An appearance by Carole Baskin, postgame fireworks, guaranteed wins and an Easter egg hunt highlight the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels’ opening homestand of the 2022 baseball season.

The Mighty Mussels play a six-game series against the Jupiter Hammerheads from April 12-17 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

The team’s first celebrity appearance this season is April 15, when Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, spends an evening at the ballpark.

“Over the years, we’ve had celebrities like Corbin Bernsen, the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and several actors from The Office, but the response to Carole Baskin has been phenomenal,” said Team President Chris Peters. “We wanted to move beyond just a photo op, though, to join Carole in raising money for her nonprofit.”

The mission of Big Cat Rescue is to provide the best home it can for cats in its care, end abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent extinction of big cats in the wild. Players and coaches will be wearing custom tiger-print jerseys and hats with leis – a signature of Baskin – for Big Cat Rescue Night. Each jersey will be auctioned after the game with proceeds supporting Big Cat Rescue.

“When the Mussels approached us with this idea, my immediate reaction was ‘What a fun way to build awareness of the plight of big cats in captivity to an audience we might not otherwise reach,’” Baskin said. “My hope is that everyone will have a great time and when they get home will go to BigCatAct.com and contact their senators and representative asking them to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.”

The legislation would prohibit the private possession of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars and hybrids.

Baskin will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game, which starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 15. Peters and Mighty Mussels Majority Partner John Martin recently traveled to Tampa for a pitching lesson with Baskin, who practiced throwing with the team’s mascot, Mussel Man.

“I have been tuning up my pitching arm preparing to surprise everyone with a sizzling fast ball!” Baskin joked.

Promotions for the Mighty Mussels six-game opening homestand at Hammond Stadium include:

Tuesday, April 12 (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

  • Guaranteed Opening Night Win: Fans get a free ticket to the next day’s game if the Mussels don’t win
  • Magnet Schedule Giveaway: First 2,000 fans receive a 2022 Mighty Mussels schedule
  • Two for Tuesday: BOGOs on beer, soda and hotdogs

Wednesday, April 13 (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

  • Bark in the Park: Dogs are welcome (leash required)
  • Guaranteed Win Night: Fans get a free ticket to the next day’s game if the Mussels don’t win
  • Dollar Dog Night: Hotdogs cost $1
  • Ladies Night: Women get 2-for-1 deals on seltzer and wine
  • Silver Sluggers: Club members 55+ receive free tickets and free parking
  • Reading Program Night: Students who completed the Mussels Reading Challenge get a free ticket

Thursday, April 14 (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

  • 90s Night: Fans are encouraged to dress in 1990s attire
  • Miracle Throwback Night: Players will wear retro Miracle jerseys
  • Snowbird Appreciation Night: Fans with out-of-state IDs can purchase $5 tickets
  • College Night: Students with valid college IDs can purchase $5 tickets
  • $1 and $2 Beer Night: 12-ounce cans are $1 and draft beers are $2

Friday, April 15 (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

  • Big Cat Rescue Night with Carole Baskin: Celebrity appearance and custom tiger-print jersey auction
  • Fireworks Friday: Postgame fireworks spectacular after the ninth inning
  • Wicked Dolphin Happy Hour: BOGO drinks at the Salty Crab/Wicked Dolphin Bar

Saturday, April 16 (first pitch at 7 p.m.)

  • Animal Cruelty Awareness Night: Join the Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness and fight animal cruelty
  • Easter Egg Hunt: Children can hunt for eggs on the field at 6 p.m.
  • Cancer Sucks Night: Join nonprofits in raising money to fight cancer
  • Guaranteed Win Night: Fans get a free ticket to the next day’s game if the Mussels don’t win
  • Post-Game Fireworks; Postgame fireworks spectacular after the 9th inning
  • Fanny Pack Giveaway: First 500 fans receive a Mighty Mussels fanny pack

Sunday, April 17 (first pitch at 1 p.m.)

  • Sunday Brunch: Enjoy an all-you-can-eat ballpark brunch for $15
  • Kids Club Sunday: Club members 14 and under get free tickets and a T-shirt
  • Kids Catch on the Field: Children can play catch from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Kids Run the Bases: Children can run bases after the game

For a complete list of promotions and special events, please visit MightyMussels.com.

About the Mighty Mussels

The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels are the Low-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and have played home games at Hammond Stadium since 1992. The franchise, which offers affordable family fun for all ages, plays in the Florida State League’s highly competitive West Division. The Mighty Mussels are led off the field by Majority Partner John Martin and President Chris Peters, and on the field by Manager Brian Meyer. Notable alumni include MLB All-Stars Joe Mauer, David Ortiz, Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Torii Hunter. Tickets for Mighty Mussels games start at $10. For more information or to purchase individual, group or season tickets, please visit MightyMussels.com or call 239-768-4210 and follow the Mighty Mussels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.