The opening ceremonies for the College World Series scheduled for Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha were cancelled due to the stormy weather.
A scaled down private ceremony for the teams was moved indoors to the Civic Auditorium's Mancuso Hall.
Much is happening at the College World Series and the games haven’t even started yet.
Fans were getting an up-close look at their teams Thursday and what to expect when they take the field. For the Roddy family of Omaha, it doesn't get much better than this. “You guys are the best!"
Or maybe one thing would help. Mikey was hoping to be tossed a ball by the Stony Brook players as they practiced. “He's really hoping to, he's begging the players,” said Marcy Roddy.
“I'll trade you a cupcake!" said Mikey.
Shane Orr of Omaha was lucky enough to grab one. “He gave me the nod so I got the ball."
And whether you're hoping to catch a ball or maybe a date, “Nick Brass is pretty good looking, pretty good player, but we bring a white board just so you can switch it up, poster board obviously you can't switch it,” noted Cari Cetola of Omaha.
"I love the College World Series, it's amazing, I love it." Travis Kephart tried out his swing. "It felt good. I haven't picked up a bat in a few years so it was pretty fun.” Fans could also try out their arm. The biggest draw seemed to be the eight teams who made it to Omaha.
“I just came out here to watch every team practice,” said Brandon Haase of Omaha.
"I've got a ball, I've been in the Fan Fest, I've gone in the stadium and watched players throw stuff,” said Christopher Atkinson of Omaha, who someday might find himself playing in the CWS. "I don't know, I kind of want to go into the MLB and the College World Series and stuff."
Their love of the game has only increased from experiences like this. Brandon received a ball from a Stony Brook coach, but that hasn’t converted him to a Seawolves’ fan. “No, Florida!"
After the Stony Brook Seawolves warmed up, it was off to sign autographs and they discovered they have plenty of fans in Omaha. "It's pretty amazing, it's every kid's dream to be able to do this so right now I'm just trying to enjoy it,” said catcher Pat Cantwell. "I remember when I was that small and the only thing I really wanted to do was make it here and now we're just enjoying the ride together."
Cantwell said despite being called the underdog, his team is out to prove they can win. Family members have made the trip from New York to support the team. "It's the most amazing experience of our life, my son's been playing baseball since he's five and this is his dream and he fulfilled his dream,” said Pat’s mother, Barbera Cantwell.
The players have a little advice for future CWS players. “Never give up and if someone tells you not to go somewhere because it's a small school, I wouldn't believe them because our dreams are coming true at Stony Brook and it's pretty amazing,” said Pat.