turtle Creek Stadium, home of the Traverse City Pit Spitters–and randomly generated the rest of the brackets.
- Travis Field (Brazos Valley Bombers)
- Turtle Creek Stadium (Traverse City Pit Spitters)
- Bismarck Municipal Ballpark (Bismarck Larks)
- Melching Field at Conrad Park (DeLand Suns)
- Farbacher Field (Acadiana Cane Cutters)
- War Memorial Stadium (Peninsula Pilots)
- Corbett Field (Souris Valley Sabre Dogs)
- Grayson Stadium (Savannah Bananas)
- Pat Thomas Stadium (Leesburg Lightning)
- Oil City Stadium (NWI Oilmen)
- New Britain Stadium (New Britain Bees)
- Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field (Worcester Bravehearts)
- Capital Credit Union Park (Green Bay Booyah)
- Fraser Field (North Shore Navigators)
- Sanford Memorial Stadium (Sanford River Rats)
- Franklin Rogers Park (Mankato Moondogs)
- Holman Stadium (Nashua Silver Knights)
- Copeland Park (La Crosse Loggers)
- Homer Stryker Field (Kalamazoo Growlers)
- Athletic Park (Wisconsin Woodchucks)
- Herr-Baker Field (Fond du Lac Dock Spiders)
- Lexington County Baseball Stadium (Lexington County Blowfish)
- Rivets Stadium (Rockford Rivets)
- Riverfront Stadium (Waterloo Bucks)
- Finch Field (High Point-Thomasville HiToms)
- Hooker Field (Martinsville Mustangs)
- Fleming Stadium (Wilson Tobs)
- Duncan Field (Hastings Sodbusters)
- Luther Williams Field (Macon Bacon)
- Mayo Field (Rochester Honkers)
- Campanelli Stadium (Brockton Rox)
- Willmar Stingers (Bill Taunton 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 2020 summer-collegiate vote:
First Round: Completed
Second Round: Now through July 7, 3 p.m. C
Third Round: July 7, 3 p.m. C through July 11, 3 p.m. C
Semifinals Round: July 11, 3 p.m. C through July 16, 3 p.m.
Finals: July 16, 3 p.m. through end of day, July 20
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: Completed (winner: The Diamond, Lake Elsinore Storm)
Class AA: Now-July 8
Class AAA: Now-July 10
Short Season A/Rookie: Now-July 17
Independent: Now-July 16
Summer Collegiate: Now-July 20
MLB: July 19-August 14
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.