Portland begins its 25th season at Hadlock Field, complete with a former NFL quarterback and current Red Sox starter competing.

Tim Tebow and the BInghamton Rumble Ponies will play the Portland Sea Dogs in the first game of the season at Hadlock Field on Friday. Associated Press/Matt Smith

The home portion of the Portland Sea Dogs’ 25th season begins Friday night at Hadlock Field.

An old reliable, the Bellamy Jazz Band, will be out front, welcoming an expected sellout crowd. Inside the park, there will be a couple additions to the festivities.

Red Sox pitcher Drew Pomeranz will start for the Sea Dogs in the 6 p.m. game against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

And suiting up for Binghamton will be former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.

Tebow fans may be able to catch him early during batting practice. The gates open at 4 p.m. and the Rumble Ponies are scheduled to take batting practice from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.

Team introductions will begin at approximately 5:35 p.m. The Downeasters Chorus will sing the national anthem. The Sea Dogs’ president, Charlie Eshbach, will throw out the first pitch and the game should begin at 6.


Pomeranz missed most of spring training because of a strained forearm and will make his second rehab appearance with hopes of joining the Red Sox next week. In his first rehab start, for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, he allowed two hits (including a home run) and walked six over 41/3 innings.

“His command wasn’t there,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said. “His velocity was OK, but he feels he needs one more (rehab) for his mechanics to get there. Physically, he’s fine.”

When Pomeranz is done, the Sea Dogs are expected to bring in Dedgar Jimenez, the original scheduled starter.

That means back-to-back left-handers to face the Rumble Ponies, including the left-handed Tebow.

Tebow, 30, is in his second season on a minor league contact with the Mets. He was promoted to Double-A despite batting only .226 in Class A last year.

An outfielder and DH, Tebow is batting .167 (3 for 18) with nine strikeouts. He opened his season last Thursday with a first-inning, three-run homer off Sea Dogs starter Teddy Stankiewicz in Binghamton but has struggled since.


The Rumble Ponies (3-3) swept Portland in three games last weekend, then were swept by Akron.

The Sea Dogs (1-5) won 1 of 3 games in Reading after leaving Binghamton. Among the Eastern League’s 12 teams, Portland is last in ERA (5.94) and 11th in batting (.186).

Four Portland batters are hitting above .240 – second baseman Esteban Quiroz (.333), and outfielders Cole Sturgeon (.320), Danny Mars (.304) and Tate Matheny (.300).

The Rumble Ponies are led by first-base prospect Peter Alfonso (.364, two home runs).

NEW AT HADLOCK: Fans will notice more netting to protect spectators from foul balls.

At the concession stand, a new feature is the “nacho cart,” in a souvenir dog bowl. The soft drink Moxie will also be available, as will several new craft beers.

Most of the skyboxes have been renamed after standout Sea Dogs players (replacing the Red Sox names). The Ganley, Troubh and Sea Dogs skyboxes will remain.

TICKETS: Less than 300 remain for Friday’s game, about 600 for Saturday and 1,000 for Sunday.

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