America's pastime has a home at baseball fields across the region

America’s favorite pastime — baseball — is back for a new season. If you’re looking for a place to catch some action, Williamsburg and surrounding areas offer up plenty of fun when it comes to enjoying a baseball game.

Head out to cheer on the Tribe at the College of William and Mary’s Plumeri Park. Alumni Day at the stadium is set for April 7. Kids 12 and under can run the bases after the game on April 8 and April 29, or they can play catch on the field after the game on April 27. There are also family fun nights, bingo nights, and a Military Appreciation Day planned at Plumeri Park throughout April.

You also can venture east or west along Interstate 64 for some more baseball action.

In Richmond, the minor league baseball team the Flying Squirrels open the season April 13. The Flying Squirrels are a farm team for The San Francisco Giants.

“Former Atlanta Brave World Series Champion Fred McGriff will be here to kick off the season,” says Jay Burnham with the Squirrels. The opening game will also include fireworks.

This season, The Flying Squirrels will pay homage to the 25th anniversary of the hit baseball movie, The Sandlot, with special events and promotions.

“We will be doing a “Salute to the Sandlot” series all year,” Burnham says.

There will be numerous Sandlot-themed giveaways and promotions including shirts and bobbleheads. On April 16, there will be a Sandlot Bambino baseball giveaway for the first 1,000 fans. This will be a “slightly chewed” baseball just like the one featured in the movie.

Williamsburg Community Night at The Flying Squirrels’ stadium in Richmond is set for later in the season, August 27. The event will coincide with a dog festival.

Meanwhile, down in Norfolk, baseball fans can enjoy similar special events and promotions during the Tides games at Harbor Park. Play there begins April 6.

“We will have twelve fireworks nights throughout the season, with yearly staples like Bark in the Park where you can bring your dog to the game; Star Wars Night; and Turn Back the Clock Night featuring 50-cent hot dogs, sodas and popcorn,” says Ian Locke, director of media relations for the Norfolk Tides Baseball Club. “We will also have three Military Nights this season: Armed Forces Night on May 19, Marine Corps Night on June 16, and Navy Night on Aug. 11.”

The Tides are the farm team for the Baltimore Orioles. A renovation project at Harbor Park has expanded the number of box office windows at home plate, which should alleviate long lines to purchase tickets.

“We’ve also completely renovated our left field picnic area, a space that now features a covered area with high-top tables that can accommodate groups of up to 500 people,” Locke says.

Meanwhile, baseball fans can also enjoy a Peninsula Pilots game in Hampton later this summer. The Pilots are a member of the Coastal Plain League, a premier summer collegiate baseball league that plays at the historic War Memorial Stadium, one of the largest all-wooden ball parks in the world.

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