Last week, my dad and a couple of his friends organized an annual get-together where they go to a baseball game. This time, they chose to go to a minor league game about an hour and a half away (the Lansing Lugnuts). They invited me as well as the son of one of the other guys, so it ended up being the five of us.
In all my years, I have never been to a minor league game before. And, I have to admit it was pretty cool.
We went on a Monday night so it was pretty lightly attended. There was maybe 1,000 people in attendance. Our tickets were in the front row along the first base line. The field was pretty close to the seats so we had to be pretty watchful for foul balls (and the two teams seemed to hit a lot that night).
That was pretty light attendance, though the other guy around my age, who lives in the city, said that Thursday nights are pretty popular, because they have $2 beers.
Which leads me to my other point. It can be pretty cheap.
The tickets were much cheaper. One of my dads friends ended up getting the tickets and wouldn't accept money, but they were $10 apiece. The ‘regular' price of a beer was $6. These are much cheaper prices than at Comerica Park, which is where our major league Detroit Tigers pay. Comparable seats would run at least $30 and the beers there, I believe are at least $8.
(And, they don't have $2 beer nights…probably not since the 1980's!)
We found a spot on the street to park about two blocks from the stadium, and the meters weren't enforced after 6pm, so parking was free. Tell me the last time that ever happened attending a major league game?
The drive is a little long, as I said, about an hour and a half. Otherwise, I think it would be great fun for Little Boy Beagle. A major league park is almost too overwhelming, and let's face it, at his age, his attention span isn't all that great, so he'd get just as much out of a minor league game as he would out of seeing the ‘Lansing Lugnuts' play.
The game itself was entertaining. They were playing single-A ball, which if you follow baseball, you know is about the lowest tier of the minor leagues that there is. Loosely translated, it means that it's full of guys who are either just getting started or who definitely aren't talented enough to make it to the major leagues. There were a combined five or six errors, not very good pitching, but this led to a pretty good amount of hitting (sixteen runs in total), and hits always spark excitement.
It's a pretty laid back atmosphere, and the people there seem to enjoy themselves. The weather was (as is probably the theme of the summer) hot but not really that bad. The stadium is 16 years old, but honestly, looks almost brand new.
Unfortunately, because we have a major league team, this (as well as Toledo, the AAA affiliate for the Tigers) is the closest we can get as far as going to see a minor league game. The owners of the major league teams don't want minor league teams to draw ticket sales and such away.
If it were a bit closer, I'd probably go a little more regularly. If you're in an area where you have a local minor league team, I would definitely advise checking it out. Chances are you can walk up and get tickets (avoiding service fees), but if you do, the games can be entertaining, the crowds lighter, and the concessions cheaper.
It's definitely worth checking out!
Have you been to a minor league baseball game? What'd you think?