Tonight at 6 p.m., the Chatham Anglers will take on the U.S. Military All-Stars in what will be the team's only exhibition game at Veterans Field. Following a string of preseason practices, the team is eager to take the field for some in-game action.
"It's always good to get a game under your belt. We're looking to see what our pitchers can do. We want to get them under game conditions and have some fun with it. We want to try to get all the bugs out," said assistant coach Jay Grenier who is in his fifth year with the team.
The game will be a night to remember for Chatham as the town celebrates its tricentennial, 90 years of baseball at Veterans Field, 50 years of operation for the Chatham Athletic Association and 20 years for the Anglers under manager John Schniffer. In addition to all of Chatham's festivities, the town will have a chance to honor some of America's most decorated Marines.
"It's special. These people are a special group. They put things in perspective for us and demonstrate what life's really all about. There's a tough world out there and for us to come out on a baseball field is great. They're our heroes and just to be able to share a passion that we all love is a special thing. I'm really looking forward to it and so are the guys," said Grenier.
A team that tours the world to compete against professional, independent and collegiate summer clubs, the U.S. Military All-Stars were founded in 1990 as the U.S. Navy Baseball club and were renamed in 2010 due to the limited number of available U.S. troops to play for the team. As of today, the U.S. Military All-Stars consist of former professional athletes as well as off-duty servicemen. Throughout their travels, the U.S. Military All-Stars stress the sacrifices and accomplishments of U.S. servicemen and women around the globe through the medium of America's pastime.
Far from a cakewalk, tonight's game will provide a nice test for the Anglers as they look to prepare for the 2012 campaign. Facing some of the Armed Forces' best athletes, Chatham will have a great opportunity to showcase the team's talent to the fans. With lots of spectacles both on and off the field, Chatham's Founders game is a must-see for anyone who loves history, baseball and the military.