Lucy was born on a day Roy Halladay pitched. I was feeling pretty confident going into the operating room that day. I figured, hey, Halladay is pitchingÂ this afternoonÂ – what could possibly go wrong? (I figured the worst case scenario was that I miss I no-hitter.) As we all know, it turned out well and my daughter was born onÂ 4/7 and weighed 7/4. Get it? 4/7 and 7/4? And what would a discussion about baseball, superstition and numerology be without adding 4 and 7 (or 7 and 4) and getting 11? What about the numberÂ 11? Well, the Phillies won 11-0 that day, on 4/7Â and the baby weighedÂ 7/4. The starsÂ were indeed aligned, one might say.Â Plainly obvious, right?
On her first day home she and I spent the afternoon on the couch snoozing, watching the Phillies. Unfortunately, it was Joe Blanton, the Joker Ace, on the mound. So snooze we did (out of self defense). As you can tell, she and I are all about baseball together already.
Well, here we are at 5 weeks and change and tonight Lucy made it to her first professional baseball game at Cambell’s Field, where we saw the Camden Riversharks play the Somerton Patriots, of Bridgewater, NJ. Kate and I have been fans of minor/independent professional baseball for some time and Lucy was introduced to it tonight.
What’s not to love about minor league baseball (MiLB)? Cheap tickets, cheap parking, a family-friendly atmosphere –Â and if you hand someone a $5 bill for a hot dog and a soda, you get back change. At the risk of sounding totally cliched, it is baseball as it outta be.
I’veÂ seenÂ MLB in three stadiums in my life — Vet Statdium and CBP (Phillies), and where ever it was that the Seattle Mariners were playing in 1997. As far as MiLB, I’ve been to see the Reading Phillies (AA), theÂ Lancaster Barnstormers (Atlantic League),Â and the Camden Riversharks (Atlantic League). Kate and I would love to expand the list of MiLB parks we’ve been to, hopefully this summer.Â The amazing thing is, besides having aÂ MLB team with the best record in baseball stationed in Philly, there are numerous professional baseball teams withinÂ 1-3ish hoursÂ or so of center city. I was talking to Kate about this and I think I rattled off 10 right off the top of my head.
I’ve had a little time to do some research, and I’ve compiled a list of local professional baseball teams. If you are from the Philly area and like baseball, there are a lot worse ways to kill a Sunday afternoon than spending the day at a minor league ball park.
We’re thinking the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies – AAA) might be next on our list. What do you think?
Camden Riversharks – Camden, NJÂ (Atlantic League)
Trenton Thunder – Trenton, NJ (AA – NY Yankees)
Somerset Patriots – Bridgewater, NJ (Atlantic League)
Newark Bears – Newark, NJ (CANAM)
Lakewood Blue Claws – Lakewood, NJ (A – Phillies)
Brooklyn Cyclones – Brooklyn, NY (A – NY Mets)
Hudson Valley Renegades – Fishkill, NY (A – TB Rays)
Long Island Ducks – Islip, NY (Atlantic League)
Rockland Boulders - Pomona, NY (Atlantic League)
Staten Island Yankees – Staten Island, NY (A – Yankees)
Wilmington Blue Rocks – Wilmington, NJ (A – KC Royals)
Harrisburg Senators – Harrisburg, PA (AA- Washington Nationals)
Altoona Curve – Altoona, PA (AA – Pittsburgh Pirates)
State College Spikes – State College, PA (A – Pittsburg Pirates)
York Revolution – York, PA (Atlantic League)
Reading Phillies – Reading, PA (AA – Phillies)
Lancaster Barnstomers – Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League)
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs – Allentown, PA (AAA – Phillies)
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA (AAA – NY Yankees)
Williamsport Crosscutters – Williamsport, PA (A – Phillies)
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs – Waldorf, MD (Atlantic League)
Aberdeen Ironbirds – Aberdeen, MD (A – Baltimore Orioles)
Bowie Baysox – Bowie, MD (AA – Baltimore Orioles)
Delmarva Shorebirds – Salisbury, MDÂ (A – Baltimore Orioles)
Frederick Keys – Frederick, MD (A – Baltimore Orioles)
Hagerstown Suns – Hagerstown, MD (A – Washington Nationals)