Minor League ‘Chukars’ play in Idaho Falls

The Idaho Falls Chukars, who are a minor league baseball team, opened the 2012 season Monday, June 18, in a comeback victory beating the Orem Owlz 16-14. Despite allowing six runs in the second inning and falling behind early in the game, the Chukars were able to come back and win later in the game. For opening night, there were special food deals at the concession stands, giveaways and a fireworks show after the game to celebrate the new season. The National Anthem was sung by Theresa Earmon, who has sung the anthem on opening night for a little more than 10 years now. The Chukars are a minor-league baseball team based in Idaho Falls. They play in the Pioneer League, which is a league formed for rookies drafted by major league ball clubs. The Chukars are affiliated with the Kansas City Royals, a MLB team, which means that the Royals send their players down to the Chukars, and other teams, in order to develop them for major-league play. The Chukars organization has existed since 1940, when they were known as the Russets. They’ve been affiliated with major-league teams since 1955 according to the team website. The Chukars play several times a week from June 18 to September 6 this year. They play their home games at Melaleuca field in Idaho Falls, which is less than a mile away from the Idaho Falls temple. There are several major-leaguers that have spent time with the Chukars in the past including former American League MVP Jose Canseco and long-time Yankees Manager Billy Martin. “It’s just a really good atmosphere here at Melaleuca field and we really enjoy bringing the family here every year for a few baseball games. I mean, it’s an American institution right?” said Rob Jones, a Rigby resident who was in attendance at the game with his wife and children. Multiple groups from BYU-Idaho were in attendance to take in the first game of the Chukars season “I think it’s a good idea for ward activities or family home evening groups to go see a good baseball game, especially because there’s no other teams very close to here to go watch if you like sports,” said Steven Cheng, a senior studying business management. Cheng said that his FHE group had a great time at the game. “Our FHE group went and I think it was a lot of fun for us, they scored a lot of points which is always cool,” said Derek Sharp, a freshman studying communication. Tickets for the Chukars are $7 per person and can be purchased at www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t444.

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