RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For the first time since Sept. 2, 2019, the Richmond Flying Squirrels will take the field tomorrow at The Diamond.
“By far the hardest 14 months of my life and by far the hardest 14 months of the Squirrels’ career and the Squirrels’ life,” Squirrels CEO Todd ‘Parney’ Parnell said. “But all along, we’ve tried to stay positive, right? All along, we tried to live each day in the moment to get through that day to get to this.”
The 6:35 p.m. Opening Day game against the Hartford Yard Goats is the first of a six-game series, a schedule pattern that is new for this season.
“I like it,” Parney said. “Think about this. If you’re a ballplayer during pandemic times or the end of pandemic times, you go to from Richmond to Altoona, Pennsylvania. You’re there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. In the old days, you’d leave Thursday night and drive through the night and get into a new hotel. Now, you’re there Tuesday through Sunday. It’s safer.”
Parney has no doubt what his reaction will be when the moment arrives.
“Probably I’m going to cry like a baby. You know, I mean, I can’t even think about it,” Parney said. “I mean, every day we’ve grinded through this thing and we’ve looked at the tables on our bills and we’ve looked at all the things that have just been terribly difficult to overcome.
“But as they said in ‘Field in Dreams’ the one thing that’s constant, Ray, is baseball. And when they take that field again, our constant is going to be back.”