Play ball: The 2024 guide to Minor League Baseball in Pennsylvania

ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 1: Carter Bins #14 of the Altoona Curve celebrates with Jacob Gonzalez #34 after hitting a three-run home run in the sixth inning during the game against the Erie SeaWolves at UPMC Park on September 1, 2023 in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

By Patrick Berkery

March 26, 2024

From Erie to NEPA, Pennsylvania has plenty of minor league ballparks where families can cheer on the stars of tomorrow for a fraction of what it costs to see a big league game.

We’re spoiled with Major League Baseball in Pennsylvania, with a powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies team at one end of the state and a promising young Pittsburgh Pirates squad at the other.

But beyond the commonwealth’s two biggest cities, Pennsylvania’s minor league baseball teams are a popular attraction. For a fraction of what it costs to take in a big league game, families can see the stars of tomorrow while experiencing a fun night (or afternoon) out featuring crazy promotions, big, furry mascots, and, in some cases, bat dogs — canines who retrieve baseball bats from home plate and bring them back to the dugout.

Depending on the team, tickets to see a minor league game in Pennsylvania typically start as low as $5, with some ballparks offering free parking and deep discounts on food and drinks on designated nights throughout the season. Where the financial information website MoneyGeek estimates the average cost — on the low end (i.e., the cheap seats, and cheapest food and drink options) — of taking a family of four to see a Major League game in 2024 will be $140 ($154 in Philly, $139 in Pittsburgh), families can usually see a minor league for half of that amount, if not less.

With another minor league baseball season upon us, let’s take a look at the 11 teams who call Pennsylvania home.

Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Home park: Peoples Natural Gas Field

Home opener: April 9

Mascots: Al Tuna, Loco, Trax

Three potential franchise cornerstones for the Pirates — pitcher Paul Skenes, catcher Henry Davis, and shortstop Oneil Cruz — have passed through Altoona in recent years. A fourth, infielder Termarr Johnson, could end up with the Curve this year. Fans can also look forward to some great promotions like the Paul Skenes bobblehead giveaway on April 13 and a Mother’s Day wine special on May 12.

Erie Seawolves, Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers

Home park: UPMC Park

Home opener: April 9

Mascot: C. Wolf

Coming off a season in which they won the Eastern League championship, the Seawolves are a land of opportunity for Tigers prospects looking to make an impression in 2024. And with Erie smack in the “path of totality” for the total solar eclipse on April 8, the Seawolves are getting in on the action with a free block party that day at UPMC Park, featuring a player meet and greet, free eclipse glasses, and music from Erie native and Emmy winner Katie Linedoll.

Play ball: The 2024 guide to Minor League Baseball in Pennsylvania

ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA – SEPTEMBER 1: Tyler Mattison #15 of the Erie SeaWolves delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Altoona Curve at UPMC Park on September 1, 2023 in Erie, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Harrisburg Senators, Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals

Home park: FNB Field (located on City Island)

Home opener: April 5

Mascot: Rascal

As the Double-A team for the Nats, the Senators have had some major stars pass through Harrisburg on their way up, including current Phillies Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. Perhaps some other perennial All-Stars will take the field for Harrisburg this season. The Senators will have plenty of post-game fireworks displays throughout the season, and are giving away tickets to Hersheypark to the first 4,000 fans through the gates on April 7.

Lancaster Stormers, unaffiliated team in the Atlantic League

Home park: Clipper Magazine Stadium

Home opener: April 30

Mascot: Cylo

That’s not a misprint. The team formerly known as the Barnstormers now simply goes by the Stormers. While the name has changed, independent league teams (those that aren’t officially affiliated with an MLB team) like the defending Atlantic League champion Stormers remain a great showcase for ballplayers trying to latch on with a big league organization. You might not see the top prospects here, but you’ll see professional baseball players doing their best to be noticed and get a crack at “The Show.” You’ll also see dogs on Wet Nose Wednesdays, when fans are permitted to bring their four-legged best friends to the ‘ol ballyard.

