With a few weeks of spring training remaining, fans still have time to catch games in Florida and Arizona. Beyond those states, however, the coming weeks offer plenty of intriguing spring training games, including the continuation of two notable traditions and matchups at minor league ballparks.
From March 17-18, Cashman Field in Las Vegas will host the annual Big League Weekend. This year’s edition will feature the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, with the Cubs playing as the home team in both games. Cashman Field has traditionally hosted large crowds for Big League Weekend, and that should be the case this year. You can find ticket information here.
North of the border, the Toronto Blue Jays will continue what is quickly becoming one of spring training’s best traditions. The Blue Jays will play at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium from March 26-27, this year facing the St. Louis Cardinals. Now in their fifth season, the annual exhibitions have not only succeeded in drumming up nostalgia for the Montreal Expos, but in bringing large and enthusiastic crowds to Olympic Stadium. You can find ticket information here.
While those are two of the notable offsite spring training games, there a handful of matchups taking place at minor league ballparks.
As part of the celebration of their 50th season, the Omaha Storm Chasers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will host the Kansas City Royals at Werner Park on March 26. This will be the first visit to Werner Park for the Royals, and the first time that they have appeared in Omaha for a game since 2000.
The El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will welcome the San Diego Padres to Southwest University Park on March 26. The exhibition game is part of the celebration of the Chihuahuas’ fifth season and marks the second time in three seasons that the two teams have met for an exhibition game.
Another MLB/MiLB exhibition is slated for BB&T Ballpark, where the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League) will welcome the Chicago White Sox. The game is part of the Knights’ celebration of their 20th season as a White Sox affiliate and represents the fourth time that the two clubs have met in an exhibition.
The Norfolk Tides (Class AAA; International League) will host the Baltimore Orioles at Harbor Park on March 26. Overall, this will be the Orioles’ sixth appearance at Harbor Park since 2007, and the fourth time that they have traveled to Norfolk to face the Tides (two other Harbor Park matchups were against the Washington Nationals).
On March 27, the Atlanta Braves will host Braves Futures—a team that consists of some of their more well-known minor league players—at SunTrust Park.
There are also several instances of teams rounding out their spring slates by hosting other major league clubs at their regular-season ballparks. More information on those games can be found on Spring Training Online, but some end-of-spring staples like the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ Bay Bridge Series and the Freeway Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be played this year. Several other teams follow this pattern as well, with the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Atlanta Braves among the clubs closing out the spring at their regular-season homes.
This article first appeared in the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Ballpark Digest newsletter.