Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Different turns and twists are included in the 2013 Princeton Rays baseball schedule.
When the P-Rays open the season against the Braves in Danville, Va., on June 20, it will be the first time since 1994 that a Princeton team will not be playing its opening game locally.
Every Appalachian League season-opening date between 1995-2012 saw Princeton either opening at home or in Bluefield.
The P-Rays’ first four three-game series of the 2013 campaign will be versus the four teams that qualified for the Appalachian League postseason playoffs last season: Danville, Burlington, Elizabethton, and Johnson City.
Another unusual occurrence in 2013 is that the P-Rays’ home opener will be on a Sunday, June 23, versus the Burlington Royals in a 6:05 p.m. start.
Princeton’s Monday-Saturday home game standard starting time will remain at 7:05 p.m. However, after beginning Sunday home games for the past two seasons at 3 p.m., and playing their home day games on Sundays since 2001, the P-Rays have announced that their standard Sunday home games in 2013 will have first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m.
Long-time P-Rays General Manager Jim Holland said, “In 2001 and for a few years after, we started at 4 p.m. on Sunday, then went to 5:30 for two years, then back to 4, then the last two years at 3 p.m. We thought we would try 6:05 p.m. to still have quite a bit of daylight during the game while also getting our spectators three hours removed from the intense mid-day heat of a 3 p.m. start.”
From 1988 through 2000, all Princeton single home games carried a 7 p.m. start time every day of the week.
At present, there are only two P-Rays’ home games in 2013 scheduled to begin at a time other than a standard posted game time. On Monday, July 22 at 11:05 a.m., the P-Rays host the Kingsport Mets. On Friday, August 23 at 3:05 p.m., Princeton plays the Bristol White Sox.