The Rocks return

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Good afternoon,

After a year in the Covid world and on Philllies’ opening day, I am determined not to take as many things for granted.

One of the things that had been on my back burner was the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

It’s hard to believe that the “High A” club, named after a team that went away in the 1950s will turn 30 years old in a couple of years.

The Blue Rocks stadium, the long-gone Big Kahuna nightspot, and a state-owned corporation jumpstarted $1 billion to more in development on the once woebegone Wilmington Riverfront.

Over the years, the Blue Rocks remain the model for a well-run minor league organization.

Except for an unfortunate year with the Boston Red Sox, the Rocks retained its affiliation with the Kansas City Royals, a well-run organization with a sound farm system. Many major league stars spent time with the Blue Rocks over the years.

Minor league baseball has taken a beating in the past year, with major league owners paring back their minor league affiliates.

Some of the cuts were necessary due to a decline in baseball’s popularity that dated before Covid. The Blue Rocks have not been immune to that trend but fought back with imaginative promotions.

It wasn’t as if the billionaire owners were showering minor league affiliates with subsidies and big salaries. Long bus rides, cheap hotels, and fast food payscales have always been a part of the long-shot journey to the bigs.

Luckily, the Blue Rocks made the cut and are now affiliated with another well-managed team, the World Series-winning Washington Nationals.

This week, the Blue Rocks announced a 2021 schedule that will include games at Judy Johnson Field at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium.

Attendance will be limited to 25 percent, at least in the early going under an agreement with the Delaware Division of Public Health.

All May 2021 home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19, at 10 a.m.

The Blue Rocks experience includes nonstop family-friendly promotions that may be a little different this year, although there will be plenty of entertainment. A list of ticketing FAQs is available here, and the Blue Rocks 2021 schedule is now available by clicking here.

I plan to catch a game or two at Johnson-Frawley this year before one of those sweat-drenched nights in July. A visit to Citizens Bank Park is up in the air unless they bring back a version of dollar dog night. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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