Lehigh Valley Ironpigs, Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies

Home Park: Coca-Cola Park

Home opener: March 29

Mascots: Ferrous and FeFe

With the Phillies hoping to make another deep postseason run, interest in the Fightins remains high. And with top prospects like pitcher Mick Abel and outfielder Justin Crawford working their way through the team’s minor league system, a lot of eyes will be on the IronPigs this year as well. Other things fans have to look forward to in Allentown this season: FeFe’s Version Night on April 26, featuring Taylor Swift-themed fireworks, friendship bracelet making, and a pre-game dance party. And let’s not forget the always popular “Pork Racers.”

Play ball: The 2024 guide to Minor League Baseball in Pennsylvania

ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – JULY 25: Nick Nelson #9 of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in action against the Syracuse Mets during a game at Coca-Cola Park on July 25, 2023 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Play ball: The 2024 guide to Minor League Baseball in PennsylvaniaReading Fightin’ Phils, Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies

Home park: FirstEnergy Stadium

Home opener: April 9

Mascots: Screwball, Bucky, Blooper, Changeup

For decades, homegrown Phillies have been sharpening their skills for the big leagues in Reading. One of the more recent Phillies to come through “Baseballtown USA” is second baseman Bryson Stott, who will be honored at the R-Phils’ home opener with a bobblehead giveaway. Some other future Phils are likely to play at Reading this season, including the aforementioned Justin Crawford and infielder Aidan Miller.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees

Home park: PNC Field

Home opener: April 2

Mascot: Champ

Before he set the American League single-season home run record, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was a RailRider. Who’s going to be the next record-setting Bronx Bomber to pass through Scranton/Wilkes-Barre? Head to NEPA to find out. This season, fans can bring their dogs to the ballpark on Waggin’ Wednesdays, and celebrate everyone’s favorite Scranton-set comedy during “‘The Office’ Night” on June 29, which will feature an appearance by Leslie David Baker, who played Stanley on the hit NBC show.

Play ball: The 2024 guide to Minor League Baseball in Pennsylvania

WORCESTER, MA – APRIL 27: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders RHP Barrett Loseke (25) throws a pitch during a AAA MiLB game between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the Worcester Red Sox on April 27, 2023, at Polar Park in Worcester, MA. (Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

State College Spikes

Home park: Medlar Field at Lubrano Park

Home opener: June 7

Mascot: Ike the Spike

The Spikes are members of the MLB Draft League, run by Major League Baseball, which serves as a showcase during the season’s first half (June 4 – July 13) for top draft-eligible prospects leading up the MLB Draft. After a break for the draft, play resumes in the second half (July 18 – Sept. 4) with professional players who have exhausted their amateur eligibility.

Washington Wild Things, unaffiliated team in the Frontier League

Home park: Wild Things Park

Home opener: May 10

Mascot: The Wild Thing

The Wild Things are one of the top drawing teams in the independent Frontier League, and promotions are a big part of it. This year fans can look forward to a flower giveaway on Mother’s Day (May 12), Jimmy Buffett Night (July 6), along with Kids Eat Free Sundays and post-game fireworks throughout the season.

Williamsport CrossCutters

Home park: Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field

Home opener: June 4

Mascot: Boomer

This one time short-season affiliate of the Phillies has been a member of MLB’s Draft League since 2021, with 23 of its players drafted by MLB clubs in that time. Ten game partial season ticket plans are available for as little as $89.

York Revolution, unaffiliated team in the Atlantic League

Home park: WellSpanPark

Home opener: April 25

Mascot: DownTown

The Revolution will celebrate their 17th season in 2024 with plenty of fun for the whole family, even the dogs. Kids will be allowed to run the bases post-game and the team hosts several bark at the park nights throughout the season. Tickets are a bargain, with many below $10.

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