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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

AutoZone Park among nominees for Best Minor League Ballpark

Congratulations to Memphis’ AutoZone Park, one of 20 nominees announced on Tuesday in the Best Minor League Ballparks category of the 2013 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award from The USA TODAY Travel Media Group.

This is the newest category of’s weekly contests which run throughout the year. Readers have four weeks during which to vote for the Best Minor League Ballpark.

The public may vote online for one nominee per category per day during the voting period. The winner will be revealed on on Wednesday, August 14.

You can see all 20 ballpark nominees and vote at

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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12 Responses to “AutoZone Park among nominees for Best Minor League Ballpark”

  1. blingboy says:

    Enjoyed the photos and info on the 20 ballparks featured at the link.

    One of the factors I would consider is the ballpark’s suitability and sustainability in the market. Autozone seems substantially overbuit and not really viable.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I agree with your first point but would beg to differ on the second. This isn’t a business case study. It is fan vote. I have not been to a more impressive minor league park than that one. Sure, one big reason is that they overspent, but what is done is done.

      • blingboy says:

        Yes, I see your point. It is a great ballpark. I’m trying to decide if more is better in the case of a minor league park.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Like seemingly most anything in life, the challenge is in avoiding the extremes and seeking moderation.

          A recent case study occurred in Omaha. The longtime home of the College World Series, Rosenblatt Stadium, also housed the Royals Triple-A franchise. While Rosenblatt was expanded and upgraded many times since WWII, the city had to build a new, modern facility to keep the CWS into the future.

          The problem was that the Royals/Storm Chasers can only fill 8,000 or 9,000 seats on their best nights, while the CWS needed more like 25,000. Instead of compromising, they went their separate ways, building two new ballparks in one mid-sized metro area.

          I surely would not have done it that way.

          • blingboy says:

            It sort of reminds me of building the Billion Dollar runway at Lambert and Mid America Airport on the Illinois side. Our friend might say “Its not about common sense”.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Who will the Cards elevate from Memphis to replace Butler?

    Prediction: RHR Fernando Salas.

    • blingboy says:

      The Cards reportedly do not need a 5th starter until July 27 or thereabouts, so Kelly will be availible out of the pen for awhile. They could go with a position player until then. Mike has had troubles finding work for everybody in the pen.

      • Nutlaw says:

        They already have Johnson sitting around to do … ?

        • Bw52 says:

          Gee I dunno……………………….maybe to give Molina a rest.The only other option IMO is to bring up Ryan Jackson…………….he seems so far in the doghouse he might never see Stlouis until September callups if then.Jermane Curtis is a non-factor and who else offers the threat off the bench. Tissue tough Tommy Pham? Romak? Huffman?

          • Nutlaw says:

            Molina seems okay enough at this point and you don’t need two backup catchers to give your regular a rest. Johnson has two PAs in two games and I don’t see why he would be needed to do anything further any time soon.

            I’m all for giving Ryan Jackson a chance, but his .531 OPS in 50 July ABs makes me hesitant.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Salas it was.

  3. Bw52 says:

    Would like to see Brock Peterson get a chance at the RH bench bat .

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