MOOSIC -- With the crack of the bat, the “boys of summer” were back in northeastern Pennsylvania once again.
Monday was the home opener for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at PNC Field in Lackawanna County and fans were lining up at the gate hours before the 7:05 p.m. start.
People said the warm weather made it the perfect night for a ball game.
“Compared to last year when it was 40 degrees and rainy and they called the game after a couple innings, it's a blessing to have this great weather,” said Edward Lipkus from Clarks Green.
“Oh, it's awesome. It's definitely beautiful. You can't beat this day at all,” said Dominick Ciarcia, who came in from New York to watch the New York Yankees top minor league team take the field against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
“Last year was my first year. I came to like 10 games last year, so now I'm back for opening day,” said Ciarcia.
Even more exciting, the team is the returning 2016 AAA National Champions. It's the franchise's first ever national win.
“Oh, it's really cool, first time it's ever happened here at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,” said B-Ray, the on-field emcee with the RailRiders. “So we're going to celebrating the national champions tonight. We're going to be raising the flag during the pregame ceremonies and we're going to have a nice lineup with the championship video. We couldn't be prouder to be Railriders fans.”
“We'll see if they can repeat, got a lot of good players in their offense. They're hitting. If their pitching is under control, I think they can do it,” said Joey Lipkus from Clarks Green.
And families say it's another night of making memories.
“This is very nice, nice to have something to do in northeast PA,” said Karen Trently, who brought her toddler out to the game from Carbondale. “It's her first game so we're excited.”
“Such a marvelous day, such a marvelous stadium and sharing it with my 14-year-old son, nothing better,” said Lipkus.
The RailRiders will play home games against the Iron Pigs and the Buffalo Bisons through Sunday at PNC Field.