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FirstEnergy voted one of the best minor league ballparks

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jul 16 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 11:37:47 AM CDT

America's favorite past-time can draw fans from all over the country.

READING, Pa. -

America's favorite past-time can draw fans from all over the country. But when it comes to the best ballparks, which stadiums make the cut?

A travel website came out with a list of the top 20 minor league ballparks and Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium is on that list.

In Reading, when people say take me out to the ball game, the crowd thinks about FirstEnergy Stadium.

"I think it's cozy and homey when you first come in and everything," said Susan Ippolito, of Wyomissing. "And it's a nice place."

A nice place to see a major leaguer rehab an injury like, Alex Rodriguez. And a nice place for the family.

"I think it's great that it's so kid friendly," said Ellie Smuller, of Sinking Spring. "You can bring your kids and they have a wonderful time."

Kids love it for the mascots and the entertainment.

"The shooting of the t-shirts and the hot dogs into the crowd that's pretty good but I've never gotten one," said Tony Fuoto, of Sinking Spring.

Many of the minor league stadiums chosen by the 10BEST READERS' CHOICE web site offer baseball and entertainment. But the Fightin Phils' general manager, Scott Hunsicker, said FirstEnergy Stadium has something those others stadiums don't -- legacy.

"This stadium has such a soul to it and you can't build that," said Hunsicker.

He said just like the Cubs or the Red Sox, the Fightins have a special home that wasn't built in the last 10 years.

"Much like a Wrigley Field or a Fenway Park is to major league baseball, we really feel like this ballpark is that to minor league baseball," said Hunsicker.

And generations can share that history.

"I grew up around here. I was out here with my grandfather," said Fuoto. "I was like 5, 6 years old. He would bring me out here."

Now will travelers come out and notice? The team hopes the fans will let them know.

Go to 10best.com and look for the Readers Choice Awards for Best Minor League Ballparks. Voting ends Aug. 12, 2013.