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The Best Minor League Park Experience


ShaneDawg85

Which Is The Best Minor League Park?  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Is The Best Minor League Park?

    • Norfolk-AAA
    • Bowie-AA
    • Frederick-High A
    • Delmarva-Low A
    • Aberdeen-Short Season
    • Bluefield-Short Season


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On Sunday I went to the game at Aberdeen, which I was and still need to do a write-up for. I've been there before, as I have to Frederick and Bowie. I really like minor league baseball, but there are things that really annoy me. It's meant to be more of a family outing type of thing, which I understand, but in that regard you can't get much cornier in my mind than Aberdeen. Having said that, the stadium is fantastic and I personally love the view out into the trees and horizon.

Frederick felt really dirty to me, and the food wasn't very good. I really liked Bowie, granted this was a few years ago, clean, felt really good, and a nice gameday experience. I'll be able to judge this later in the year, since I've got tickets.

So which O's minor league stadium is your favorite? When you add up the intangibles, whatever they may be, ticket prices, food, food prices, ambiance, gameday experience, etc., which is your favorite?

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My vote is for Delmarva's Perdue Stadium. I see 98% of the minor league games I watch at that facility, so maybe you should count me as biased toward that venue.

My preference is to watch games from different locations as the game proceeds. Balls and strikes? Best to be behind home plate. Be behind 1st

base to check out the base running. Before dark, when it is more difficult

to track that white ball, view from the upper deck. At Perdue you can move about much more readily than other stadiums, and this is their big advantage.

Behind home plate there is a wide concourse about 10 rows up where anyone

can stand and watch the pitches and scout radar guns. Actually, you don't have to watch the radar guns this season as the Shorebird management has installed a speed pitch indicator near the scoreboard.

My normal seats are behind 1st base. Great for watching the many close

calls at first base.

Upper deck? Fans can order food from the concession stand, which will be delivered to the table of your choice which give you a high level view of the field.

So I find you have a much greater variety of areas to watch the game at Perdue than other stadiums.

The food is superior as they have a menu that changes with every homestand, so you do not always end up eating the same thing. Paper statistics are supplied to fans in multiple ways, too.

This is the way other stadiums in the Oriole organization impress me:

Norfolk - sort of big league and, consequentially, less close and personal.

Bowie - a solid basic baseball viewing experince.

Frederick - yes, a little less clean than one would expect.

Aberdeen - a truly professional baseball atmosphere but,again, less personal.

Bluefield - a small town experience, but being dry really hurts their ranking.

Twin Lakes, Florida - like watching your town Little League game. Sort of neat.

Also, Ocean City, Maryland, is about 20 minutes from Perdue Stadium. Hence, before and after the game there is a neat toursit destination to entertain you if you are not a local. You really can't call Bluefield, Aberdeen, Frederick, or Bowie tourist magnet vicinitys.

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I have yet to get to Bluefield, so unfortunately I can't attest to that park. I do admit that I am a little biased towards Bowie, but I think I am being fair when I say that I prefer them.

~Norfolk (attended 3 games) - As has been mentioned, less intimate. But I love the overall backdrop/setting of the park.

~Bowie (attended countless games) - No downsides for me, but nothing extraordinary (other than the ushers ;)) about it. To me, it's what a minor league experience should be.

~Frederick (attended at least 20 games, probably more) - Others have used the term dirty, but I think less modern is more the problem. But they have been making huge strides in recent years. The players finally don't have to worry about spraining an ankle on the stairs to the field.

~Delmarva (attended 10+ games) - A close second for me. Love the fact that they have food stands on the lower concourse...very unique. Biggest drawback is that the ushers are gone by like the second inning, so there is no one to "police" the crowd...I hate paying extra for seats only to watch seat poachers invade after an inning or so.

~Aberdeen (attended 1 game) - The only game I attended there was for a company outing where we sat in the grass at the end of the 3B line. At the time, the speakers were mainly aimed towards the seating bowl, so I had a very difficult time hearing any announcements and felt a little disconnected to the game. Had I been sitting in the seating bowl, my experience and resulting attitude likely would have been much different as I enjoyed the rest of the park.

~Bluefield (attended 0 games) - Hopefully someday!

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Why is Aberdeen Corny in your mind?

I've been there twice this season and have the opportunity to get free seats for another seven or eight games, but will not be going. The audio there is atrocious, both in terms of levels and improperly clipped and constantly-used "drop-ins". At least where I was sitting (behind the home dugout), the "spirit squad" and two mascots were constantly in my face/over my shoulder, instead of providing the sort of between-inning diversions I got used to as a kid.

