The smell of fresh cut grass was in the air as fans gathered for the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ Open House this past weekend.
“It looks like we’ve got a completely new team from last year,” said Mary Bueckert as she checked out this year’s roster. “There are only six names that I recognize from last year.”
Bueckert, a long-time baseball fan since her early teens, came down to check out what this year’s roster looks like, and she seemed pretty positive.
“It looks good,” said Bueckert. “I’m watching some of these hitters and I am impressed. I’m amazed at where some of these balls are going.”
Fans were happy with how hitters were connecting with the ball during batting practice. /JEFF SCHULTZ
Marlene Wright, a season ticket holder for the past 17 years, said there is plenty of excitement for the upcoming season, which begins with an exhibition home opener against the Fargo-Moorehead Red Hawks, Tue. May 10, 6 p.m. at Shaw Park, as well as a return engagement on Wed. May 11 also at 6 p.m.
Wright said one of her favourite things about coming to Goldeyes’ games is getting to know so many people.
“In the section where I sit there is a lot of the players’ families, so you get to know them,” said Wright. “I’ve made some great friends here.”
While Wright might enjoy the socializing aspects before and after the game, she explained she’s a pretty serious fan.
“Everybody knows that if they come to the game with me, don’t talk to me because I have my radio on the whole time and I don’t talk during the game,” Wright said.
“That’s why I come an hour before, I get my visiting done and then I get to watch the game.”
She added she likes to listen to the radio broadcast of the game from the stands, so as not to miss any of the action.
This season marks the first of a three-year deal that will have CJNU 93.7 FM broadcasting all home and away Goldeyes games live on radio, as well as streaming them live on CJNU.ca
Of course, team mascots Goldie and Goldette were a big hit with the fans at the Open House. They spent the day handing out hugs, posing for selfies and signing jerseys.
“These are players signatures from the last few years,” said Darryl Thiessen as he explained the origin of the signatures on his jersey.
“It’s been nice to be able to come out to the ball park, get pictures with the players and to get to talk to them as well.”
Stan Leylarsen, another long-time Goldeyes fan, took a moment next to the CJNU booth to talk about watching the park grow over the past 16 seasons.
“It was considerably smaller,” said Leylarsen. “If you turn around and look, do you see where Q is? That’s where the park used to end. Now they could put 10,000 people in here,” he added.
“It’s a great time, just to be able to spend the afternoon and enjoy the sunshine and the play,” said Peter Warkentin, proudly sporting a t-shirt that states he was the 5,000,000th Goldeyes fan.
“We’ve got a bunch of new guys so it’ll be interesting to see what happens,” said Warkentin. “But win, lose or draw, I just enjoy being out here.”
To attend a goldeyes game, visit goldeyes.com for ticket and schedule information.
You can also listen live to every Goldeyes game on CJNU 93.7 FM on your radio dial or streaming live at CJNU.ca