Father's Day is this Sunday, and one of the quintessential Father's Day activities is to go to a ballpark and take in a ball game with your dad, maybe even catching a foul or home run ball.
Here are some good matchups, regardless of classification, to take in in the next few days in honor of your old man.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the two cities that have had California League teams the longest (and the one that has been affiliated with its parent club the longest) are squaring off in San Jose.
San Jose Municipal Stadium has a great old-timey ballpark feel and a child's footrace, and players sign autographs at the park before and after every game.
The only drawback is you'll have to go Saturday, as Sunday is an off-day in preparation for the CL's All-Star Game on Tuesday.
I know that the New York-Penn League doesn't officially start until Monday, but this one I couldn't refuse.
In addition to having two major league baseball clubs, the city of New York also has two minor league clubs, which are affiliated with said major league clubs. The Yankees' affiliate in Staten Island faces off early next week against the Mets' affliate in Brooklyn.
The games are being played in MCU Park on Coney Island, near the new incarnation of Luna Park, an Aquarium, and the eponymous roller coaster.
To throw some more fuel on the fire, Staten Island is the defending NYPL champs.
The I-70 rivalry, a rematch of the 1985 World Series, is more even than you'd expect. Despite Kansas City being in the tank for most of the interleague years, they are only down 38-28, and have won at least one game against the Cardinals in all but one of the last 14 years.
There is also an interesting dynamic in play because the Royals are hosting the All-Star Game, which will be managed by the (defending World Series champs) Cardinals' former manager and will likely feature a number of Cards in the lineup.
There is a history between the Buffalo Bison and the Pawtucket Red Sox. The two are fierce division rivals, and also represent the New York-Boston culture clash.
The Bison's park, now called Coca-Cola park, is not only one of the largest minor league parks (18,000-plus), but was the first in a line of lauded HOK/Populous designed retro ballparks.
And yes, you CAN get Buffalo wings there...the stadium is also the home of the national Buffalo wing-eating championship.
For my No. 2 Father's Day matchup, I'm going to go with one of the American League's traditional franchises playing in the oldest and most storied ballpark in the National League.
It'd be even better if either team were over .500.
The "Lone Star Series" is one of only a handful of local or regional derbies being contested this weekend. It's the only one, however, where the winner gets a custom boot.
It has added significance for two additional reasons this year. For one, the Astros aren't quite as bad as usual, thanks to strong play from Jose Altuve, Brett Myers and Bud Norris (who will be on the mound Sunday). For two, these opponents will BOTH be in the AL West next season.