A tradition like no other, baseball season is one of the only constants in life. It defines America. Its as much a part of southern heritage as the Mason Dixon line. Passed from generation to generation, baseball represents whats still good in life. It’s pure. The South is home to some of the coolest minor league ballparks in sports history, because after all, the South is where baseball was born and bred.
Located in the greatest Southern State, North Carolina, Grainger Stadium is home to the Cleveland Indian affiliates, Down East Wood Ducks. The 1949 built stadium is located in Kinston, North Carolina and stands as one of the last remaining early/ mid-20th century minor league parks still hosting actual minor league games. The infield grandstand is partially covered, and sitting in the stands sends you back to the days when Babe Ruth signed to play with the Baltimore Orioles before getting his big break with the Red Sox. Grainger Stadium is currently the second oldest stadium in the circuit in the Carolina League.
Tampa Bay Rays double AA Affiliates, the Montgomery Biscuits take the field in Montgomery, Alabama at Riverwalk Stadium. While the stadium itself is relatively new, opening in 2004, the park is complete with a historical feel after being built into an existing decommissioned train station. Farm teams often traveled from town to town on trains, so utilizing a southern transpiration staple in the ballpark design was a brilliant way to incorporate baseball’s history into the park.
With this Colorado affiliate less than an hour away from our Live Southern headquarters, we may be a little biased, but the Asheville Tourist Stadium is one of our favorite minor league fields to visit. The city of Asheville is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the south, and nestled between the corporate buildings and craft breweries, sits McCormick Field, which predates any of the modern amenities the city has to offer. Built in 1924, McCormick Field is a classic soother minor league park and cost $200,000 to construct in its heyday. During the 1940s, McCormick Field doubled as the hole of the home to the Asheville Blues of the Negro Southern League. McCormick Field has an even more special place in baseball history, as it served as the setting of the 1988 baseball classic, Bull Durham.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark
Beaches and baseball are the perfect combination and Jackson Robinson Ballpark located in Daytona Beach is one of the best places to experience the combo. Home of the Daytona Cubs, a Chicago Cubs affiliate, the ballpark greatly contributed to the Jackie Robinson legend. The park solidified its place in baseball history in 1946 when Jackie Robinson played a minor league game, which just so happened to be the first racially integrated game in baseball history. The stadium was named for Robinson in the 1980s.
Modern Woodmen Park
So technically this park isn’t located in a current southern state, BUT Iowa, and the farm history of baseball, get this one on the list, plus, they Quad Cities River Bandits who call the field home are a Houston Astros affiliate, which is southern baseball at its finest. The park sits on the banks of the Mississippi River and oozes of southern history. The park was first built in 1931 but has since been renovated with “new age” amenities such as a hot tub and a tiki village. But don’t let the gimmicks of minor league baseball fool you, the park stays close to its farm and baseball roots, but having a cornfield located in the left field, just for the River Bandits to be introduced coming out of the cornfield, like none other than the legendary baseball classic, Field of Dreams. On Oct. 1, 1936, an exhibition game featuring major-league players and Negro National League All-Stars included Baseball Hall of Fame players Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, Rogers Hornsby and Johnny Mize.
Family and Baseball
Get the family out for some baseball this year and visit a nearby minor league baseball game!