HARTFORD, May 5 — In April, the Hartford Yard Goats baseball team had the best record in the Eastern League (18-4) with the league’s best pitching staff. No one in Connecticut – unless they were willing to take a long drive — saw a single pitch of that performance.
Since construction on Dunkin Donuts Park in downtown Hartford isn’t complete, the Yard Goats spent the month of April on the road. They were the home team in the games they were scheduled to play in Hartford but the closest the Yard Goats came to Connecticut was games in New Hampshire.
Fans in Connecticut will finally get a chance to see the Yard Goats. The Eastern League announced Thursday that Hartford will play nine games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich beginning Thursday, May 12.
Dodd Stadium was once home for the Double A Norwich Navigators and Connecticut Defenders from 1995 through 2009 before the Defenders moved to Richmond, Virginia. The stadium is currently home to the Connecticut Tigers, a Single A club in the New York/Penn League. They don’t begin play until June 22.
Hartford, the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, will host a series with New Hampshire (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) from May 12-15 and then host Akron (Cleveland Indians) as part of the same homestand on May 16-18. The Yard Dogs will host three games with Bowie (Baltimore Orioles) on May 23-24.
“This announcement by the Eastern League, which was expected due to the stadium construction delays, will give the Yard Goats players and coaching staff the opportunity to get home from the 37-day road trip and get settled in Hartford as we prepare for opening day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park,” Yard Goats General Manager Tim Restall said.
Yard Goat season ticket holders will be able to attend each game in Norwich free of charge. For all other fans, tickets will be on sale at the Dodd Stadium box office.
The Yard Goats are scheduled to play their first game in Hartford on May 31 but published reports in the Hartford Courant said that the Eastern League has not committed to that date yet.
Yard Goats debut in Connecticut
Thursday, May 12: NEW HAMPSHIRE, 6:05 p.m.
Friday, May 13: NEW HAMPSHIRE, 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, May 14: NEW HAMPSHIRE, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, May 15: NEW HAMPSHIRE, 1:35 p.m.
Monday, May 16: AKRON, 6:05 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17: AKRON, 6:05 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18: AKRON, 12:35 p.m.
Monday, May 23: BOWIE, 6:05 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24: BOWIE (2), 4:05 p.m.