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33 in the books: PawSox say goodbye to McCoy

In absence of farewell campaign, team stages epic Grand Finale
@BensBiz
October 20, 2020

In 2021, the Pawtucket Red Sox will move across state lines, some 45 miles to the northwest, and become the Worcester Red Sox. 2020, then, has marked this International League entity's 50th and final year at historic -- and much beloved -- McCoy Stadium. This milestone year came, and has

Where it began: From the Minors to Cooperstown 

A look at the pro debuts of Brock, Seaver, Gibson, Ford and Morgan
@BensBiz
October 15, 2020

Over the past two-and-a-half months, five members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame passed away: Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford and Joe Morgan. They will be forever missed, and never forgotten. The Major League careers of this Cooperstown quintet ended long ago. Tom Seaver, the last

Greenville Drive host civic-minded 'Day of Action'

Ballpark event features voter registration, COVID testing and more
@BensBiz
October 6, 2020

After the 2020 Minor League season was officially canceled, the Greenville Drive began marketing themselves as their community's "ideal social distancing venue." The team's home of Fluor Field has since played host to a diverse array of events. Nearly all areas of the ballpark, from the luxury suites to the

They are the champions: MiLB's winningest clubs

A league-by-league overview of the teams that have the most titles
@BensBiz
September 17, 2020

This is the time of year when Minor League championships are won. But the absence of a Minor League Baseball season has meant the absence of playoffs, which has meant the absence of championships. You, of course, already knew this. So enough talk about absence. This article is about those

5-7-5: River Cats' broadcaster pens book of haiku

Doskow's 'Goodnight Em' getting to go deep, three lines at a time
@BensBiz
September 15, 2020

This past March, Johnny Doskow's long-established baseball routines were completely upended by COVID-19. This was the case for everyone, of course, but Doskow used his newfound free time in a particularly unique manner. The longtime voice of the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats penned and summarily self-published his debut book of

Lexington and Florence travel the Bourbon Trail  

Season on the rocks results in neat Kentucky baseball partnership
@BensBiz
September 10, 2020

Brandon Phillips is a member of the Lexington Legends. Ordinarily, this would sound absurd, and perhaps it still does. What set of circumstances would lead a 39-year-old Cincinnati Reds icon with more than 2,000 hits at the Major League level to come out of retirement to play for the Legends,

Hindsight 2020: Reviewing 'season' like no other

April through September, Minors tapped into the gameday spirit
@BensBiz
September 8, 2020

Ready to have your mind blown? If the 2020 Minor League Baseball season had happened, it would have already happened. The regular season would have ended on Labor Day. Today, then, would have marked the first day of the offseason. Of course, like so many other taken-for-granted entertainments, the 2020

Stitches in time: Nine who played nine in nine

Fielding every position's a season-ending Minor League tradition
@BensBiz
September 3, 2020

In the history of Major League Baseball, only five men have played all nine positions in the course of a single game. In Minor League Baseball, however, this idiosyncratic feat is much more common. In fact, it's a Labor Day weekend tradition. While no one played all nine positions in

Minors' teams celebrate Negro League legacy

Taking a nationwide look at planned centennial commemorations
@BensBiz
September 1, 2020

On Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was founded in Kansas City, Missouri. One hundred years later to the day Minor League Baseball announced it was partnering with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Josh Gibson Foundation "to celebrate the impact the Negro Leagues have had on professional

Cut it out: Rochester rooters finally take their seats

Frontier Field, serving as Jays' alt site, adds cardboard supporters
@BensBiz
August 27, 2020

To be a Rochester Red Wings fan in 2020, you've got to be cut out for the job. The Red Wings, Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, welcomed their first crowd of the year on Aug. 21. This Frontier Field gathering, eclectic yet inanimate, was in the form of approximately

Skin in the game: A Minor League tattoo odyssey

Christensen details ongoing quest to ink every team on his body
@BensBiz
August 24, 2020

This month we’re profiling Minor League Baseball fans across the country. These fans go to impressive lengths to show their love of the game in creative ways, staying connected to their favorite teams even when the action on the field is on hold. Do you think you can stake your

