By Debbie Dakin
It was a beautiful summer evening Saturday, July 8 for sports fans to join in the Licking Community Night with the Springfield Cardinals. A large number of baseball lovers from the community took advantage of the great offer to enjoy the minor league team’s talent.
“The Springfield Cardinals actually approached me with the special offer,” said Kyle Smith, Licking Chamber President. “I agreed to the 100 ticket package and hoped to sell them all. At first it was a little slow but then I put up fliers and listed it on Facebook and they sold out pretty fast.”
The group was all seated in the same area down third base line. Even though that is considered the visitor’s side, our group was in the shade the entire evening and the view was great.
Brittany Tune got to throw out the first pitch. “I put everyone’s name in the hat that bought tickets,” stated Smith. “I pulled out Dustin Hernandez (her step-father) and he chose to give that special honor to Brittany.”
Brittany, her mother Delta, grandparents Stanley and Crystal Ritz, Kyle Smith and myself were escorted onto the field for Brittany to throw out the first pitch. Springfield Cardinals third baseman Casey Turgeon came out to catch the pitch and mascot Louie was there to cheer her on. Turgeon then signed the ball and presented it to Brittany as a memento.
“I chose to do this because I thought it would be a good outing for the Licking community,” said Smith. “It’s a nice park and easy to get to. The atmosphere is good and not like in St. Louis. I saw several other people there from Licking who weren’t even part of our group. Everyone there seemed to have a good time.”
What made the evening even more enjoyable was watching the Springfield Cardinals defeat the Frisco Rough Riders 11 to 4.