These Minor League Baseball Teams are so Coastal, We Almost Can’t Deal
This year, we’re rooting for these home teams on the water, where the mascots, ballpark fare, and home run celebrations are as coastal as they come.
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Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
Class: AA, affiliate of the Miami Marlins Stadium: Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Mascot: Southpaw the dog Team History: The team opened the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in 2003 and led the Southern League in attendance for the venue’s first nine seasons. Inside Baseball: St. Johns Navy, Patriotic Blue, American Red and Shrimp make up the team’s official colors, paying tribute to Jacksonville’s rich military heritage.
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Charleston, South Carolina
Class: A, affiliate of the New York Yankees Stadium: Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park Mascot: Charlie T. RiverDog the dog Inside Baseball: Known for their “Fun Is Good” mentality, the Goldklang group boasts RiverDogs Director of Fun and Charleston resident Bill Murray and baseball promoter extraordinaire Mike Veeck amongst the team’s co-owners. Fan Experience: During election season, fans enter the gates (one each demarcated red and blue), and select a bobblehead of either the Democratic or GOP candidate. The first candidate to run out their bobblehead is declared the winner. This promotion boasts the accuracy of having correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections.
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Lakewood, New Jersey
Class: A, affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies Stadium: FirstEnergy Park Mascot: Buster the crab Team History: FirstEnergy Park opened in 2001 and has hosted BlueClaws baseball every year since then. Fan Experience: There are two mascot races every game. The Invision EyeCare Eyeball Race, between three eyeballs, and the Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese Race between three hilarious food items.
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Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Class: A Advanced, affiliate of the Chicago Cubs Stadium: Ticketreturn.com Field Mascot: Splash the pelicans Inside Baseball: Cubs-A-Palooza weekend, taking place July 23-25, will include a number of fan experiences including appearances from three Cubs legends, a replica World Series trophy giveaway, and post-game fireworks. Fan Experience: July 15 is Jason Heyward talking bobblehead giveaway, celebrating former Pelican, and 2016 Cubs World Series champion.
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Class: AA, affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers Stadium: MGM Park Mascot: Schooner the seagull Food: MGM Park offers unique concession options like Bayou jambalaya, Pearl’s po-boys, garlic butter grilled oysters, plenty of local craft bear, and floats made with Biloxi’s own Barq’s root beer. Fan Experience: Catch the Crawfish Boil mascot race at every home game, featuring Spud the Potato, Kernel Cobb, and Crawford the Mudbug.
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Daytona Beach, Florida
Class: A Advanced, affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds Stadium: Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark Mascot: Shelldon the tortoise Team History: Jackie Robinson played his first integrated game here in March of 1946, a year before he broke the color barrier in the MLB. His statue is located within the ballpark grounds. The stadium was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1988. Fan Experience: Bob Ross bobblehead night will take place on Saturday, July 15th in celebration of the Daytona native.
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New Orleans Baby Cakes
New Orleans, Louisiana
Class: AAA, affiliate of the Miami Marlins Stadium: Shrine on Airline Mascots: Boudreaux and Clotile the nutria Team History: Even with the recent name change from the Zephyrs, their former mascots Boudreaux (and his wife Clotile) the nutria are remaining with the team. The mascots had a “wedding” ceremony in 1998 at the stadium. This still remains one of the top 10 crowds in stadium history. Inside Baseball: The stadium has been featured in the movies “Mr. 3000” and “Failure to Launch.” Fan Experience: Fans can cool off and watch the game from a swimming pool beyond the right field wall.
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Class: A Advanced, affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies Stadium: Spectrum Field Mascot: Phinley the shark Inside Baseball: The team name, Threshers, is a type of shark and a nod to the local beach culture and location. Stadium Attractions: The iconic Frenchy’s Tiki Pavilion overlooking left field is a hot spot for many fans as the perfect place to relax, enjoy a cold beer, and watch the game.
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Portland Sea Dogs
Class: AA, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox Stadium: Hadlock Field Mascots: Slugger the sea dog and Trash Monster the … trash monster Stadium Attractions: A lighthouse, complete with rotating light and foghorn, rises up from behind the centerfield fence following each Sea Dogs home run and each Sea Dogs win. Inside Baseball: After becoming a Red Sox affiliate, the Sea Dogs built a likeness of Fenway Park’s Green Monster in left field. Nicknamed the “Maine Monster,” the wall is the same height as its counterpart in Fenway at 37-feet tall. Fan Experience: The “Maine Event” mascot race features four of Maine’s most famous products racing one another—a blueberry, lobster, potato, and pine tree.
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Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Class: AA, affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds Stadium: Blue Wahoos Stadium Mascot: Kazoo the aquatic creature Stadium Attractions: Blue Wahoos Stadium is the only Minor League Baseball Park that faces a bay. Balls hit in excess of 400 feet to left field can land in Pensacola Bay. Food: Stadium concession stand Bubba’s Sand Trap pays homage to co-owner and pro golfer Bubba Watson.
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Class: A, affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles Stadium: Arthur W. Perdue Stadium Mascot: Sherman the shorebird Stadium Attractions: The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame, which first opened in 1997, is located within the grounds of Perdue Stadium, and is open during every Shorebirds home game. Fan Experience: Every Friday home game is Orange Friday, where fans come decked out in their Shorebirds orange attire. Friday games are also known as Big Beer Fridays, with deals on 32-oz. lite beers.
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Corpus Christi Hooks
Corpus Christi, Texas
Class: AA, affiliate of the Houston Astros Stadium: Whataburger Field Mascots: Rusty Hook and Sammy Seagull Team History: The ballpark occupies land once dominated by cotton warehouses at the Port of Corpus Christi, with many of its architectural attributes paying tribute to the site’s heritage. The left-center field scoreboard is framed by antique cotton presses, one of which dates back to the 1920s. Stadium Attractions: During games, large oceangoing vessels and their tiny tugboat escorts navigate the port’s ship channel, which runs behind the stadium compound. Ships clear the iconic Harbor Bridge before churning out to the Gulf of Mexico through Corpus Christi Bay.
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Charlotte Stone Crabs
Class: A Advanced, affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays Stadium: Charlotte Sports Park Mascot: Clawford the crab Inside Baseball: The team is named for a type of crustacean called the Florida stone crab, which is indigenous to the Charlotte County region. Team History: Off the field, the team led the Florida State League in attendance with more than 176,000 fans through the turnstiles during the 2009 season. The Stone Crabs also won the 2015 Florida State League title against the Daytona Tortugas.
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Class: A Advanced, affiliate of the Miami Marlins Stadium: Roger Dean Stadium Mascot: Hamilton R. Head the shark Inside Baseball: Roger Dean Stadium is the only stadium in the country that serves as home to two Minor League Baseball teams: the Hammerheads and the Palm Beach Cardinals. Food: On Family Day every Sunday, the Hammerheads are one of the few teams to actually serve brunch.
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Class: AAA, affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles Stadium: Harbor Park Mascots: Rip Tide the fuzzy creature and Triton the seahorse Inside Baseball: Harbor Park makes its own barbeque onsite. Concessions include a Virginia craft beer stand and a dessert area that serves deep-fried Snickers bars. Food: At the stadium restaurant, Hits at the Park, an eating challenge called the Salute to Pork Challenge is available all season. Competitors attempt to eat a five-pound portion of four different pork items in one hour in an effort to make the restaurant’s Wall of Fame.