Minor League Contraction?


Richmond County Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. Photo by Doug Kerr, via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago, Major League Baseball released its plan to overhaul its player development system and reorganize the minor leagues. The current proposal would eliminate 42 MiLB teams, among other changes.  The contraction of teams has brought nationwide attention and criticism – including a letter from more than 100 members of Congress to MLB. Just this week, in fact, Congress created the “Save Minor League Baseball Taskforce” co-chaired by Representatives Max Rose (D-NY) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).

I’m still studying the proposed changes and contemplating their impact on the communities involved – but I’ve posted the list of teams below. I’ll post more info later.

~ baseballrebecca

League Level Team Affiliate Location
Midwest A Burlington Bees Angels IA
Midwest A Clinton LumberKings Marlins IA
Midwest A Quad Cities River Bandits Astros IA
South Atlantic A Hagerstown Suns Nationals MD
South Atlantic A Lexington Legends Royals KY
South Atlantic A West Virginia Power Mariners WV
Eastern AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies Mets NY
Eastern AA Erie SeaWolves Tigers PA
Southern AA Chattanooga Lookouts Reds TN
Southern AA Jackson Generals D-Backs TN
California Adv. A Lancaster Jethawks Rockies CA
Carolina Adv. A Frederick Keys Orioles MD
Florida State Adv. A Daytona Tortugas Reds FL
Florida State Adv. A Florida Fire Frogs Braves FL
Appalachian Rookie Bluefield Blue Jays Blue Jays WV
Appalachian Rookie Bristol Pirates Pirates VA
Appalachian Rookie Burlington Royals Royals NC
Appalachian Rookie Daville Braves Braves VA
Appalachian Rookie Elizabethton Twins Twins TN
Appalachian Rookie Greeneville Reds Reds TN
Appalachian Rookie Johnson City Cardinals Cardinals TN
Appalachian Rookie Princeton Rays Rays WV
Appalachian Rookie Kingsport Mets Mets TN
Pioneer Rookie Billings Mustangs Reds MT
Pioneer Rookie Grand Junction Rockies Rockies CO
Pioneer Rookie Great Falls Voyagers White Sox MT
Pioneer Rookie Idaho Falls Chukars Royals ID
Pioneer Rookie Missoula PaddleHeads D-Backs MT
Pioneer Rookie Ogden Raptors Dodgers UT
Pioneer Rookie Orem Owlz Angels UT
Pioneer Rookie Rocky Mountain Vibes Brewers CO
New York-Penn Short- Season A Auburn Doubledays Nationals NY
New York-Penn Short- Season A Batavia Muckdogs Marlins NY
New York-Penn Short- Season A Connecticut Tigers Tigers CT
New York-Penn Short- Season A Lowell Spinners Red Sox MA
New York-Penn Short- Season A Mahoning Valley Scrappers Indians OH
New York-Penn Short- Season A State College Spikes Cardinals PA
New York-Penn Short- Season A Staten Island Yankees Yankees NY
New York-Penn Short- Season A Vermont Lake Monsters A’s VT
New York-Penn Short- Season A Williamsport Crosscutters Phillies PA
Northwest Short- Season A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Giants OR
Northwest Short- Season A Tri-City Dust Devils Padres WA

Best of the Week: 11/24/2019 – 11/30/2019


Last Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the recent proposal on the contraction of minor league baseball by sending a letter to the Commissioner of Baseball and urging Congress to reconsider MLB’s antitrust exemption:

I’ll write more about this issue after I finish doing my research on it, but depriving communities of minor league baseball and limiting the number of opportunities for minor leaguers to pursue their dreams sure sounds like a bad idea – from both an economic and sociological viewpoint.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Best Minor League Towns of 2019


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Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox

SmartAsset has released their annual list of the Best Minor League Baseball Towns. This year, my favorite town, Bowie, MD, home of the Bowie Baysox, makes the list at #23!

To develop their rankings, SmartAsset creates two scores: the Game-Day Experience Score and the Quality of Life Score. The Game-Day Experience Score takes into consideration the following: average attendance, average attendance as a percentage of maximum capacity, win percentage, and minor league classification. The Quality of Life Score considers the violent crime rate, property crime rate, income after housing, unemployment rate, and dining and entertainment establishments.

