There’s nothing minor about minor league baseball. That’s where baseball legends Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays got their start and where tomorrow’s legends are just getting warmed up. More than just a cost-effective alternative to major league baseball, the minors offer up local flavor, irreverent comedic touches and a welcoming spirit, as well as the opportunity to simply watch some good baseball. Of course, some stadiums are better than others. If you’re in the mood for a road trip or simply want to come out for your local team, make your next stop a minor league baseball game at one of these fan favorite stadiums.
MCU Park – Brooklyn Cyclones
1904 Surf Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11224
Known as Brooklyn’s field of dreams, MCU Park is home to the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones, a team that consistently displays both Brooklyn pride and prowess on the ball field. Situated in iconic Coney Island, MCU Park serves Nathan’s-style dogs and fries and is situated right on the boardwalk. Family-themed events are raucously good fun for kids, who get to run around the bases before most games and do the chicken dance with the Cyclones mascot. Be sure to visit the 9/11 Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance and the Jackie Robinson & Pee Wee Reese Statue when you visit.
Herschel Greer Stadium – Nashville Sounds
534 Chestnut St.
Nashville, TN 37203
Civil War buffs will enjoy a day at Herschel Greer Stadium, home to the legendary AAA Pacific Coast League’s Nashville Sounds, part of the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Situated on the grounds of Civil War fortification, Fort Negley, Herschel Greer also honors its musical roots by featuring an eye-catching, guitar shaped scoreboard. If you come hungry, seek out the personal pan pizza and fried cheesecake concession stands. Opening in time for the 2015 season, the team will move to First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville.
Pensacola Bayfront Stadium – Blue Wahoos
351 W. Cedar St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
This three-year-old, premiere facility is home to the fan favorite Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the double-A affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds. The stadium itself is more modern than most found in the minor leagues and does double-duty by hosting concerts and other local sporting events. Beautifully situated right on the waters of the Gulf Coast, Pensacola Bayfront Stadium serves up great sight lines and views, as well as an unusual array of food choices.
Fluor Field at the West End – The Greenville Drive
945 S. Main St.
Greenville, SC 29601
Fluor Field at the West End is home to the South Atlantic League’s Greenville Drive. Comparisons to Fenway Park and its parent club, the Boston Red Sox, yield striking similarities in the fan experience. Fluor Field features its own Green Monster: a 30-foot high manual scoreboard as well as other design elements such as Pesky’s Pole, which are modeled after those at Fenway. A child’s delight, Fluor Field features wide screen TVs in the Power Alley area and a vast, enclosed playground. There is also a spacious multi-level bar and restaurant and a wide range of concession stands including Sweet Caroline’s, best known for its home-made ice cream.
Jerry Uht Park – Erie SeaWolves
110 E. 10th St.
Erie, PA 16501
Jerry Uht Park hosts the Erie SeaWolves, a short-season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boasting great seating, its first base upper deck made it into the Top Ten Seats in Minor League Baseball. A a classically designed minor league stadium, Jerry Uht Park supports a great fan experience, with an emphasis on pre-game entertainment and eight food concession areas. A stop at the Sausage Shack is a must.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.