What's the deal with Minor League Baseball?

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Answered by: Thomas, An Expert in the Minor League 101 Category
Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is one of the biggest oxymoron's in the sports world. Everybody and nobody wants to be there, from the players to radio broadcasters. Milb symbolizes two distinct aspects of being a professional athlete. First and foremost being a part of a minor league team especially as a player represents the fact that you are indeed a professional ball player. Although that in it self is an opportunity that very few people will get to experience it also represents that these young professionals have not yet made it to the highest level of their occupation which brings along many perks that no minor leaguer will experience in towns such as Port Charlotte, Florida or Trenton, New Jersey. A typical minor league ball player will earn between $1,500 a month at the lowest levels to $3,000 at the higher levels. This payday pales in comparison to the Major League Baseball minimum salary which currently sits about $500,000 annually. In addition to the obvious salary discrepancies there are also lesser examined aspects of minor league baseball such as the methods of travel and living. At the upper levels of the minors teams occasionally travel by airplane, however, most minor league ball clubs travel by bus sometimes several hours away to another tiny city. Once they reach their destination most players have to share a motel room with one or more teammates which can lead to cramped quarters. Compare that to Major League Baseball where all teams travel by chartered jets and get their own hotel rooms in 5-star hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton.

MiLB is usually looked at the place where aspiring ball players spend brutal summers working their way up in the organization. Although this reputation holds true there is also a huge following for the minor leagues. There are certain quirks in the minors that many fans cant get or experience at a big league ball game. One of these many quirks is the names of the teams, a few examples include the Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays) or the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants). These fun and creative names also allow teams to have fun mascots and give them the ability to market their games as a fun atmosphere. In between inning promotions are another staple of all MiLB teams. These in game games and promotions allow fans to interact with each other usually on the field in front of the entire crowd. One of the more interesting games played by a few teams in called "Whack-a-Intern" where fans play a modified game of "Whack a mole" except the moles are team interns usually working for the team to fulfill a college credit.

MiLB provides a culture in sports that is not seen in many other places. Its fun, quirky and fan oriented, although the players and other professionals are trying to work their way up to the pinnacle of their profession its nice to know that they can compete in such a laid back environment.

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