MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — There is no day like Opening Day, and the Pelicans are back in Myrtle Beach and gearing up for their 24th season on the Grand Strand. 

The members of the team arrived Monday from spring training, and as they prepare to play ball on Thursday, team officials are preparing for the return of fans to Pelicans Ballpark.

Taking care of the field, preparing food and beverages and solidifying promotions are just a few things on the checklist. 

General Manager Kristin Call, said that after 23 years of the Pelicans in Myrtle Beach, the team has found the formula for creating an unforgettable experience but that they’re always striving to improve. When it comes to making changes, it is all about what the fans want to see. 

“We want you to have a good time,” Call said.  “Are we playing the music that you want to hear? Are you having fun with the promotions? We’ve got 20 fireworks shows this year. We know that is something that folks really love. Just really making sure that when you come here, you’re having an unbelievable time so that you want to come back.”

Getting staff members ready is item No. 1. In addition to 15 full-time staff members, seasonal workers come in the form of more than 200 employees each game day. Call said it is not too hard to reach those numbers. 

“We have a lot of folks that come back year after year,” Call said. “We have some game-day staffers that have been with us for 15-plus years.”

The baseball team and the staff are not the only ones who need to prepare. Everyone’s favorite bat dog has been hard at work in his “spring training.”

“Slider’s been great,” Call said. “He’s been going through his spring training as well out here, usually working on retrieving bats, running the bases, doing his whole thing. He’s excited to get back at it as well.”

The Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs has a big following in Myrtle Beach. Call said when the fans get back in the stadium, it is like one big family reunion. 

Tickets to Pelicans games are available here.

The first pitch for the 2023 season opener against the Charleston RiverDogs is set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

* * *

Taylor Maresca is the weekend morning anchor and morning reporter at News13. She joined the team in June 2022 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Taylor is from Houston. Follow Taylor on Twitter and read more of her work here.