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The Padres' Class A affiliate has the top-selling logo (two eyes staring out of a baseball cap) and perhaps the most idyllic surroundings in the minors. The Diamond is a true gem located on the eastern edge of the lake in the midst of the Elsinore Mountains.
You have to like any club that's named after a team from The Simpsons, and there's plenty more to admire about the Marlins' Triple A site: like the view of the beautiful, 12,000-foot Sandia Peak beyond the outfield, as well as the altitude of the ballpark itself. At more than 5,300 feet above sea level-higher than the Rockies' Coors Field—the ball flies.
Deemed the nation's best minor league park by the Minor League News in 2006, the Dell Diamond's ownership group includes a pair of fireballin' locals named Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens and boasts such accoutrements as a swimming pool and a rock climbing wall. The Astros' Triple A team will pay tribute to Ryan at four home games this season, giving away collector statues of the Hall of Fame righty.
At long last, journey's end. There isn't a better place to spend it either, as the French Quarter offers you prime relaxation and a dose of reality. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, wind-damaged Zephyr Field served as a staging area for FEMA and the National Guard. On April 6, 2006, the ballpark reopened for baseball, making the Zephyrs, the Mets' Triple A club, the first pro sports team to permanently return to New Orleans.