Play Ball! A Guide to Minor League Baseball in Pennsylvania

PORTLAND, ME - MAY 27: Hunter Owen #10 of the Altoona Curve throws to first base during the eighth inning of the game between the Portland Sea Dogs and the Altoona Curve at Hadlock Field on May 27, 2019 in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Zachary Roy/Getty Images)

By Patrick Berkery

March 31, 2023

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 big league clubs at either end of the state in the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, and the perpetually rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates. 

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 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 average cost of taking a family of four to see a Major League game was $205 last year according to the Hustle ($207 in Philly, $150 in Pittsburgh), families can usually see a minor league for less than half of that cost.

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

Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Home park: Peoples Natural Gas Field

Home opener: April 6

Mascots: Steamer, Trax, Loco, Al Tuna

The Curve are a land of opportunity for big league hopefuls, with the big club still a year or two away from being a year or two away, as the saying goes. So look for some top prospects to suit up in Altoona this year. Fans can also look forward to some great promotions like Pro Wrestling Night with WWE Hall of Famer Jake “the Snake” Roberts on Aug. 10, and a Silicone Wine Cup Giveaway for the first 500 women through the gates on Mother’s Day, May 14. 

Erie Seawolves, Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers

Home park: UPMC Park

Home opener: April 11

Mascot: C. Wolf

Just like the Curve, the Seawolves are a land of opportunity for Tigers prospects looking to make an impression in 2023. The Seawolves are also rolling out something new this year: an alternate identity. On Aug. 4 and 5, the team will suit up as the Erie Pepperoni Balls, in honor of one of fans’ favorite doughy ballpark snacks. The team is already selling Pepperoni Balls merch and holding a contest to name the Pepperoni Ball mascot. 

Minor League Baseball: Erie SeaWolves Casey Mize (32) in action, pitching vs Bowie Baysox at UPMC Park. Erie, PA 5/4/2019 CREDIT: Fred Vuich (Photo by Fred Vuich /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X162637 TK1 )

Harrisburg Senators, Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals

Home park: FNB Field

Home opener: April 11

Mascots: Rascal, Grrrounder 

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. Maybe 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 30.

Lancaster Barnstormers, unaffiliated team in the Atlantic League

Home park: Clipper Magazine Stadium

Home opener: May 2

Mascot: Cylo

When it comes to playing for the love of the game, there’s no better example than the players of independent league teams (those teams that aren’t officially affiliated with an MLB team) like the Barnstormers. 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.” The Barnstormers were Atlantic League champs in 2022, and look to defend their title at Clipper Magazine Stadium, voted top ballpark in the country by Ballpark Digest. 

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

Home Park: Coca-Cola Park

Home opener: April 4

Mascots: Ferrous and FeFe

With the Phillies coming off their first NL pennant in 13 years, interest in the Fightins is as high as it’s been since the days of J-Roll, Chooch, and the Big Piece. Top pitching prospects like Mick Abel, Griff McGarry, and 19-year-old phenom Andrew Painter could appear for the IronPigs this year. Other things Lehigh Valley fans have to look forward to: new concessions like fried cheese curds and poutine, and Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays, when fans are welcome to bring their dogs to the ballyard.

PORTLAND, ME – APRIL 07: Bailey Falter #33 of the Reading Fightin Phils delivers in the game between the Portland Sea Dogs and the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field on April 7, 2019 in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Zachary Roy/Getty Images)

Reading Fightin’ Phils, Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies

Home park: FirstEnergy Stadium

Home opener: April 11

Mascots: Screwball, Bucky, Blooper, Changeup 

Many Phillies legends have passed through Reading, like Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Darren Daulton, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and more. Fans who make it to the home opener will get a t-shirt featuring those greats and other R-Phils alums. Maybe another future Phillies great will suit up for the Fightin’ Phils this season. As far as 2023 promotions go, for you early risers, Reading will play its 20th annual Morning Game on April 25 at 11 a.m.

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

Home park: PNC Field

Home opener: March 31

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 Bronx Bomber to pass through Scranton/Wilkes-Barre? Head to NEPA to find out. This season, fans can eat and drink on the cheap at PNC Park, with Dollar Dog nights, $2 beer nights, and $2 water ice and Dippin’ Dots promotions.

Fans enter the stadium of the Wild Things baseball team in Washington, Pennsylvania,. (Photo by: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Washington Wild Things, unaffiliated team in the Frontier League

Home park: Wild Things Park

Home opener: May 16

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 Jimmy Buffett night (June 17) and a backpack giveaway (Aug. 19), along with Kids Eat Free Sundays and post-game fireworks throughout the season.

York Revolution, unaffiliated team in the Atlantic League

Home park: WellSpanPark

Home opener: May 5

Mascot: DownTown

The Revolution will celebrate their 16th season in 2023 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 in the $5 range.


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