This weekend is the type that the Jacksonville Sports Complex was made for. Whether you like the crack of the bat or the sound of football players crashing into walls, there's a little bit of everything for you this weekend. Oh yeah, and fireworks times two as well
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp continue their first homestead of the season with games against the Mobile BayBears all weekend. It's the first Fireworks Friday at the Baseball Grounds for 2018 with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.
If that's not enough, the Shrimp are also offering post-game fireworks on the first six Saturdays of the season, including this weekend when the first 2,000 fans get a free t-shirt designed by Shrimp fan. First pitch Saturday is at 6:35 p.m.
Saturday night across A. Phillip Randolph Boulevard is also the home opener for the defending National Arena League Champs, the Jacksonville Sharks. The Sharks won their opener on the road last weekend 41-38 and will take on the Massachusetts Pirates at Veterans Memorial Arena with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
The Shrimp close out the busy weekend with the first "Family Sunday" of the season where kids get to run the bases post-game. First pitch as at 3:05 p.m.
News and Notes
- They did it again. The Jacksonville Giants are once again the American Basketball Association Champs, winning this year's ABA tournament in enemy territory in Austin.
- Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Armada are getting close to opening up their first season as a member of the National Premier Soccer League. The team lost a preseason friendly Thursday night in Charleston, SC against the Battery 1-0. The team next travels to Atlanta for their final preseason match on April 21 against the Silverbacks. They open the NPSL regular season with a matchup against fellow NASL refugee Miami FC in South Florida. The first time fans in Jacksonville can see the Armada at home will be in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game against Villages FC at Southern Oak Stadium at Jacksonville University. Single match tickets are available here.
- Finally, your headline of the week, courtesy of ESPN.com "Empty Jeet seats: Marlins outdrawn by Double-A affiliate". In case you need a reminder, the Marlins AA affiliate is the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Have fun and get out to some games this weekend. Go Shrimp! Go Sharks!
Back to the Minors author Neal Bennett is the former digital director at First Coast News. He's a huge fan of all of Jacksonville's minor league teams. He works for FCN's parent company, TEGNA media.