Minor League Baseball in Georgia with Kids

Minor League Baseball in Georgia with KidsOur family recently went on vacation in Augusta, and while we were there, we attended an Augusta GreenJackets game. It was my first minor league game and a first-ever baseball game for the boys. It was fabulous! Here are five reasons why a minor league baseball game is must-do experience with kids.

1. Close to the action. Georgia’s minor league stadiums offer close-to-the-action seating. When kids can see the players well and actually feel the power of the ball meeting the bat, they are hooked. If you ask me, this is the best reason to start them at a minor league game.

2. Affordability. Tickets to minor league games are extremely affordable, and in many places like Augusta, parking is also free. If you join the Kids’ Club (see below) there are often opportunities for kids to attend for free.

3. Kids Club. Kids Clubs vary in cost from free in Augusta to $30, and their benefits vary. The Sand Gnats Kids Club includes an autograph session with the players, The Rome Braves offer includes box-level tickets. Each team’s program is vastly different, so be sure to look at each one.

Augusta GreenJackets

4. Special Events. My boys loved meeting Auggie, the GreenJackets’ mascot. He was very accessible and easy to get a photo with. Besides mascot days, other special events around the state include Splash day, Fireworks, Boy and Girl Scout Days, Family Nights, Kids Eat Free nights and more. Check Explore Georgia’s blog post on 2015 Summer Baseball Promotions and each team’s programming for details.

5. Play Areas. If your little one gets ants in his pants then you can always head to the play area. We enjoyed watching the last inning of the GreenJackets game as the boys played on the playground. Other fields include inflatables, and other play areas. If you think the kids need a little more freedom than a stadium seat offers, several places like Gwinnett and Rome offer berms for picnic-style seating.

So, where are the minor league fields?? There are four in Georgia: Augusta, Rome, Lawrenceville and Savannah. You can read more about our Augusta experience at 365AtlantaFamily.


LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.

Georgia’s Summer Baseball Promotions

Turner Field Sunset

Photo Credit: Atlanta Braves

Summer is here, and that means it’s the perfect time to take your family and friends out to the ballgame! Georgia makes that easy with five professional baseball teams in Atlanta, Gwinnett, Rome, Augusta and Savannah. Check out the teams’ summer promotions for an idea as to when to go buy some peanuts and catch a couple foul balls:

Atlanta Braves
Georgia’s Major League team is the oldest continuously playing team in major North American sports and is in its 50th year in Atlanta. Join the Bravos at each Friday home game for a fireworks display and Sunday to meet Braves Alumni while your kids run the bases, and be sure not to miss these special games at Turner Field:

Turner Field Tour

Turner Field

Saturday, June 6: Father/Daughter Day

Sunday, June 7: Autism Awareness Day

Tuesday, June 9: David Justice Bobblehead Night

Wednesday, June 10: Charli XCX Postgame Concert


Friday, June 19-Sunday, June 21: Heritage Weekend

Saturday, June 20: Braves Country 5K / Boyz II Men Postgame Concert

Sunday, June 21: Father’s Day Catch on the Field / Prostate Cancer Awareness Day

Friday, July 3-Sunday, July 5: Braves Foundation Weekend

Friday, July 3: Star Wars Night

Saturday, July 4: Independence Day Fireworks

Friday, July 17: Social Media Night

Saturday, July 18: Mother/Son Day / NAPA Auto Parts Cap Gate Giveaway

Sunday, July 19: Christmas in July

Thursday, August 6: Homeschool Day

Friday, August 7-Sunday, August 9: Alumni Weekend

Saturday, August 8: Braves Alumni Legends Game / World Series Replica Ring Giveaway

Sunday, August 9: Kids Pre-Game Parade / Peanut Free Section

Friday, August 14: John Smoltz Hall of Fame Bobblehead Night / Fireworks on the Field

