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Hartford stadium named 'Ballpark of Year'

BY Patricia Daddona

8/11/2017
Keith Griffin
Keith Griffin
A view of the completed Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford.
Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford has been named "Ballpark of the Year" by BaseballParks.com, a frequent contributor to USA TODAY.

This is the second honor for the ballpark that is home to the Colorado Rockies' Eastern League affiliate Hartford Yard Goats. In June, an online poll conducted by Ballpark Digest ranked the stadium the best Double-A ballpark in America.

The latest recognition was featured in Wednesday's edition of USA TODAY Sports Weekly by Joe Mock, the webmaster and founder of BaseballParks.com, and a frequent USA TODAY contributor.

The honor is awarded annually to a new or substantially renovated ballpark. Formidable competition this year came from SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, and The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the spring training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Mock visited 349 ballparks before he and his panel made their determination.

"I actually visited the ballpark while it was still under construction," Mock said. "I could tell immediately that it was going to be something special. When I came back to check out the finished product, I was blown away. Not only is it supremely fun to attend a Yard Goats game, the design of the park itself is spectacular. It has the intimacy of small Minor League park, while providing all the amenities of a big-league stadium."

Past winners of the award are AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jonathan Cole, founding principal of Kansas City, MO-based Pendulum, was architect of record for Dunkin' Donuts Park. Peter Newman, principal of Newman Architects and The S/L/A/M Collaborative's Rick Bouchard, Chris Sziabowski, and Derek Czenczelewski were also members of the design team.