It's been 1,017 days since the Swift Current 57's took to the field and that ugly statistic will finally be put to rest tonight when they open their 2022 season on the road in Weyburn.
The 57's last game came against the Regina Red Sox on August 14, 2019 - six months before the COVID-19 pandemic began that subsequently cancelled the 2020 and 2021 seasons for Swift Current.
Thirty-three months later and the ball club looks completely different with a brand new coaching staff after long-time skipper Joe Carnahan stepped aside in 2020. Alabama's Joey Jordan is now the 57's head coach and general manager after landing the gig in February.
"A lot of the guys I've never seen in person, so that's always an exciting thing to see the guys you've been talking to see what they can do," he said. "It's just exciting to get here. I've been anxious for a couple of months now to get here and see what everything's about."
Jordan played in the Western Canadian Baseball League in 2017 for the Medicine Hat Mavericks and is now an assistant coach at the University of West Georgia. While selecting the roster for the 57's this summer, he tried to find the right blend of options.
"We've got a good mix of left-handed and right-handed hitters, as well as pitchers," he said. "I wanted our group to be very diverse - we have guys from the western parts of Canada to the eastern parts of Canada. Then we have guys from the southeast [United States] to Hawaii."
One player the many locals will know is Swift Current's own Brody Alexandre. The infielder recently returned to his hometown after suiting up for B.C.'s Victoria Golden Tide.
"Being able to grow up here and playing for the 57's my entire life and now getting to come back out here for the college level, nothing beats it," he said.
The 57's will play their first two games of the season against the Beavers in southeastern Saskatchewan before returning home Sunday to host their home opener against Regina with the first pitch set for 2:05 p.m.