Trash Pandas 2022 Home Opener A Huge Success
MADISON- Mother Nature had thoughts of dampening the plans first placed on the drawing board a year ago for the 2022 home opener of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, but the more than 5,600 in attendance along with the vast number of employees, special guests and members of both the Trash Pandas and the visiting Blue Wahoos from Pensacola wouldn’t have anything of the sort. Instead, the gray skies never turned to liquid and the two teams played to a thrilling nine-inning contest in the first home game of the home team’s schedule at Toyota Field.
Despite a ninth inning homer that handed the Trash Pandas its first loss of the 2022 season, the wonderous crowd announced to be 5,629 experienced a wonderful evening of both baseball and fun.
Pregame festivities included introduction of both teams, the ceremonial first-pitch by former Madison Academy, Auburn University and current NFL free agent Kerryon Johnson and the playing of the National Anthem by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra with a fly over by the 160th Night Stalkers Military Group. The entire stadium crowd stood in awe of the helicopters that made their way from centerfield straight over home plate just yards from the top of Toyota Field.
Following the game, a dazzling fireworks display lite up the Rocket City sky, presented by Booz Allen Hamilton.
In between the first pitch and the final out, Sprocket, the Trash Pandas very popular and loved mascot made his way around the 360-degree trip from behind home plate through the outfield pavilions back to confines of the backbone of the stadium. All the while fans of all ages having their picture taken with the lovable mascot.
As was shown during last year’s inaugural season of the Trash Pandas, one of the better attributes of Toyota Field is the fact all the eatery locations within the facility are still within eyesight of the action on the field. Patron’s patiently wait their spot in line to purchase their favorite ballpark food and beverage and never miss a pitch on the field.
Visiting Pensacola rallied with two runs in the seventh and former Trash Pandas infielder Luis Aviles, Jr. led off the ninth inning with a line drive home run to left giving the Blue Wahoos the 4-3 one-run victory. The home fans were disappointed in the outcome of the game, but none were disappointed in what promises to be another outstanding season of professional baseball and the trips out to the old ballpark.