Minor League teams prepare for total solar eclipse

April 5th, 2024

This is an excerpt from the latest edition of the Ben's Biz Beat Newsletter, bringing Minor League Baseball business and culture news to your inbox each and every Thursday. Check out the full newsletter HERE.

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse makes its way across the country, moving from southwest Texas to northeastern Maine over the course of the afternoon. A number of Minor League teams are located within the path of totality, an area that experiences total darkness as the moon obscures the sun.

The bad news: Monday is an off day in Minor League Baseball, and, with one exception, there will not be games played in conjunction with the eclipse.

The good news: A number of teams are utilizing their ballparks as eclipse viewing areas, with several of them staging eclipse-themed promos the weekend prior. Put on your protective glasses and take a look at what’s going on:

Arkansas Travelers (Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners)
Total Eclipse of the Park, April 6-8
Total Darkness:
1:51 CT
The Little Rock-based Travelers kick off their season at home against Springfield on Friday, April 5. On the 6th and 7th, the team will wear eclipse-themed jerseys that feature an interlocking LR emblazoned atop a sun-blocking moon. Otey, the team’s possum mascot and presumed astronomy buff, is featured on the left sleeve. On the 8th, the team’s home of Dickey-Stephens Park will open its gates for a "Total Eclipse of the Park" viewing party.

Lake County Captains (High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians)
Total Eclipse Weekend, April 6-8
Total Darkness:
3:14 CT
Need a place to stay after watching the eclipse? Hotels are booked, but there is a Minor League ballpark available. The Captains, located in the Cleveland suburb of Eastlake, Ohio, have put their home of Classic Park on Airbnb for the night of April 8. Take in the eclipse and then, that night, sleep in the visiting clubhouse. Perks include batting cage access, nighttime mini golf and a "heartwarming bedtime story" from team mascot Skipper. This exclusive offer, which can be yours for a mere (or whopping) $5,000, comes on the heels of the Captains’ season-opening series against South Bend. On April 6 and 7 the team will wear blackout jerseys, but images of these jerseys are not available (perhaps because they cannot be seen).

Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)
Playing as the Rochester Moon Rocs, April 5-7; Solarpalooza, April 8
Total Darkness:
3:20 ET
Rochester’s Innovative Field will host Solarpalooza on April 8, promising a "stellar lineup of entertainment, activities and celestial delights." Such delights include, but are not limited to, live music, space-themed concession specials and autograph sessions with Red Wings players and mascots. Prior to Solarpalooza, the Red Wings will play three games as the Moon Rocs. Their opponent, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, will suit up as the Space Pigs. (Space Pigs hail from the Planet of the Oinks.)

Syracuse Mets (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets)
Total Eclipse of the Park, April 8
Total Darkness:
3:23 ET
The Syracuse Mets are the only Minor League team in the path of the eclipse who will be hosting a game on Monday, taking on the Worcester Red Sox at 5:05. Gates open at 2, with total darkness overtaking NBT Bank Stadium at 3:23. Fans will then have an hour and a half to contemplate the beauty and mystery of what they witnessed before it’s time to play ball. Both teams will be off the following day, resuming their six-game series on Wednesday.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a great Opening Day for every team at the Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels. Get in touch: [email protected].