Biloxi Shuckers ready for first game in almost 600 days

Today was supposed to be opening day for the Biloxi Shuckers, 597 days after their last game.

Of course, thanks to Mother Nature, the longest off-season of all-time just got one day longer, but after overcoming a lost season due to COVID-19, Minor League Baseball is almost back on the Gulf Coast.

Names of Biloxi Shuckers past now realizing their stardom in the Show are the link to the pre-COVID past of Minor League Baseball on the Gulf Coast. Shuckers Manager Mike Guerrero said, “COVID is here. We know about it. We’ve just got to throw a no-hitter against him.”

After losing the entire 2020 season to a global pandemic, things are different now. The Shuckers are going through testing protocols every third day and between 85 and 95 percent of the team is vaccinated, but one thing that’s asymptomatic to COVID-19 is the love of the game. “You still feel the anxiety and the butterflies that hey, baseball is back and is going to be here and we’re looking forward to playing it.”

Now in his fifth season as manager of the Shuckers, Mike Guerrero says he was in Arizona for the Cactus League when Major League Baseball pulled the plug on spring training. He says he spent a lot of time on video calls with players during the shutdown, but when it comes to putting in the time and the work, you can only lead a horse to water. “The stop of development with the pandemic, yes it did. For the people that sat on the couch and were holding the couch down. And for people that took advantage of it and said this is not going to stop me. I’ve got to prepare because this is what I want to do and what my life dream is about, they got better.”

For the most part though, most everyone is in the same boat. And the Big-League Milwaukee Brewers are still going to give their top guys every chance to succeed in the minors like second-ranked prospect Brice Turang, who is opening his 2021 campaign with the Shuckers. “His baseball instincts are really good to play the game.”

Mississippi State fans can also be excited about former Bulldog pitcher Ethan Small, now with the Shuckers, as the organization’s fourth ranked prospect.

Perhaps following in the footsteps of former Shuckers pitcher Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and early NL Cy Young contender Corbin Burnes. “Cy Young stuff, it is. Those three guys, it would not surprise me where those guys are going to take the Brewers because those are right now the guys that are leading that team into first place.”

A friendly reminder as to the importance of who could be next this summer when we all say ‘I remember when at MGM Park.’

The Shuckers take on the Birmingham Barons in a six-game road series to start the season with a double header tomorrow before returning home on May 11th for their home opener.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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