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Published On: May 3rd, 2004

(Mankato, MN)–With opening day a little more than one month away, (June 2nd), the Mankato MoonDogs Baseball club is excited to announce Wednesday, April 28, marked the release of its 2004 Promotional Schedule.

Of the many outrageous and crazy ideas that MoonDogs’ fans have gown accustomed to seeing at Franklin Rogers Park and around the Northwoods League, this years schedule tops them all. Fireworks, trips, bobbleheads, baseball bats, and special guest appearances and more are all on the calendar.

A Few of the highlights:

June 2nd is Opening Night presented by Wells Fargo featuring Frank Viola as the keynote speaker at the MoonDogs Luncheon and he will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch that night. Also magnet schedules will be given away to all fans in attendance with a fireworks extravaganza following the game.

June 7th, Opening Night Part II features baseball great and best-selling author of "Ball Four” Jim Bouton in attendance. Fans that night will be treated to mini-bats for the first 300 kids 16 and under.

July 5th is Baseball Bat Night where the first 400 kids 14 and under will receive a full size Louisville Slugger bat courtesy of The Home Depot and 93 KXLP.

August 2nd, Twins Night presented by Jakes Stadium Pizza, will feature Twins Mascot TC Bear as well as current and former Twins players. As a bonus, the first 250 kids will receive a Twins Superhero Doll.

For the full schedule follow the link on the top of the homepage.

Saturday, May 1, marks the date when MoonDogs single-game tickets go on sale. Be sure to call or stop by to get your tickets for opening night, bobblehead night, or any of the other 32 MoonDogs home games. Season tickets are still available and with opening day only 34 days away call to get yours today, 507-625-7047.

Also available starting May 1st will be the MoonDogs 2004 Pocket Schedule. These schedules include all the promotions planned for 2004, the full 64 game schedule, ticket information, directions to the park and more. Pick yours up at the MoonDogs ticket office starting Saturday or look for them around town in the weeks to come.

The 2004 Mankato MoonDogs have been picked to finish 2nd in the North Division for the upcoming season by general managers from around the league.

The league poll was conducted by La Crosse Tribune sports reporter Joel Badzinski, with the results of the voting being announced at the 2004 Northwoods League Spring Meetings, held in La Crosse on April 23 and April 24.

If the predictions are correct, it would be the first time in Mankato franchise history, both the Mashers and MoonDogs, that a team made the playoffs. They would then square off against the reigning North Division Champion St. Cloud River Bats in the first round. It would be the seventh consecutive post-season appearance for the Bats.

In an effort to help the MoonDogs to a potential playoff birth, the MoonDogs also had three players selected to an All-NWL Preseason Team, which was voted on by front office personnel from around the league, at the same meetings.

Given 1st Team honors, was returning pitcher Will Krout, from Sonoma State. This was Krouts third consecutive honor from the league, as he was a Midseason and Postseason All-Star in 2003. Last season, Krout tied for second in the league with eight wins and ranked third with a miniscule 1.50 ERA in his league leading 96 innings pitched. He also led the league in complete games with seven and shutouts with three.

Selected to the 2nd Team were also returning All-Stars in Ryan Chiarelli, Santa Clara University, and Aaron Grant from the University of California—Riverside. Placed on the Honorable Mentions infield list was MoonDogs newcomer Barrett Rice, from El Paso Community College.