You may all know how much I love Minor League Baseball. Ever since I attended my first MiLB game, I liked it better than MLB. Here is the story of how I fell in love with MiLB.
Back in 2004, I discovered Minor League Baseball. Back then I was member of a baseball forum on which a lot was written about MiLB. At one point, the mother of the play-by-play announcer of the Montgomery Biscuits made some posts about the Biscuits. I got interested and eventually, I started listening Biscuits games. It was love by first ear.
When ever I asked the play-by-play announcer a question, he was always willing to answer. How great was it when the Biscuits won their back-to-back Southern League championships in 2006 and 2007.
It took me until 2008 to attend my first MiLB game. We were with aquaintances and they took us to the High Desert Mavericks in Adelanto, CA. The ballpark, Stater Bros Stadium, was situated in the middle of nowhere, next to a former airforce base that was used by UPS at the time. As a surprise, those acquaintances had arranged that my two daughters could throw out the first pitch. How awesome was that. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of that moment because I had to go with them on the field because they didn’t speak any English back then. They got the ball they threw and it was signed by the catcher.
What a great night it was. The entertainment for the kids, who were invited to sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” in the seventh inning, the silly games, the kids running the bases and the “baseballs” sponsored by a local bank that were thrown into the stands by the players.
Later that vacation, I went to one more MLB game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. That was the last MLB game I attended. From that moment on, besides the World Baseball Classic in 2013, I only attended MiLB games when I was on vacation in the US.
In 2012, I went to a game of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. They play in, what is by far, the best looking ballpark I have attended so far. That night it was a good crowd at the Epicenter. And once again, some funny entertainment was offered to the fans. And what a nice backdrop the Epicenter has. A great view at the San Gabriel Mountains.
The visiting Inland Empire 66ers beat the Quakes that night but no matter the outcome, it was a fun night once again.
Later that vacation, I attended a game at Cashman Field, back then the home of the Las Vegas 51s. For $10 I had a seat right behind home plate. What will such a seat cost you at an MLB ballpark?
In 2016, I attended a game at Cashman Field again. It would be final baseball game I attended in the USA. Since then I haven’t been back to the US again. But for sure, the next time I will go to the USA on a vacation, I will attend another MiLB game for sure.
Through the years, my love for minor league baseball has grown. When you buy a ticket, a snack and a beer, you realize that it is affordable family fun, like MiLB clubs are promoting their brand of baseball. To me it feels like you are part of the show. You’re not a number like in the big MLB ballparks.
My love for MiLB has gotten even stronger after the money grab and power grab move by MLB last december. It has shown to me what a vile organization MLB has become. For me no MLB games, MLB.tv or MLB merch anymore. Even though I know that a certain percentage of the money I spend on MiLB will go to MLB, I rather spend my money on MiLB merchandise than I spend one more dime on MLB stuff again.
No, just give me the small town teams that provide fun for the fans and which are really settled in the communities. I cherish those moments.