Raptors Today… Dodgers Tomorrow…

Since 1939, the Ogden Raptors have had a presence in Ogden… and this year is no exception.  Our fabulous short-season Pioneer League has launched many great names in baseball.  In his coaching debut, Tommy Lasorda started in Ogden – and comes back for a few visits during the season.  We have been a L.A. Dodger franchise since 2003, after a long stint as a Milwaukee Brewers franchise.  Watching Prince Fielder hit a home run OVER the top of the scoreboard was still one of those moments that those in attendance won’t forget.  In recent years, we have watched several of our fabulous players make the climb to greatness – most recently Jerry Sands, who was playing in Ogden just two years ago. Gotta love it.

With about 36 home games, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun, and affordable fun at that.  Dave Baggott has done an excellent job of bringing a diverse selection of food to the ballpark that won’t break the bank.  Of course, many of us are thrilled with the wide selection of brews on draft, served by our ever-vigilant Kent.  Costa Vida brings some terrific sweet pork salad to the mix, and the barbecues at the Hard Ball Cafe in left field are always on…

Our ballplayers come from all over – as far away as Venezuela and the Dominican Republic – and as close as Ogden, and this year, Salt Lake.  In order to help out these players, a host family program was developed years ago.  Families take a player or two for the entire season, enabling them to concentrate on baseball, and not on housing issues.  Most of the players don’t have cars, so it’s helpful to have some flexibility … or an extra car … to assist them in getting to & from the park.   On Saturday home games, the host families have a tailgate party for the players – which, by the way, has resulted in a string of wins on tailgate nights.  Families all bring food & drink to share – and get some time to get to know the players.  This year, the construction of the IRS building led us to move the tailgate party to a coveted patio, just beyond centerfield, thanks to the generosity of Youth Impact.  What a GREAT deal this is – the barbecues, tables, shade & bathrooms make for the best location yet.

So grab your friends, your kids, your co-workers and head to the ballpark for a kickback evening of baseball, watching today’s Raptors turning into tomorrow’s Dodgers…

 

 

 

 

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