Saturday, August 15: Military Appreciation Night

Sunday, August 16: Paint in the Park

Wednesday, August 26: Firefighter Night

Saturday, August 29: MLB Network Tote Bag Giveaway


Gwinnett Braves
Come out to Coolray Field in Gwinnett County to catch Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate compete against the other Southern teams of the International League. The longest-running affiliation in Triple-A, the Gwinnett Braves feature your favorite future major leaguers, Meal Deal Mondays, Two-for-Tuesdays, Kids Eat Free and Baseball Bingo Wednesdays, Triple Play Thursdays, Fireworks Fridays and Sunday Family Funday at a community-oriented stadium. Be sure to make it to Gwinnett for these summer promotions:

Coolray Field Fireworks

Fireworks at Coolray Field
Photo Credit: Gwinnett Braves

Friday, June 5: Paint the Park Purple

Saturday, June 6: Replica Jersey Giveaway

Sunday, June 7: Public Safety/Touch-a-Truck Day

Wednesday, June 8: Daycare Day

Saturday, June 20: Back to the Future Night / Marty McFly Jacket Jersey Auction

Sunday, June 21: Bark in the Park / Cartoon Network Stop Bullying:  Speak Up

Saturday, July 4: Patriotic Jersey Auction

Sunday, July 5: Faith and Family Day

Thursday, July 9: Daycare Day

Friday, July 24: Fur Circus Appearance / Ron Grant Baseball Card Giveaway

Saturday, July 25: Bobby Cox Bobblehead Giveaway / Diversity Day

Sunday, July 26: Jersey Lunchbox Giveaway / Christmas in July

Saturday, August 8: Tom Glavine Bobblehead Giveaway

Sunday, August 9: Diamond Dig / Cartoon Network Stop Bullying:  Speak Up

Saturday, August 22: Stand Up to Cancer Night

Sunday, August 23: Cartoon Network Stop Bullying:  Speak Up

Saturday, August 29: John Smoltz Bobblehead Giveaway


Rome Braves
Located in picturesque Rome, Georgia, Atlanta’s Class-A minor league affiliate brings fans out to exciting games against the rest of the South Atlantic League. State Mutual Stadium brings a major league amount of support to the minor league field which features the Applebee’s Home Run Hill and field dimensions which mirror The Ted in Atlanta. Featuring up-and-coming players in the Braves organization, the Rome Braves host family-friendly events each summer:

Friday, June 5: Camo T-Shirt Giveaway

Myron Noodleman

Myron Noodleman
Photo Credit: Rome Braves

Saturday, June 6: The Coolest Nerd, Myron Noodleman

Sunday, June 7: Father’s Day

Friday, June 26: Cereal Bowl Giveaway

Saturday, June 27: Parrot Head Paradise Night and Post Game Concert


Sunday, June 28: Cartoon Network Stop Bullying:  Speak Up

Friday, July 3: Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza

Wednesday, July 15: Cartoon Network Stop Bullying:  Speak Up

Friday, July 17: Christmas in July

Saturday, July 18: Appearance by Dora the Explorer and Diego

Friday, July 31: Pirates and Princesses Night

Saturday, August 1: Appearance by Zooperstars

Friday, August 14: Appearance by Ella the Elephant

Friday, August 21: Back to School Giveaway

Saturday, August 22: Animal Antics with the Fur Circus

Saturday, August 29: Post Game Fireworks Extravaganza


Augusta GreenJackets
Named in honor of The Masters golf tournament, the second of Georgia’s Class-A South Atlantic League teams is located in Augusta. Lake Olmstead Stadium has hosted numerous big-name players on their climb to stardom through the team’s various major league affiliations, current the San Francisco Giants. In addition to serving as an entertainment center for the Augusta metro region, the GreenJackets’ stadium hosts Feed Your Face Monday; BOGO Bevs each Tuesday; Baseball Bingo and Silver Jackets Club Member Day each Wednesday; Thirsty Thursdays; lets the kids run the bases every Friday, Saturday and Sunday; American Family Insurance Family Night each Saturday; Junior Jackets Kids Club Day each Sunday; and fantastic summer promotions:

