California's major league baseball teams head into the last month of the regular season with two of them -- the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers -- very much in the postseason hunt. For California's minor league teams, Labor Day marked the end of the regular season.
These teams serve as a training ground for players who hope to make it to the big league team they're affiliated with -- and a place for players who are on major league rosters to rehab from an injury or get some extra time to work on their game. But minor league teams also have to succeed as local businesses independent of their parent club. And that can be tricky.
The Fresno Grizzlies had a particularly challenging task at the end of the 2014 season. After many years as the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, the Grizzlies lost that status in an affiliation reshuffle. Instead, they became part of the Houston Astros organization. Without a nearby major league club to draw fans from, the team needed to emphasize their Fresno identity. That's where Grizzlies' marketing director Sam Hansen came in -- with tacos.
After a successful taco-themed event last year, this year the team took it up several notches. As Hansen told the Fresno Bee, "What really made me want to do a taco truck event was how passionate people are about taco trucks here and the geographical relevance. There's a good chance you could prove taco trucks were invented in Central California."