It’s O’Brate Stadium (Oklahoma State) vs. Baum-Walker Stadium (University of Arkansas) in the finals of the Best of the Ballparks 2021 fan vote for college baseball ballparks. So go vote!
It’s old versus new here: O’Brate Stadium opened this year, while Baum-Walker Stadium is an institution in college baseball. The ballparks receiving the most votes in the Final Four round: O’Brate Stadium; Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (Oregon State University), which unfortunately went up against O’Brate Stadium; Baum-Walker Stadium and Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park (Texas A&M). Over 25,000 fans have voted at least one in this year’s college-ballpark fan vote.
As we noted when this competition started seedings were very difficult: there’s an increasing parity of the college ballpark world, and the fans have responded by turning out in droves: the number of overall voters far exceeds the number of voters the last time we held a college vote by some 1050 percent, and also substantially exceeds the number of fans voting in the spring-training competition as well.
In the case of our college-ballparks rankings, 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.