Go Nats – the Entire City is Pulling for You!

Happy World Series! All of Washington, DC, is buzzing with excitement for the Nationals’ first World Series. City buses say “Go Nats!” on them and the local news has had several Nats-related stories each night, including daily updates on ticket prices. Schools are encouraging students to “wear red” and local bakeries and other businesses are going all out.

Even the National Symphony Orchestra is pulling for the Nats:

Go Nats!

~ baseballrebecca




A Sign of the Times?

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The now-closed Orioles Team Store at the York Galleria, York, Pennsylvania

Ok, so this happened several months ago, but I was sad to learn that the Baltimore Orioles “official team store” in York, PA, has closed. The photo to the left is emblematic of the Orioles’ performance this year: very, very pitiful.

Back in the ’90s, the O’s had retail stores in Washington, DC; Seabrook, MD; and York, PA. Fans could go there to get team merch, meet players, and do last-minute holiday shopping. I got Mike Devereaux‘s autograph at the Seabrook store and often went to the DC store to buy tickets – where they didn’t add on any ticket fees. It was awesome having those stores in convenient places. The great thing about the store in York was that you could still get traded-away player’s jerseys there and other cool stuff that you might not notice if shopping on-line or in the always crowded stadium store.

Is this just another victim of the retail apocalypse or a symptom of the Orioles’ lackluster season? (Or, perhaps, karma for trading away Manny?)

By comparison, several teams have still official team stores at other locations than just inside the stadium: the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies (they have five!), and San Francisco Giants. Even the Miami Marlins have an official team shop at the airport! And let’s not forget the not-even-playing-yet minor league Rocket City Trash Pandas have their own store at a shopping center in in Huntsville, Alabama.

Over the years as I’ve traveled, I’ve stumbled upon official team stores in New York, Seattle, and Cleveland, and it was kind of thrilling to be in the team’s “official” shop. (And I didn’t even like the Yankees back then.) Sure, there are sports shops near a lot of stadiums and we can find team gear at places like Target, Wal-Mart, and even Macy’s. Amazon.com and the official MLB on-line stores are always there ready to serve. Some teams keep their stadium stores open year-round, which is also kind of nice. But there’s nothing like wandering around a city during the off-season and finding the local team’s store ready and waiting for you. They provide comfort during the long off-season and remind us that our beloved baseball will return once again.

Next time I’m in Miami, I’m going to that store in the airport.

~ baseballrebecca




Stat-urday, 8/31/2019

Marlins Park, June 2012

When I was there a few years ago, the Marlins’ had a few more fans.

Last Monday, the Marlins recorded the lowest attendance at an MLB game this season, with just 5,2917 fans in attendance at Marlins Park. They’d set the previous low on April 2 with 5,934. In contrast, their double-A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, saw their highest attendance yet of their three-year existence, with 327,388 fans attending games there this season.

So how do these two teams compare with others? With the minor league season almost over, the Jumbo Shrimp rank second in the Southern League with average attendance of 4,960. The Marlins rank last in the National League (as well as last for all of MLB):

Southern League Team Average Attendance
Birmingham Barons 5,450
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4,960
Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4,354
Tennessee Smokies 4,313
Chattanooga Lookouts 3,518
Montgomery Biscuits 3,212
Mississippi Braves 2,471
Biloxi Shuckers 2,331
Jackson Generals 1,736
Mobile BayBears 1,587
National League Team Average Attendance
Dodgers 48,881
Cardinals 42,934
Cubs 38,188
Rockies 37,495
Brewers 35,735
Phillies 34,237
Giants 33,415
Braves 32,471
Mets 31,038
Padres 30,060
Nationals 27,956
Diamondbacks 25,625
Reds 22,733
Pirates 19,310
Marlins 9,841

Just yesterday, Minor League Baseball tweeted that for the 15th consecutive year, they’ve had attendance of 40 million or more. You can find more Minor Leagues attendance stats at milb.com and Major League stats at Baseball Reference.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca




Baseball Sky

IMG_3654Baseball teams, fans, and just about everyone else involved in baseball, love to see pictures of “baseball skies” on social media. The best place I’ve captured baseball sky pictures is at Pfitzner Stadium, home of the Potomac Nationals (at least for a few more days –  more on that tomorrow).

Check out the views I captured this past weekend:


Happy Tuesday!

~ baseballrebecca





Baseball and STEM

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Members of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes taking in the solar eclipse in 2017. Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

As the baseball world prepares to celebrate NASA and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, lets take a look at the other ways baseball has partnered with NASA and the scientific community. In 2017, NASA used the total solar eclipse as a teachable moment in minor league ballparks, but it wasn’t the only time they used baseball to give us a science lesson.

NASA has also given lessons on the Aerodynamics of Baseball and Forces on a Baseball. A few years ago they even superimposed the Apollo 11 landing site onto a baseball diamond (and other images) to help us understand just how big the moon is:

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Of course, NASA scientists aren’t the only ones taking in a ballgame. Check out the video below from Chevron’s STEM Zone:

In fact, more baseball teams are teaming up with schools and organizations to teach kids about STEM, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Bowie Baysox, the double-A affiliate of the Orioles, hosts a STEM education day every year and with cool STEM activities. And – back to those NASA scientists – the Boston Red Sox hosted a STEM Education Day at Fenway Park last year for over 4,000 students. The event featured NASA exhibits and demonstrations as well as presentations by NASA scientists.

And, let’s not forget the fact that the current Assistant GM for the Baltimore Orioles used to work for NASA. Coincidence? I think not.

~ baseballrebecca

NASA Day at the Ballpark


Parker Bobblehead giveaway from the Fresno Grizzlies, June 1, 2019

The country is gearing up for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, which will occur in a little less than one month, and baseball teams are definitely joining the party. The first team to celebrate NASA and Apollo 11 this year was the Fresno Grizzlies, who earlier this month gave fans a bobblehead of their mascot, Parker.

Baseball and the space program are a natural combo, as both reflect the history and values of society. Over the next month, I’ll share more space-related baseball info and events.

~ baseballrebecca

Detail on Parker’s box, which is modeled after the NASA logo:




Star Wars Day

64223693_10219629157587479_6597912108526993408_oThis past Saturday was “Star  Wars Day” at the Washington Nationals. It seems like nearly every Major and Minor League team hosts a Star Wars Day during the season, many occurring on or near May the 4th. This one, however, was worth waiting for – especially for the Obi-Sean Kenobi bobblehead! Check out the pics below, including that one of Lando Calrissian as part of the grounds crew. (All photos by Michael George.)

~ baseballrebecca