ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When the Red Wings take the field on Tuesday, it’ll end a stretch of 610 days without Rochester baseball.
The team begins their season on the road against Lehigh Valley, a season that is their first as a Washington Nationals’ affiliate.
“The front office [in Rochester] has been outstanding so far,” said Nationals Assistant GM Mark Scialabba. “Very professional and first-class in everything they’ve done for us so far, so we’re really excited to partner with them.”
While most of the team is new to Rochester, manager Matt LeCroy is returning to the Flower City. He played for the Red Wings in 2007 and knows firsthand how loyal the fans can be.
“I had a terrible year here but the people here were great,” said LeCroy. “Just the atmosphere that [general manager Dan Mason] and [the front office] create here. All of the community how they get involved. That’s what excites me the most.”
“Any time you get to come to a new area, meet new people, new fans, it’s always enjoyable getting to play in front of new faces,” said Red Wings third baseman Carter Kieboom. “That’s just what we’re excited to do this year.”
For most of the Red Wings, they’ll be playing on a real team for the first time in nearly two years. Just like many people, these players had their dreams and their careers put on pause. That ends now.
“They’ve been out of the game for a while. It was taken away from them and now got a chance to ramp it up and hopefully get a chance to play at the highest level and that’s the big leagues,” said LeCroy. “I’m looking forward to it, I really am. This is going to be a challenging but unique year but I know these guys are ready to go.”
“The key is to not try and overdo it right out of the gate,” said Red Wings starting pitcher Sean Nolin. “Obviously, give your 100%. Number one, focus is important and then number two, don’t go overboard.”
The Red Wings will begin their season with two series on the road and will be back here at Frontier Field for the first time welcoming fans back on Tuesday, May 18th.
About 3,000 fans will be allowed at Frontier Field to start the season. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 10th at 10:00 a.m.