Lake Olmstead Bouncy House

Photo Credit: Augusta GreenJackets

Thursday, June 4: Augusta Parks & Recreation Night / SweetWater Post-Game Concert Series

Friday, June 5: Shepeard Community Blood Center Night & Souvenir Cup Giveaway

Saturday, June 6 –Cowboy Monkey Rodeo / WRDW Time to Care / Boy Scout Sleepover

Sunday, June 7: Super Hero Night

Tuesday, June 16 –Media Night

Wednesday, June 17 –Veteran Appreciation Night

Thursday, June 18: Burke County Community Night

Friday, June 19: Fireworks Night

Saturday, June 20 –Cowbell Giveaway / Miracle League Night

Sunday, June 21: Golf Towel Giveaway / Father’s Day Celebration

Saturday, July 4: Independence Day Fireworks

Sunday, July 5: Post-Game Fireworks

Tuesday, July 7: Super Splash Day

Wednesday, July 8: Throwback Night

Thursday, July 9: Ladies Night

Friday, July 10: USB Drive Giveaway

Friday, July 10-Sunday, July 12: Pet Friendly Weekend

Saturday, July 11: World Series Piggy Bank Giveaway Night

Sunday, July 12: Bark in the Park / Tribute to Minions

Wednesday, July 22: Grandparent Appreciation Night

Thursday, July 23: National Hot Dog Day / SweetWater Post-Game Concert Series

Friday, July 24: Faith and Family Night / Road to the Show Tumbler Giveaway

Saturday, July 25: Military Appreciation / American Flag Giveaway

Monday, July 27: College Feast Night

Tuesday, July 28: Bank Challenge Night

Thursday, August 6: Denny McLain Autograph Signing

Friday, August 7: Madison Bumgarner Bobblehead Giveaway

Saturday, August 8: Savannah Riverkeepers Jersey Auction / Girl Scout Night

Sunday, August 9: Auggie’s Birthday & Mascot Mania

Tuesday, August 11: Aiken County Community Night

Wednesday, August 12: Middle Child Appreciation Night

Thursday, August 13: Back Yard Make Over / SweetWater Post-Game Concert Series

Monday, August 17: Taste of Augusta

Tuesday, August 18: Columbia County Community Night

Thursday, August 27: College Football Night

Friday, August 28: GRU Hat Giveaway


Savannah Sand Gnats
Georgia’s southernmost professional team has featured in Da Ali G Show, Paula’s Home Cooking, George Lopez and Royal Pains. A competitor of the Rome Braves and Augusta GreenJackets in the Class-A South Atlantic League, the Sand Gnats are an affiliate of the New York Mets. Historic Grayson Stadium has been open since 1926 and has been hometo numerous minor league teams, as well as having been the part-time home of the Savannah State University team and the venue for the annual local high school Thanksgiving Day game for over 30 years. Weekly promotions include Kroger Dollar Mondays, Two-For-Tuesdays, Pack-The-Park for Charity each Wednesday, Thirsty Thursdays, St. Joseph’s/Candler Facebook Flashback Fridays, Saturday night fireworks, Bark in the Park each Sunday in June and July, and Kids Eat Free Sundays. But also be sure not to miss their special summer promotions:

Night at the Gnats

Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District on Flickr

Friday, June 5-Saturday, June 7: Pedigree Pet Friendly Weekend

Thursday, June 18: Wild Wild Western Night

Friday, June 26: Personal Care Items and Paper Goods Drive for St. Mary’s / St. Joseph’s/Candler T-Shirt Giveaway

