JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The end of an era is often overused in sports but tonight at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville it will be the beginning of the end of an era.
Peter Bragan Jr. enters his 31st and final year with the Suns tonight as the team opens the season at 7:05 vs. Jackson at the Baseball Grounds.
It's bittersweet," Bragan said. "But it's great. There is nothing like opening night. This is my 31st one and they all are wonderful."
His father, Peter Bragan Sr., bought the team in 1984 and the Bragans immediately became a fixture of the Jacksonville sports scene.
From Senior ringing the bell after wins to Pedro reciting Casey at the Bat for schoolkids, the family has always been a part of the town.
Under the Bragans' stewardship, the Suns led the Southern League in attendance for nine consecutive years (2003-2011). The team also won six championships in their 31 years as owners.
It will be a bittersweet moment when the season begins tonight according to Pedro. He may even shed a few tears.
"It's a little emotional," Bragan added. "I'm trying to take it all in and smell the roses. It's special, it's definitely special. It's great every year when you win that championship. I think we'll have a pretty good team and I'm excited."