Hope you’re ready for an extra-long seventh-inning stretch because Minor League Baseball is back after a season off due to COVID-19. This summer brings the long-awaited return of home runs and strikeouts (plus hot dogs and Cracker Jacks) while cheering on three Alabama minor league baseball teams. With a near-five-month schedule running from early May through mid-September, you’ll have plenty of chances to root for your favorite team, whether at home or on the road. Before buying your tickets, here are some fun facts about Alabama’s favorite baseball teams.

Birmingham Barons

Birmingham’s home team takes on its eighth season at Regions Field in the heart of downtown’s Parkside District. Attendees can look forward to pre- or post- game brews at nearby Good People Brewing or newly opened Monday Night Brewing. Bring your appetite when you come to the ballpark. Concessions offer creative menu items like Nashville hot chicken mac and cheese and a Smokehouse burger featuring a pretzel bun, plus onion rings, bacon, and barbecue sauce toppings. If you go on a Tuesday, hotdogs are sold for just $1 and on Thursdays, select beer is only $2. Friday and Saturday night games feature fireworks. 

Affiliate: Chicago White Sox

Founding: 1885

Fun fact: Michael Jordan’s foray into baseball was with the Barons for the 1994 season. 

Locals love: Costumed character racing between a hot dog, taco, and a chef. Spoiler: The hot dog always wins. 

Montgomery Biscuits

Though the team was founded in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, our beloved Biscuits weren’t fully raised until they moved to Montgomery in 2004. Housed in a converted century-old train shed, Riverwalk Stadium can hold 7,000 fans and is a centerpiece of Montgomery’s downtown. Fans can walk to the nearby riverfront before or after a game, and families will enjoy the children’s splash park on hot summer days. Looking for a uniquely Alabama experience? A Biscuits game is your best shot, literally—biscuits are often shot out of air cannons into the crowd during games. 

Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays

Founding: 2004

Fun fact: The team’s official colors are Butter and Blue.  

Locals love: A full-service bar located down the first-base line called the Club Car Bar.  

Rocket City Trash Pandas

The new kid on the block, Huntsville’s home team was slated to make their debut last year but was delayed due to the pandemic. The team will kick off its inaugural season at Toyota Field in Madison on Tuesday, May 11 against the Tennessee Smokies. Festivities will include a firework display and a Toyota Field replica giveaway, among other activities. The Trash Pandas are a relocation of the Mobile Bay Bears minor league team which played in Mobile from 1997 to 2019. 

Affiliate: Los Angeles Angels

Founding: 2020

Fun fact: Toyota Field will operate as a 100 percent cashless stadium and debut Trash Cash cards as a payment option, in addition to traditional credit and debit cards. 

Locals love: The team’s quirky name that honors the city’s thriving space industry and the determination and ingenuity of raccoons, which are native to the area.