Fresno Grizzlies home opener celebrated tacos and Jose Ramirez
Baseball fever was back at Chukchansi Park with the Fresno Grizzlies playing their home opener Tuesday.
A near-sellout crowd of 10,198 packed the downtown stadium as many enjoyed the array of pregame festivities, which included an appearance from boxing champ Jose Ramirez, as well as the unique action on the diamond.
What started as a pitchers' duel morphed into a blowout as the Grizzlies fell 13-0 to the Tacoma Rainiers, allowing 11 runs in the ninth inning alone.
But on this night, all the fun helped cover up the final score.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand threw out a ceremonial first pitch with help from Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier's son, Carsten.
Fans got to see new Grizzlies owners Ray and Mike Baker and Jim Coufos, who were welcomed by Brand.
Then there was Ramirez, the WBC super lightweight world champion who threw out a first pitch -- all while carrying his belt on his shoulder.
He later signed autographs for the many fans who lined up to meet with the Avenal native.
Ramirez even had a impromptu boxing match against the Grizzlies' beloved mascot, Parker. It was a quick knockout win for Ramirez.
Parker, by the way, kicked off the night by flying into the stadium via parachute.
Of course, the night's main attraction might have been ... the tacos.
Not only did the Grizzlies change their name and wear alternate uniforms as the Fresno Tacos since it was Tuesday (Taco night throughout the season), fans crowded the gates 90 minutes before the first pitch to be among the first 1,000 who received free tacos.
Who doesn't love free tacos?
The Grizzlies even had some fun at the expense of Tacoma by spelling "Taco-ma" on the lineup card.