The crack of the bat. The summer heat. What it means is baseball is back and despite entering just their first year in the prospect league, the Hannibal Hoots are ready to put on a show.
"We got a good group of guys that are wanting to compete, wanting to get after it. Some guys that are coming off redshirts that didn’t get a lot of time from there schools and I think they’re chomping at the bit here to get going and see what kind of season they can have, " said field manager Clayton Hicks.
The Prospect League is a Summer collegiate league and as they look to make a name for themselves locally, the Hoots went out and recruited local talent.
"I’m from Hannibal obviously. I went to school in St. Joe over by Kansas City and it’s a bigger area, but everyday I was over there I missed it and told people about Hannibal. They didn’t really get it that it was a small town, but I love it here and wouldn’t change a thing and I’m happy to be back, " said pitcher Scot Roberts.
It’s been more than a six month process in preparing for tomorrow night’s home opener, but throughout the entire thing there has been once central goal in mind for the Hoots. And that’s been bringing that special baseball feeling back to Hannibal.
You have to have that kind of moment that young people experience when they first walk into a professional game. It’s the sights, the sounds, the smells, all of that. So we really identified, ok how do we recreate that in a professional setting? And those were are tasks," said general manager Matt Stembridge.