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Video: Nearly 2400 fans shared historic "first pitch" moment with Bradenton Marauders Thursday evening


Thursday, April 8, was full of historic sports moments in Bradenton. The city's first 21st century minor league team (there was a minor league team called the Bradenton Growers that played here in the early 20th century) played its first game and managed to pull off not just a win but an 18-3 blowout.

A true miracle! And against a team called the Ft. Myers Miracle, at that.

We also saw two first pitches. The first was a ceremonial one by Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston. He didn't put much speed on the ball, but he managed to drill it right into the catcher's mitt, which made it an excellent pitch by ceremonial first-pitch standards. Yay, Mayor Poston!

The second first pitch was a real one, by right-hander Nathan Adcock -- who threw a beautiful, "right down the middle" strike. Yay, Adcock!

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Ft. Myers went ahead by two runs in the top of the second, but when Bradenton came to bat in the bottom of the inning, outfielder Quincy Latimore made another bit of history -- with the first Marauders hit, the first Marauders home run, and the first Marauders score. Three records in one!

The rest of the game was all Marauders, all the time. The final score was 18 - 3, Marauders. For more details, check the offical Marauders inning-by-inning recap and box scores.

Meanwhile, fans loved the cheap beer and sodas -- Marauders games feature $1 Budweiser and $1 Pepsi products every Thursday Night, and no concession item in the place is over $5.

Marauders general admission tickets are $6, and let you sit anywhere in the stadium except in a few seats reserved for season ticket holders -- and since at this point there are only about 200 season ticket holders, that means you can sit almost anywhere you like if you show up early enough (gates open an hour before game time) to grab your favorits seats before somebody else gets them.

There's some sort of promotion going on at every Marauders game from now until the August 30 end of the regular season. Will the number of fans at each game increase from the opening day total of under 2400? Or, without first-day excitement, will fewer people come to the ballpark as the season wears on?

The Bradenton Times will need to go to a lot of Marauders games to find out, won't we? So if you see us at the ballpark, please remember that we're there to work, not to have fun. [Editor's note: Yeah, right. You guys are something else...]



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