Tonight's season-opening events will honor last year's championship.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- When the Mahoning Valley Scrappers open their 2005 New York-Penn League season tonight at Eastwood Field, fans will be in for a treat before, during and after the contest.
Mahoning Valley will open defense of the NYPL championship at 7:05 tonight against the Jamestown Jammers.
The game will be filled with events to celebrate the beginning of another exciting Scrappers season.
The night begins with a flyover by a C130 jet from the Youngstown Air Force Base.
A pregame ceremony will commemorate the success of the Scrappers' 2004 championship season, highlighted by championship ring and trophy presentations to the returning players and the unveiling of the championship banner.
Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby Promotion presented by Century 21 will take place during the game. A fireworks display sponsored by Time Warner Cable will follow the game.
Bullpen Bar and Grill
Before the game, Parade Band will be performing from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Bullpen Bar and Grill sponsored by Miller Light.
Most of that will take place before Scrappers starting pitcher Adam Miller throws a pitch to the Jammers.
Miller, a third year pro and a first-round draft choice by the Cleveland Indians in 2003, is doing a rehab assignment with the Scrappers after injuring his elbow during spring training.
Miller, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound righthanded pitcher, has compiled a 10-10 record over two seasons with Kinston (N.C.) and Lake County. He is expected to make a couple of starts with the Scrappers before being moved up, most likely to Class AA Akron.
Rouglas Odor, the fifth manager of the Scrappers in the seven-year history of the team, will make his debut tonight. Odor spent the last four seasons with the Indians rookie league team in Burlington, Vt.
The Scrappers won the New York-Penn League championship last season. After a strong season-ending finish gave them the Pinckney Division championship, they defeated the Auburn Doubledays in two straight games in the opening series.
They met the Tri-City Valley Cats for the championship and again swept two straight, winning 6-5 and 4-2 to claim their first championship.
Tonight's contest is the first game of three-game series with the Jammers. The series continues Wednesday and Thursday at Eastwood Field.
The Scrappers make their first road trip this weekend when they travel to Auburn, N.Y., to meet the Auburn Doubledays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Mahoning Valley then returns home for a six-game home stand beginning June 27, with three games against the Batavia Muckdogs and three against Auburn.
Fans can listen to all Scrappers games on WNIO-AM 1390, with Scrappers media relations director Greg Gania handling the play-by-play duties.