With the hockey season over, (on the local level, at least) I was getting pretty anxious for baseball to begin. The Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks are an independent league team with the American Association of Professional Baseball, and although their season actually began May 15, an opening-season 11-game road trip kept them away from the Newman Outdoor Field until their May 25 home opener against the Sioux Falls Canaries.
It was worth the wait, though, as the sellout crowd of 4,526 witnessed a back-and-forth game filled with great plays and bad mistakes, with the home team coming out on top in the end. After jumping out to an early 2-1 lead, some costly errors gave up the lead, and they found themselves down 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. With two outs to go, and no runners on base, the home team made some key hits and capitalized on the Canaries' only error to rally for two more runs, and the win.
After the game, I stopped by the Team Shop, just to check out some of what they have. There were some game-used jerseys for a very reasonable price of $99. I didn't get one, but I will at some point. Right next to that rack, almost tucked away in a corner was a basket, containing three bats. The ssign next to it identified them as "cracked bats," and were available for only $15. I thought that was pretty reasonable, and was more excited when I discovered that one of those bats was for centerfielder Nic Jackson.
It's a big deal for me as a Chicago Cubs fan, because Jackson, who has been with the Redhawks since 2009, used to be with the Cubs organization. He was drafted by the team in the third round of the 2000 MLB June Amateur Draft. He never made it up to the pro club for a regular season game, but spent two years with the AAA Iowa Cubs, hitting .255, with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. He signed minor league contracts with the Philadelphia Philies and New York Mets in 2007, but never quite caught on with either team. He has been playing indempendent-league ball since 2008.
Anyway, here are a few photos of the bat itself, and of course, I am definitely going to get this autographed at some point this year. Now, I'm not sure if this was game-used or batting-practice-used, but
either way, it's a really cool item to add to my collection.