March 31st, 2012
The home opener for the West Michigan Whitecaps is scheduled for April 9, against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting a ballpark game ready after it’s been dormant for the winter months. Even though the weather has seemed to revert back to its ‘winterish’ form here in Michigan, about a week about we had record highs in the upper 70’s-lower 80’s. That’s just unbelievable weather for Michigan in March, and helped speed up the process of getting Fifth Third Ballpark ready for opening day. The grounds crew was able to take off the 35 tarps that cover the playing surface during the winter months. These guys work tirelessly to ensure that the ball field is in pristine order when it’s game time. I’m hoping that the weather warms back up some, especially for our first ‘Caps game on April 11.
With the new scoreboard and video board in place, the next project for the Whitecaps staff was putting the new stadium sign up. This sign towers above the 131 highway that cuts through the heart of Michigan, and either welcomes, or says goodbye to travellers entering or leaving Grand Rapids from the north end. The new sign looks great, and I can’t wait to see it in all it’s glory in a few weeks. At least the crew and staff have more time to get things ready than the actual team, who breaks camp on April 1, and has its first game on April 5 on the road!
Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press