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    by Holly Freeland

    On Friday, April 11th, the Louisville Bats return to action for their first home game of 2008 at 7pm at Louisville Slugger Field.


    While the Louisville Bats are starting off this season with a stretch of 8 games as the visiting team, they’ll be returning to town with a bang!  On Friday April 11th, the night before Thunder Over Louisville, the Bats will host opening night at Slugger Field against the Pawtucket Red Sox.   Tickets are still available for the opening night game, and everyone in attendance will receive a schedule magnet. 


    Manager Rick Sweet enters his fourth season in the Reds organization and his 20th season as a Minor League skipper.  The team will also return key players Richie Gardner, Chris Dickerson and Sporting News’ Minor League Player of the year, Jay Bruce.  The Bats also had the League’s Rookie of the year in 2007 in Joey Votto as the team is hoping to build on their 74-70 season from last year and a 2nd place finish in the Western Division. 


    New for this year is the Grand Slam Ticket that includes Field Reserve Seat, a Bats souvenir cap, hot dog, soda and a game program, all for $16.  With various dates that include performances by Jake the Diamond Dog, beer specials and even post-game fireworks displays, Bats’ games are a great way to enjoy a family night or to get outside and watch some exciting baseball action! 


    And for all of you wanting to bring your furriest members of your family along, his year’s Dog Day at the Park is Wednesday, April 16th.  By making a donation of $3 per dog to the Kentucky Humane Society and the purchase of discounted game ticket, you and your pup will be able to watch the ballgame together in the Bats’ very own VIP (Very Important Puppies) section. 

    Also returning to Louisville in 2008 is the Meijer Triple A All-Star game on July 16th at Slugger Field.  Louisville will become the first International League city to host the event twice, and included in the All-Star festivities will be three events: Rally's FanFest from July 13-15, Papa John's Home Run Derby on July 14 and the Meijer Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16. 

    Season tickets as well as game package plans and All Star Game tickets are still available, and can be purchased through, or at the Bats box office, (502) 212-2287.  It’s time once again to get out and celebrate the national pastime in your own backyard in Louisville, Ky! 

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