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Best of the Ballparks 2021, College Baseball moves to Sweet Sixteen

Ballpark Digest squareAfter a first round that saw a record number of voters, we’ve on to the Best of the Ballparks 2021, College Baseball Sweet Sixteen fan vote. So you know what to do!

If you are a new reader of this site, this is your introduction to what’s become an annual highlight for us: a series of fan votes on spring training, MLB, MiLB, independent and summer-collegiate ballparks, where fans choose their favorites. We began with this vote covering the 13 ballparks of the Grapefruit League, following with a fan vote of the 10 ballparks comprising the Cactus League. When we are asked for our ballpark rankings, we point folks toward these stories, as they’re based on our rankings.

There were some close votes in the mix, as well as a few notable upsets (check out the brackets at the end of the story to see for yourself). In the closest vote, Husky Ballpark (University of Washington) won by a single vote over Chandler Stadium (Georgia Tech). Lindsay Nelson Stadium (University of Tennessee) edged Sewell-Thomas Stadium (University of Alabama) by just two votes, as did Dudy Noble Field (Mississippi State) over GCU Ballpark (Grand Canyon University), while Florida Ballpark (University of Florida) won over Granderson Stadium (University of Illinois-Chicago) by just four votes. The ballparks receiving the most votes in the first round: O’Brate Stadium Oklahoma State University); Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (Oregon State University); Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field (LSU); and Baum-Walker Stadium (University of Arkansas). More fans voted in this first round than in the entire competition the last time we held a college-baseball vote.

In the case of our college-ballparks ranking, we don’t have a set formula based on a statistical analysis of facilities and their offerings. Some of the ballparks on this list excel on the fan side with plenty of amenities and ambiance. Others excel on the player side with outstanding development facilities. And others are notable because of their community impact: a university needs to be a good neighbor, and a ballpark can be part of that community outreach.

The rankings are very loose, so please don’t take offense if your favorite college ballpark is excluded or has a low seeding in these brackets. If we receive enough interest in a college-baseball vote (more than 10,000 participants), we’ll bring it back in 2022 with an expanded 64-ballpark field.

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, and you can view the results to date in the brackets graphic at the bottom of this page once we hit the second round. Vote below:

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