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RiverHawks move dugouts in ’09

Tired of battling the sun, the Rockford RiverHawks move their home dugout from first base to third.
After lengthy efforts to get the sun to change position have failed, the Rockford RiverHawks have announced they will move the home dugout from first base to third base for the 2009 season.

The RiverHawks had been in the first-base dugout since the 2006 opening of Road Ranger Stadium, but had to deal with the sun at a potentially blinding angle late in the day during home games. In addition, while in the third-base dugout the last three years, the visiting team also had the advantage of shelter from the westerly winds that frequent the park.

“We’ve made numerous attempts to get in touch with the sun and request that it shine into the opposing team’s dugout, but the sun has not given us a favorable response,” RiverHawks general manager Josh Olerud said. “Short of starting our games at either sunrise or at 9 p.m., switching dugouts was our only option.”

Among other benefits in the move to the third-base dugout, the RiverHawks’ backups will be in a more favorable position to create shadow puppets.

 “That first-base dugout was reminiscent of Marinelli Field (the team’s old stadium) for the first two innings, it was blinding,” manager Bob Koopmann said. “On the serious side, it gives us easier communication with the third-base coach.”