Minors offer a menagerie of memorable fans

Die-hard rooters prove essential to the ballpark experience
@BensBiz
August 20, 2020

The absence of Minor League Baseball means the absence of fans, over 41 million of whom passed through the turnstiles in 2019. From Triple-A to Rookie Advanced, big cities to small towns, fans are the lifeblood of the industry. Of course, not all fans are created equal. As we slog

What's in the box? It's a Minor League mystery

Iowa-based fan explains joys of enigmatic mail order merchandise
@BensBiz
August 18, 2020

This month we’re profiling Minor League Baseball fans across the country who go to impressive lengths to show their love of the game in creative ways and stay connected to their favorite teams even when the action on the field is on hold. Do you think you can stake your

Bisons, Buckeyes, Blues, Broncos and more

Buffalo one of many IL locales with Major League history
@BensBiz
August 13, 2020

The city of Buffalo, New York, hosted a Major League Baseball game on Tuesday night, with the Toronto Blue Jays enjoying a walk-off win over the Miami Marlins. It was the first of 25 Blue Jays games scheduled for Sahlen Field, which ordinarily serves as the home of their Triple-A

How sweet it is: Lansing's Lemonade League

Lugnuts get creative with colorful in-house collegiate circuit
@BensBiz
August 11, 2020

Looking for a sense of normalcy? You can find it at Lansing's Cooley Law School Stadium, where the hometown Lugnuts are regularly playing in front of sold-out crowds. Granted, just about any description of "normal" these days comes equipped with an asterisk heavy enough to slide off the page due

Did you know? Pioneer League edition

Unique facts about the Rookie Advanced circuit's eight teams
@BensBiz
August 6, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the final installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Did you know? Appalachian League edition

Unique facts about the Rookie Advanced circuit's 10 teams
@BensBiz
July 28, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the penultimate installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Crooked Numbers: Looking back at the weirdness

A rollicking compendium of strange-but-true on-field occurrences
@BensBiz
July 23, 2020

One of the greatest things about baseball -- perhaps the very best thing -- is that you never know when you're going to see something that you've never seen before. Every pitch, every swing and every moment is imbued with the potential of the unprecedented. That's where Crooked Numbers comes

Did you know? Northwest League edition

Unique facts about the Class A Short Season circuit's eight teams
@BensBiz
July 21, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the 12th installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Promo Preview: 'What Could Have Been'

Celebrating the weekend's would-be Minor League genius
@BensBiz
July 16, 2020

Promo Preview, a roundup of top Minor League Baseball promotions, debuted in 2006 and has appeared on MiLB.com in various shapes and forms ever since. Today marks the debut of a wholly unprecedented iteration of this long-running column: the "What Could Have Been" edition. What follows is a full-to-bursting and

Did you know? New York-Penn League edition

Unique facts about the Class A Short Season circuit's 14 teams
@BensBiz
July 14, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the 11th installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Did you know? South Atlantic League edition

Unique facts for each of the 14 teams on the Class A circuit
@BensBiz
July 7, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the 10th installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Shots in the dark: MiLB fireworks memories

As the Fourth looms, scribe shares his pyrotechnic recollections
@BensBiz
July 2, 2020

The most popular promotion in Minor League Baseball? Year after year, the answer is the same -- fireworks. Absurd bobbleheads and regional food-based theme nights might get all the attention, but fireworks are the backbone of promo schedules. Friday Night Fireworks are a common occurrence at all levels of play,

Did you know? Midwest League edition

Unique facts for each of the 16 teams on the Class A circuit
@BensBiz
June 30, 2020

When it comes to size, scope and longevity, few, if any, sporting bodies can rival Minor League Baseball. With 160 teams in nearly as many markets, there are innumerable nooks and crannies to explore. This marks the ninth installment in a 14-part series dedicated to such explorations, providing one unique,

Knocking it out of the park on Father's Day

Jeremy Williams visits M-Braves, provides home run heroics
@BensBiz
June 25, 2020

Looking for this year's top baseball highlight? Look no further than what happened at the Mississippi Braves' home of Trustmark Park on Sunday. Jeremy Williams, coming through in the clutch, hit a Father's Day home run that will never be forgotten. Williams was one of 26 local dads to sign