Hartford Yard Goats

Hartford Yard Goats Make the Most of Opening Day

First Audience at Dunkin Donuts Park

The Hartford Yard Goats were supposed to open their fifth season as a minor league ball club on Thursday, but their season opener got postponed amid coronavirus concerns.

Other minor league seasons and Major League baseball opening days were also postponed.

No new date has been set, but on “Would-Be Opening Day," the Yard Goat’s front office staff is thinking ahead to their favorite places in the ballpark to catch a game from.

Team president Tim Restall likes the upper right field, while general manager Mike Abramson likes the seats by the dugout.

“The neat thing about that vantage point is it’s the hero shot all day long,” said Abramson.

Voice of the Yard Goats, Jeff Dooley can’t wait to take his spot in the press box, next to his broadcast partner of 20 years, Dan Lovallo. Dan, however, is ready for the seventh inning stretch. It’s a game day tradition for him to sing “Take Me out to the Ballgame."

“I find myself when I’m walking the dog or just walking around the house, singing ‘Take Me out to the Ball Game,’” said Lovallo.

Hartford was set to have a new manager this season, too. Southington native Chris Denorfia has yet to coach a game at Dunkin' Donuts park, but can’t wait for the chance.

“It’s the pageantry,” Denorfia said about his favorite part of opening day. “It’s the feeling that anything is possible, you know?”

One thing the Yard Goats know is once Opening Day comes, they’re never letting it go.

“It’s going to help people heal. It’ll help people celebrate. It will help people reconnect,” said Restall. “Whenever we do get to have opening day, every day after that will be like opening day."

But the team didn't waste this day either. Instead of playing ball, the Yard Goats donated 10,000 protective gloves to the state of Connecticut and 7,000 more to Foodshare. The team also donated meals to House of Bread and made sure each of their own game day employees got a meal today, too.

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