Here's the latest Reed on the Biloxi Shuckers

From:  City of Biloxi   8/1/18   GCN

The Shuckers return to MGM Park Thursday for a five-game homestand against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. As the regular season winds down and the playoffs approach, it's time to check in with General Manager Hunter Reed.

The Shuckers were off to a fast start at the beginning of the season and seem to have been in Pensacola's shadow in the run up to the playoffs. Is this an accurate assessment?

Pensacola has been playing well in the second half, but we are right on their heels.  We're just a few games back and have taken two out of three at their ballpark this week.  Our team still holds the best overall record in the Southern League for the season (63-44) and is settling in for the stretch run. Perhaps we'll see Pensacola when we host the first two games of the playoffs Sept. 5-6. Tickets are available now. It should be fun.

What have been the challenges this season? On field and off?

Every season is a grind. Day in and day out you have long hours both on and off the field, but none of us would do this if we didn't love every minute of it. That goes for the front office, grounds crew, coaches, players, trainers, clubhouse managers, etc. In addition to the hours, dealing with the unknowns are another challenge. You never know what the day will bring. It could be the weather-related, facility issues, staffing, player moves, or a number of other things. For example, one day before a recent game, players were hitting in the batting cage and a ball went through the net and hit a sprinkler head spraying water everywhere. That was about 30 minutes before first pitch.  So expect the unexpected. You just have to be able to adapt and keep grinding.

What has worked well this season? Onfield and off?

On the field, our manager Mike Guerrero and the entire field staff have had these guys competing since Day 1, and it paid off with a first half division title. I've never been around a team that works this hard and is so competitive that they refuse to believe they are ever out of a game. Plus, they have the talent and it shows. This team has already hit 118 home runs, which leads the league and surpassed our previous club record of 96 before we even reached August.

It's not just hitting either, this club also leads the league in team ERA (3.56). Off the field, we've really been able to do a lot of fundraisers with different organizations so that's been great to help other community organizations. Also, we've been pleased with the increased interest in our Double Play Thursday food and drink specials ($2 Yuengling and $2 Polk's hot dogs), our Friday Fireworks, and Super Saturdays. 

Coincidentally, we'll get our next homestand going with those three dates beginning Thursday.

You just announced that the Shuckers will be hosting the 2019 Southern League All-Star Game. What can be expected from that event?

We are so excited to have the spotlight on Biloxi and Mississippi Gulf Coast for the Southern League All-Star Game next season. The All-Star break will be June 17-19, 2019 and will feature much more than just the game. It will be a great opportunity for a unique fan experience as the next wave of future Major League stars will be much more accessible than usual. Details and ticket information will be coming soon, but fans can expect a hitting competition, autograph opportunities, and much more. With players, coaches, league executives, scouts, and fans traveling to Biloxi, it should be a great way for the entire Gulf Coast to show off our unique culture and beautiful coastline to our visitors.

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Coming up at the ballpark

Here's a look at the promotions planned for the homestand with the Jumbo Shrimp:

Thursday: Double Play Thursday, presented by Polk's Meat Products, Yuengling, Coca-Cola & Kicker 108: $2 hot dogs, $2 Yuengling drafts, $2 fountain drinks and other $3 weekly draft specials. Reserve your Double Play Reserved Level game ticket paired with two-drink vouchers for $10. The Shuckers have teamed up with Ed Randall's Fans for the Cure to play for a cause, and prevent a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Fans are encouraged to wear blue for the game to help raise awareness. To learn more or donate visit fans4thecure.org. It's also City of D'Iberville Night at the ballpark. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.

Friday: Fireworks Friday & Roku Ultra Giveaway, presented by Cable ONE: It's another Biloxi Shuckers Fireworks Friday, with a post-game fireworks show lighting up the sky above MGM Park. Fans can visit the Cable ONE table at the game and register to win a Roku Ultra. Nine winners will be selected; one winner per inning. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.

Saturday: Super Saturday featuring Brandon Woodruff Bobblehead Giveaway, presented by ACE Moving & Storage: Former Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Brandon Woodruff made his Milwaukee Brewers debut Aug. 4, 2017. To mark the one-year anniversary, a Shuckers Brandon Woodruff Bobblehead will be given to the first 1,000 fans through the MGM Park gates. Woodruff is Mississippi State alumnus and was named the Brewers' 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Yard games will be set up on the lawn outside the north gate of MGM Park every Saturday. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.

Sunday: Military Salute Sunday, presented by Keesler Federal Credit Union, andBush's Beans Canned Food Drive. Bring a canned food to donate at the gates, or bring five canned foods and receive a Shuckers Shop coupon (one per person). All canned foods will be donated to Biloxi Gulf Coast Knights of Columbus pantries. Also, it's Military Salute Sunday, with $8 reserved level tickets and $10 dugout box level tickets for military and veterans with a valid ID. Shuckers players will be in military-themed jerseys. Family 4-packs are available every Sunday featuring four reserved level tickets and four Schooner's Special vouchers, which are redeemable for a hot dog, chips and a drink, all for $60. Select Shuckers players will be on the concourse signing autographs before the game. Bring your glove as Shuckers fans for post-game catch on the field. Gates open at 3 p.m. for a 4:05 p.m. first pitch.

Monday: Doggone Monday, presented by Raising Cane's: Bring your pooch to the ballpark with you for Doggone Monday. Buy a $7 berm ticket and you and your furry friend are admitted. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with a pre-game pup parade on the field. Also, Schooner's Special at the concessions is a hot dog, chips and drink for $5. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.

Get your tickets: The Biloxi Shuckers box office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. through the end of the game on game days.


 Released by Vincent Creel and Cecilia Dobbs Walton