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.
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?
||Change from 2018
||Round Rock, TX
||San Antonio, TX
||Des Moines, IA
||El Paso, TX
||North Augusta, SC
||New York, NY (Brooklyn)
||Las Vegas, NV
* = not in the top 25 in 2018
Congratulations 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:
- Best 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!
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:
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.
||2019 Avg. Attendance
||2018 Avg. Attendance
||Percent Change from 2018
|Richmond Flying Squirrels
|Hartford Yard Goats
|Reading Fightin Phils
|Portland Sea Dogs
|NH Fisher Cats
|Binghamton Rumble Ponies
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:
Congrats to my favorite team, the Bowie Baysox!! Yesterday, they won the division title and clinched a playoff spot. They are managed by one of my favorite former Baysox, Buck Britton, who recently was named and Eastern League Manager of the Year!
Can’t wait to for the playoffs! The Baysox play at home Wednesday and Thursday.
Happy Labor Day!