By Betsy Dolan
In just eight days, on April 26, the much anticipated first pitch of the Sugar Land Skeeter’s inaugural season will be thrown at Constellation Field. Amid construction crews putting the finishing touches in place, the team held their very first media-day on Friday, April 13, giving the press the opportunity to interview players and coaches.
One of those players, Josh Pressley, 32, will likely be the Skeeter’s first baseman this season and a key offensive player for the team. In 1998, he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 4th round and has played with various minor league and independent organizations over his career including five years with the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League where he was named the Atlantic League MVP in 2008. That big league dream, Pressley said, is still very much alive.
“There isn’t a guy here who isn’t still hoping,” Pressley said. “That’s why the fans will enjoy the games so much. It will be exciting, fast-paced baseball.”
The Skeeters are members of the independent Atlantic League which has no alliance with any major league organization. The Atlantic League plays at a level similar to AA or AAA in major league farm clubs. Many of the players in the Atlantic league have some big league experience, including Skeeters right handed pitcher, Gary Majewski, 32, who grew up in Houston and attended St. Pius. He has had stints with Montreal, Washington, Cincinnati and Houston and after taking last year off, wants to try one more time.
“It’s nice to be able to go home to my wife and kids. It puts me at ease,” Majewski said of being in Sugar Land, “I’m here to give it one more shot and see what happens.”
Skeeter manager and former major league all-star, Gary Gaetti, is excited about the opportunity to be at the helm of the team’s first season.
“It’s so unique to have an opportunity to build a team”, Gaetti stated. “I’d be proud to see some of these guys make it to the big leagues. We can’t wait to get out on the grass and get down to baseball business”.
The Skeeter’s first game will be at 7:05 on Thursday, April 26 against the York Revolution.
(CORRECTION) Public Open House: MORE DETAILS TO COME
In addition, the Skeeters announced that Cox Media Group will be broadcasting all 140 regular-season and all postseason Skeeter games. All games will be streamed live in high-definition on the internet and will be called by Lane Zieben via a Skeeters Mobile App that is in the works for both iPhone and Android. It will also be available at the websites of the new 93Q, Houston’s country station and Houston’s classic rock hits station, 106.9, the Eagle.