As the Schaumburg Boomers prepare for their home opener Friday, here are a few things you should know about the independent baseball team's celebration for its Frontier League championship.
A sparkling celebration:
In addition to raising a championship flag for winning the 2013 Frontier League title, the Boomers will celebrate with three straight days of postgame fireworks and several promotional giveaways. Get there early if you want some keepsakes.
There will be bling:
At the home opener Friday, members of the 2013 Boomers will receive championship rings.
The first 3,000 fans will get championship pennants. The first 1,000 fans through the gates Saturday will receive replica championship rings.
On Sunday, the Boomers will host Military Appreciation Night with free admission to honor all active military personnel and veterans. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a 2014 magnet schedule.
Fans may also purchase the $36 Sunday Family Pack, which includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas.
Yes, there will be baseball in addition to everything else. The opener Friday begins at 6:30 p.m. when the Boomers take on the Florence Freedom to being a three-game homestand. Saturday's game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., and Sunday's contest will be at 6:30 p.m.
The 2014 Boomers include former Tampa Bay Rays prospect Ryan McChesney, along with pitcher Sean Mahley and catcher Mike Valadez -- two players who have been Boomers since the beginning.
Also returning is first baseman Brian McConkey and second baseman Jordan Dean, who will be in his second year as a member of the Boomers. Dean batted .275 last season.
Manager Jamie Bennett returns three outfielders from last year's roster: Alexi Colon, Justin Vasquez and Bobby Martin.
Pitching is key:
The starting pitchers this season include right-hander Cal Bowling (Ball State / White Sox), right-hander Charle Rosario (Boston), St. Charles native and lefty Danny Jimenez, right-hander Seth Webster, and Robert Morris University standout Rey Rodriguez.
The Boomers bullpen features veterans Mahley, Dexter Price, Clark Labitan and James Bierlein along with newcomers Anthony Smith, Heith Hatfield and former Cubs pick Hunter Ackerman.
For more on the Boomers, visit boomersbaseball.com.