This Thursday, baseball returns to Savannah with a 6:30 game against the Augusta Green Jackets. The Sand Gnats just signed a two year extension as the affiliate of the New York Mets in the South Atlantic League. The Green Jackets are Single-A for the San Francisco Giants.
The April 9th game will feature a South Atlantic League tradition, 'Thirsty Thursday,' two for one Budweiser beers and Cokes. There will also be plenty of mischief between innings and it will be caped off with a fire works celebration after the game. I have not missed an Opening Day in Savannah, since 1995, when I took a road trip to Atlanta to see the Braves host the San Francisco Giants for their Opening Day ceremonies.
Last year, the Gnats missed the playoffs with a record of 61-76. This year they will have 72 games at Grayson Stadium. Last year, I was able to attend 15 games, mostly with friends from Hilton Head Island.
This year's team should be competitive, they have two 17 year olds anchoring the left-side of the infield. One of them, Wilmer Flores, is regarded as one of the best prospects in the Mets organization. He played extremely well at shortstop for the Kingsport Mets. The other hot prospect, Jefry Marte, hit .325 in the Gulf Coast League. There are four additional prospects that were taken in the first ten rounds of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft.
For the complete 2009 schedule, please click the link below; http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t543