You can start following the first ball expected to be used in tonight's first-ever Bradenton Marauders game at 4:30 p.m. when it leaves Pirate City (1701 27th St. E., Bradenton) aboard the Crewe of DeSoto Pirate Ship. From there, its schedule is:
4:45 p.m. Mixon Farms
5:15 p.m. Cody's Steakhouse
5:45 p.m. Cork's Cigar Bar
6:15 p.m. City Hall
6:30 p.m. Ship arrives at Stadium
6:45 p.m. Mayor Poston exits the ship, carries the ball to the pitcher's mound and throws the first pitch
A Marauders press release says: "The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and gates open at 6:00 p.m. The team will celebrate Thirsty Thursday with select draft beers and fountain sodas for one dollar and a spectacular Fireworks show will follow sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing."
This is the only first game the Marauders will ever play at McKechnie Field, which makes it a truly historic event here in Bradenton.
As of Wednesday, reports indicated that there were still plenty of tickets left. But the Florida Grapefruit League, in which the Marauders play, has a history of weak advance ticket sales and strong walk-up sales, so getting to the park early is probably a good idea.
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