CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Opening Day for the Charleston Dirty Birds is less than a week away.

The team will open up the 2024 season at GoMart Ballpark against the Staten Island FerryHawks on Thursday, April 25. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.

Team owner and CEO Any Shea is as excited as ever for the start of the season. According to him, vibes are good right now.

“More than ever we are ready to go,” Shea said Thursday about his team and staff.

Shea’s goals heading into 2024 are to improve attendance and improve the play on the field.

“We are primed for that all around,” said Shea. “The team looks amazing. I have no doubt about how great the team’s going to be.”

The team is going through spring training at the moment. Shea has high hopes for this group who is under first-year manager P.J. Phillips.

“It’s kind of surreal being together again and almost as if nothing’s changed,” Shea said.

Shea and Phillips were a team during their time in Lexington. Phillips managed the Lexington club for three years where they won a league championship in 2021. Shea said he trusts Phillips and knows the team will have success under his direction.

“He’s a proven guy, but it’s off the fieid that I love the most with his integrity,” Shea said, talking highly about his manager. “He’s just a good human being.”

The team has hired a new general manager in Ben Blum as well as a few new faces in other parts of the office. She said they’ve brought in new people but have also added positions due to the growth of the organization.

“We’ve got roughly a 40% bigger staff than what we had on opening day last year so our company grows and our attendance grows,” he said.

For the fans, there are a few new things introduced this year that they should be excited about too. The ballpark will have a new kids area positioned behind the press box. Shea said there will also be a mini golf course that is currently being installed. Plus, you can’t have a ballpark without great food.

“We’re partnering with West Virginia Grown on a handful of things, our culinary department has put together a few things because that is a staple and a key at any venue, let alone a baseball stadium,” he said.

Also new this year, the Dirty Birds are hosting the first ever home run derby at the ballpark Saturday, April 20. There have been home run derbys at the ballpark put on by the Atlantic League before, but this is the first put on by the team.

“It’s gonna be a show with these guys that we got picking up a bat for this home run derby,” Shea said.

The team held their media day Thursday at the ballpark.

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