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High-A MiLB Best of the Ballparks moves to second round

Ballpark Digest squareAfter a first round with plenty of last-minute decisions, we’re now on to the second round of the High-A MiLB Best of the Ballparks fan vote, as we ask you to pick your faves for 2021.

The results of first round were all over the place, with some blowouts and some very close decisions–for instance, Dow Diamond (Great Lakes Loons) prevailed by two votes, and Frawley Stadium (Wilmington Blue Rocks) won by just six votes. Three of the top nine seeds were eliminated: Fluor Field (Greenville Drive), First National Bank Field (Greensboro Grasshoppers) and Day Air Ballpark (Dayton Dragons). Receiving the most votes in contested brackets: Modern Woodmen Park (Quad Cities River Bandits), Gesa Stadium (Tri-City Dust Devils), FirstEnergy Park (Jersey Shore BlueClaws), Maimonides Park (Brooklyn Cyclones), Jackson Field (Lansing Lugnuts) and Nat Bailey Stadium (Vancouver Canadians). So we move on to the Sweet Sixteen round.

This year’s High-A competition looks drastically different than previous High-A votes; the 2021 reorganization of Minor League Baseball eliminated the California, Carolina and Florida State Leagues, with many teams in that level of competition lowered to Low-A ball or eliminated completely. This High-A lineup contains most of the former Low-A Midwest League, several former Low-A Sally League teams, some former Carolina League teams, and several former Short Season A Northwest League and NY-Penn League teams. Of this new lineup, only the former Carolina League teams competed at the High-A level in prior years. Old name, new competition.

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.

This was a challenge to seed: ballparks formerly in three levels of play, including Short Season A, were hard to compare. There is no uniformity at this level yet–there are ballparks here that are the pride of MiLB, and other ballparks are college facilities lacking a visitors clubhouse. And while we expect plenty of facility upgrades in coming years, they’re not all planned out or implemented. We will be eager to see what our readers think of the new High-A lineup. These seeds are based on previous rankings. Last year’s High-A champion, The Diamond (Lake Elsinore Storm), is now competing at the Low-A level.

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 at the bottom of this page in the form of brackets. Vote below:

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