Saturday, June 27: Boy Scout Night / Fleet Feet Home Run 5K

Friday, July 3: Fireworks Night

Friday, July 17-Monday, July 20: Subway Series in the South

Saturday, August 1: St. Joseph’s/Candler Community Night

Thursday, August 13: Military Appreciation Night

Friday, August 14: Replica Stadium Giveaway

Friday, August 21: Personal Care Items and Paper Goods Drive for St. Mary’s

Saturday, August 29: Gnate Appreciation Night


Baseball Stadiums: Georgia’s Summer Promotions

Summer is right around the corner as the school year finishes with Memorial Day weekend, and that means baseball season hits full stride, too.  For parents and baseball fans looking for inexpensive and fun ways to spend their summer evenings, Georgia’s four minor league teams offer a variety of promotions.  Minor league baseball is known for regular promotions like “Thirsty Thursday” or “Two-for-One Tuesdays,” but I wanted to focus on some of the unique promotions and giveaways that provide fans with a real reason to attend a game.  Whether you want to check out your local team or make a road trip, there are tons of reasons for fans to flock to ballparks in Rome, Savannah, Augusta, or Gwinnett.  Here’s a rundown of the promotions (team-by-team):

Gwinnett Braves

Friday, May 24: Dudes vs. Foods Night

Dudes Vs. Foods 2012 (credit Leslie Watts, Gwinnett Braves)

Dudes Vs. Foods 2012 (credit Leslie Watts, Gwinnett Braves)

Saturday, May 25: Mini Bat Giveaway

Friday, June 7: Father’s Day Fun plus Post-Game Fireworks

Saturday, June 8: 5th Anniversary Bank Giveaway

Sunday, June 9: Public Safety Day / Touch-A-Truck

Friday, June 21: ‘80s Night / Powder Blue Jersey Auction

Saturday, June 22: Jason Heyward Bobblehead Giveaway

Thursday, July 4: Red, White, and Blue Thundersticks Giveaway plus Post-Game Fireworks

Friday, July 5: Beach Party

Saturday, July 6: Kris Medlen Bobblehead Giveaway

Friday, July 19: Outdoors Night

Saturday, July 20: Notebook Giveaway / Camouflage Jersey Auction

Friday, August 9: Football Night

Saturday, August 10: Craig Kimbrel Bobblehead Giveaway

Friday, August 16: G-Braves Baseball Cap Giveaway

Friday, August 30: Fan Appreciation Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Four for the Road

Friday, May 24: Dudes vs. Foods Night.  If you’ve ever wanted to test your chops, or perhaps stomach, as a competitive eater tonight is your night.  Maybe you’ll take home the Yellow Mustard Belt!

Friday, June 21: ‘80s Night / Powder Blue Jersey Auction.  If you remember the Atlanta Braves playing in powder blue jerseys during the ‘80s with Dale Murphy patrolling the outfield and Bruce Benedict behind home plate, you will want to attend this game.  Following the trip down memory lane, fans can bid on game-worn throwback jerseys and own a piece of the 1980s.  Proceeds from the auction support Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation.

Friday, July 5: Beach Party.  There’s no need to pile the family into the minivan and trek to the coast, you can make the trip to Lawrenceville and have the beach brought to you.  Themed contests will allow fans to experience the beach without the three-hour drive.

Saturday, July 20: Notebook Giveaway / Camouflage Jersey Auction.  If you don’t have enough camouflage in your closet, here’s your chance to watch the G-Braves play in camo jerseys and bid on them after the game.  I’m sure there will be some Duck Dynasty fans in attendance, too.  Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Thursday, May 23: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway SSG-BSE-PINK-13-1B

Saturday, May 25: Girl Scout Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Sunday, May 26: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Tuesday, June 11: Marco’s Feed Your Face: All-You-Can-Eat Pizza

Friday, June 14: Sand Gnats T-Shirt Giveaway

Saturday, June 15: Boy Scout Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Thursday, June 27: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway / Military Jersey Auction

Saturday, June 29: Coastal Health District Healthy Heart Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Sunday, June 30: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Thursday, July 11: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway

Friday, July 26: Johan Santana Bobblehead Giveaway

Sunday, July 28: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Thursday, August 8: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway

Sunday, August 25: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Four for the Road

Thursday, June 27: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway / Military Jersey Auction.  Admission is free for active duty or retired military personnel with an ID and the first 100 active duty service members will receive a free armed forces T-shirt.  The Sand Gnats will wear military-inspired jerseys that fans can bid on following the game.  Proceeds benefit local military charities.

