Ahead of the Lincoln Saltdogs' series opener against Kansas City on Wednesday, 70,574 fans have attended games at Haymarket Park this season.
The spectators have provided an extra spark for the Saltdogs.
Lincoln's attendance this season ranks third in the American Association behind league-leading Fargo-Moorhead (88,309) and Chicago (85,364), but the Saltdogs rank second in average attendance with 2,714 fans per game.
Lincoln (28-27) has played the second-fewest home games in the 2021 season with 26 and carries a 16-11 record at Haymarket Park.
“This fan base is definitely the best in our league, I believe, and I've been to most of the places,” Saltdogs pitcher and Lincoln native Jake Hohensee said. “Having them here just gives a jolt of energy. We come out and we see close to 3,000 fans a day, and it makes us want to play better and put on a show for these great fans here in Nebraska.”
Saltdogs' fans will get a heavy dose of Haymarket Park in the latter half of the season with 29 remaining games at home, including 24 home games of 34 games in the months of August and September.
Lincoln finished the first half of the season 24-26 but has since gone 4-1 and is riding a four-game win streak. Lincoln is 3½ games out of second place in the league's South Division for the final playoff spot.
“For me, it's home,” Hohensee said. “I live here, I grew up here and I always wanted to play here. This is a blessing to play at this park. It's one of the best in the league, if not the best. The grounds crew does a great job, our office guys do a great job and it's really a tight-knit family here in Lincoln.”
Tough stretch: Saltdogs manager Brett Jodie and outfielder Josh Altmann will not be with the team for a short stretch due to health and safety protocols. Jodie is in his first season with the team. Altmann has been a terror for opposing teams through the month of July with 11 home runs.
New faces: Lincoln signed infielder Garett Delano on Wednesday and released pitcher Adolfo Espinoza. The Saltdogs also placed Carter Hope on the disabled list retroactive to July 15. Lincoln also signed Ben Wereski, who is expected to make his first start Friday in the series finale against Kansas City.
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