Our Best of the Ballparks fan votes are finally at a close. They began with Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium and Camelback Ranch-Glendale winning the votes in spring training, and our final vote ended this past weekend, with Seaman Stadium, home of the Okotoks Dawgs, named by fans as their favorite summer-collegiate facility.
Seaman Stadium is one of the newer summer-collegiate ballparks, opening in 2007 and upgraded since. For those not up on their geography, Okotoks is south of Calgary, making Seaman Stadium the first non-U.S. winner in the history of the Best of the Ballparks votes.
Seaman Stadium defeated Travis Field, a former champ and home of the Brazos Valley Bombers, in the first round; defeated Copeland Park, home of the La Crosse Loggers, in the second round; defeated Jackson Baseball Stadium, home of the Jackson Rockabillys, in the third round; defeated defending champ Robin Roberts Stadium, home of the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, in the semi-finals; and defeated Centennial Field, home of the Vermont Lake Monsters, in the finals. This is a pretty decent cross-section of the summer-collegiate world, incorporating ballparks built for summer-collegiate play as well as former Triple-A, Double-A and Short-Season A ballparks.
From the team:
The Dawgs are honored to have our home, Seaman Stadium, recognized as the Best Ballpark in Summer Collegiate Baseball. Seaman Stadium is a $20-million facility that was built as a labor of love to offer talented youth and summer collegiate players on both sides of the border facilities where they could hone their skills to the highest level. The stadium is the centerpiece of an amateur showcase facility consisting of two college level stadiums, 3 youth fields and an Indoor Training Center all set in an MLB Spring Training like setting.
The support of our market communities in Okotoks, the Foothills and the greater Calgary area has in the words of Canada’s national newspaper been described as a “grassroots phenomenon” and with fans now supporting our summer collegiate Dawgs to the tune of 4500 fans per game, that statement was never so true. At the same time, in keeping with our Dawgs vision, our Youth Academy has been ranked 3rd in North America by Perfect Game with numerous graduating players receiving scholarships to top US colleges. As illustration of this, national college baseball powerhouse, Oregon State, will be conducting a portion of its fall training and playing intersquad games against our Academy teams at the Seaman Stadium Complex this fall. The Dawgs are proud to be the marquis franchise in the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL), the premier summer college league in Canada. Honestly, the WCBL boasts a number of facilities that could be ranked on this list.
We thank our fans for expressing to our southern neighbors what we in Canada have known for some time: Seaman Stadium truly is the best ballpark in all of summer collegiate baseball!
Many thanks to Kevin Reichard and Ballpark Digest for all you do to bring attention to our wonderful game.
Here are all the winners in this year’s Best of the Ballparks votes:
Grapefruit League: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Detroit Tigers
Cactus League: Camelback Ranch-Glendale, Chicago White Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers*
College: Miller Field, BYU*
MLB: PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates
MiLB Triple-A: Polar Park, Worcester Red Sox*
MiLB Double-A: Delta Dental Stadium, New Hampshire Fisher Cats*
MiLB High-A: Four Winds Field, South Bend Cubs
MiLB Sngle-A: The Diamond, Lake Elsinore Storm
MLB Partner Leagues: Glacier Bank Park, Glacier Range Riders*
MLB Summer Collegiate: Legion Field, Danville Otterbots*
Summer Collegiate: Seaman Stadium, Okotoks Dawgs*
Photo courtesy Okotoks Dawgs.