Just some thoughts:
IT’S JUST ME
It’s just me I know it is. But I have come to the place I would rather attend a minor league baseball game than a major league game. Ok, I know some would say that is crazy. I would rather attend for a lot of reasons. And more than just cost. Recently a friend of mine took his son to a major league game. He came away with his billfold much lighter. The evening costing him, two tickets, parking and some food three hundred dollars plus. They were not choice seats either.
Now my statistics are a bit dated but they give an idea. The minors consist of fifteen leagues in North America. 150 teams from towns located in the Pacific Northwest to the flatlands of Florida. Four thousands minor league players are under some type of contract. There are four levels of minor league ball. Rookie League, Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A. It is said that only one out of fifteen players will reach the major leagues, or “The Bigs” as players often refer. The career expectancy of a player who makes it to “The Bigs” is five to six years.
My earliest exposure to professional baseball was in my home area the Terre Haute Phillies, The old Three-I League, Class B ball. I was about nine or ten years old when I attended my first Phillies game. My uncle worked at a factory that bought season tickets and gave them to employees. Thus they fell on down to me. The Knot-Hole gang is where we often sat. I can still remember some of the names. Harry Anderson was seventeen years old when he came to town, took a room at the Fil-Beck Hotel. Later he made it to “The Bigs” and often would be announced “Now playing right field for the Phillies is “Harry the Horse” Anderson. Ted Kazanski was a bonus-baby that came to Terre Haute in 1951. In 88 games he hit .216 A player a bit prior to my time that the name remained known to the home town Phillies fans, was “Willie Puddenhead Jones.” Puddenhead later made it to the parent club in Philadelphia and was a quality major league player.
Over the years the names changed and the major league club affiliation also changed. I think the last team was affiliated with the Detroit Tigers and carried the name Huts. I was at the first game of the season the year they became Huts, the game went extra innings and the big catcher for the Huts hit a home run winning the game. I used to remember his name, not now.
Memorial Stadium–Terre Haute, Indiana
Why my fondness for minor league ball I guess its just the idea of someone trying to get better, get experience, the atmosphere. The other night at a game I saw a little kid (with glove in hand/hat half cocked) go down to where the bull pen was and watched as the players acknowledge him. In fact he pestered them enough that he came away with two baseballs, a T-shirt and autographs. To that kid that night was “The Bigs.”
“We got sunshine. We got fresh air. Let’s play two.”
October 4, 2019