Why I Love Minor League Baseball

Taking Kids to Minor League Baseball GamesWhen it comes to being a sports fan, I’m what you might call a late bloomer. A very late bloomer. In fact, there’s a much-embellished story in our family about the first time my husband—then boyfriend—brought me to a Cal football game. Not realizing we were on hallowed ground, I brought a book.

Fast forward fifteen years. Now my own son is in love with sports—especially baseball—and my husband is in heaven. I still don’t know a suicide squeeze from a sacrifice fly, but I can’t help channeling their love of the game.

Which is how I once came to spend $600 on baseball tickets.

In my defense, it was a Father’s Day surprise for my husband (a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan) in 2006 when Barry Bonds was expected to tie or break Hank Aaron’s homerun record any day.  We had fun too, just not $600 worth of fun.

Taking Kids to Minor League Baseball GamesWhen baseball season rolled around the following year and it was time to buy tickets, I hesitated. Even the cheapest seats at AT&T Park go for $18 each and, really, who wants to sit there? I decided to check out the San Jose Giants instead where the best seats go for $15.

We felt liked we’d traveled back in time.

Municipal Stadium clean, sparkling, and very small town USA.  It has lots of the things you’d expect from an MLB game (a big furry mascot, great food, and special games and promotions for kids) and some that you wouldn’t (legendary churros, an carnival arcade-style family fun zone, and half-priced beers for an inning if the Giants strike out the designated “beer batter” on the other team).  In short, it’s the best sports value around.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area (or if you’re making plans to travel here this baseball season), you should totally check out a game.

If that’s not geographically convenient, check out this list of minor league teams by affiliation and find a team near you (or near where you’ll be vacationing this summer!).  Whether you find yourself cheering for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Montgomery Biscuits, or the Carolina Mudcats, I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

May 19th, 2010 | by Jamie Pearson 6 comments

6 Responses to “Why I Love Minor League Baseball”

1. Dominique on May 19th, 2010

Sounds like a great time, and you really can’t beat the value for your money…especially compared to what they charge for major league games of every type these days…can you?

I’ve long been a fan of minor league sports! We have season tickets to the Junior Major hockey team, the Plymouth Whalers, here in the Detroit area. Great hockey, great seats, reasonably priced beer, and a skating whale mascot.
We’ve also we’ve seen several minor league teams play baseball. The Toledo (Ohio) Mud Hens are close enough to us that we’ve been there several times–great downtown ball park, fun mascots, and fast-paced AAA baseball. Fact is, we can take an overnight trip to Toledo and take in a game from primo seats for the price we’d pay to see a major league baseball game at home.
We’ve also been up to see the Traverse City Beach Bums in northern Michigan (and oddly enough, I’m wearing a Beach Bums T-shirt as I type this!). Nice ball park where you can picnic and enjoy hot dogs grilled outdoors…and interact with mascots Suntan and Sunburn! This team is in the Frontier league, so the pitching is a little slower…but the fun makes up for it.
Memphis (TN) Redbirds play at a great downtown ball park…fun to listen to blues music in the courtyard pre-game and enjoy BBQ nachos during the game.
And, yup, I’ve blogged several times about our minor league sports travel adventures. I’m glad to see others discovering how much fun these games can be and sharing their experiences, too.

2. Mary Scott on May 19th, 2010

I know exactly what you mean. My husband and I are starting oour fifteen season as San Jose Giants’ season ticket holders. We are sooo lucky to live withing a half hour of this place!

3. Farab on May 20th, 2010

I’ve long been a fan of minor league sports! We have season tickets to the Junior Major hockey team, the Plymouth Whalers, here in the Detroit area. Great hockey, great seats, reasonably priced beer, and a skating whale mascot.We’ve also we’ve seen several minor league teams play baseball. The Toledo (Ohio) Mud Hens are close enough to us that we’ve been there several times–great downtown ball park, fun mascots, and fast-paced AAA baseball. Fact is, we can take an overnight trip to Toledo and take in a game from primo seats for the price we’d pay to see a major league baseball game at home.We’ve also been up to see the Traverse City Beach Bums in northern Michigan (and oddly enough, I’m wearing a Beach Bums T-shirt as I type this!). Nice ball park where you can picnic and enjoy hot dogs grilled outdoors…and interact with mascots Suntan and Sunburn! This team is in the Frontier league, so the pitching is a little slower…but the fun makes up for it.Memphis (TN) Redbirds play at a great downtown ball park…fun to listen to blues music in the courtyard pre-game and enjoy BBQ nachos during the game.And, yup, I’ve blogged several times about our minor league sports travel adventures. I’m glad to see others discovering how much fun these games can be and sharing their experiences, too.
+1

4. Carolina on May 20th, 2010

Yep, couldn’t agree more. Although I have to say, I do love a couple of trips out to see the San Francisco Giants too. The trick to that is to sign up for their fan club, and wait for special deals on their club level or lower box ticket. Not $15 but pretty close.

5. Sharlene on May 26th, 2010

We loved the minor league we went to in AZ this spring too! It was much cheaper and much more relaxing. The grassy area was perfect for the toddler set. Two thumbs way up!

6. Henry on June 4th, 2010

Great stuff! Keep bringing it! :)


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