It's that time of year again.
The summer league Mankato Moondogs take the field in their home opener tonight.
The field crew put in a tough four hours to get the field ready after this afternoon's downpour, just in time for the crowds eager for the start of the Northwoods League season.
New Moondogs owner Mark Ogren says, "It's a small, comfy feel - this is my first Moondogs game and I couldn't be more excited about this."
The ball field experience comes complete with grilled meat, merchandise and Annie's popcorn... among other hallmarks of America's pastime.
There's also the product on the field.
Moondogs manager Mike Orchard says, "We've got a really good roster, a lot of good players. It depends on who emerges. Two years ago we had a guy from Utah who was the MVP of the league hitting twenty home runs, a couple guys went into the top three rounds of the draft. You never know who's going to emerge in the summertime."
The summer league brings in top college ball players from throughout the country for a grueling seventy plus game schedule, giving the crowd the opportunity to see future stars in the making.
Former Twins All-Star Jeff Reardon says, "I went to UMass at Amherst and was lucky enough to play three years in the Cape cod League and I always say if I didn't play there, I probably wouldn't have gotten noticed."
The Moondogs Opening Day special guest was former Twins All-Star Jeff Reardon, throwing out the first pitch, and the Riverblenders provided the national anthem.
A great way to kick off what's fast becoming a Mankato summer tradition, and great night out for the family.