CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Angela Moryan talks to Lookouts President Rich Mozingo about the long awaited return of minor league baseball in Chattanooga.
Angela: 21 months without a first pitch in this field. What word describes how much anticipation you have for Tuesday night’s game?
Rich Mozingo: I think there’s a couple words. Relief is number one. The idea that we’re playing baseball again after all we’ve been through, after all our community’s been through, after all our nation’s been through, there’s a great, great amount of relief just to get to this point. Probably outside of that, exhilaration. I am super excited to have baseball going on again in Chattanooga and to have people in the ballpark to watch it.
Angie: You had a number of sponsors keep sponsoring the club even without a season last year. How have you seen the community rally around the Lookouts?
Rich: It has been unbelievable. Some of those people that you’re talking about. Some of the stories that I have. And I’m not going to single one out. But people that paid us for last year because they knew how important we were to the community and then just reupped their program again this year. We had season ticket holders that paid for last year, and said, ‘Hey, you keep that money. This is my 2021 money.’ It’s been unbelievable the heartfelt, heart-warming stories that we’ve had throughout this pandemic. I can’t tell you how many people tell me they drive down 27 and their kids ask, ‘Dad, when can we go back to the Lookouts?’ or ‘Mom, when can we go back to the Lookouts?’ Stories like that. Stories like missing a summer that you went out with your grandfather or whatever it may be. And Angie, those stories are time and time again. The amount of people that have reached out to us and told us how much they miss us and how much they look forward to coming back has really been just stunning to me.
Angie: There won’t be any entertainment on the field. What can fans expect to see different as far as entertainment goes?
Rich: I just think we have to be more creative. No national anthems on the field so we’ve got a beautiful video board. We’re going to have video tapes of people singing. We’re also going to have live national anthems but it just won’t be from the field a little bit later in the homestand, so those kinds of things will be fun. First pitches, we’re going to have vitual first pitches and hopefully from all over the United States. You’re not going to see bat boys on the field this year. There’s so many differences that are going to happen this year. It’s going to be interesting to watch.
Angie: For you, what are you most excited about for Opening Day?
Rich: It’s the same every single opening day. I have the opportunity, I have the great fortune to stay out in front of our ballpark and great people as they come in and watch kids and their parents and their grandparents all come together as a group and they decided to spend their night with us. That is a huge boost of confidence for us, and it just warms my heart every single year.>