Archive for June 17th, 2008

Houston’s Minor League System is Turning Out Some Fine… Ballparks

We spend a lot of time talking about prospects here, but there’s no doubt that players and big-league potential are only part of the appeal of minor-league baseball. For many Americans, a day at the local ballpark is an entertainment option, competing against the movie theater or mini-golf. For more casual fans, especially those with kids, the physical amenities offered by the ballpark can sway the vote. My own five-year-old son will vote loudly for minor-league baseball more for the rides, games, and dippin’ dots than for the product on the field.

So when Minor League News asked readers to vote on their favorite minor-league venues, and didn’t even restrict the vote to baseball, it proved meaningful that so many votes went to ballparks in the Houston Astros organization. Enough so that the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Round Rock Express found themselves in the top two spots in a recent poll.

Overall, 52.5 percent of voters selected ballparks as their favorite facilities, 47.5 picked arenas. Venues of over 800 teams were considered in the rankings. Fans were allowed one vote from an IP address. Approximately 11,000 votes were cast.


1. Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, Texas 38.9
2. The Dell Diamond – Round Rock, Texas 13.7
3. The Arena at Gwinnett Center – Duluth, Georgia 9.9
4. Nutter Center – Dayton, Ohio 7.9
5. Stockton Arena – Stockton, California 6.7
6. Germain Arena – Estero, Florida 6.0
7. Rabobank Arena – Bakersfield, California 4.8
8. Sovereign Center – Reading, Pennsylvania 4.6
9. Brighthouse Networks Field – Clearwater, Florida 3.8
10. Orleans Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada 3.6

The overwhelming love for Whataburger field either shows a very well-traveled readership, or it points to a marvelously organized voter turnout by south-Texas-based fans, but either way, there’s no denying that the field is ready for its “MiLB Cribs” closeup.

I was in Corpus over a decade ago, and I don’t think Whataburger was there then. If I ever get back there, I might just get hooked.