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Monday, August 06, 2018

Top 10 Best Minor League Stadiums and Ballparks

I haven’t been to any of these parks. I need to get to get to Portland and Hartford.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2018 at 12:09 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor league parks

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: August 06, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5721782)
Missing from the list:

Camden Yards
Kaufmann Stadium
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: August 06, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5721789)
Though I haven't been to many minor league parks, Victory Field's absence is still surprising. I guess it tells me I've get to more minor league parks.

   3. T.J. Posted: August 06, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5721793)
I'm no stadium expert (I've been to about eleven major-league and fifteen minor-league parks), but Charlotte's skyline view reminded me a lot of the skyline view at Target Field in Minneapolis.
   4. Perry Posted: August 06, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5721815)
Also haven't been to that many minor league parks, but when I lived in Utah in the 1990's I thought the (then) new one in Salt Lake City was excellent.
   5. villageidiom Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5721818)
DDP in Hartford is a lovely minor-league stadium. It has the most major-league feel of any minor-league park I've seen. I mean, obviously it's on a minor-league scale; by "major-league feel" I don't mean you're sitting half a mile away from (and a quarter mile above) the field, or anything like that. They've made the park seem bigger than it is. They've done a decent job of giving the park more of a vertical profile than you'd typically see.

Here's a view of the first-base side, with private boxes sitting well above the concourse behind the main seating bowl. (Picture was taken during their "soft" open, with U. Hartford vs. Quinnipiac, which was announced like 24 hours in advance and thus few people knew about it. Hence the many empty seats.) This isn't the best view of the RF seats (from LCF looking past the batter's backdrop to RCF) but there you can see they again raised the vertical profile. The seats there are mostly upper deck, directly above the bullpen. (There are some seats below the upper deck, behind the bullpen, giving you a view of the relievers and the field.)

I got standing-room tickets for a game last year - yes, minor-league standing room tickets. There really wasn't a bad place to view the game from. We settled on standing down the LF line in front of the BBQ stand. We had a great time.
   6. Red Voodooin Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5721824)
Nary a park on the list from the Pacific or Mountain Time Zones, which very well may be appropriate, I dunno. Eugene has a really nice, relatively new park, built with Nike $$$ right next to Autzen Stadium where the Oregon Ducks play.
   7. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5721843)
SoSH, Victory Field is outstanding. It's 20+ years old, but still feels like it is no more than a couple years old. I too need visit more MiLB parks, but there are also a lot of really good ones.
   8. dlf Posted: August 06, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5721851)
Has anyone seen a game at Blue Wahoos park in Pensacola? I drove by there in March when I was heading to the coast, but the season hadn't started yet. Looks like it doesn't take much of a poke to put the ball into the Bay just past the LF fence. Seemed like a junior version of Pac Bell.
   9. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 06, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5721894)
To echo #5, the Hartford park is amazing. I wanted to hate it, because of the local politics involved in removing a team from nearby New Britain, but the park is just about perfect. Right down to the bricks on the outside of the building matching the look and feel of the magnet school across the street. My favorite story on DDP is from when it opened...a journalist caught a neighborhood woman crying outside the park. When he asked her what was wrong she said "I never thought there would ever be anything this beautiful in my neighborhood."

One of the cool things in #5's picture of RF is that the upper deck overhangs the field slightly, a la Tiger Stadium.

   10. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 06, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5721933)
Portland is very nice, and, as a Red Sox affiliate, even has their own version of The Wall.
   11. Red Voodooin Posted: August 06, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5721997)
As a West Coast guy, I find it a sad state of affairs that Portland, ME has a heralded minor league ballpark and Portland, OR has no organized baseball team at all (there's the Hillsboro Hops, in suburban Portland, I suppose).
   12. stevegamer Posted: August 06, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5722069)
I can vouch for the great experiences at Reading, Lehigh Valley & Wilmington(DE). Lancaster, PA has a very nice park, but the team in unaffiliated.

The worst minor league park I have been to (by far) is Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
   13. Tim M Posted: August 06, 2018 at 11:34 PM (#5722078)
Hadlock in Portland ME is my "home" park, best thing about it is most of the current kick-ass Sox team came thru there. All 3 outfielders, 3/4 of the infield (well, when Pedroia is playing, which he isn't), and the top playing-time C, Vasquez. Now if they could only produce some pitchers..
   14. greenback slays lewks Posted: August 07, 2018 at 12:40 AM (#5722119)
It's been 12+ years since I visited, but doesn't Portland's ballpark have a bunch of aluminum bleachers behind home plate? In my one night there a heavy fog rolled in, and the stadium lighting wasn't getting the job done. So I don't have quite the pleasant memories that these guys do.

There's a strong bias in this list for ballparks with urban skylines.
   15. Brian C Posted: August 07, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5722181)
I’ve been to three on the list - Fort Wayne, Memphis, and Round Rock. Fort Wayne and Memphis are very nice, but I don’t understand Round Rock’s high placement. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a mostly generic minor league stadium with a very generic suburban setting. Fans show up there and it’s fun to go (I’ve been several times), but there are plenty of other parks that are more interesting or at least have better settings.
   16. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 07, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5722200)
The worst minor league park I have been to (by far) is Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

That would be at the top of my list, representing the majority of my baseball experiences, but I guess a park built in 1988 as a miniature replica of Veterans Stadium is not what a lot of people look for. Even though it has real grass now!
   17. Brian C Posted: August 07, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5722216)
The old stadium by the fairgrounds in Tulsa is the worst I’ve been to. Charmless and cramped 80s design, metal seating, generic setting, and a high net that went around the outfield that all came together to give a prison-yard ambiance.

I’m led to believe the new one is nice, though.
   18. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5722220)


You can't see it in any of the photos, but there is legitimately a bail bondsman advertisement on the scoreboard.
   19. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5722224)
and Portland, OR has no organized baseball team at all

I assume the minor-league park in downtown that I took a date to in 2000 has been filled in?
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: August 07, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5722235)
I assume the minor-league park in downtown that I took a date to in 2000 has been filled in?

They turned it into the MLS home for the Portland Timbers.
   21. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 07, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5722287)
So when do we start renaming these?
   22. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5722292)
They turned it into the MLS home for the Portland Timbers.

Ah, thanks.
   23. VCar Posted: August 07, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5722367)
Camden Yards
Kaufmann Stadium

Hard to believe now those 2 teams were in the ALCS 4 years ago, and that Houston won 51 games that year.
   24. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5722377)
The new-ish stadium in Columbus is supposed to be extremely nice, but every time I've attempted to go to a game, it's been sold out. I'm not a big enough fan of AAA baseball to plan my life weeks in advance around a Columbus-Lehigh Valley game, so I guess maybe I'll get to it eventually.

Canal Park in Akron is terrific if you can get past having to be in Akron.
   25. QLE Posted: August 07, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5722390)
#23- And that one is just three years removed from a World Series title- then again, you'd also never believe who they beat for it watching them now....

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