14 Best Minor League Baseball Stadiums



Minor league Baseball Stadiums are not just a place to play the game of Baseball but the field itself is an extension of the Baseball's Brand.

From its earliest years of expansion, baseball entrepreneurs acknowledged the importance of the baseball venue.

Team owners immediately recognized that the Baseball Stadium was the cash generator that held the key to  the growth of the game.

To cash in on the growth of the game, baseball owners knew that they had to have their own,  high quality, venue to bring fans to the park.

Starting with Elysian Field in the games earliest days the baseball field would take on a life of its own with continual development  and change.

These early stadiums would be described in many ways.

·         Jewel Box Stadiums

·         Retro Classic

·         Retro Modern

·         Contemporary

·         Multi Purpose

But the end result was an all out pursuit  to capture and impart the very essence of Baseball within their parks.

A dazzling array of major league baseball stadiums started to be built as early as 1875 with the building of the South End Ground in Boston Massachusetts . By 1902 team owners has raised the stakes with the building of Philadelphia's Shibe Park.

But first lets look at some of the Classics Ballparks that laid the foundation for Baseball Stadiums in America.

These Classic stadiums were just a preview of what was yet to come. The quest for that perfect, brand building, stadium quickly expanded to all levels of professional baseball and minor league baseball stadiums experienced massive upgrades. 


Fenway Park

Comiskey Park

Wrigley Field

Forbes Field

Ebbets Field

Tiger Stadium


Minor League Baseball Stadiums
Meets The Great Depression  


The surge of baseball field construction hit the preverbal Wall with the Great Depression of 1929. Americans were struggling to survive and President Roosevelt passes a social stimulus program called the WPA (Works Progress Administration).

This program would, single-handedly, breath life into baseball field construction and minor league baseball stadiums would benefit greatly.

The funding from the WPA put skilled workers back to work rebuilding America's infrastructure.

Parks and Recreation refurbishing was part of the New Deal and savvy baseball owner took advantage of the government funding. Remnants of the WPA funding and its programs are still being used today.


Minor League Baseball Stadiums
In Florida


But you are here because you share my passion for Baseball and specifically the Baseball Field.

I have been blessed to live in and play Baseball in some of the finest minor league baseball stadiums on the planet. Now living in Florida I am home to 14 of the Best Minor League Baseball Stadiums in the US.

I had the pleasure of taking a handsome group of 15U All-Stars on a Baseball Prospects tournament tour through Florida and Georgia. We played in several of these Florida Minor league Parks and these Florida Parks are among the very best in Minor league Baseball Stadiums anywhere. 


Come VISIT one of our beautiful Minor League ballparks 


Enter Park Name in the Ticket Search Bar to View Park Events


1.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark


Location; Daytona Beach, Florida

Affiliate; Montreal Expos

Jackie Robinson StadiumJackie Robinson Stadium

Jackie Robinson Ballpark (also known as Jackie Robinson Stadium or City Island Ball Park) is a historic Minor League Baseball Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. It is located at 105 East Orange Avenue on City Island, in the Halifax RiverThe ballpark, originally known as City Island Ball Park, opened in 1914. This minor league baseball Park is home of the Daytona Tortugas and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Daytona Beach was the first Florida city to allow Jackie Robinson to play during the 1946 season's spring training. Robinson was playing for the Triple-A Montreal Royals, who were in Florida to play an exhibition game against their parent club, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Both Jacksonville and Sanford refused to allow the game due to segregation laws. Daytona Beach permitted the game, which was played on March 17, 1946. This contributed to Robinson breaking the Major Leagues' color barrier the following year when he joined the Dodgers. The refusal by Jacksonville, previously the Dodgers' spring training home, led the team to host spring training in Daytona in 1947 and build Dodger Town in Vero Beach for the 1948 season. A statue of Robinson is now located at the south entrance to the ballpark. Info help From; Wikipedia

2.

