As odd as it seems, year 14 of the Bridgeport Bluefish is upon us.
The Park City’s baseball team is set to embark upon another year of Atlantic League baseball. The Bluefish reached the Atlantic League Championship Series in 2010, stumbling to the York Revolution in three games.
On Friday night, the Bluefish attempt to get back to that level, opening the season against the Long Island Ducks at 7 The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.
I was in the ballpark for media day on Thursday, and manager, and Fairfield resident, Willie Upshaw is excited to kick off another year with the Bluefish. General manager Bob Goughan has promised a “more friendly fan experience” at Harbor Yard this year, and Bridgeport is trying its best to build its fan base.
“We’re looking to draw better,” Goughan said. “We’re looking to make the park a more exciting place to be.”
Bridgeport has some former standout Major Leaguers on its roster, currently. Angel Berroa was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2003. Eric Munson holds the dubious distinction of being the first person not named Josh to be picked in the 1999 MLB draft (Hamilton and Beckett went Nos. 1 and 2). Antonio Alfonseca was a great lockdown closer in the bigs too.
The team raves about its chemistry, and has long-time Bridgeporters Adam Greenberg, Steve Moss, Matt Pike and opening day starter Pat Ryan returning.
But do any of you care?
The Bluefish won’t exist without support from the community. They’re trying to reach as far north as New Haven, as far south as lower Fairfield county, and continue to sustain itself in Fairfield and the surrounding areas.
Goughan referred to the mismanagement which take place prior to his tenure in Bridgeport. He knows it’s a struggle to regain the people who were lost to other outlets around the area.
“This place was a draw magnet,” Goughan said. “They didn’t have the wherewithal to sustain it, and if you lose that, that’s very difficult to get back.”
But let’s be real here, if you live in Fairfield, you can see baseball for cheap, that is 10 minutes away. Kids eat it up, and BB is there and there are promotion items, and food and whatnot. It’s a cheap night out for the kids.
“We’ve dressed up the ballpark,” Goughan said. “We’ve taken great strides in the two years I’ve been here.”
Plus, if the team actually wins, that makes it even better. And Upshaw and Goughan think they’ll win a lot this year.
“We want to be fan friendly,” Upshaw said. “Hopefully we’ll get the support that we need.”
If you guys want there to be a year 15 of Bluefish, make sure you head out to Harbor Yard this year.