Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out … At the old ball game.
It’s that time of the year again … to enjoy your Cracker Jacks and enjoy one of America’s favorite past time. The Bluegrass region is known for college basketball or even football, but take a moment to discover Baseball (professional and college) in the Bluegrass, and it’s rich history.
Lexington has always been home to horse racing legends; but since 2001, we are also home to a professional baseball club. The Lexington Legends are a Minor League Baseball team of the South Atlantic League (SAL), and the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
The Lexington Legends play at beautiful Whitaker Bank Ball Park, a $13.5 million stadium that puts fans closer to the action than any other ballpark in the Minor Leagues. In addition to games April into September, the ballpark hosts a variety of concerts and special events throughout the year.
The Lexington Legends open their 2014 season April 3 in Whitaker Bank Ballpark, taking on the West Virginia Power at 7:05 p.m. Fireworks often follow the game, and they host many family fun themed events throughout the season. Promotions such as Thirsty Thursdays, education days, fireworks nights, military appreciation, special nights for charitable organizations and many others will be back in 2014. Here is the schedule for 2014: http://www.milb.com/schedule/index.jsp?sid=t495
The History of the Legends
Lexington’s love affair with professional baseball unceremoniously ended in 1954, when both the Lexington Hustlers and the Lexington Colts disbanded. Prior to that, professional baseball, in one form or another, had been a part of Lexington’s sports scene dating back to the late 1800s.
Beginning in 1984, community leaders began to entertain the idea of bringing baseball back to the Bluegrass. At the time, Lexington was one of the largest cities in America without some form of professional baseball, more specifically minor league baseball, and the community seemed to be a perfect fit for the minor league team.
Having overcome countless missed opportunities and failed attempts to bring baseball back; the dreams of a few courageous and dedicated individuals had become a reality in 2000 when Lexington was officially admitted to the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division. The new stadium, Whitaker Bank Stadium, hosted its first home game on Monday, April 9, 2001 against the Hagerstown Suns.
*Bluegrass Note: Baseball in Lexington has a proud history. The Lexington Hustlers, a Negro Baseball League team, started playing in 1947. Coach John Will “Scoop” Brown accepted a young white man who had been rejected by the all-white teams for being too small. By 1949, seven of the nineteen team members were white, creating the first integrated baseball team in the South.
The Kentucky Wildcats baseball team represents the University of Kentucky in NCAA Division I college baseball and competes in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. The current head coach of the Wildcats is Gary Henderson. Kentucky is the only member of the 14-team SEC to never reach the College World Series. The Wildcats play their home games on campus at Cliff Hagan Stadium, although a new stadium is being planned by the university. In 2013, the Wildcats ranked 37th among Division I baseball programs in attendance, averaging 1,893 per home game.
Here is the 2014 Schedule: http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-basebl/sched/kty-m-basebl-sched.html