Thousands of people have confirmed what many Londoners already knew — Labatt Park is the most beloved ballpark in the country.
The field brought home the title yesterday, beating out Thunder Bay’s Port Arthur Stadium in Canada’s Favourite Ballpark contest. Officials from Baseball Canada, the contest’s sponsor, will visit London in coming months to hang a banner touting the achievement at the park.
Jim Baba, Baseball Canada executive director, said the trip will be coordinated with the man who nominated Labatt — Joe O’Neill, commissioner of the Intercounty Baseball League, which includes the London Majors.
Baba has been to the field several times and understands why it took 63 per cent if the final vote.
“It’s tremendous sitting in that ballpark looking out at the city of London,” Baba said. “It’s a great way to watch a baseball game.”
The ballpark contest started in June with 40 submissions. The field was narrowed to 16 by Baseball Canada’s staff, and, from there, people cast online votes in several rounds.
More than 19,000 votes were cast during the two-week final with London making a big push ahead in the last few days.
As for how long London will be able to wear its crown alone, that’s up in the air. The favourite ballpark contest was a new promotion for Baseball Canada and officials there aren’t sure if it will make a return, Baba said.
“We’ll see if we come up with something else,” he said.
Labatt Park History
- Labatt Park opened as Tecumseh Park in 1877.
- It bills itself as the world’s oldest baseball park in continuous use.