LAKE SHAWNEE -- The shores of Lake Shawnee will become the Field of Dreams this Wednesday night, May 5th. The ghosts of Topeka’s Owls, Hawks and Reds come to mind with old time Topeka baseball fans when the Kansas City T-Bones play the Grand Prairie AirHogs in Topeka’s first professional baseball game since 1961. The game will be played at the big diamond at Lake Shawnee at the intersection of 29th and Croco Road.
The game starts at 7:05 on Wednesday night and the gates open at 5:30 PM. Opening ceremonies start at 6:30 PM including remarks by Vic Miller, representing Shawnee County Commission, player introductions, recognition of SCABA teams in attendance and flag presentation by Shawnee Heights ROTC . The first pitch will be the honor of Topeka baseball enthusiast Luke Gerhardt. Tickets are $6 at the gate. Ages 5 and under admitted free.
Area food vendors will set up special concessions for the games including BBQ, pizza and subs. Pepsi products will be served in accordance with exclusive contract arrangement with Shawnee County Parks & Recreation Foundation. Think Big Topeka will have booth set up to solicit support for Google High Speed Internet to come to Topeka and Visit Topeka will have reception table set up to meet with baseball fans, young and old, interested to see professional baseball back in Topeka.
KMAJ-AM 1440 will broadcast the Wednesday night game with the coach’s show starting at 6:30 PM. Mike Manns will provide the play-by-play with Bill Griffin providing color commentary for the broadcast. A Thursday matinee game with the T-Bones and AirHogs will follow, May 6, at 1:05 PM that will not be on radio. An autograph session with T-Bone players will be at Applewood BBQ after the Thursday game.
These games are provided by Shawnee County Parks & Recreation and the Topeka Golden Giants to build awareness and interest for the Golden Giants baseball program at Lake Shawnee this summer and for the public to preview the new baseball complex at Lake Shawnee to be dedicated in June, 2010. Proceeds from the games will be shared with the Topeka Golden Giants and the Shawnee County Parks & Recreation Foundation.
Parking for the games will be available in the new complex as well as Lake Shawnee Beach parking lot.