Spring is here and with its arrival comes a new baseball season. While there are five professional baseball teams in California: San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Dodgers, L.A. Angels, and the San Diego Padres, there are a variety of Minor League baseball teams in California from AAA teams, the highest MiLB level, to Class A advanced (“High A”) and Class A (“Low A”) teams.
The Central Valley is home to several Low A teams, and fans in the Valley are getting ready for opening day in May. Because the 2021 season is getting a late start, there will only be a total of 120 games vs. the usual 140. And, as per the CA and OSHA COVID-19 Industry Guidance, sporting events taking place in outdoor stadiums will be able to host fans under certain, specified conditions, with adjustments in place to promote safe and clean environments for fans and workers, alike. Due to continued COVID-19 safety protocols that remain in place throughout California, the fan capacity in the team stadiums could range anywhere from 20% to 33% with social distancing.
But, the good news is that Minor League baseball is back this year in the Valley! And, with it all the fun that comes with watching baseball being played in a real ballpark: real baseball players, traditional ballpark food, and great entertainment. There are fireworks displays several nights throughout the season, nightly giveaways of t-shirts, bobbleheads, and even free tickets to future games. And, buying tickets won’t break the bank!
Pick a team
There are some great Low-A Ball teams that call the Central Valley their home:
- Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)
- Modesto Nuts (Seattle Mariners)
- Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s)
- Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks)
The Sacramento River Cats are a Triple-A West team affiliated with the San Francisco Giants. And, then there are the Bakersfield Train Robbers, a member of the Pecos League, an independent baseball league, not affiliated with MLB or MiLB.
Maybe you follow one of these teams because you like their MLB affiliate, or because they’re the hometown favorite, or maybe you just like the name, their mascot, or team logo. Whatever the reason, if you haven’t already done so, pick a team, get into the spirit, and join in the family fun of attending a Minor League baseball game.
Or pick another sport
If baseball isn’t your cup of tea, there are a lot of other sports and teams to choose from within the Central Valley sports community. If you’re into ice hockey, check out hockey in Bakersfield with the AHL’s Condors or Stockton Heat. If you like roller derby, catch the Derby Revolution of Bakersfield.
The Valley is also home to some great NCAA Division I and Division II teams — Cal State Bakersfield, Fresno Pacific, Fresno State, University of the Pacific, Sac State, and UC Davis.
The best part of California? You’ll never run out of fun things to do!