OKC RedHawks' field-trip days a huge success

RedHawks win, while thousands of kids get a break from school.
by Michael Baldwin Published: May 14, 2013
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photo - OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS / MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL / KIDS DAY / CHILD / CHILDREN: Schoolchildren enjoy a baseball game during Kids Day at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, OK, Tuesday, May 14, 2013,  By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS / MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL / KIDS DAY / CHILD / CHILDREN: Schoolchildren enjoy a baseball game during Kids Day at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, OK, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Thousands of kids screamed “SpongeBob Square Pants” as music from the popular cartoon blared over the public address system Tuesday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

For the second consecutive week, the RedHawks played a field-trip matinee that started at 11 a.m.

Field-trip days have been a huge success.

Pockets of red, blue, yellow, orange and green T-shirts represented 100 different school groups that attended Tuesday's game against the Salt Lake Bees, the Los Angeles Angels' Triple-A affiliate.

“We do two games during the school year and one in June for camps and day cares,” said president/general manager Michael Byrnes, who runs the team for Mandalay Baseball, which owns the RedHawks. “Last year, one game was a sellout. This year both were sellouts.”

An overflow crowd of 10,280 attended Tuesday's game. Last week's morning/afternoon game drew a sellout crowd of 10,186 in the reconfigured 8,700-seat stadium where thousands of seats are covered with large, plastic advertising signs.

Groups from local schools like Deer Creek, Piedmont, Tuttle, Mustang and Oklahoma City were in attendance. The packed house also included groups from communities an hour or two away from OKC.

Located 82 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, Duncan brought a group of 300 kids dressed in red T-shirts that sat in the left-field bleachers. The group that made the longest trek was Wright City, located in southeast Oklahoma, 235 miles from The Brick.

Melanie Vasquez, 8, is a second grader in Duncan. Tuesday's game was the first time she's attended a professional sporting event.

“This is so much fun. And you get to skip school,” said Vasquez, devouring melted chocolate Dippin' Dots ice cream in a plastic hat. “This stadium is so huge. I'm having a lot of fun. It's very exciting.”


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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