Saturday, June 29: Coastal Health District Healthy Heart Night.  Not every promotion allows fans to leave the stadium with a new item.  Sometimes the promo focuses on local charities or promoting awareness, and that’s the case here.  Fans can kick off the day with the Home Run 5K Trot at 8 a.m. before the evening’s game.

Friday, July 26: Johan Santana Bobblehead Giveaway.  Most minor league teams honor former players who reached The Show with a bobblehead, but the Sand Gnats are doing something unique with this giveaway.  The team celebrates its affiliation with the New York Mets by honoring two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star Johan Santana with his own bobblehead, although he has never played for the team.

Sunday, August 25: TailsSpin Bark in the Park.  The last Sunday of each month fans can bring their family pooch to the park, and this is the last chance to bring your best four-legged friend to the stadium this season.

Rome Braves

Myron Noodleman (credit Rome Braves)

Friday, May 31: Beach Towel Giveaway

Saturday, June 1: Mystery Bag Giveaway

Sunday, June 2: National Cancer Survivors Day

Friday, June 7: Ladies Night

Saturday, June 8: Appearance by Zooperstars

Friday, June 21: Retro Braves Night

Saturday, June 22: Parrot Head Paradise Night with Post-Game Concert: The Swinging Medallions

Thursday, July 4: Celebrate America Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Friday, July 5: Appearance by BBoy McCoy

Friday, July 19: Craig Kimbrel Bobblehead Giveaway

Saturday, July 20: Post-Game Concert: Slippery When Wet

Friday, August 2: Appearance by Myron Noodleman

Saturday, August 3: Post-Game Concert: The Tams

Friday, August 16: Tribute to the King – Elvis Night

Saturday, August 17: Back to School Puzzle Giveaway plus Post-Game Fireworks

Four for the Road

Friday, June 7: Ladies Night.  Female fans will receive a night of pampering at the park.  So bring your mom, wives, girlfriends, or the cute girl at work and impress her with an opportunity to be pampered while watching the America’s Pastime.

Saturday, June 22: Parrot Head Paradise Night with Post-Game Concert: The Swinging Medallions.  Fans of Jimmy Buffet already picked up on the theme of tonight’s game, and fans can bid on the special Parrot Head Paradise jerseys the Braves will wear tonight.  After the game, fans can enjoy the sounds of The Swinging Medallions, the Party Band of the South.

Friday, August 2: Appearance by Myron Noodleman.  There are a variety of entertainers who visit minor league ballparks and arenas throughout the year, but everybody’s favorite nerd is among one of the best entertainers out there.  Tonight is your only chance to catch him at a game in Georgia this season.

Friday, August 16: Tribute to the King – Elvis Night.  Here’s proof that you don’t have to be in Memphis to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, as the Braves pay tribute to Elvis.  Enjoy music from Elvis along with King-themed trivia, and fans dressed as Elvis can enter a Look-a-Like contest.

Augusta GreenJackets

The GreenJackets take a different approach to promotions.  Instead of numerous giveaways or appearances that take place on almost any night of the week, the club reserves giveaways for Saturdays and highlights daily deals the rest of the week.  Here’s the rundown of daily deals followed by the Saturday night specials:

Mondays: Feed Your Face Mondays (All-you-can-eat on select items until 6th inning)

Tuesdays: Two-for-Tuesdays (Two-for-one pricing on soft drinks and draft beers)

Wednesdays: BI-LO Baseball Bingo (Play baseball bingo for prizes)

Thursdays: Thirsty Thursday ($1 soft drinks and $1 draft beers)

Fridays: Fireworks Friday (Post-Game fireworks show)

Saturdays: American Family Insurance’s Saturday Family Night (special giveaways)

