Despite baseball's unofficial theme song, peanuts and crackerjacks were replacements for the original, mid-1850s snacks of heavily salted licorice and wooden chewin' slabs. Keep your family traditions classic, but not too classic, with today's Groupon: for $24, you get four MVP tickets to your choice of Stockton Ports home games July 16–18 and July 23–25 (up to a $48 value).
The Stockton Ports, a Class-A minor-league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, slug spheres and cater to the cheers of hometown spectators at the storied Banner Island Ballpark, a 5,200-seat outdoor stadium reminiscent of baseball’s early days. During July's second half, the Ports throw down the catcher's padded gauntlet against the Visalia Rawhide, affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Bakersfield Blaze, understudies of the Cincinnati Reds. MVP seats ($12 at the door, $11 in advance) afford a player’s-eye view of the base-spangled diamond from box seats directly behind home plate and extending toward both team benches.
Ballgame enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the game while following the emerging talent of future big-league stars—the team’s 70-year history has witnessed the launches of numerous major-league careers, such as those of Ben Sheets, Gary Sheffield, and Stomper the elephant. As fly balls blot out the sun, fans can take advantage of promotions, such as an appearance by Yo Gabba Gabba! on July 16, a Dallas Braden bobble-belly giveaway on July 17, a fireworks extravaganza on July 23, a card giveaway on July 24, and buckets of fresh air and stargazing every night.