MOOSIC — Thousands of fans at PNC Field on Thursday were given the red carpet treatment for the inaugural game of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
As part of a night packed with festivities, fans entered the stadium on a red carpet as the theme of the night was a Hollywood movie premier.
While fans were given the royal treatment, executives of the RailRiders were dressed in tuxedos greeting those who entered the stadium making the night feel even more like it’s a special occasion.
In addition to the red carpet, there were cardboard cutouts of famous Hollywood actors all over the newly-renovated $43 million project.
Prior to entering the stadium, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held with team president and general manager Rob Crain proclaiming
“Welcome to our new home. Now, come on in.”
While there were no big time Hollywood actors like the cardboard cutouts, there were several big names on hand throwing out ceremonial first pitches prior to the game.
None were bigger than Yankee Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who ended the parade of several pitchers. Jackson wore a Yankees jacket and a maroon RailRiders cap. .
Jackson was preceded in first pitches by former Penn State quarterback and Scranton native Matt McGloin and former Red Barons manager Marc Bombard among others. Name the team winners and name the mascot winners were also involved in the ceremonies.
International League president Randy Mobley and Minor League Baseball president, Pat O’Conner were also part of the pregame festivities.
The anticipation for the naming of the mascots was over fairly early in the pregame festivities before the first pitches were thrown.
The porcupine was named Quills, while the superhero’s name was given the moniker Mr. Incredible.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
The first hit in RailRiders history went to second baseman Corban Joseph, who roped a single to right field in the bottom of the first. He was also credited for scoring the first run later in the frame coming home on a run-scoring single by Melky Mesa, who marked the first RB I.
The first home run at the restructured park belongs to Pawtucket’s Brandon Snyder.
A GUARANTEE GONE WRONG
Last week, Crain guaranteed that the temperature would reach 60 degrees for Thursday’s opener.
While the weather was much nicer than several previous days, the temperature did not get to 60, falling a few degrees shy. Therefore fans who attended the game will receive a free ticket to any Sunday through Thursday game the rest of the season. Be sure to keep your opening day tickets to verify you were at the game.