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The second season of the Rocket City Trash Pandas was a rousing success with the team having one of the best records in all Minor League Baseball. The players may now be away from Madison for the off-season, but Toyota Field remains a hotbed of activity. Photo- Bob Labbe

The State Of The Rocket City Trash Pandas 2022

MADISON- The Rocket City Trash Pandas are alive and well this off-season after a stellar on-field 2022 campaign where the team posted one of the best records in all Minor League Baseball.

As for what’s happening now with the Southern League Champions, the players have traveled home in preparation for their next stops in their careers, so the team organization continues to keep busy with lots of activities at Toyota Field.

Baseball Season

At Toyota Field the Trash Pandas, minor league team of the Los Angeles Angels, finished with a 49-20 record while posting a 32-27 mark on the road. Overall, the team was 81-57 and finished 9.5 games in first place. Over 12 series, Rocket City was undefeated winning 10 series and splitting two at Toyota Field.

Team statistics included the top in the league: record 81-57, 10 shutouts, 683 runs scored, 618 base-on-balls and 1,355 strikeouts. The pitching staff recorded 1,270 strikeouts, which was third in the league with a 4.41 ERA, but gave up the most homers with 160.

Additional hitting numbers for the season included 1,124 hits (second), 143 homers and a .251 batting average.

The sour note to what was a marvelous 2022 season was the fact the Trash Pandas surprisingly lost in the first round of the post-season playoffs.

Individual awards also greeted the Trash Pandas. In just his second season as a professional manager, Andy Schatzley, 39, was named the league’s Manager of the Year while Eric Torres was tabbed Reliever of the Year. Over 42 relief outings Torres went 2-2 with a 1.59 ERA recording 22 saves in 23 opportunities. His 22 saves not only led the Southern League, but also set a new Angels’ Double-A record.

Trash Pandas’ centerfielder Bryce Teodosio made his presence known by being selected as one of the finalists for Minor League Baseball Play of the Year. The 23-year old made a dazzling diving catch against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sept. 7. The 6-3, 220 former Clemson player dove while on a full sprint on a liner in the gap between center and left fields. He stretched out and snatched the ball with his gloved right hand.

Attendance/Concessions

For the second straight season the Trash Pandas led the Southern League in attendance by averaging over 5,000 fans per home game. Over one-third of a million fans walked through the gates at Toyota Field during the 2022 season. Total home attendance was 327,0007 averaging 5,031 each time the home team took to the field.

The home game average was more than 700 per outing over runner-up Tennessee Smokies.

Now for some fun facts of those attending games in 2022. According to the concession team operating Toyota Field, fans were big eaters and heavy on the beverages this past season. Here is a short rundown of some of the items sold at the concession areas: 26,000 soft pretzels, 110,058 individual chicken tenders, 21,000 hot dogs (not counting the picnic and hospitality spaces), 58,862 16 oz. draft beers and 1.5-million ounces of soft drinks. All-in-all, 2022 was a good year for the fans attending and the business end of operating Toyota Field.

2023 Tickets

Mini plans and single game tickets for the 2023 season are available. Tickets can be purchased on-line at the Trash Pandas’ website or in person at the Wicks Family Foundation Ticket Office at Toyota Field and at the Trash Pandas Emporium at Bridge Street Town Centre.

The Trash Pandas’ 69-game home schedule kicks off on Thursday, April 6 at Toyota Field. One highlight of the upcoming season is the Trash Pandas will host a game on July 4, which will fall on a Tuesday in 2023.

One new major promotion for 2023 will be all you can eat Wednesdays, which includes a selection of unlimited foods such as hot dogs, burgers, fries, nachos and fountain drinks.

Non-Profit Foundation

In its inaugural year, the Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation raised more than $150-thousand in donations for non-profit organization across the Tennessee Valley as the organization is dedicated to educating and promoting healthy lifestyles through sport and to positively impact communities in the region. The donations were fueled by fundraising events including Game-Worn Jersey Auctions, Community Clubhouse Sales, Youth Camps and the Trash Pandas Food & Beverage Volunteer Program.

The Foundation looks forward to continuing their work in the local community in 2023 and is led by Director of Community Relations Madison Kendrick who has been with the team since 2020

Christmas Light Show

The biggest holiday celebration in North Alabama has returned for its third year as the Trash Pandas hosts its Christmas Light Show and Winter Wonderland at Toyota Field until Jan. 1 of the New Year. Over 45,000 vehicles of families have attended the Christmas event over the last two years and this year is expected to be even bigger.

Guests can drive through the enchanted North Pole-themed mile and a half trek that features hundreds of thousands of lights for $30 per car or $60 for passenger vans or larger vehicles. The festivities of lights are held each night, rain or shine, from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. While driving through the maze of holiday lights, guests can tune in to 95.5 FM for a Christmas soundtrack to accompany the light show and the trek through a winter wonderland.

Admission also includes access inside Toyota Field for the Winter Wonderland, which includes huts for food and beverage, fire pits and much more.  The Junkyard Team Store will also be open with a special 20-percent discount during Winter Wonderland hours. The Winter Wonderland will be open through Christmas Eve.

The Trash Pandas will host a breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9:00 a.m. in the SportsMED Stadium Club. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for youngsters ages 12 and under and each include breakfast along with a photo opportunity with Santa Claus. Limited tickets are available. These tickets can be purchased at trashpandas.givesmart.com.

For all on-line events/ticket purchases, visit www.trashpandasbaseball.com.

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