ROCHESTER – Will the Duke of Doppler get a hit for the second time in five tries? Will the temperature at game time on Thursday, April 11 be 51 degrees or warmer? Or will the Duke’s batting average fall to one for five and fans will receive a free ticket to any other home game in April and May?
Those are among the questions to be answered April 11 when the Rochester Red Wings host another Opening Day at Frontier Field against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. with the gates opening at 4:30 p.m.
Pre-game activities announced for that day are:
Alayna Berry, a Spencerport native who was the inspiration for the first softball player to be featured on a pack of Big League Chew, will have the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Her grandfather is Red Wings Hall of Famer Bobby Bonner, who will be catching her first pitch.
Pete DuPre, aka “Harmonica Pete”, who has been playing his harmonica at major military events around the world, will perform the National Anthem. For the last five years he has performed with The Greatest Generations Foundation, an organization dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of veterans by returning them to their former battlegrounds, cemeteries, and memorials to ensure their legacies are recorded and retold in perpetuity to future generations. He is an active member of Honor Flight Rochester and plays at several of their airport homecoming events. DuPre, 95, served as an Army Medic during the Battle of the Bulge, working in a hospital in England. He graduated from Edison Tech and is an RIT alum.
The Rochester Army Recruiting Company, with representatives from Webster Recruiting Station, will be the honor guard. Providing music will be Me & The Boyz. They will will perform on the field throughout pregame festivities.
The first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a Red Wings and Plates Reversible Winter Hat presented by Dunkin’. The first 5,000 fans will take home a 2019 Schedule Magnet courtesy of the Democrat & Chronicle.
Now, back to the Duke of Doppler’s 51-Degree Guarantee. General Manager Dan Mason, aka the D of D, has upped his game this spring. In the four previous years his 50 degree temperature guarantee only hit the mark once. This year he is predicting the in-park thermometer will read 51 degrees or higher at first pitch. If it is 50 degrees or lower, all fans in attendance will get a free ticket to another game in April or May.
While the home opener falls on a Thursday, and Thursday are now Plates days, the team will wear their normal home Red Wings white uniform jerseys to honor the Opening Day tradition. Since it is a Thursday, fans will be able to get a Plate Dog at Sup Dog, Chicken Finger Plate at Batter Up, Compost Can at Ice Cream Plus, and a Fried Dough Plate at the Sweet Spot.
Active, retired, reserved, and other veterans can get a free ticket to Opening Day by stopping by the Veterans Outreach Center, 447 South Ave. College students can purchase a $10 reserved ticket with five Diamond Dollars that can be used at the concession stands and team store.