It is entirely possible that this is some form of journalistic malpractice, but we’re going to spare you a cheesy baseball-pun intro here.
Instead, let’s cut to the chase: Baseball is America’s sport, and while the majors are where the money and most of the eyeballs go, the minor leagues showcase plenty of action. Every all-star starts somewhere. And even better, you can support a team closer to home.
Here’s where to catch a minor league game around Virginia and Maryland.
Fredericksburg Nationals – Single-A
As you might guess from the name, the Fredericksburg Nationals are a Washington Nationals farm team with a home is the new Virginia Credit Union Stadium. Outfielder Daylen Lile was recently named the Carolina League’s Player of the Week. Upcoming promos include the Home Run Derby X on August 26. 42 Jackie Robinson Way, Fredericksburg, starting at $10
Bowie Baysox – Double-A
The Baysox are the Double-A affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles that calls Prince George’s Stadium home. Kids 12 and under are invited to run the bases after every Friday and Saturday game. 4101 Crain Hwy., Bowie, Maryland, starting at $15
Frederick Keys – Collegiate
The Keys are a Frederick, Maryland-based collegiate summer team in the MLB Draft League. The Keys used to be a farm team for the Orioles, but that ended when the MLB shuffled the minor league. The Keys call Harry Grove Stadium home. 21 Stadium Dr., Frederick, Maryland, starting at $12
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs – Independent
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs represent a twist on a traditional minor league baseball. It’s a professional ball club in Waldorf, Maryland, but it’s independent of the MLB by way of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The “Crustacean Nation” calls Regency Furniture Stadium home. 11765 St. Linus Dr., Waldorf, Maryland, starting at $15
Aberdeen IronBirds – High-A
The IronBirds, owned by retired Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr., are a High-A farm team for the O’s. Befitting the team, players call Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium home. Pre-game catch on the field, fireworks for fans, and military appreciation games are frequent. 873 Long Dr., Aberdeen, Maryland, starting at $17
Delmarva Shorebirds – Single-A
Salisbury’s Delmarva Shorebirds are a Single-A Orioles affiliate. They’re also a half-game ahead at the top of the Carolina League standings right now. One famous MLB alum is former Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth. Upcoming promotions include a Grayson Rodriguez bobblehead, fireworks, and T-shirts at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. 6400 Hobbs Rd., Salisbury, Maryland, starting at $14
Norfolk Tides – Triple-A
The Norfolk Tides are Triple-A farm team for the Orioles. The Tides also sit atop the International East leaderboard. Coby Mayo and Chayce McDermott recently got promoted from the Double-A Baysox to Norfolk. 150 Park Ave., Norfolk, starting at $15
Richmond Flying Squirrels – Double-A
The Flying Squirrels are a Double-A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants. The franchise’s delightfully silly name was picked from a Richmond Times-Dispatch contest in 2009. Promotions include T-shirt giveaways, fireworks, and even kite giveaways at The Diamond. 3001 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, starting at $10
Salem Red Sox – Single-A
The Salem Red Sox are a Single-A affiliate for the Boston Red Sox, many a New Yorker’s sworn sports enemy — though it could be argued that Boston and New York are the sports enemies of every other city anyway. 1004 Texas St., Salem, starting at $13
Lynchburg Hillcats – Single-A
The Lynchburg Hillcats are a Single-A farm team for the Cleveland Guardians whose home is Calvin Falwell Field. Team alumni include MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry. Upcoming promotions include drink specials, fireworks, and T-shirt giveaways. 3180 Fort Ave., Lynchburg, starting at $10
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