October 30, 2017 - American Association (AA) - St. Paul Saints
SUMMER DREAMIN': SAINTS 2018 SCHEDULE UNVEILED, WILL CELEBRATE 7,000,000TH FAN
ST. PAUL, MN - During the first three seasons of CHS Field the Saints have celebrated the opening of a ballpark, the All-Star Game and their Silver Anniversary Season. They have been three of the more memorable seasons in the 25-year history of the franchise. The fans have been an integral part of the organizations success since moving to Lowertown. The Saints have already welcomed more than 1.2 million fans to one of the best ballparks in the country and as they unveil the 2018 schedule they get set for another milestone: welcoming the 7,000,000th fan in franchise history.
For the first time since 2009 the Saints will begin the season away from home, opening the 26th season in franchise history on May 18 at the U.S. Steel Yard against the Gary SouthShore Railcats. It's the third consecutive season the Saints have begun the season against the Railcats, fourth in five years and fifth in the last seven years. Following the three-game series the Saints will start their fourth season at CHS Field with a three-game series on Monday, May 21 against the newest team in the American Association, the Chicago Dogs. The Saints opening homestand is a six-game affair with a Friday, May 25-Sunday, May 27 three-game series against the Railcats.
The annual High School Tournament roadtrip will take the Saints through three cities playing 10 games in 10 days. It begins with a four-game showdown against the Texas AirHogs in Grand Prairie from Monday, May 28-Thursday, May 31, then over to Cleburne to take on the Railroaders from Friday, June 1-Sunday, June 3 before finishing with a three-game set against the Wichita Wingnuts from Monday, June 4-Wednesday, June 6.
The Saints, who have led all of minor league baseball for the last three seasons in percent capacity, 112%, 117%, and 115%, respectively, are 279,847 fans away from the 7,000,000 mark. The Saints anticipate reaching the milestone during one of their early August home games.
In addition to the fan milestone, another impressive number is expected to be reached during the 2018 campaign: manager George Tsamis reaching 1,000 wins in his managerial career. He currently sits at 984.
The Saints will get their first look at the two-time defending American Association Champion Winnipeg Goldeyes in a four-game series at CHS Field from Thursday, June 21-Sunday, June 24. The two teams will also close the season with a three-game series at CHS Field from Saturday, September 1-Wednesday, September 3.
The Saints have eight homestands, plus a single home game on Monday, July 2 with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Seven of the eight homestands are multi-series, including two three-series homestands. It's just the second time in franchise history they have played three consecutive series at home. The only other time that occurred was in 2003.
In all, 26 of the 50 Saints home games will take place Friday-Sunday with six home games in May, 13 in June, 12 in July and 19 in August. The Saints will remain with the traditional 7:05 p.m. game time on Monday-Saturday and continue with the 5:05 p.m. Sunday game time. There will be four weekday afternoon games: Opening Day, May 21 at 3:05 p.m., Wednesday, June 13 at 1:05 p.m., Wednesday, July 11 at 1:05 p.m. and Wednesday, August 15 at 1:05 p.m. There are nine Friday night fireworks and three additional Fireworks Super Shows on Memorial Weekend, Sunday, May 27 (5:05 p.m.), the Independence Celebration on Monday, July 2 (6:05 p.m.) and Fan Appreciation Day, Sunday, September 2 (5:05 p.m.).
The American Association made a few changes for the 2018 season going from three divisions to two divisions for the first time since 2010. The league eliminated the Salina Stockade and added the Chicago Dogs, who will open a new ballpark in Rosemont, IL. The 12-team league will be comprised as follows: North: Saints, Chicago (IL) Dogs, Fargo-Moorhead (ND) RedHawks, Gary SouthShore (IN) Railcats, Sioux Falls (SD) Canaries and Winnipeg (MB) Goldeyes. South: Cleburne (TX) Railroaders, Grand Prairie (TX) AirHogs, Kansas City (KS) T-Bones, Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs, Sioux City (IA) Explorers, and Wichita (KS) Wingnuts.
The league will once again play a 100-game schedule with six teams in the North and six teams in the South Division. Each team will play two, home and home series within their division and one home-and-home series with the opposing division. The top two teams in each division will make the playoffs and face off in a best-of-five series. The winner of each series will then play the winner of the opposing division in a best-of-five for the championship.
The Saints will play a total of 63 games within their own division (33 home, 30 away), and 37 against the South (17 home, 20 away).
Group and specialty seating tickets will go on sale November 16 while single game tickets will go on sale in March. Season tickets are currently available for CHS Field. For more information contact the Saints ticket office at 651-644-6659 or visit saintsbaseball.com.
The entire 2018 schedule is below:
18-20 @ Gary SouthShore 1-2 @ Fargo-Moorhead
21-23 vs. Chicago 3-5 vs. Kansas City
24 OFF 6-8 @ Sioux Falls
25-27 vs. Gary SouthShore 9-12 vs. Gary SouthShore
28-31 @ Texas 13-16 vs. Sioux Falls
17-18 vs. Fargo-Moorhead
JUNE 19 OFF
1-3 @ Cleburne 20-22 @ Sioux Falls
4-6 @ Wichita 23-25 @ Chicago
7 OFF 26 OFF
8-10 vs. Sioux Falls 27-28 @ Winnipeg
11-13 vs. Fargo-Moorhead 29-31 vs. Chicago
15-17 @ Chicago SEPTEMBER
18-20 @ Lincoln 1-3 vs. Winnipeg
21-24 vs. Winnipeg
25-27 vs. Sioux City
28-30 @ Winnipeg
1 @ Winnipeg
2 vs. Fargo-Moorhead
3-4 @ Fargo-Moorhead
6 -8 vs. Lincoln
9-11 vs. Cleburne
12-15 @ Kansas City
17-19 @ Sioux City
20-22 @ Gary SouthShore
25-26 vs. Wichita
27-29 vs. Texas
30-31 @ Fargo-Moorhead