Trash Pandas End 2021 Season-Season A Huge Success-Plans For 2022 Underway
MADISON- The inaugural 2021 season of the Rocket City Trash Pandas is over. The team cancelled the final four games of the schedule due to COVID protocol, thus ending the campaign for the new team at Toyota Field.
“The one takeaway from the season I’ll always remember is the group of players in the clubhouse were phenomenal human beings,” said Jay Bell, manager of the Trash Pandas. “It was certainly a strange finish to the season, but we did win our last game of the season.”
The Trash Pandas defeated Pensacola 4-0 on Wednesday night before 5,303 fans at Toyota Field not knowing the contest would be the final game of the 2021 campaign. Starting pitcher Christopher Molina threw eight scoreless innings for the victory against the Blue Wahoos thus snapping a season-long eight-game losing streak. The final standings have the Trash Pandas with a 54-56 record, four games behind North Division leading Birmingham.
In all, 61 players wore the Trash Pandas uniform this season with 10 being promoted to the Major Leagues.
“To start this franchise the way this organization did took everybody to be involved and it showed how much the people were passionate about the start up,” added Bell. “I am very impressed with the Rocket City fans. They appreciated what has been done here with the limitations they had. The front office did a great job and I’m proud of the players who were put here by the Angels (parent team) and they represented the Angels and Trash Pandas in a positive way.”
Garrett Fahrman, general manager of the franchise said of the 2021season, “There was nothing predictable. Whether it was COVID, weather, staffing, supply chain issues or others, we just kept dodging bullets and making adjustments on the fly.”
In all, nearly 300,000 fans walked through the turnstiles at Toyota Field for the 52 home games where the Trash Pandas posted a 30-22 mark while the team was 24-34 on the road. The attendance was tops in the league and tenth among all of Minor League Baseball. The 152 homeruns the team mustered at the plate led the Double-A South League while their .240 batting average was third. Their pitchers tossed 1,112 strikeouts which was second best in the league. The Trash Pandas gave up 126 dingers, which was third lowest among the league. Individually, third baseman Mitch Nay (106 games) tied for the league lead with 23 homers while David MacKinnon (99 games) was tops in RBIs with 65 and doubles with 30.
One new item already set for the 2022 season is the team will raise the backstop netting to make it safer for our fans in the suite level. At this juncture, no other huge capitol improvements will be made during the off season.
“We had the most amazing fans this season as they just kept coming out, rain or shine, win or lose, and kept supporting the players and showing what this community is all about,” said Fahrmann. “I can’t wait for the 2022 season.”
“I enjoyed every moment of it and the players thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” added Bell. “I couldn’t have asked for a better summer.”