Minor League baseball team appreciation thread

Tonight, I went to a minor league game. It was the first minor league game I’ve ever been to, and I was impressed. The fans were as rabid as those who worship the major leaguers, and the game was just as exciting.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the team (the Tucson Sidewinders) play, and I wanted to find others out there who are fans of minor league baseball.

YES YES YES! Memphis Redbirds! We play Tucson now and then, too. The Redbirds are the AAA affiliate of the Cardinals, and they are hugely popular here. I’m going to the game tomorrow. We have a second baseman named Stubby Clapp (yes, really) who does a backflip when he runs out onto the field at the beginning of the game. And they play at the beautiful, two-years-old AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis:

Minor-league baseball rules. It’s fun to go see the Braves when I visit family in Atlanta, but Jeez: tickets are at least $25, beer is like $8 for a tiny little Dixie cup. At Redbirds games, the best seats are $12 or so, and you can get in for $5. And beer? $5 for a 24-ouncer.

Also, in the minors you get to see some pretty interesting players. I saw Albert Pujols (one of last year’s Rookies of the Year) play for the Redbirds, and I saw Rick Ankiel play for us too when he was on his way down to single-A during that weird freak-out he had last year. (In the course of getting only two outs, he gave up four runs on balls, wild pitches, etc. It was sad.)

So YES, I am totally a fan of minor-league baseball. Thanks for asking!

I used to go see the Richmond (VA) Braves play when I was visiting my grandparents in Virginia. It was fun. I’ve also seen the PawSox play twice, and that was really fun. I envy you for having seen Pujols play, Moebius. I like him a lot.

There a single-a team but weve had intersting people go through them on their way to the majors

Our fiest real star was cruz junior who later went to seattle mariners who they were affiliated with at the time

Then we had a couple of mediocre years and seattle decided to cut costs and let the team go to the arizona diamondbacks
Now the big thrill is when randy johnson comes through on rehab and being allied with the world champs

But the prices are cheaper … theres less of a coporate feel to minor league stadiums and more of a home town feel

And ya can root for the team cuase there struggling and underdogs trying to get in the big league not some whiny overpaid snob thats complaining he didnt get 50 grand in his contract for a dog walker
And our prices seem to match up with the ones mentioned heck if ya bring ya own seat ya can get in for 4 bucks

Minor league ball is just seeming to be the true spirit of baseball these days

And the farther down the ladder you go the more fun it is. At Frederick (Single-A, Carolina League) I have:

A) Met Bobby Feller. He was there for a first pitch thing and was getting himself something to eat at the concessions.

B) Looked next to me and saw Stick Michaels (then GM of the Yankees) with a radar gun and a note pad. You can’t get the guy to shut up.

C) Had my kid sister (she was 9) ask a player (Greg Zaun) for an autograph and be told “I’ve got to got to warm ups now. I’ll meet you back here after the game” and he did it.

Minor league ball…where the game is the thing.

STATEN ISLAND YANKEES! WOO!

I love it! They’re a single-A affiliate of the Yankees. They play in a gorgeous new stadium that looks right out over New York Harbor. It is so much fun to watch the game and the sunset. have pointed out, the prices are great–especially the concessions. I think a hot dog is $1.75 or something. You can go there for a real ballpark supper without feeling like you’ve been ripped off. Inexpensive family oriented events are not always easy to come by in NYC. And it is fun to try and pick out the stars of the future.

There are a couple of teams here in Jersey I want to check out–The Newark Bears and the Somerville Patriots. They play in a separate league. I sure do like going to a ballgame.

I agree with nightshadea

[quote]
Minor league ball is just seeming to be the true spirit of baseball these days.**

I lived in Rochester, NY, for a while, and loved seeing the Red Wings (AAA, Baltimore) play. At the Triple A level, it’s fun to try spotting future major leaguers. While there’s a big difference in the play of major leaguers and minor leaguers, there’s sometimes a noticable difference between those that can make it and those that won’t.

I got to see Cal Ripken, Jr. play minor league ball.

Also, I took my son to his first professional game at a minor league game. He didn’t have the sitzfleisch for nine full innings, I felt, and I simply couldn’t afford major league prices for only 4 or 5 innings. So we drove up to Duchess County and watched the Hudson Valley Renegades. NY/Penn League, single A ball. Kids, really. But still, the fans loved 'em. It had more of a Little League feel to it, but these guys were living a dream, and I recall one right fielder who had a heckuvan arm.

I gotta get to Coney Island one of these days. Baseball is back in Brooklyn!

I love minor league baseball for all the reasons already mentioned: the bargain prices, the small-town feel, etc. Around here (Western Mass.) the closest minor league parks are in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (formerly NY-Penn League, but this year it’s going to be an independent league) and Connecticut (New Britain, New Haven, Norwich–all AA teams). There used to be a team closer (Holyoke Millers), but that was years ago.

The only downside (for me) to the minor league games is the large number of hokie non-baseball activities going on: dizzy bat races, annoying mascots, dancing in the stands. I understand that this is probably necessary to keep some people entertained, but I just find it ridiculous. When I go to a baseball game, I want to watch a baseball game, not do the wave, the Macarena, the YMCA, the chicken dance… Nor do I want to watch a five-year-old child run around the bases between innings in a “race” against the wacky mascot of the team.

All in all, though, yes, I love minor league baseball. Going to a Red Sox game will cost me$10 for gas, $3 for tolls, $20 for parking, $50 for a pair of tickets (at least), plus another $20 for snacks, and maybe another few bucks for dinner or a cap or something. Compare that to dropping $7 to $10 for a ticket at a minor league game, with free parking in some cases, and I think I can tolerate the little annoyances I mentioned above.

