New Biloxi Shuckers mascot revealed
BILOXI -- MGM Park on Saturday was awash in fans wearing blue shirts and blue hats. But don't assume they were all there to support the Biloxi Shuckers. The blue hue is also one of the colors of the Shuckers' major league parent team, the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers were on the Coast for an exhibition game against the Shuckers.
Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich, wearing a Shuckers jersey, threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch. More than 5,00 people attended the game, some traveling a few hours to catch a glimpse of some of their favorite Brewers players, who signed autographs for fans throughout the day.
"I'm a big fan of Major League Baseball," Chris Coleman of Orange Beach, Ala., said. "I drove over in hopes of meeting some of the Brewers."
Coleman said he wasn't disappointed, having gotten autographs from most of the team.
"I was excited to meet (Brewers left fielder) Ryan Braun and get his autograph," he said. "I love baseball -- I follow the Mobile BayBears, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Shuckers."
DJ Brewer, 15, of Vancleave was wearing a Brewers cap at the game. He said he was there to see his favorite team in action.
"I come to a lot of Shuckers games, but today I'm going to pull for the Brewers," he said.
The game was also a chance for Milwaukee native Staci Milosavljievich, who lives in Vancleave, to relive some old memories.
"I'm very excited about this because I grew up watching the Brewers," she said. "I'm going to pull for the Brewers and I just met Ryan Braun -- he's my favorite player."
Saturday was also a day of new beginnings and developing traditions at MGM Park. The south entrance to the stadium, the one with the large gold lion, was opened to Shuckers fans for the first time. Families using the entrance took the opportunity to pose for photos and selfies in front of the big cat.
A highlight for many fans was the unveiling of the newest member of the Shuckers family.
After months of speculation and discussion, Schooner the Seagull, the team's new costumed mascot, was revealed in the middle of the first inning.
Schooner made his debut aboard a Mercedes-Benz convertible from right field, motoring halfway around the ballfield. Schooner will be the team's on-field mascot and the oyster in a shell will remain its official logo.
Schooner's operator was selected during the Shuck Off talent contest in March.
"I like Schooner," said Hayden Grace Caswell, 7, of Hattiesburg.
Another addition to the on-field entertainment was performers in sausage, corn, crawfish and potato costumes. The entertainers made their debut in the middle of the fifth inning.