HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) —From 1985 to 2014, you could catch a Huntsville Stars game at Joe Davis Stadium.
Well, a lot has changed since 1985.
Interstate-565 now exists, the Saturn V rocket stands tall alongside it and oh, it’s the Trash Pandas that play on the diamond now.
But nearly a decade after the franchise’s demise, some of those stars will realign, thanks to North Alabama’s current ball club, and Dale Tofoya’s new book, One Season in Rocket City.
“Tip of your hat to the Trash Pandas every year. Last year when they did, they had four players, all four of those guys live here. One of those guys who is a good friend of mine, Jimmy Jones. Jimmy and I said,’Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more than four?'” said Huntsville Stars broadcaster Rick Davis.
Typically, the reunion held by the Trash Pandas at Toyota Field during the season only showcased the four local stars.
This year it will be different.
“Dale started talking to that ’85 team, and there was sort of this reunified interest in Huntsville. And of course, the franchise left in 2014 and the Trash Pandas come along. And so we said, ‘Let’s see if we can get some more guys back?’ and so we started calling,” Davis said.
Over thirty former players and members of the front office staff are on their way to the Tennessee Valley to be recognized before the Rocket City Trash Panda’s Friday game at Toyota Field.
And some big names are coming too.
“Some of those guys like Charlie O’Brien played 15 years in the big leagues. Greg Cadaret played 8 years in the big leagues. Rob Nelson played 7 years in the big leagues. These guys have not been back to Huntsville in 38 years. They came here for a little while and then they were gone so I’m kind of interested to see their reaction to what the community, how the community has changed,” Davis said.
The festivities begin with a luncheon on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Toyota Field.
If you would like to attend, you can send an email to Rick Davis, email@example.com, or Jimmy Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org.