The Omaha Royals final regular season game ever at Rosenblatt Stadium is this Thursday at 7:05 p.m. and the Triple-A team is planning to send the venerable ballpark out in style. The night, presented by AT&T, will include a pre-game Fan Fest, giveaways of two Rosenblatt mementos, the recognition of many former professional ballplayers who played at the ballpark and fireworks following the Royals’ 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Round Rock Express.
The Fan Fest will be held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. outside the ballpark. The free event will include inflatables, clowns and face painters and music from the band Happy Together. Current and former Royals, along with former Dodgers and Cardinals players will be on hand signing autographs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sportswriter Steve Pivovar, a long-time former Royals beat writer, will be signing copies of the Omaha World-Herald’s commemorative book, Rosenblatt Stadium: Omaha’s Diamond on the Hill, which will be for sale.
Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the first 2,000 fans will receive a miniature stadium seat, which is a replica of the seats at Omaha Municipal Stadium when it opened in 1948. Also at the Fan Fest, Steve Rosenblatt, the son of former Omaha mayor and city councilman Johnny Rosenblatt for whom the stadium was renamed in 1964, will be signing exclusive Rosenblatt merchandise. The team’s gift shop, Royal Treasures, will be selling limited edition “I Was There September 2, 2010” T-shirts while supplies last.
Pre-game ceremonies will begin on the field at 6:45 p.m. The Royals will recognize several former players including Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer Frank White, Paul Splittorff, Dennis Leonard, Willie Wilson, Chris Hatcher and many others. Wendi Rosenblatt, Johnny’s granddaughter, will sing the National Anthem. Immediately afterwards will be a flyover by a R-C135 Joint Reconnaissance Aircraft.
The night will also feature a video tribute to the legendary ballpark. Since the 1949 season, it has been home to the St. Louis Cardinals Class-A and Triple-A affiliates, the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A club and since 1969 the Kansas City Royals Triple-A team.
In the middle of the fifth inning, Steve Rosenblatt will tear off the final day countdown banner, which has been displayed in the left-center field bleachers the entire season. During the seventh inning stretch, country music artist Keith Anderson will lead the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
It is also Thirsty Thursday. Fans will be able to enjoy $1 beers and Cokes from 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Following the game, Steve Rosenblatt will hit a ceremonial final pitch. Also, home plate will be dug up. It will be sent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Then, fans will enjoy one final fireworks show at the ‘Blatt. After the fireworks, the 1st 5,000 fans to exit Rosenblatt will receive a photo of the final game’s first pitch. The game is also presented by Clear Channel.
Now, let’s just hope the contest between the Royals and Round Rock lives up to the first-ever professional baseball game played at Omaha Municipal Stadium. On April 25, 1949 the Omaha Cardinals hosted the Des Moines Bruins and a crowd of 9,416 fans saw a thriller as the Cards prevailed 9-8 in 12 innings.