If advance ticket sales are any indication, Glynn Academy’s first home game of the baseball season will be among the most memorable opening days in team history.

Nearly 300 of the 325 VIP tickets at $20 apiece have already been sold and general admission ticket sales at $5 each are strong for Friday’s game, said Steve Waters, Glynn County schools athletic director.

The VIP tickets include a commemorative ticket, souvenir baseball and a Southern Soul Barbeque dinner with chips, a side dish and beverage.

An estimated 50 former players will stand along the first- and third-base lines, school board members will be on the field and the Glynn Academy chorus will sing the national anthem in front of the pitching mound.

It doesn’t sound like a typical opening day for a high school baseball team, but this year is special for a good reason. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright is returning to his alma mater to toss the opening pitch on the new field named in his honor.

Wainwright Field has already been named the best high school baseball field of the year by the Georgia Dugout Club.

“The pre-game ceremony is something people want to be there for,” Waters said. “I’ve had some good response, so far.”

The field is being named after Wainwright, one of the great Red Terrors’ baseball players in school history, for his role in making the sports complex a reality by donating 10 acres of land and helping to pay some of the costs to build the complex. Waters estimated Wainwright donated about $1 million to help offset the cost.

The athletic complex is on a 16-acre site near Glynn Middle School includes softball and baseball fields, a football/soccer field surrounded by a 400-meter track and a 13,000-square-foot indoor batting and pitching facility.

After Wainwright tosses the opening pitch at 5:58 p.m., the Terrors, 1-0, will face Brantley County for the first game played on the field. Glynn won its season-opener 6-1 at Camden on Monday.

“I think there may be some extra excitement on the field for the players,” he said. “There is a little extra excitement on campus. It will be a state championship atmosphere with the crowd.”

During and after the game, the Glynn Academy Diamond Club will conduct tours of the complex.

“They’re getting excited,” Waters said of the booster club. “If there’s a need, they help to fill it.”

In anticipation of the big crowd and the unfamiliarity with where to park at the new complex, Waters said police will be on hand to direct traffic opening day.

A limited number of VIP tickets are still available. Call 267-4100, ext. 1302 to purchase tickets.

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I had the privilege of being on the sideline in 1979 for Herschel Walker’s final high school football game in Wrightsville, when the future Georgia Heisman Trophy winner ran for 365 yards and five touchdowns to lead Johnson County to an easy state championship win.