I’m not a fan per se, but I can see its attraction. The park is undoubtedly much smaller than a ML park, so your seat and view are probably very good. The sport isn’t clouded by the intense greed and bickering of both owners and players as in ML baseball, and I imagine there are far fewer players with insufferable egos. Last, but not least, the cost must be far less :slight_smile:

I feel your pain on the extraneous stuff, nineiron, but when God created beer and minor league baseball on the same day (scholars are uncertain whether it was the first or the second day), He wisely foresaw a need to go to the bathroom and thus placed certain time fillers in between innings.

No, I don’t think that is why these things are done. The promotions and other stuff are done because minor league owners feel they need to give the audience more entertainment than just a baseball game. I disagree with them on this, but like I said, I can deal with it if I must.

Whilst I was living in San Jose, my home town Dayton OH, finally managed to get the Reds to agree to a minor league team. Thus we now have the Dayton Dragons (I lurve dragons. :slight_smile: ) supposedly they are doing very well for a new AA team. So I am happy, I have to catch a game sometime, though since the games are always sold out, that might take a while.

Oh yeah, Hard Hittin’ New Britain :D. I love New Britain Rock Cats games because they’re cheap and close fun. I go to MLB games a few times a summer (I live about 2 hours from both Boston and New York) but only because I’m a Yankees fan. I’d take a New Britain-Trenton game over Mets-Pirates any ol’ day of the week.

I grew up going to see the Chattanooga Lookouts. When I was in college, we occasionally took a trip down to see the Portland (ME) Sea Dogs.

I always had more fun at those games than I’ve had at a Braves game in forever. May have to make a trip up to Chattanooga this summer. :slight_smile:

Here’s another fan, who misses the Massachusetts Mad Dogs terribly. The ballpark in Lynn is fixed now, but the team is still gone. Tickets were cheap, with discounts down to $1 available and no more than $5 for the best seat in the house. You can’t even get into Fenway for less than $20, and the view sucks if you won’t go $50. But the worst seat in any minor league park is better than most seats in the majors.

The mascots, contests etc. may seem extraneous to adults, but they do attract the kiddies - the future fans who make the association early on that baseball = fun. Sure, some eight year old might like the clown in the Muppet costume better than the star pitcher, but eventually he’ll make the switch.

Even the games can be more fun to watch. You won’t see maestro performances often, but you’ll see more, um, “unusual” and memorable things happen on the field.

I went to an excellent minor league game Friday night. Akron lost to Reading, 3-2. The game featured 2 instances where the pitcher picked off a baserunner and yet no out was recorded. The first occurred when Akron had runners on 1st and 3rd. Runner on first was picked off and broke for second, the first basemen chased him towards second then threw a strike to the catcher to nail the runner breaking from home. The runner
from third was in a brief rundown, and then the ump blew the call and called the guy safe at the plate despite the fact the runner went around the catcher by practically going into the dugout first.

The second instance was more mundane. Runner on first got picked off and he too broke for second. The first basemen’s throw hit the runner in the back and went into LF. I said to my companion, “A major leagueinfielder’s got to make that play.” My friend said “But this is only the Eastern League!” Touche.

The game also featured an amusing sideshow in the form of a baseball lounge lizard who claimed to be a scout for the Marlins and who spent most of the game striking out with 2 babes seated behind us. The babes were actually some very lucky Akron players’ girlfriends. He claimed to be there scouting an Akron player for a prospective trade. Yeah, sure.

Minor league baseball is great!

Among the many things that the Seattle Mariners do right is having two farm teams within a couple hours’ driving distance of Safeco Field. You’ve got the AAA Tacoma Rainiers and the A (short season) Everett Aquasox.

So, not only do you get some great minor league ball with all the above mentioned perks (intimate parks, minor league egos, cheaper night out) you can follow some of these guys as they move their way up to Seattle. You watch the kids just out of high school playing short season A and try and guess whose going to make it, then when one of them does you can say you knew him when. And once in awhile when a Seattle player is on an injury assignment, he’ll be sent to Everett or Tacoma for a few games, which allows you to see your favorite players close up.

Hopefully, it all can continue. The Rainiers are up for sale and while promises are being made to keep the team in Tacoma, nothing’s for certain. But it would sure behoove the Mariners to keep their AAA team less then an hour away.

Back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90’s I spent a few great evenings watching the Williamsport Bills (single-A) at Bowman Field. At Bowman, the fences are 12 feet high and it was 340’ to both left and right, so there weren’t many homers, but when there were, they were moonshots. The Bills’ biggest moment in the sun was when their catcher Dave Breshanan faked out a runner by throwing a potato carved up to look like a baseball, then tagged him with the real ball as he slid into home. Breshanan was cut for his stunt, but did get to appear on Leno and Letterman as a consolation.

We’ve only had our team for about 5 or 6 years here. The Lansing Lugnuts. They are a A team for the Cubs. The were affiliated with the Royals, but THEY changed because of somethings that K.C. was doing.

The season before last was the best. We won the Midwest League title. Woohoo!

So far, I’ve gotten to see Beltran and Febles of the Royals play, and we had Corey Patterson of the Cubs.

The prices are great, the beer is only 4 bucks. Until this year, we had a vendor called The Turkeyman. You could buy grilled turkey legs and wings. Soooo good. Unfortunately, he has left the park to start a resturaunt/catering business.

If it wasn’t for the Convention Center you could watch the sun set over the state capital building.

The only bad thing is the team mascot, The Big Lug. He looks like Barney on steroids with an overbite. Ewww.

My wife and I had the pleasure of watching the New Haven Ravens at Yale field when the major leaguers werre indulging in late spring training in 1995 and I was determined to see some baseball in April. We were close enough to the field to touch the players. And this guy who takes pictures for the Ravens came by and took ours with the team mascot.

Thumbs up for the minors!