Florida Exchange Stadium


Location; Dunedin, Florida

Affiliate; Toronto Blue Jays

Florida Auto Exchange StadiumFlorida Auto Exchange Stadium

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium (originally Dunedin Stadium at Grant Field) is located in Dunedin, Florida. This Minor League Baseball stadium was built in 1990 and holds 5,509 people. It is the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as home to the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A Florida State League and the Dunedin High School Falcons baseball team. This minor league baseball stadium's name reverted from the name it had since 2004, Knology Park, when the naming agreement with Knology, a southeastern United States communications and entertainment company, expired on September 30, 2008. On November 7, 2010, the stadium was renamed again after the naming rights were purchased by the Florida Auto Exchange, a Dunedin car sales center. Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is ranked by Sports Illustrated as one of the top five facilities to watch a Major League Baseball Spring training game. Dunedin has been the only spring home for the Toronto Blue Jays since their inception in 1977. Info help From; Wikipedia;


3.


Bragen Field

Location; Jacksonville, Florida

Affiliate; Montreal Expos

Baseball Grounds of JacksonvilleBaseball Grounds of Jacksonville

Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville which opened in 2003. It is the home field for one of the premiere Minor League baseball stadiums in North America. It is home of the Jacksonville Sun (Class AA; Southern League). home of the Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League)

Two teams named the Suns have played in Jacksonville since 1962: a class Triple-A International League team from 1962–1968, and the current Double-A team from 1970 to the present. From 1985–1990 the team was known as the Jacksonville Expos, when they were affiliated with the Montreal Expos MLB team.

Info help From; milb.com & Wikipedia

4.


Bright House Stadium

Location; Clearwater, Florida

Affiliate; Philadelphia Phillies 

Bright House StadiumBright House Stadium

Bright House Field  is the home for the Phillies' Spring Training games and home field for the Clearwater Threshers. The ballpark is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 19, adjacent to Carpenter Field. The Phillies have been training in Clearwater, Florida since 1948. Carpenter is used in Spring Training by the Phillies' major league and Minor League players, along with teams in the Florida State League, Gulf Coast Rookie League and the Florida Instructional League. Info help From; http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com

5.


Transition Field

Location; Pt, St. Lucie, Florida

Affiliate; New York Mets

Transition FieldTransition Field

Transition Field, aka, Digital Domain Park has been the Spring Training home of the New York Mets since 1988. It is located in Pt. Saint Lucie on Florida's east coast. In addition the stadium also plays host to the St. Lucie Mets Class A team and the Gulf Coast Mets Rookie League team.

The stadium was built in time for the 1988 season and holds 7,160 people. It is the Spring training home of the New York Mets (who moved from St. Petersburg's Al Lang Stadium), as well as the home to the St. Lucie Mets Class A team and the Gulf Coast Mets Rookie League team. Info help From; Wikipedia


6.


Champion Stadium

Location; Orlando, Florida

Affiliate;

Champion StadiumChampion Stadium

Champion Stadium is part of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex that is located at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Atlanta Braves use Champion Stadium for their spring training. The stadium opened in 1997 and features a natural grass playing field. The stadium has 4 luxury suites and two party boxes. Champion Stadium was originally known as Cracker Jack Stadium. When it was first built, Frito-Lay purchased the naming rights to the venue for ten years and put its Cracker Jack brand on the stadium. Frito-Lay chose not to renew its naming rights deal. During most of 2007, it was referred to as The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports.  Info help From;Wikipedia 

7.


Jet blue stadium

Location; Port Charlotte, Florida

Affiliate; Tampa Bay Rays

Jet Blue StadiumJet Blue Stadium at Charlotte County Sports Complex

Jet Blue Stadium is located within the Charlotte County Sports Complex.The Charlotte Sports Park is home to the Tampa Bay Rays spring training and the Charlotte Stone Crabs regular season, as well as other events.  In March 2014, Charlotte Sports Park was named the #1 spring training destination by the readers of USA Today and 10 Best.[7]

This minor league baseball stadium has also been used by the local community for non-baseball events like concerts, festivals, and expos. It has hosted such musicians as Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, The Little River Band, and Simple Plan.  Info help From; Wikipedia

8.


