Most people who are sports fans and even fans who follow baseball have never been to a minor league game. And why should they? They aren’t the ones who get paid millions of dollars and thousands of people don’t come to the games. But, let me tell you why every baseball fan should have the unique experience of going to a minor league baseball game.
Last year I went to a New Jersey minor league Cardinals game. I really didn’t know what to expect but what my experience there was truly unlike any ordinary baseball game.
The minor league stadium, like the one I went to was small compared to the million dolal;r stadiums that professional teams have. However, the seats are always filled with fans rooting on their teams. The announcer calls play by play of the game. The difference is that if a pitcher gets a strikeout, the announcer tells the name of a sponsor. For example, “this strikeout is brought to you by Pest Control.” The entire outfield wall is also covered in sponsorship billboards.
Another difference is that the prices of tickets are really cheap. Group tickets are usually around a maximum of $10 and no matter where you wit you are guaranteed to have a great view of the action. The team mascot also walks up and down the isle and greets all the fans. He poses for pictures with the children in the fans. The concession stands are also cheap as well compared to professional ball park stadiums. These prices are usually half the price you have to pay for food and drinks and a professional baseball game.
The biggest difference is that the players actually play hard and play baseball the way the game was meant to be played. Since they aren’t playing for millions of dollars a year and want to get their call up to the big leagues, they play hard on every pitch. The pitchers and hitters give it everything they got. On steals they slide diving head first and run full speed, giving it their all. In the field, you will see some amazing plays with diving stop and spectacular runs into the wall for a game saving catch. Their intensity is immediately noticeable when they walk on the field.
Players also seem more enthusiastic and available to give signatures and ask them questions. They are friendly to the fans and willing to give their time to them. Another difference you might see is that some players play with injuries. In professional ball, if a player has a cold they sit out for a game. Not so in minor league ball. They have to be severely injured to sit out a game since they love playing the game and want their big call up to the next level of competition.
The only bad aspect is that some players, especially pitchers don’t play a full game to save their arms since they pitch fewer innings in the minors than the pros.
I highly recommend that every baseball fan attend at least one minor league game and compare the difference. you won’t regret it.