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THE DUCK POND ? It has been written that all good things must end, unfortunately that is also true for what has been a historic 2003 Madison Mallards regular season.

Back in 1983, the Madison Muskies drew 131,646 fans to a then one-year old Warner Park. The Muskies accomplished that feat, which has stood as the high-water mark for organized Madison baseball, for twenty years. It also took the Muskies 69 openings to hit that level. With just 2,387 fans tonight, the Mallards will break the all-time season record in just 31 openings. If you wre to include the All-Star Game and the upcoming playoffs, the Ducks are sure to break 140,000 fans for the season.

?Our success is due to many things,? explains Mallards general manager Vern Stenman. ?Everything we do out here is like a piece to a big puzzle. Whether it?s the great promotions we do, the atmosphere we generate, or even the winning on the field when it all comes together you get a special season like this.?

Not only are the Mallards once again leading the Northwoods League in attendance, they are also leading the country for summertime collegiate baseball. The Mallards also own the record for single game attendance, 6,586, and attendance for the NWL All-Star Game, 4,310.

?Who knows how far the Mallards can take this,? said Northwoods League commissioner Dick Radatz. ?I can definitely picture the day when they draw a crowd of 7,000.?

That day may be today. Tickets are going fast for Charter Communications Fan Appreciation Night. The Mallards will have great giveaways all night long. This is also the last regular season game at the Duck Pond in 2003, however it won?t be the last game this season. The Mallards will host the Wausau Woodchucks in Game 2 of the South Divisional Series on Monday night, a 7:05 start.

?This season has really put us on the map nationally,? exclaimed Stenman, ?and tonight we really want to take an opportunity to thank the fans.?

The gates open at 5:45 with the first pitch at 7:05.

Published On: August 7th, 2003