Sundays: Kids Day! (Children under 12 can participate in pre-game and post-game activities)

Saturday, June 1: Tim Wakefield Statuette Giveaway

Saturday, June 8: Bark in the Park

Saturday, June 22: GreenJackets Baseball Cap Giveaway

Pablo Sandoval Statuette

Pablo Sandoval Statuette

Saturday, July 6: Appearance by the Inflatamaniacs

Saturday, July 20: Military Appreciation Night

Saturday, August 3: Pablo Sandoval Statuette Giveaway

Saturday, August 17: GreenJackets Team Photo Giveaway

Four for the Road

Saturday, June 1: Tim Wakefield Statuette Giveaway.  The club inducted former the

Boston Red Sox knuckleballer into its Hall of Fame this season, and honor him with a miniature statue.  The two-time World Series champion played for the club as a first baseman in 1989 in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system before converting to a full-time pitcher the following season.

Saturday, July 6: Appearance by the Inflatamaniacs.  Fans who watched last summer’s “America’s Got Talent” should remember the Inflatamaniacs.  The judges quickly booted the quartet, but fans can expect them to bring their best stuff to Lake Olmstead Stadium.  The diverse group makes its only scheduled appearance in the region tonight.

Saturday, July 20: Military Appreciation Night.  The club has not announced any special jerseys or promotions for the night, but with Fort Gordon just 25 minutes away from the stadium it is sure to be a special night to honor America’s armed forces.

Saturday, August 3: Pablo Sandoval Statuette Giveaway.  It cannot be easy miniaturizing a player nicknamed Kung Fu Panda because of his girth, but the GreenJackets have done it to honor another member of their inaugural Hall of Fame class.  Sandoval split time between first and third base while playing in Augusta during the 2006 season.  He has gone on to help the San Francisco Giants claim two World Series crowns, and earned World Series MVP honors during the 2012 Fall Classic.

Whether you hit the highways for a road trip or just visit your local ballpark, you’re now equipped with information about some of the most unique promotions coming to a stadium near you.  Enjoy some of the most cost-friendly family entertainment available and catch the stars of tomorrow in your own backyard!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteven Ericson claims Pittsburgh, Pa., as his ancestral home, but grew up in Marietta.  He loves baseball and getting his photo taken with team mascots.  When not at a ballpark, you can find him visiting presidential sights and state capitols. Read his blog at geosteven.blogspot.com.


Baseball in Georgia

digitalcollections.library.gsu.eduThe crack of the bat means it’s officially the season to buy your game tickets and get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks at baseball stadiums across Georgia.

The state’s rich baseball history stretches all the way back to the early 1900s when professional teams like the Albany Babies, Savannah Indians, Atlanta Black Crackers and Macon Peaches attracted crowds.

007 - Atlanta - Fulton County - sports - Atlanta Braves - 04.03.06Some of Major League Baseball’s most productive and best loved (and reviled) players were born in Georgia, including Moises Alou (Atlanta), Bill Buckner (Decatur), Ty Cobb (Narrows), J. D. Drew (Valdosta), Buster Posey (Leesburg) and Jackie Robinson (Cairo). To see a full list of all Major League Baseball players born in Georgia visit baseball-almanac.com.

Current Atlanta Braves players raised in Georgia include Tim Hudson (born in Columbus), Jason Heyward (attended Henry County High School in McDonough) and Brian McCann (born in Athens, graduate of Duluth High School).

Georgia is currently home to six minor and major league professional baseball teams: Atlanta Braves, Augusta GreenJackets, Columbus Catfish, Gwinnett Braves, Rome Braves and Savannah Sand Gnats.

No matter what baseball team you root for in any division or at any level, you’re probably cheering for someone from Georgia. From managers to players, Major League Baseball and its farm system is rich with Georgia history.

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Fun Fact: Ty Cobb, nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” was one of the first five players elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. He received just over 98% of the votes.

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.