Considering a road trip to watch the Triple-A Nationals? Here's everything you need for a baseball weekend in Fresno, California.
Lots of baseball fans like to travel around the country to see minor league ball over the summer, especially in the cities that their favorite big league team has an affiliate. It’s a chance to see the future, the next generation that will eventually matriculate to a big league park near you.
So for those raising their eyebrows at the prospect of going to watch the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the Nationals, what should they do?
Few people understand what makes Fresno, Fresno like Yahoo! Sports baseball writer Mike Osegueda, better known as Mike Oz. So how does he think people should experience Fresno?
“Number one is eat tacos,” said Oz. “Do not go to a chain, or even a sit down restaurant. Find a good taqueria, a good taco truck — there’s literally hundreds of them — and experience the Fresno taco life.”
Grizzlies director of marketing Sam Hansen agrees.
“If you really want the Fresno experience, eat at a taco truck,” he said.
This isn’t surprising once you understand that Oz and Hansen were the minds behind the wildly successful Taco Truck Throwdown promotion. What was once a one-night event featuring seven trucks selling their little vessels of meaty goodness for local bragging rights has turned into an entire team and city identity. The team changed its name for a day to the Fresno Tacos in 2015, and now plays as the alternate every Tuesday home game (yes, Taco Tuesday). The uniforms are popular enough that opposing teams have requested Fresno bring them along, to Albuquerque in 2017, New Orleans in 2018, and El Paso this year.
One of the first things you see when stepping off the plane in Fresno is a taco truck, Runway Tacos, right there in the airport. One of the last things you see when you leave is the taco trucks, not on every corner, but on any given corner, at any time.
But there is more to Fresno’s food scene than just that. Tri-tip steak is the local favorite cut of meat, a low-fat, flavorful, blue-collar steak. Some locals will insist that a trip to Fresno isn’t complete without a visit to Dog House Grill, up by the Fresno State campus to get some.
Most locals insist that as long as you’re here, you might as well make it to one of the nearby National Parks, that’s factored that into the guide.
But if you’re looking for a non-baseball distraction closer to home, there is also a wine region in Fresno and Madera counties. There are plenty to choose from, with locations like San Joaquin Winery, which focuses more on grapes grown locally, and CRU Winery, which leans more on the traditional wine valleys further north for their bottles.