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Mark McCarter has written “Pandamonium: Engineering Pro Baseball’s Return to the Rocket City.” CONTRIBUTED

Patriots And Jets Baseball To Play Part In Toyota Field Ribbon Cutting

MADISON- The Rocket City Trash Pandas have announced details for the ribbon-cutting of Toyota Field scheduled for Monday, April 6, which will also include games featuring both the Bob Jones and James Clemens baseball teams playing in a doubleheader.

Bob Jones will host Hartselle High at 4:00 p.m. with James Clemens facing Austin High in the second of the two-game festivity. Admission is $6 with parking set at $3. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in between the games of the doubleheader.

“It’s a huge honor to be able to be one of the first teams to play at Toyota Field, new home of the Trash Pandas,” said Jared Smith head coach of Bob Jones. “Our guys are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in such a nice facility.”

Johnny Johnson, head coach of James Clemens, added, “We are very appreciative of the chance the Trash Pandas organization is providing us and we look forward to working with them in the future to continue to promote baseball in Madison and North Alabama. What an exciting opportunity for our players, coaches and fans to be able to participate in an important area contest and be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Toyota Field.”

Bob Jones is coming off its state runner-up play of a season ago where the Patriots went 42-10. They return seven starters including five who were All-State selections after the 2019 campaign.

James Clemens was 20-17 last season and will bring to the new field team speed, and an up-tempo, high-pressure type of a team, which has 13 seniors on its roster.

“This schedule of baseball and festivities comprises a very special day for everyone who has been involved with the team and venue since the ground-breaking nearly two years ago,” said Ralph Nelson, Trash Pandas President and CEO. “One cannot imagine how thrilled our organization is for this day.”

The doubleheader will wrap up a series of games slated for Toyota Field before the Trash Pandas officially open their inaugural season April 15.

There will be four college games and one high school game played at Toyota Field in March. UAH will host Montevallo in a three-game Gulf South Conference series March 20-21. The next day, March 22, Alabama A&M will take on arch-rival Alabama State in a Southwestern Athletic Conference single game. On March 28, Grissom High will tangle with Decatur High.

“The Trash Pandas are going to be great for the game of baseball in North Alabama and we are extremely blessed that they want to include the local high schools in their ribbon-cutting ceremonies,” said Smith. “The state championship series is also held in a Double-A park similar to Toyota Field, so this is a good opportunity for our guys to play on a similar field in a similar stadium in that type of atmosphere.”

The Rocket City Trash Pandas is set for its home opener versus the Mississippi Braves at Toyota Field. Season tickets, mini-plans and group outings are on sale now. Details can be found at www.trashpandasbaseball.com.

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