Sure, Chicago has the Cubs and the Sox, but there are plenty of minor league teams spread out across the Chicagoland area. Going to see a minor league game is a cheap way to spend a summer day, and doesn?t involve the hassle of commuting downtown. Minor league teams are also the place to go to see future baseball stars in action! Here are the top five teams to check out.
Chicago Area Minor League Baseball Teams
#1 Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars, who play in the Forest Preserve District, are one of the most popular Chicagoland minor league teams, as they?re the only one to be officially connected to a major league team. The Cougars have farmed out to many different teams since they started in 1991, but are now affiliated with the Kansas City Royals. If you?re looking to see future baseball superstars, this is the place to go. Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, and many others have started with the Cougars. Check out their website here.
#2 Joliet Slammers
The Joliet Slammers, who play at the Silver Cross Field as part of the Frontier League, have only been around since 2010. The name of the team references the infamous prison located in the town. Besides baseball, the Silver Cross Field is well known for its great food. Be sure to grab the double-decker chicken steak sandwich when you go. The train station is only a block away, so it?s easy to get to.
#3 Windy City Thunderbolts
You may also see the Slammers play another Chicago team, the Windy City Thunderbolts. The team dates back to 1975?they used to be called the Will County Claws?and currently play at the Standard Bank Stadium. This is one of the more affordable minor league stadiums in the Chicago area, featuring a deck right by the first base line and a pool for those hot summer days.
#4 Gary SouthShore RailCats
While the Cougars might get star power, the RailCats have the best record of any Chicagoland minor league team. They?ve went to the Northern League Championship many times in the mid 2000s, winning in 2005 and 2007. Their park, U.S. Steel Yard, is also conveniently right by the train station.
#5 Schaumburg Boomers
Replacing the Schaumburg Flyers, the Boomers emerged in 2012. They?re owned by the same man as the RailCats, but play in the Frontier League, so they won?t have to go up against each other. They had a great first season and are definitely worth seeing. Their stadium is also literally in the parking lot for the train station, so it?s also easy to get to.