Sorry, I don't mean to dump on them, but it just isn't my cup of tea. It seems like a great place to hang out and chat with people you know in the community, but it isn't the sort of place that I prefer to watch a ballgame.

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I'd have to say that Aberdeen is probably my favorite minor league experience. Having been to ballparks on both coasts and in all leagues, Aberdeen keeps things professional and not very corporate.

From what I can see they keep cater to all ages, and while the mascots may be somewhat in your face - they are there to entertain the children.

Aberdeen seems to keep things very concise during inning breaks, keeping the focus on baseball, and many of their pop culture references are entertaining for the teenage/young twenty crowd.

Aberdeen also does a fantastic job with their video boards and their game-day program. The stories are always interesting and written well, and the design is very professional and entertaining.

Their video board graphics have improved every year, and there truly is not a ballpark like this.

They give minor leaguers a big league experience, thus giving the viewers a big league experience.

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Why is Aberdeen Corny in your mind?

The add in's during and between at bats is very, very annoying. The Flava Flav reference, and particularly using the Cha Cha slide. Suffice to say I really don't like the song so any excuse not to hear it is a good one. I agree with one of the other assessment that the sound isn't particularly good. In all my problem is that I'm all for family friendly fun, because after all baseball, particular minor league baseball is very much a family affair. However, Aberdeen feels too over the top and trying really hard, and the overall effect feels really cheesy.

Side comment the Sunday buffet they have on the club level has never been very good. But at the game I went to on Sunday the theme was Asian cuisine. Needless to say it was truly horrible.

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I'd have to say that Aberdeen is probably my favorite minor league experience. Having been to ballparks on both coasts and in all leagues, Aberdeen keeps things professional and not very corporate.

From what I can see they keep cater to all ages, and while the mascots may be somewhat in your face - they are there to entertain the children.

Aberdeen seems to keep things very concise during inning breaks, keeping the focus on baseball, and many of their pop culture references are entertaining for the teenage/young twenty crowd.

Aberdeen also does a fantastic job with their video boards and their game-day program. The stories are always interesting and written well, and the design is very professional and entertaining.

Their video board graphics have improved every year, and there truly is not a ballpark like this.

They give minor leaguers a big league experience, thus giving the viewers a big league experience.

I think that's part of my problem. I might still be of that age, but it just really bugs me. I don't know why but it does.

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Why is Aberdeen Corny in your mind?

I was wondering that, too. Waiting for the report. It could be seen as impersonal to some, remember it is a ballpark built by a ballplayer, so you have to take that into account.

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The add in's during and between at bats is very, very annoying. The Flava Flav reference, and particularly using the Cha Cha slide. Suffice to say I really don't like the song so any excuse not to hear it is a good one. I agree with one of the other assessment that the sound isn't particularly good. In all my problem is that I'm all for family friendly fun, because after all baseball, particular minor league baseball is very much a family affair. However, Aberdeen feels too over the top and trying really hard, and the overall effect feels really cheesy.

Side comment the Sunday buffet they have on the club level has never been very good. But at the game I went to on Sunday the theme was Asian cuisine. Needless to say it was truly horrible.

Oh, ok, I understand now. I didn't know Frasier Crain did ballpark reviews.

I just have this thing that I go to the Rip to see the Little Planes play, and I actually never been upstairs for a game. I'm having too much fun next to the dugout with my game day buddies.

Is going to a ballpark to ACTUALLY WATCH a game and scream your lungs out the wrong thing to do?:scratchchinhmm: Just asking.

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Oh, ok, I understand now. I didn't know Frasier Crain did ballpark reviews.

I just have this thing that I go to the Rip to see the Little Planes play, and I actually never been upstairs for a game. I'm having too much fun next to the dugout with my game day buddies.

Is going to a ballpark to ACTUALLY WATCH a game and scream your lungs out the wrong thing to do?:scratchchinhmm: Just asking.

Don't misunderstand me. I go to games to watch them and evaluate what I see. Sometimes part of that is what goes on off the field as well. These weren't my tickets either, they belong to my grandfather. Had I not had them I wouldn't have even been there. I evaluate the entire experience of what I see, hear, feel, etc. Sometimes what goes on off the field trumps anything I see on the field. Just because I have critiques of the stadium, or any stadium for that matter, and the game day activities and everything that goes with it doesn't mean that I'm mererly there to socialize and not watch the game. I'm a baseball fan, first and foremost, and that will never change.

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