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Ranking the Ballparks in the State of Michigan

By Paul Swaney -- June 11, 2012 8:14 AM EDT


We've visited every significant ballpark in the Great Lakes State of Michigan- Major League, Minor League, and Division I college baseball all offer their differing experience. Here's our list of where you should be sure to go to see baseball in the state of Michigan.

  1. Dow Diamond - Home of the Great Lakes Loons

    Sometimes you arrive at a ballpark, and you just know that you are someplace that you are going to fall in love with. Turning on to Main Street in Midland, Michigan on a sunny spring or summer evening, and you’ll see people sitting outside having a burger and a beer at one of the local eateries. Continue down Main Street and around the bend and you’ll see Dow Diamond, one of the jewels of the minor league baseball world.

  2. Comerica Park - Home of the Detroit Tigers

    The opening of Comerica Park in 2000 was met with a great deal of resistance by Tigers fans who had developed a strong bond with Tiger Stadium at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. In many ways, Comerica Park was the antithesis of the old home of the Tigers. It was criticized for being too much of a carnival atmosphere, lacking the classic charm of the old navy-colored ball yard.

    The criticism of Comerica Park has been unjust. It is a completely fair sentiment to miss Tiger Stadium (especially now that it’s been demolished), or to believe that the Tigers should have never moved, but Comerica Park is of itself, a really wonderful stadium.

  3. Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field - Home of the Western Michigan Broncos

    In 1947 the first ever College World Series was played. No, it wasn’t in Omaha. The games were played on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The site of the games was Hyames Field, named for WMU head baseball coach and Athletic Director Judson Hyames. Playing 1B for Yale was future President of the United States George H.W. Bush. With that backstory, you know you’re in for a historic experience when you attend a Western Michigan University Broncos baseball game.

  4. Cooley Law School Stadium - Home of the Lansing Lugnuts

    Since 1996, the Lansing Lugnuts have been part of the sports landscape in the state capital of Michigan. The Lugnuts were named in honor of the state's long history of automobile engineering, and originally played at Oldsmobile Park. The ballpark has since been renamed Cooley Law School Stadium, but the moniker has remained. As a Class A minor league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Lugnuts are members of the Midwest League and have won two league championships (1997 & 2003).

  5. Ray Fisher Stadium - Home of the Michigan Wolverines

    The University of Michigan’s Ray Fisher Stadium opened in 1923 with a game between the Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes (Michigan won the game 3-2). There is no better way to open a new ballpark than to play your rival and win (similar to Fenway Park which opened with a Red Sox win over the New York Highlanders in 1912).

    Much has changed in the stadium’s history, most notably a $9 million renovation that was completed in 2008. The current facility offers a comfortable, if less than spectacular, venue to watch college baseball.

  6. Fifth Third Ballpark - Home of the West Michigan Whitecaps

    The West Michigan Whitecaps came into existence in 1994 as an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, and three years later the stars aligned for them to become the Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Clearly, this is a geographic affiliation that makes good sense, and leads to greater fan loyalty to the farm club. The team has found solid success in the Midwest League, with 5 league titles (1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2007).

    Most importantly, this is a lovely ballpark with good food, and comfortable viewing of the great American pastime.

  7. McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field - Home of the Michigan State Spartans

    The bronze statue, known as the Spartan, stands at the intersection of Kalamazoo Street, Chestnut Road and Red Cedar Road on the campus of Michigan State University. The iconic sculpture is probably more associated with the football team, but his glance is directed away from Spartan Stadium, and into right field of McLane Stadium. The combination of a new and comfortable stadium with historic and unique charm, on a beautiful college campus makes for an enjoyable afternoon of baseball.

  8. Theunissen Stadium - Home of the Central Michigan Chippewas

    It's a very laid back atmosphere at Theunissen Stadium. One could easily sit back and take a nap. You're here for the game, more than the entertainment value (as opposed to minor league baseball where the entertainment is a big part of the draw). You'll hear some walk up music for the home team from a pretty good sound system, as well as the announced batter, but otherwise it is a very clean presentation.

  9. Wuerfel Park - Home of the Traverse City Beach Bums

    Just south of the picturesque town of Traverse City, Michigan, sits Wuerfel Park. The stadium, and its tenants, the Traverse City Beach Bums, reflect the town in which they reside. Traverse City is located at the base of the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, and it is a summertime favorite of many tourists and locals who flock to the water and the beautiful beaches.

  10. Oestrike Stadium - Home of the Eastern Michigan Eagles

    For more than 40 years, the Eastern Michigan Eagles have played their home baseball games at Oestrike Stadium. Like many collegiate venues, the stadium was named for a former coach, Ron Oestrike, who led the team from 1965-1987.

    The facility has undergone a series of renovations dating back to 2000 when lights were installed thanks to a donation from the William G. Clark Family. The Eagles won their inaugural night game against local rival Michigan on a walk off home run by Nick Soliz.

  11. OU Baseball Field - Home of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies

    A simple field sits below a sloping hill on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. You have found the home of Golden Grizzlies baseball, a member of the geographically expansive Summit League. As “stadiums” go, it doesn’t really qualify as such, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a worthwhile and affordable experience to be had.


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