TERRE HAUTE —
If baseball players are superstitious, then the Terre Haute Rex couldn’t ask for a better omen than the rainbow spread across 1,300 fans at their inaugural game.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Terre Haute mom Dana Hancock said beside the bleachers full of people wearing blue, black and white, the colors of the home team. The Terre Haute Rex were up to bat in the opening game of their opening season, facing the Springfield Sliders, and her 6-year-old son Tyler was ready to go. “He was excited to come out to the game. He loves the logo,” she said, noting as she brushed away raindrops what everyone in the stands already knew, that the “weather is a little goofy.”
Driving rain around 6:30 p.m. threatened Terre Haute baseball’s big night as fans crowded about the Clabber Girl concession stand, holding whatever they could find above their heads.
But by 7 p.m. the sky was blue and sunny, albeit dotted with puffy clouds bearing sporadic rain. The rainy sunshine produced a rainbow crossing Terre Haute’s north side, and from various vantage points, it appeared to land in Bob Warn Field.
Concession stand prices seemed a good mix of family-friendly fare, from $1 boxes of Cracker Jack to $7 pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw, 16-ounce beers for $5 and “Rex Rally dogs” for $2. The Terre Haute’s Prospect League team’s first game also brought out a tent full of clothing, jerseys, hats and shirts, all bearing the Terre Haute Rex name and logo.
Kids scampered through the stands and across the facility’s playground, and Rex staff said the opening night was a big success.
General Manager Roland Shelton said he hopes the packed stands continue. “I’m excited that the community came out to support this Rex baseball team,” he said, adding that the team launch has been a community-wide effort with “great teamwork.”
Amy Huntsinger, Rex marketing director, said those efforts paid off at the ticket booth. “Over 1,300,” she said, noting the number of people who stayed despite the ongoing threat of rain. “We’re packed. We’re very, very pleased.”
Chad Lilguss, a fan in the stands, said the first game was looking pretty good around the third inning. “Thought I’d come and check it out,” he said, echoing comments from others about attendance. “This is more people than I’ve ever seen come out to an ISU game.”
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.