Space Coast
Stadium

Location; Cocoa, Florida

Affiliate; Florida, Marlins

Space Coast StadiumSpace Coast Stadium

Space Coast Stadium is located within Cocoa Expo Baseball complex. The baseball stadium that was completed before the 1994 season as part of a plan to bring spring training for the (then new) Florida Marlins to Viera, FloridaIt is also the home of the Brevard County Manatees, a minor league baseball franchise. Occasionally, the Gulf Coast League Nationals also play their home games in this park.                      Info From; Wikipedia

9.


Ed Smith Stadium

Location; Sarasota, Florida

Affiliate; Baltimore Orioles

Ed Smith StadiumEd Smith Stadium

Ed Smith Stadium was formerly the spring home of the Chicago White Sox (1989–1997) and the Baltimore Orioles (1991). In 1998, it replaced Plant City Stadium as the spring training home of the Cincinnati Reds. From 1989 to 2009, the stadium hosted a series of Minor League Baseball teams, the Single-A Sarasota White SoxSarasota Red Sox, and Sarasota Reds. From 2004 until 2009, it housed the Gulf Coast League's Gulf Coast Reds. Ed Smith has also hosted high school and college baseball tournaments. Info help From; Wikipedia

10.


hanley field

Location; Lakeland, Florida

Affiliate; Detroit Tigers

Hanley FieldHanley Field

Henley Field is one of the historic, Minor League Baseball Stadiums built Florida. Opened in 1922, it is located at 1125 North Florida Avenue. Clare Henley, for whom the park was named in 1942, encouraged its construction in an effort to persuade a professional baseball team to train there. On May 23, 1997, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

As happened in 2002, the Lakeland Flying Tigers (Advanced-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) will play at Henley Field for the duration of their 2016 season due to the renovation of nearby Joker Marchant Stadium. Info help From; Wikipedia

11.


Mckechnie Field

Location; Bradenton, Florida

Affiliate; Pittsburgh Pirates 

McKechnie FieldMcKechnie Field

McKechnie Field is a located in Bradenton, Florida. It is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is named for Bradenton resident and baseball great, Bill McKechnie, who led the Pirates in 1925 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1940 to World Series titles. He was also a coach of the Cleveland Indians in 1948. Several notable members of the Baseball Hall of Fame such as, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mike Schmidt have played at McKechnie Field during their careers. This Minor League Baseball stadium also hosts minor league baseball games for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' High-A club in the Florida State League. Info help From; Wikipedia

12.


Steinbrenner Field

Location; Tampa, Florida

Affiliate; New York Yankees

Steinbrenner FieldSteinbrenner Field

George M. Steinbrenner Field (formerly known as Legends Field[7]), is located in Tampa, Florida across Dale Mabry Highway from Raymond James Stadium, home of Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The minor league baseball stadium serves as the home of the Tampa Yankees, the New York Yankees' affiliate in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, and is the Yankees' spring training home. The dimensions of the field precisely mimic that of the old Yankee Stadium, and the scalloped grandstand facade (the frieze) is also meant to invoke the old ballpark in the Bronx. Info help From; Wikipedia

13.


Joker marchant stadium

Location; Lakeland, Florida

Affiliate; Detroit Tigers

Joker Marchant StadiumJoker Marchant Stadium

Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium is located in Lakeland, Florida. The stadium, opened in 1966, was renovated in 2003, holds 8,500 people, and was named after local resident and former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director Marcus "Joker" Marchant. It is the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers, as well as the regular season home for the minor league affiliates Lakeland Flying Tigers and Gulf Coast Tigers. On March 15, 2011, the largest crowd in the stadium's history (10,307 people) watched a spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox. Info help From Wikipedia

14.


Roger Dean Stadium

Location; Jupiter, Florida

Affiliate; Miami, Marlins

Roger Dean Stadium

The Roger Dean Stadium located in Jupiter, Florida is the only stadium in the country to host four minor league teams: the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Baseball Florida State League, and the Gulf Coast Marlins and Gulf Coast Cardinals of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The teams share the main stadium where the games are played. However, the teams have their own practice fields, outdoor batting cages, several pitching mounds, and state-of-the-art conditioning rooms. help info From; Wikipedia

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If this feels like an advertisement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, forgive my exuberance. I am just an Baseball fan who loves the history behind the Baseball Field.

So come back soon or visit me in the sunshine state and see how we celebrate the History of Baseball in Florida.


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