The Sedalia Bombers invite baseball fans to Military Appreciation Night at Liberty Park Stadium this Friday, July 15. The Bombers will be hosting the Ozark Gators, and during Military Appreciation Night, all active duty members of the military and veterans will get free admission with their I.D.s. Children 12 and under also get free admission to the game.

“This isn’t just any ballgame,” said Jud Kindle, Owner and General Manager of the Sedalia Bombers. “This is the MINK League. The MINK League is an incredible league with incredible talent.”

The Sedalia Bombers are currently in their seventh season as a team. They’ve partnered with Impact Signs, Awnings, Wraps, Inc. for Military Appreciation Night as they work to increase attendance at games.

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“We have a very loyal fan base but it’s not as big as it should be,” Kindle said. “We’ve had 32 draft picks in seven years. It’s very highly competitive ball. I mean, we get players from all over the country, including a lot of Division I players. The objective of the MINK is for collegiate athletes, like at Mizzou or Missouri State, to come over at summertime and develop baseball-wise but also use wood bats. Wood bats are huge for scouts who come watch them.”

The Kansas City Royals’ head scout visited the Bombers two weeks ago. Two Bombers have made it into Major League Baseball, including one player who is with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We’ve had a lot of talent come through,” Kindle said. “Our fan base, once they come they’re usually hooked if they like baseball. Its high level seating and the stadium is extremely good.”

Kindle stressed the Bombers’ desire to increase their fan base this year. David Goodson, Owner and President of Impact Signs, Awnings, Wraps, Inc., is a friend of Kindle.

“I’ve been friends with Jud for a long time,” Goodson said. “My son started playing Bombers ball, he’s 13 now, and he started playing Bombers ball when he was 9 years old. So, that’s how we first got introduced to the Bombers. As well as they have the MINK League. Jud has every age group from 9, 10, all the way up. Jud, the Bombers, and his whole staff do tremendous things for baseball and our community.”

Alex Beck is a first-year intern for the Sedalia Bombers. He is assisting the team with promotions and fan interaction.

“This is my first summer,” Beck said. “Me and Jud have talked and we’re actually looking for me to stay around for the next few years. I’m excited about that.”

Family fun is a huge focus for the organization. Beck will be helping with development of promotional ideas, as well as carrying out the promotions.

“The main thing we try to do is bring kids to the ballpark,” Beck said. “We give them a good atmosphere and teach them what it means to be a Bomber here in the Sedalia community.”

Liberty Park Stadium has an old-fashioned design that caters to fan interaction.

“The stadium was built, I think, in 1934,” Kindle said. “It’s the oldest wooden stadium in the U.S. that’s still in use. When you’re at the stadium, you sit so close to the action that you can hear the catcher talking. You can hear them sitting there in the batter’s circle. I mean, you can hear that conversation, you know. That’s the cool thing is you are so close. If you like watching ball movement, you can sit behind home plate and you can actually see the movement a pitcher puts on a ball.”

Liberty Park Stadium recently received new AstroTurf. AstroTurf affects numerous aspects of game play, including traction for the players.

“The field is absolutely gorgeous and they’ve done such a good job putting this together,” Kindle said. “The City Parks Department, all of the baseball clubs that play there, everybody works together to make baseball good. Watching these guys slide on the turf is really cool because the speed is so fast when they come in for a slide.”

The Bombers recently sent eight players to the MINK League All-Star Game in St. Joseph on July 7: catcher Alex Bee, 1st baseman Robert Cummins, 3rd baseman Jonathan Ramon, outfielder Quade Smith, outfielder Dalton Horstmeier, pitcher Evan Dodd, pitcher Blaine Fisher and pitcher Justin Murphy. Bomber Jonathan Ramon participated in the Home Run Derby.

Regular admission tickets to Bombers games are $7, and $5 for Seniors (55 and older). Concessions will be available during the game.