The Squirrels season is a thing to behold
The Richmond Flying Squirrels may be best known locally for their endless lineup of game-day promotions and bargain prices on stadium beers.
- Tonight's giveaway item, by the way, combines both fascinations: a Squirrel's-branded "patriotic beer belt," which conveniently holds six cans for easy, waist-level access.
Yes, but: This year, the team is also actually good.
- The city's plucky Minor League Baseball affiliate is headed to the playoffs for the first time in eight years and smashing team records along the way.
Here's a look at some of the highlights, lowlights and a few choice tips to help you enjoy the game.
The playoffs: The team beat the Akron RubberDucks at the end of last month to secure their spot.
- It was a big deal. Players celebrated the feat by drinking at least 500 beers under the grandstands, team manager Todd Parnell tells Axios.
The personalities: This year's team is big on swagger, but there are two names you should especially keep an eye out for.
- Frankie Tostado, a first baseman with long, flowing hair and a name that demands to be chanted, has a history of coming through with clutch hits.
- Then there's Sean Roby, who broke the team's single-season home run record (21) in front of a sold-out July 4 crowd.
- One of Roby's hits also broke a windshield in the parking lot, Parnell tells Axios, so be careful this year when parking near the backstop — the team stands by those big "not liable for damage" signs, though they did arrange an autograph session with the car's owner.
The drama: The season hasn't been all sunshine and homers.
- We're looking at you, Altoona. The Pennsylvania team's pitchers have repeatedly hit Squirrels players during at-bats this season.
- Fights aren't particularly common at Squirrels games, but Altoona provoked the team to clear the benches twice this season — though we're told the confrontations were mostly limited to trash talking.
The schedule: The team is in town for a 10-game homestand that kicks off tonight.
- General admission tickets are $13 day-of, and be warned: The team has an oppressive new policy banning most bags that aren't clear.
- Once you're in, you should know that the $14, 32-ounce craft beers are a better deal ounce-for-ounce than you'll find at the breweries themselves.
- And go early if you're trying to snag a giveaway item — cough, beer belt, cough — they're normally limited to the first few thousand customers.
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