W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice with Babydog, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin and Landau Eugene Murphy at the game: 8-3 loss
By Matt Young, WV Press Association
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – While the Dirty Birds may have dropped Tuesday’s home opener to the Lancaster Barnstormers by the score of 8-3, fans at GoMart Ballpark loudly root, root, rooted for the home team nonetheless.
City of Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin was in attendance to greet fans, and America’s Got Talent winner and West Virginia native Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. performed the National Anthem. W.Va. Governor Jim Justice – with Babydog in tow – was also on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“Now, I’m gonna take about four warm-up pitches since it’s been a while since I’ve done this,” Justice joked while loosening up on the pitcher’s mound.
After a few practice tosses, both the governor and Babydog (with the governor’s assistance) each hurled one across home plate.
“Babydog and I would like to say just this, really and truly it’s a great day to have a great time at the old ballpark, is it not?” Justice said later, while speaking with members of the media.
Justice and Babydog greeted fans and posed for pictures beside the Communities In Schools table on the ballpark’s main concourse until the third inning, before heading off to their next engagement. During the game, representatives from Communities In Schools West Virginia hosted a school supply donation drive. Fans who donated school supplies received a complimentary ticket to the Dirty Birds home game against the Lexington Counter Clocks on May 24.
Also on-hand for opening day was the United Way of Central West Virginia, who was selling tickets for the 2023 Great Rubber Duck Race. The Duck Race will occur on Sunday, July 2, during the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.
Having lost seven of their first eight games, the Dirty Birds are off to an auspicious start to the 2023 season, and sit in fourth place in the South Division. Currently, the Dirty Birds are 7.5 games behind the division-leading High Point Rockers. First baseman Bobby Bradley is fourth overall among Atlantic League hitters with three home runs. Thus far, the team has a total of seven home runs, and an overall league-worst batting average of .185. Dirty Birds pitchers have struck out 83.
After a Wednesday morning game, the Dirty Birds will finish up a three-game series against the Lancaster barnstormers Thursdayday night, before welcoming the Lexington Counter Clocks to GoMart Ballpark for another three-game series starting on Friday.
Beginning with $1 beer and Charlie’s Throwback Night on Thursday, the Dirty Birds have a weekend filled with crowd-pleasing promotions. On Friday, there will be a t-shirt giveaway at the ballpark. It will also be Furry Friend Friday, where fans are welcome to bring their pets. Saturday will be First Responders Night complete with a fireworks display, and Mother’s Day Sunday will feature Sunrise Yoga and a tote bag giveaway.
For additional information about the Charleston Dirty Birds, including game schedule and tickets, visit https://dirtybirdsbaseball.com/.