JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Baseball is back in Jacksonville.
After a lost season due to the coronavirus pandemic and a mountain of changes after that, the Jumbo Shrimp kick off their 2021 season on Tuesday night in front of a sold-out crowd at 121 Financial Ballpark.
The Norfolk Tides are in town for a six-game homestand with the Jumbo Shrimp. The first pitch of the season was at 7:05 p.m.
There have been quite a few changes since the Jumbo Shrimp last played in a home game in Jacksonville.
For starters, the Jumbo Shrimp made the jump to Triple-A as Major League Baseball streamlined the minor league system. Jacksonville had played in the Double-A Southern League since 1970.
Coronavirus safety precautions are still in place, with a 45% capacity at the field. Fans were asked to wear masks.
Theresa Schneider said she’s been coming to the games for 15 years and was upset when last year’s season was cancelled.
“To be here on opening night is the best feeling,” Schneider said.
If fans didn’t have a ticket for Tuesday’s opener, they are available for the remaining five games of the series. The Jumbo Shrimp play Wednesday (1:05 p.m.), Thursday and Friday at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday at 3:05 p.m.
The Jumbo Shrimp return home May 25 for a six-game homestand against Durham.
The need to knows about the Jumbo Shrimp in 2021:
The promotion schedule
It’s always one of the highlights of minor league baseball. Check that list out.
Who are the players?
None of the players currently in Jacksonville are among MLB.com’s top 100 prospects, but they will eventually make their way here.
Pitchers (11): Parker Bugg, Daniel Castano, Brett Eibner, Jake Fishman, Braxton Garrett, Alexander Guillen, Preston Guilmet, Luis Madero, Shawn Morimando, Nick Neidert, Steven Okert, Cody Poteet, Josh A. Smith, Zach Thompson.
Catchers: Santiago Chavez, Brian Navarreto.
Infielders: Eddy Alvarez, Bryson Brigman, Lewin Díaz, Joe Dunand, Luis Marte.
Outfielders: Corey Bird, Brian Miller, Jesús Sánchez.
Who are the coaches?
Al Pedrique is the team’s manager, followed by Jeremy Powell (pitching coach), Phil Plantier (hitting coach) and Danny Black (defensive coach).
Who are their opponents this year?
The move from the Southern League means a new assortment of opponents. Jacksonville will face Charlotte, Durham, Gwinnett, Memphis, Nashville and Norfolk