Now, I’m not sure I’d agree with everything that goes into these scores. (For example, the Game Day-Experience Score is skewed toward triple-A teams, as the cities with AAA teams get higher scores and have a larger stadium capacity.) But it is fun to see how the list changes from year to year.

Check out the top 25 in the table below. How many of these Minor League towns have you been to? Do you agree with the list?

 ~ baseballrebecca

2019 Rank Change from 2018 Town
1 +1 Round Rock, TX
2 * San Antonio, TX
3 same Frisco, TX
4 +5 Columbus, OH
5 * Des Moines, IA
6 -2 El Paso, TX
7 * Amarillo, TX
8 +4 Portland, ME
9 -4 Durham, NC
10 +10 Reno, NV
11 * Midland, TX
12 -6 Springdale, AR
13 -2 Appleton, WI
14 * North Augusta, SC
15 -5 New York, NY (Brooklyn)
16 * Geneva, IL
17 * Charleston, SC
18 -5 Hillsboro, OR
19 * Las Vegas, NV
20 -2 Charlotte, NC
21 -4 Scranton, PA
22 * Sacramento, CA
23 * Bowie, MD
24 -16 Manchester, NH
25 * Pulaski, VA

* = not in the top 25 in 2018

 

 

 

Baysox Win a Golden Bobblehead


DSCN9287Congratulations to the Bowie Baysox, who won a Golden Bobblehead Award for their Moon Landing Specialty Jersey. The Baysox donned these awesome jerseys on July 20, 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

The Golden Bobblehead Awards are given out each year at the Minor League Baseball Innovators Summit. The 2019 Summit was held last week. The award categories are as follows:

  • DSCN9294Best Specialty Jersey
  • Best Theme Night
  • Best In-Game Promotion
  • Best Non-Gameday Event
  • Best Community Promotion or Event
  • Best Digital Campaign or Activation
  • Best Overall Promotion

Congrats again, Baysox!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birdland Loves the Baysox


The Bowie Baysox may not have won the Eastern League pennant, but they won our hearts. All of Birdland supported them in their quest, including the one and only Brooks Robinson:

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 9/14/2019


Minor League Baseball has released their attendance figures for the 2019 season, which ended September 2. Overall, MiLB experienced a 2.6% increase in attendance compared to 2018, with 41,504,077 fans attending games.

Since the Eastern League Championship series just ended (sadly, my Baysox did not win), below is a look at their numbers. The Richmond Flying Squirrels led the league with an average attendance of 6,255 per game. Both the Trenton Thunder and Reading Fightin Phils experienced a 4% increase in attendance compared to last year, and the Harrisburg Senators, Bowie Baysox, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies all saw declines in attendace. The Rumble Ponies were last in the league in attendance with only 3,000 fans per game, a decline of 16% from 2018.

Team 2019 Attendance 2019 Avg. Attendance 2018 Avg. Attendance Percent Change from 2018
Richmond Flying Squirrels 400,321 6,255 6,198 1%
Hartford Yard Goats 414,946 6,193 6,014 3%
Reading Fightin Phils 398,314 5,945 5,713 4%
Portland Sea Dogs 357,647 5,677 5,676 0%
Trenton Thunder 340,705 5,242 5,019 4%
Akron RubberDucks 340,187 5,077 4,996 2%
NH Fisher Cats 306,511 4,716 5,065 -7%
Altoona Curve 308,464 4,604 4,571 1%
Harrisburg Senators 258,909 3,864 3,988 -3%
Erie SeaWolves 215,444 3,315 3,204 3%
Bowie Baysox 224,686 3,256 3,438 -5%
Binghamton Rumble Ponies 182,990 3,000 3,553 -16%

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

Films on Friday: The Minor Leagues


Since we’re in the midst of the Minor League Baseball playoffs, I thought I’d share with you the video MiLB put together at the start of the season for the two Short-Season A leagues: the New York-Penn League and the Northwest League. If you haven’t been to a Minor League game, this will show you what you’re missing:

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca