Great expectations for GreenJackets in 2008

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Entering the twenty-first consecutive season of minor league baseball in Augusta, the GreenJackets will begin the 2008 season this week already looking at a shot at the record books.

Lake Olmstead Stadium, home of the Augusta Greenjackets, likely will attract a capacity crowd for Thursday's season opener against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. As of Thursday, fewer than 50 tickets remained for the game.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Lake Olmstead Stadium, home of the Augusta Greenjackets, likely will attract a capacity crowd for Thursday's season opener against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. As of Thursday, fewer than 50 tickets remained for the game.

"We've never started out the season with three straight sellouts, but we're looking at doing it this year," GreenJackets general manager Nick Brown said on Thursday. "We have less than 50 tickets left for opening day and less than 200 each for Friday and Saturday."

A record-breaking number of season ticket holders and the hype of a new season will ensure Lake Olmstead Stadium will be filled to capacity for the season opener on Thursday at 7:35 p.m. It's the first time since 2003 that the GreenJackets have a home opener before Masters Week.

Brown said his front office plans to take full advantage of the early start.

"We'll have all the normal pageantry that comes on opening day," he said. "We'll give away magnet schedules and thunder sticks. We want it to be rowdy."

Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli will throw out the first pitch on Thursday to start a four-game series with the Greensboro Grasshoppers that will last through the weekend.

The GreenJackets, the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, are being hyped as the team with the most potential for success in the entire San Francisco Giants farm system.

The team has won 181 games over the past two seasons, and, though much of last year's talent will move up in the minor leagues, the GreenJackets stand to inherit much of the Class A short season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. That team won its second Northwest League championship in a row last year with a record of 57-19.

The team will also be under new leadership. Roberto Kelly, the GreenJackets manager for the past three seasons, will serve as the first base coach for the San Francisco Giants this season. Andy Skeels, last year's hitting coach for the GreenJackets, will take over as manager.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com

20 YEARS OF MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IN AUGUSTA

AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

YEAR RECORD POSTSEASON
2007 89-51 reached first round
2006 92-47 reached league finals
2005 77-59 regular season 3rd
2004 66-73 regular season 12th
2003 49-87 regular season 16th
2002 69-67 regular season 8th
2001 74-65 reached first round
2000 83-58 reached first round
1999 69-70 won league championship
1998 68-74 reached second round
1997 71-71 reached first round
1996 71-70 reached first round
1995 76-62 won league championship
1994 50-86 regular season 14th

AUGUSTA PIRATES

1993 59-82 regular season 12th
1992 67-74 regular season 11th
1991 68-74 regular season 9th
1990 73-70 regular season 8th
1989 77-67 won league championship
1988 78-60 regular season 4th

Source: www.baseball-reference.com.

SEASON SCHEDULE

April 3 vs. Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7:35 p.m.


April 4 vs. Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7:05 p.m.


April 5 vs. Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7:05 p.m.


April 6 vs. Greensboro Grasshoppers, 2:05 p.m.


April 7 at West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


April 8 at West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


April 9 at West Virginia Power, 10:35 a.m.


April 10 at West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


April 11 at Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


April 12 at Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


April 13 at Lexington Legends, 2:05 p.m.


April 14 at Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


April 15 vs. Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


April 16 vs. Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


April 17 vs. Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


April 18 vs. Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


April 19 vs. Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


April 20 vs. Greenville Drive, 2:05 p.m.


April 21 vs. Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


April 23 at Hickory Crawdads, 6:30 p.m.


April 24 at Hickory Crawdads, 6:30 p.m.


April 25 at Hickory Crawdads, 7 p.m.


April 26 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


April 27 vs. Asheville Tourists, 2:05 p.m.


April 28 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


April 29 at Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


April 30 at Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


May 1 at Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


May 2 at Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


May 3 vs. Rome Braves, 7:05 p.m.


May 4 vs. Rome Braves, 2:05 p.m.


May 5 vs. Rome Braves, 7:05 p.m.


May 6 vs. Rome Braves, 7:05 p.m.


May 7 vs. Columbus Catfish, 7:05 p.m.


May 8 vs. Columbus Catfish, 7:05 p.m.


May 9 vs. Columbus Catfish, 7:05 p.m.


May 10 vs. Columbus Catfish, 7:05 p.m.


May 12 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


May 13 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


May 14 at Rome Braves, 10:30 a.m.


May 15 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


May 16 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


May 17 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


May 18 at Columbus Catfish, 2 p.m.


May 19 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


May 20 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


May 21 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


May 22 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


May 23 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


May 24 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


May 25 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 2:05 p.m.


May 26 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 2:05 p.m.


May 27 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


May 29 at Savannah Sand Gnats, 7 p.m.


May 30 at Savannah Sand Gnats, 7 p.m.


May 31 at Savannah Sand Gnats, 7 p.m.


June 1 at Savannah Sand Gnats, 2 p.m.


June 2 vs. Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


June 3 vs Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


June 4 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


June 5 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


June 6 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 7:05 p.m.


June 7 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 7:05 p.m.


June 8 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 5:35 p.m.


June 10 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 11 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 12 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 13 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


June 14 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


June 15 at Greenville Drive, 4 p.m.


June 19 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 20 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 21 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 22 vs. Asheville Tourists, 5:35 p.m.


June 23 vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


June 24 vs. Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


June 25 vs. Greenville Drive, 10:35 a.m.


June 26 vs. Greenville Drive, 7:05 p.m.


June 27 at Hickory Crawdads, 7 p.m.


June 28 at Hickory Crawdads, 7 p.m.


June 29 at Hickory Crawdads, 5 p.m.


June 30 at Hickory Crawdads, 7 p.m.


July 1 at Hickory Crawdads, 7 p.m.


July 2 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


July 3 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


July 4 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


July 5 vs. Charleston Riverdogs, 7:05 p.m.


July 7 at Lakewood BlueClaws, 7:05 p.m.


July 8 at Lakewood BlueClaws, 7:05 p.m.


July 9 at Lakewood BlueClaws, 11:05 a.m.


July 10 at Lakewood BlueClaws, 7:05 p.m.


July 11 at Delmarva Shorebirds, 7:05 p.m.


July 12 at Delmarva Shorebirds, 7:05 p.m.


July 13 at Delmarva Shorebirds, 5:05 p.m.


July 14 at Delmarva Shorebirds, 7:05 p.m.


July 16 vs. Hagerstown Suns, 7:05 p.m.


July 17 vs. Hagerstown Suns, 7:05 p.m.


July 18 vs. Hagerstown Suns, 7:05 p.m.


July 19 vs. Hagerstown Suns, 7:05 p.m.


July 20 vs. Lake County Captains, 5:35 p.m.


July 21 vs. Lake County Captains, 7:05 p.m.


July 22 vs. Lake County Captains, 7:05 p.m.


July 23 vs. Lake County Captains, 7:05 p.m.


July 25 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


July 26 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


July 27 at Rome Braves, 2 p.m.


July 28 at Rome Braves, 7 p.m.


July 29 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


July 30 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


July 31 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


Aug. 1 at Columbus Catfish, 7 p.m.


Aug. 2 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 3 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 5:35 p.m.


Aug. 4 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 5 vs. Savannah Sand Gnats, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 7 at Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7 p.m.


Aug. 8 at Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7 p.m.


Aug. 9 at Greensboro Grasshoppers, 7 p.m.


Aug. 10 at Greensboro Grasshoppers, 5 p.m.


Aug. 11 vs. West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 12 vs. West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 13 vs. West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 14 vs. West Virginia Power, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 15 vs. Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 16 vs. Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 17 vs. Lexington Legends, 5:35 p.m.


Aug. 18 vs. Lexington Legends, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 19 at Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 20 at Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 21 at Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 22 at Kannapolis Intimidators, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 23 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


Aug. 24 at Greenville Drive, 4 p.m.


Aug. 25 at Greenville Drive, 7 p.m.


Aug. 27 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 28 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 29 vs. Hickory Crawdads, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 30 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


Aug. 31 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


Sept. 1 at Asheville Tourists, 7:05 p.m.


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