En español | Minor league baseball is back! After pandemic-restrictions erased the 2020 season, the minor leagues resumed play this May to the delight of players and fans in 120 cities and towns across the country. The teams’ smaller ballparks create casual settings closer to the players, with cheaper tickets and concessions than their major league counterparts. The minor league baseball park experience is one that Minor League Baseball Communications Director Jeff Lantz likes to compare to “the front porch of communities, a place to hang out and chat over a couple beers and hotdogs."
But it's not just locals enjoying the games. Travelers on road trips around the country can take in a ballgame and a slice of regional life in a family-friendly setting. And who knows, you may see a future Hall of Famer performing for you and a couple thousand fans on a warm night with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes or the Fort Meyers Mighty Mussels.
The minor leagues have a tradition of wacky promotions, and 2021 is no exception, with hand sanitizer and toilet paper giveaways, along with more traditional events like dollar hotdog days and postgame fireworks.
While there are great minor league experiences all around the country, we've highlighted six ballparks that host Class AAA teams (the closest to the majors) in tourist-friendly towns, where the stadium experience makes it well worth a visit. But you can also check out the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams page, and likely find a team close to wherever you happen to be visiting.
All stadiums are ADA compliant. Many ballparks have (small) senior discounts, and some Senior Day specials. Most teams began the season with limited capacity due to the pandemic, but are now shifting to full capacity as states’ regulations change — check out an individual team's website for the latest updates.
The minor league season continues through mid September, with about 60 home games for each team. So there's still plenty of time to grab some dollar dogs and enjoy an evening with the Rocket City Trash Pandas or the Hartford Yard Goats, or wherever your road trip happens to take you. Play ball!
Bill Fink is an award-winning travel writer with credits in dozens of publications including National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Outside magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.