| Visalia Times-Delta
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that one of the biggest recent sports and business stories in Central California is the unpretentious relegation of Frenno’s minor baseball teams from the AAA league to the Low Single-A.
The humble movement shows itself once again while Fresno can be bigger and have an airport that has room for jumbo jets, Visalia has much more to offer than Fresno, despite the much smaller population.
(Visalia’s 133,000 inhabitants compared to Fresno’s 530,000. And if you throw Clovis, which Fresno surrounds like a hungry amoeba, balloons the metro population to 642,000.)
We at the Visalia Times-Delta / Tulare Advance Register – OK, it’s just me – have five good reasons why Visalia will always be better than Fresno at watching baseball in the minor leagues, having a meal at a local eatery or just about anything. other.
5.) Our politicians are more fun. Yes, we know most elected officials are clowns, but did you know that Visalia’s own former mayor and current Tulare County Supervisor Board Amy Shuklian was once an honest stand-up comedian? At least when you are stuck in meetings with the jokers in local authorities, you will be entertained in Visalia. Can you see the elected mayor Jerry Dyer cracking an effective joke? I do not think.
4.) Visalia’s Rec Park is a better place for a Single-A baseball game than Chukchanski Park. During most AAA games in the center of Fresno Ballpark, the stadium lacked some energy due to both the sparse crowd and the large capacity (almost 11,000) of the ballpark. Now that the Fresno Grizzlies have been relegated to the same level as the scratchy and smaller Visalia Rawhide, Fresno’s albatross in a stadium will simply feel cavernous. It is as if Fresno – in its endless attempts at overcompensation – overdressed into an informal party and now slips into the corner and seems moody and out of place. Rec Park knows its place: intimate, friendly and not full of itself.
3.) Sequoia Shuttle Vs. Find out for yourself, buddy! Visalia, the gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, offers the convenient and easy Sequoia Shuttle, which whips riders from downtown to Visalia’s beautiful backyard. You just sit back and enjoy nature and let someone else drive.
Want to get to Yosemite from downtown Fresno? Hire a car buddy and stop bugging Fresno with stupid questions. Oh, you can take YARTS – which sounds like a result of a bad case of food poisoning – but you have to travel from Fresno-Yosemite airport or a random bus stop in northwest Fresno. Talk about disadvantage.
2.) Visalia’s culinary scene. Sure, the global pandemic has hit Visalia’s vibrant local restaurant scene. But the COVID-19 crisis will pass, our restaurants will no doubt return, and Fresno will remain, you know, Fresno.
It is no coincidence that Rand McNally once named Visalia one of America’s best small towns for food. It’s world class Vintage Press, by far the best restaurant between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fresno’s answer? Tight chains like Cheesecake Factory.
No Fresno lunch spot can hold a candle to Watson’s Veggie Garden’s delightful offerings. What about breakfast? Head over to Visalias Valhalla where they have been serving their wonderful Ebel writers for 30 years. Fresno’s answer: Slim down to IHOP with your head in shame.
Fancy a cocktail before dinner? You will not find a better libation than Jack & Charlie’s strawberry basil martini or Vieux Carre at a Fresno bar, thank you very much.
So, zip it, Fresno. You know that Visalia has it all over you in a culinary setting.
And the reason No. 1: Downtown Visalia vs. Downtown Fresno: No, you just did not walk into an episode of “The Walking Dead”, you are in downtown Fresno after 6pm on a Friday or Saturday night before or after a baseball game!
Now Visalia’s thriving city center contrasts as you emerge from a baseball game at Rec Park: restaurants full of people. Live music at The Cellar Door or Crawdaddy’s. A concert at Visalia Fox. An art gallery reception at Arts Visalia. A wide selection of shops selling everything from antiques to fashion. The center of Visalia has the center of Fresno beating in every way.
When minor league baseball does not return – hopefully in the spring of 2021 if the pandemic allows it – it is clear which community is better placed to enjoy a game: Visalia, where America’s pastimes are welcome, whether it is AAA or Single-A.