Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, and Sean Coyle sighted at Portland Sea Dogs home opener

Peter Hissey and Sean Coyle

Peter Hissey and Sean Coyle

Sluggo circles Hadlock Field

Sluggo circles Hadlock Field

(Portland ME)  I saw my first home opener for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday night.

Cold, windy (normal April weather in these parts) but worth the trip.

I acquired a sense of urgency about getting to a game because of the terrific prospects that are on the Portland roster.

One thing I have learned the hard way is that prospects don’t always stay at AA very long.  I missed seeing (photographing) both Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo despite the fact that they were at Portland for quite a while.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

So when players like Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, and Sean Coyle are at Portland for the first time I want to get pictures of them while I can.

Blake wasn’t in the starting lineup but there were opening game activities that allowed me to get some shots of him.  There were plenty of opportunities to get Mookie and Sean.

Henry Owens never appeared.  He pitched on Wednesday night.  I do have some shots of him from the Field of Dreams game at the end of last season.  Probably a good thing, as Rob Bradford’s WEEI.COM posed this question today, “When will Henry Owens be moved up?”

There were plenty of activities to keep the fans interest during pre-game ceremonies.  I had hoped to get a picture of my nephew’s son marching in the pre-game parade but he arrived late.  He qualified to walk by completing a reading challenge from the Portland Library.

Mookie Betts in the Sea Dogs dugout

Mookie Betts in the Sea Dogs dugout

The Sea Dogs (4-3) defeated New Britain, 6-4, in the game although I confess that the adverse conditions had me heading south long before the game ended.

I greatly appreciated having Assistant GM Chris Cameron handle the arrangements for my visit.

Here are some of the things I got pictures of (they all enlarge if you click on them) on opening night:

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle bats

Sean Coyle bats

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

"Play ball!"

“Play ball!”

Mookie Betts in the field

Mookie Betts in the field

Mookie Betts keeps warm

Mookie Betts keeps warm

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Matt Spring crosses home with a run

Matt Spring crosses home with a run

Manager Billy McMillon

Manager Billy McMillon

DJ Baxendale (New Britain starter)

DJ Baxendale (New Britain starter)

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

Derrik Gibson

Derrik Gibson

Corey Wimberly of New Britain steals second

Corey Wimberly of New Britain steals second

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