Spot Rising Giants: Minor League Baseball in Silicon Valley
Baseball fans know the San Francisco Giants, the World Series Champion team from the City by the Bay, but how many know that a lot of Giants players first get the attention of scouts while playing at San Jose Municipal Stadium? Well-known major leaguers like Brandon Belt, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Travis Ishikawa played on this field, located about an hour south of San Francisco, before making it to the Giants major league home AT&T Park. While the stadium has been a minor league hub for more than 70 years, the Class A Advanced California League San Jose Giants have been affiliated with the San Francisco Giants since the 1980s.
Taking kids to a minor league ball game not only gives them the opportunity to see potential future major league players in action, it also provides a more down home experience and intimate look at the game itself. While the San Jose Giants enjoy an enormous local fan following, they offer a baseball experience without the massive crowds, the overwhelming stadium venue, intense traffic jams or crowded public transit experiences. Because the venue is smaller and more up close and personal, little visitors may even be able to spy a row of scouts measuring the speed of a pitch with their arsenal of radar guns.
Baseball fans also won’t find a vendor selling his homemade churros at a major league game nor will the kids get multiple opportunities to hang out with the team mascot. The San Jose Giants mascot, Gigante, who was voted best mascot in the California League in 2015, is a mischievously fun character often seen roaming from stadium section to section with a trail of kids behind him.
More Family-Friendly Amenities at San Jose Municipal Stadium
The BBQ: Enjoy AMAZING barbecue! Tasty ribs, chicken, and sausage with all of the classic sides can be enjoyed in a nearby picnic area if you’d rather not try to balance a tray on your lap at your seat.
Family Fun Zone: Do you have wiggly youngsters in your party who may need to work off a little energy before focusing on the game? Inflatable activities such as speed pitch, skee ball, t-ball, and a batting cage are located next to the main entrance.
A clean manageable venue: Municipal Stadium is a small and charming place. No matter where you sit you are guaranteed a more intimate experience with the game than you’ll get at AT&T Park.
A history lesson in baseball: The hallway walls and bathrooms of the stadium are filled with nods to baseball history. I personally appreciated that the women’s room murals did not ignore the contributions women have made to baseball.
If you have a baseball fan in your home, the San Jose Giants offer a rare opportunity to really connect with what made baseball, “America’s pastime.”
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Know Before You Go
- Golden Gate Park has many activities – there are countless trails to walk, lakes, ponds, fields for sports activities, and even a Conservatory for Flowers.
- Check out these spots for great photos: Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, Dolores Park, and Alamo Square.
- Always dress in layers for the weather. Even in the summer, it can be chilly!