Dana Ford with first pitch at Spring-Birds opener

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Cardinals are excited to announce that new Missouri State head men’s basketball coach Dana Ford will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch at Opening Day on Thursday at Hammons Field.

“We love the way the Cardinals and Missouri State have worked to better promote each other over the last few years, and this further strengthens that relationship,” Springfield Cardinals General Manager Dan Reiter said. “We can’t wait to welcome Coach Ford to Springfield and southwest Missouri’s great sports community as a part of Cardinals baseball.”

Following his First Pitch, Ford will available for a short Meet-and-Greet with fans on the concourse by the main gates.

Ford, hired by Missouri State on March 21, has created plenty of buzz throughout southwest Missouri since his arrival in Springfield after five years in the same position at Tennessee State University.

“The reception from the Springfield community has been overwhelming, and I am very excited to experience my first Springfield Cardinals game,” Ford said. “I’m honored to have the privilege of throwing out the first pitch.”

Opening Day Ceremonies begin Thursday when gates to Hammons Field open at 6:10 pm. First pitch against the RockHounds is scheduled for 7:10 pm.

In addition to Opening Day festivities – including the Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks Player Parade – Thursday’s game features the following:

– Great Southern Bank Magnet Schedule Giveaway (3,500 fans).
– Opening Day Fireworks Celebration.
– The KY3 65-Degree Guarantee, where if the temperature is below 65 degrees when pre-game ceremonies begin, all fans with an Opening Day ticket will receive a complimentary ticket to another 2018 April home game at Hammons Field.
– Klement’s $1 Bratwurst Night.

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