On our recent trip to Silicon Valley in California, we caught the opening home game for the San Jose Giants, a Minor League baseball team that is an affiliate and feeder team to the San Francisco Giants.
It was the girls’ first baseball game, and it was interesting to hear their assessments. My youngest had no idea what was going on but totally enjoyed the atmosphere – singing all the songs between innings and trying her best to get on the big screen. My middle daughter thought it was an “easy” sport (compared to UK’s Rounders).
They all loved the furry mascot, good food and fun and games!
Baseball is a very family oriented sport and the crowd at San Jose Municipal stadium was very friendly. We even had a few crazy photo bombers trying to get in our selfies!
If you catch the Minor League teams, such as the San Jose Giants, entrance fees are reasonable, parking is easy and there aren’t the huge crowds you can get with a bigger Major League teams.
Each baseball stadium has its own traditions. In San Jose, one of the best is the “Beer Batter” – when the Giants designate a member of the opposing team to watch, and if he strikes out, beer is 50% off for the rest of the inning! They also traditionally sing different songs between innings.
My 12-year-old’s perspective
Watching the San Jose Giants baseball game was really fun! It was my first baseball game and I really enjoyed it I loved the food! We had churros and a hotdog, and kettle corn (sweet and salty popcorn). The atmosphere was really good – with lots of songs like “take me out to the ballgame” and the US National Anthem.
How Baseball Work: Baseball Basics
- Two teams
- Nine “innings”
- Uses a long, round wooden bat and a small hard baseball
- The visiting team “bats” first, the home team “bats” 2nd.
- The first half of each inning is referred to the “bottom” and the 2nd half is the “top” i.e. “top of the fourth”.
- Play is on a square diamond/field, which has 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and home base.
- To score, the batting team sends a player (runner) onto the field. A “pitcher” throws them a ball, and the runner needs to hit it.
- A runner makes a decision on whether to hit the ball or not (i.e. if it is not a good pitch it may be a “ball”. But if the umpire thinks it is a fair pitch,and the runner did not hit the ball, it’s a strike. 3 strikes and you are out.
- After they hit the ball, they need to touch each base (without getting “out”), scoring only when they safely reach the home base.
- An inning ends when three runners are out.
- The winning team base the most runs!
The San Jose Giants beat Stockton Ports 8 – 2 in the opening home game.
Minor League baseball is a great night out for the whole family, and very good value to watch an American sport. Check out the Minor League website site for all teams and schedules – just in case there is one where you are visiting! The girls are already asking when they can catch another game.
My 13-year-old’s perspective
I went to my first baseball game to see the San Jose Giants in California. It was really cool! In England we have a game called rounders which is similar to baseball, but in my opinion harder. For examples in rounders you don’t ear gloves and you bat with one hand. I found it interesting to see the differences and since I have heard about baseball a lot it was good to see a real game. When the vendors walked up and down the stadium with boxes of food, it was just like in the movies!
IF YOU GO
San Jose Giants 588 E Alma Ave, San Jose, CA 95112 +1 (408) 297-1435 http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t476.
Team San Jose The not-for-profit agency whose mission is to stimulate tourism, check out their website for the latest info about Silicon Valley.