The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp did it again. According to the team’s Media Relations Department, a sellout crowd of 11,398 attended the Jumbo Shrimp’s homestand finale Monday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, marking the ballpark’s largest single crowd since 11,481 on July 3, 2008. Coming one year after a sellout of 10,238 at the July 3, 2016, game, it is the first time in the ballpark’s 15-year history that it has hosted consecutive Independence Day celebration sellouts.
The three 10,000-plus crowds in the Jumbo Shrimp’s inaugural season are the most for Jacksonville since the same number in 2008. In 2017, they are the three largest single-game crowds at any Southern League game this season, occurring Wednesday, April 12 (10,477); Friday, April 14 (10,023); and Monday, July 3 (11,398).
Unlike last year when the team celebrated America’s independence a day early, the Jumbo Shrimp did not notch a win, falling to the Mobile BayBears, 8-3. Jacksonville is still atop the Southern League’s Southern Division with a 7-4 record. The team is 37-44 overall for the year.
In the first two seasons of Fast Forward Sports Group’s ownership, Jacksonville has hosted four 10,000-plus crowds – more than the previous seven seasons combined. They are also the four largest crowds to attend any 2016 or 2017 Southern League game.
“We are so grateful for Jumbo Shrimp fans’ outstanding support, and for creating a special highlight to the start of our second half of the season,” said Jumbo Shrimp General Manager Harold Craw. “We look forward to sharing affordable family fun with returning and new guests at each game the rest of the inaugural Jumbo Shrimp season.”
The Jumbo Shrimp saw the return of left fielder Austin Dean to the lineup for the first time since April 12, and he began a 2-for-3 night with a second-inning single off BayBears right-hander Jake Jewell (5-5), but second baseman David Vidal grounded into a double play. Designated hitter Alex Yarbrough reached on a two-out error by Mobile first baseman Jared Walsh and scored on first baseman Taylor Ard's RBI double to right-center field, cutting the gap to 4-1.
A day after the Jumbo Shrimp offense hit two home runs in route to their sixth consecutive win, Mobile pitcher Jake Jewell held the team’s bats in check most of the night.