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“Field of Dreams'” Dwier Brown coming to the Diamond for Opening Night; Andruw Jones rescheduled

The actor known as John Kinsella in the classic baseball film will help ring in new Flying Squirrels season; Jones is headed to The Diamond on April 21st.

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Actor Dwier Brown, known for his role in the movie “Field of Dreams,” will be a special guest for the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ Opening Night on April 16, the team announced on Friday. Former MLB star Andruw Jones, who was originally announced as an Opening Night guest, has rescheduled his appearance to Tuesday, April 21.

Opening Night with the Flying Squirrels, presented by Virginia Birth Father Registry and Chick-fil-A, will include dueling fireworks to ring in the new season. First pitch between the Flying Squirrels and Bowie Baysox is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the ballpark gates open at 5 p.m.

Brown is well-known for his role in the acclaimed baseball film, “Field of Dreams,” in which he portrayed John Kinsella, the father of the film’s main character, Ray Kinsella. The Ohio native also held movie roles in “The Guardian,” “The Cutting Edge” and “Dennis the Menace Strikes Again!” He has also made appearances in television shows, including “ER,” “Firefly” and “House.”

“We look forward to an action-packed first homestand of the 2020 season,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “Having such an iconic character with us on Opening Night will generate great momentum as we strive for our 11th consecutive Opening Night sellout.”

VIP Meet & Greet packages will be available for $40 each beginning Mon., Feb. 24 at 8:30 a.m. and include access to an exclusive VIP meet & greet with Brown, an all-you-can-eat buffet in the SEGRA Picnic Zone and a Field Level ticket for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener.  Packages can be purchased by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in-person at the Flying Squirrels’ offices at The Diamond. More information is available here.

The Flying Squirrels’ first 10 home openers have all sold out, including franchise-record crowds of 9,845 fans in each of the last two years. Since the franchise’s first season in 2010, the Flying Squirrels have welcomed a special guest to help open the home schedule at The Diamond. Brown joins the list of sports stars and dignitaries to celebrate the start of the new baseball season in Richmond. Previous guests include:

  • 2019 – Ryan Klesko
  • 2018 – Fred McGriff & Gov. Ralph Northam (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2017 – David Justice (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2016 – Jerome Bettis
  • 2015 – Will Wade (caught by Gov. Terry McAuliffe)
  • 2014 – Michael Robinson
  • 2013 – Javy Lopez & Ryan Kerrigan
  • 2012 – Dale Murphy
  • 2011 – James Farrior, Brandon Rozzell & Chris Mooney
  • 2010 – Gov. Bob McDonnell

VIP Meet & Greet Packages for the appearance by five-time NL All-Star Andruw Jones will also go on sale on Mon., Feb. 24 at 8:30 a.m. Packages cost $50 each an include access to an exclusive VIP meet & greet with Jones, an exclusive Andruw Jones commemorative card, up to two autographs per attendee, an all-you-can-eat buffet in the SEGRA Picnic Zone and a Field Level ticket for the April 21 game. More information is available here.

“Having to move Andruw to Tuesday night gives us an amazing opportunity to celebrate not just Opening Night, but again when Andruw comes on April 21,” Parney said. “The entire first homestand promotional calendar gives us a great opportunity to have our best start in team history.”

Packages can be purchased by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in person at the Flying Squirrels’ offices at The Diamond.

Fans can also purchase combined VIP Meet & Greet Packages for both Opening Night with Dwier Brown and April 21 with Andruw Jones for $75.Information on group packages for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 are available here or by contacting the front office at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

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Northside

Richmond Flying Squirrels offer digital field trip for Richmond-area students

The Richmond Flying Squirrels have made their 2020 Education Day curriculum available for Richmond-area students online as a “digital field trip.” The new website includes baseball-themed learning activities for students in grades K-5.

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels have made their 2020 Education Day curriculum available for Richmond-area students online as a “digital field trip.” The new website includes baseball-themed learning activities for students in grades K-5.

The Education Day activities website can be found here.

The Flying Squirrels annually host Education Days at The Diamond as a learning-centered field trip to a game for schools around the Richmond region. The team has made their 2020 Education Day curriculum, broken down by grade level, available to families and students with schools closed for the rest of the academic year.

“In these unprecedented times, it is still our responsibility to be impactful in our communities, and especially with our future: the kids,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We are very proud of this wonderful work and hope children and parents alike enjoy learning from this information.”

The Education Day curriculum was designed by a Henrico County educator and incorporates state-mandated objectives. The website includes hands-on activities, educational videos, word problems, printable activity sheets and more that align with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives taught to elementary students throughout the school year.

The Flying Squirrels are encouraging participating families to share pictures of their children completing the activities with the team on their Facebook page.

In an effort to practice safe social distancing and best ensure the health and of the Flying Squirrels family, the team’s front offices and team store are currently closed. Fans looking to reach out to the Flying Squirrels front office can find information here and are encouraged to interact on social media through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Downtown

GRTC bans unaccompanied minors, joyriding on buses during coronavirus outbreak

Minors going to/from work permitted to ride; all passengers are limited to a single one-way trip at a time; “joyriding” prohibited.

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Effective immediately, GRTC is banning unaccompanied minors from riding GRTC during the COVID-19 emergency. Solo minors in work uniforms or with their employee badges are permitted to ride GRTC to/from work. Until further notice, customers are not allowed to remain on-board a single bus beyond their one-way trip. No extended rides on a single vehicle will be allowed.

With the closure of schools and recent pleasant Spring weather, GRTC is experiencing an increase in riders – especially minors – riding GRTC in groups and for nonessential trips, counter to local, state, and federal guidance to limit travel only for essential purposes.

GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm says, “Immediately after suspending fares, our ridership jumped by several thousand trips a day. Some were kids out of school with energy to burn and some were people wanting to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather. But some were budget-conscious people looking for employment, making trips to the grocery store, or going to the doctor. While overall daily ridership is still well below normal levels, we need to take additional measures for those who desperately need our service during this crisis.”

In addition to limited trips and restricted rides for minors and groups, passengers are asked to sit one passenger per row, except for families riding together. Passengers in violation of these temporary policies or otherwise disruptive to our service are subject to removal from the bus. Timm explains, “While it’s completely counter to our normal lives to beg people not to ride, that is exactly what we are doing. Serving the community’s very real and very essential mobility needs during this crisis is a juggling act. Please, save our service for those who need our service!”

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Community

How Not To Social Distance

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Currently, the only real defense we have against COVID-19 is to stay away from each other. The rule is 6 feet of space groups less than 10. These scenes leading to Belle Isle show that people and from the look of it younger people aren’t getting the message. Take a minute to think of how many folks have touched the handrails of that staircase. I’ve heard rumor that the situation is just as bad on Belle Isle proper and on Brown’s Island. I didn’t check out the rumor because I’m avoiding crowds. The whole way this works is everyone complies.

Photo sent in anonymously

Photo sent in anonymously

Social distancing is the term used to describe certain actions recommended by health officials to disrupt the chain of contagion in a pandemic.  This involves steps such as: keeping 3-6 feet from others, avoiding public gatherings, and limiting face to face contact with others.

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