Earlier this season, I attended a game at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. AutoZone Park is home to the St. Louis Cardinals minor league class AAA affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. The Redbirds were playing fellow Pacific Coast League team, the Fresno Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are the San Francisco Giants class AAA affiliate.
I was able to get very good seats, right behind home plate. Obviously, these prime seats cost far less in the minors than at the Major League level. With a capacity of roughly 14,000, there was not a bad seat in the entire place.
AutoZone Park is a very nice stadium, located in the heart of Memphis. The park seemed like a miniature Major League Baseball stadium, except there was all grass and no seats behind the left field fence. It was a pretty good atmosphere, but since it was a day game, maybe not as good as it could have been at night.
There were not a lot of activities going on outside the stadium, as has become commonplace at many major and minor league parks. Since Memphis’s famous Beale Street is only three blocks from AutoZone Park, I'm sure fans are more apt to go there before and after games, instead of needing to hang around the park itself.
Going into the game, the only player I knew was Giants prospect Brandon Belt. Belt didn't disappoint, hitting a grand slam that unfortunately nailed a woman in the head. She was taken off on a stretcher. I never heard what actually happened to her, so I hope she was alright.
Soon after that game, Belt was called up for a brief stint in the majors with the Giants. After being sent back to the minors, Belt was recalled to the big club and on Tuesday, he belted a tiebreaking two-run double to defeat the Dodgers in his first game back since the call up.
I definitely enjoyed my trip to AutoZone Park. The stadium possesses a unique minor league charm, plus fans might get to see a big prospect making his way to the big leagues.