By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
For the first time in nearly two years, there will be St. Joseph Mustangs baseball inside Phil Welch Stadium today.
The Mustangs' open its 44-game regular season schedule with a home game against the newest member of the MINK League - the Des Moines Peak Prospects. First pitch is set for 7 p.m., kicking off the 12th season of Mustangs' baseball.
Wednesday's contest will be the first of 24 home games this summer in St. Joseph. Mustangs owner Dan Gerson admits that the cancelled 2020 season was difficult for many different reasons.
"It was tough," he said. "I always get excited about a summer at Phil Welch, and I know how excited St. Joe gets, and it's really hard. I own some restaurants and it was just tough on everybody."
With 673 days since the last game, Mustangs staff and ownership have had ample time to get ready for 2021 and make it the best season yet.
"It allowed us to reflect and kind of improve some things and switch some things around," said general manager Ky Turner. "We're excited. It certainly helped build that momentum and it certainly helped change our perspective. If we hadn't gone through what we did, I don't know if we could get to where we are right now."
Any tickets that were sold for the 2020 season could either be refunded or held over for 2021. Turner says ticket and ad sales have helped soften the blow of the financial hardship brought on by the pandemic.
After such a long wait, Turner is hopeful that he and his staff of interns will give fans a terrific experience.
"We prepare for this as soon as that last out is recorded," Turner said. "And really, before that. But, now you can really see it come to life. So, you have to make sure everything is how you envision it and that it feels right and that it's great for the guest that comes in here."
Gerson has owned the Mustangs since their inaugural season in 2009. He says getting fans back in the stands is the top priority this summer. He also thanks them for their years of continued support.
"It's going to be a great summer," he said. "We're going to have so many things going on. But, the main thing is getting people back out to Phil Welch to see a Mustangs game.
"I have always been just amazed and so grateful for the fans' support and how much in the fabric of St. Joe we are considered to be every summer."
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