Story by Darl DeVault, contributing editor
Following Major League Baseball’s early opening day by one day, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark begins hosting 75 Oklahoma City Dodgers home games featuring more precision in calling balls and strikes, including the batter’s ability to challenge the call.
Opening Night in what is the 25th Anniversary of play at the ballpark is Friday, March 31, against the Tacoma Rainiers. The game features the first of 14 fireworks nights this season, including after each Friday game. The Anniversary will be celebrated the rest of the season during Tuesday through Sunday home stands, as the schedule is designed for Mondays off.
“This season commemorates another milestone for Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “We plan to celebrate the facility’s 25th anniversary in various ways, including honoring the great players who have called it home and what it has meant to the story of Oklahoma City and Bricktown.”
Seniors with an appreciation for the game and Minor League Baseball can invest in hearing the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd to start the season by securing season and single-game tickets before they are gone. The Oklahoma City Dodgers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The team is currently working through a plan to provide live-streaming video and audio of all home games for free using a mobile app.
Otherwise, it is Internet/radio where award-winning Dodgers’ sportscaster Alex Freedman delivers the play-by-play on AM 1340 “The Game” or through the iHeartRadio mobile app.
In his third season last year, Manager Travis Barbary led the OKC Dodgers to an 84-62 record, finishing one game shy of first place in the Pacific Coast League’s East Division. His team held a share of first place for 111 days during 2022. The team’s 84 wins were the second-most during the Bricktown era (since 1998). The team has finished second in its division the last two seasons.
The OKC Dodgers start their third season in the Triple-A West. Most of the games will be against teams in the East Division, including Albuquerque (Colorado Rockies), El Paso (San Diego Padres), Round Rock (Texas Rangers) and Sugar Land (Houston Astros). In addition to Salt Lake (Los Angeles Angels), the Dodgers will also host four other members of the West Division: Las Vegas (Oakland A’s), Reno (Arizona Diamondbacks), Sacramento (San Francisco Giants) and Tacoma (Seattle Mariners).
One example of the 25th Anniversary ballpark celebration is an OKC Dodgers hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans Saturday, April 29.
Fan-friendly surroundings at the ballpark are a complete recipe for family fun. The venue offers amenities designed to entertain children of all ages. There is plenty of room for kids to play on playground structures and the grassy hillside, and kids can run the bases after each Sunday home game.
A new communal area is being constructed near the grass berm in right-center field, providing an additional spot for fans to socialize and watch the game.
The ballpark features an outdoor picnic area on the large concourse surrounding the outfield. The concourse runs around the entire facility allowing fans to walk around the park to see every angle of play from all the venue’s dimensions. Parents can attend to their restless little ones and still watch the game by showing them the pitchers warming up in both bullpens from the outfield concourse.
Many fans enjoy looking at Oklahoma’s baseball history portrayed on many murals around the concourse. The ballpark boasts bronze busts of Oklahoma stars and three larger-than-life bronze statues of Oklahoma’s National Baseball Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench and Warren Spahn.
Single-game tickets for the Dodgers’ 39 home games through June 25 are now available online at okcdodgers.com/tickets. Ticket prices range from $12-37. Group and season ticket packages are currently available for the entire 2023 season. Single-game tickets for July, August and September home games will go on sale in June. Call (405) 218-1000 for more information.