Plenty of great seats remain for 2010 opener
By Frank Novak / Northwest Arkansas Naturals
04/02/2010 3:08 PM ET

Welcome in the new season by attending Opening Night.

The Naturals have some special festivities and special guests on tap for the home opener of the third season of professional baseball in Northwest Arkansas.

The Dixieland band Charlie Chrysler and His All-Stars will be playing near the main entrance to Arvest Ballpark as the gates open at 5:00. The first 5,000 fans will receive the official 2010 Naturals Magnet Schedule, presented by Bayer.

Bentonville native Blythe McCauley, who won Arkansas Idol last July, will sing the Star Spangled Banner prior to the game. McCauley received a guaranteed audition spot in Denver, CO with the judges from the hit Fox television show, American Idol. Brad Reed, anchor of the Fox 24 News Edge, will introduce her.

McCauley has been singing since the age of three and has performed for everyone from Prince Edward to the Governor, judges, and state legislators from Arkansas. Currently pursuing a record deal, Blythe has been busy recently going on auditions and recording demos.

The current reigning Miss Arkansas, Sarah Slocum, will also be on hand and will sing God Bless America in the seventh inning. Slocum represented the Natural State in the 2010 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas. A law student at the University of Arkansas, Sarah earned a degree in political science and mass communications at the University of Central Arkansas. She had competed for the Miss Arkansas crown as Miss Ouachita River.

Weather permitting, skydivers will deliver the special game balls to the Texas League umpires after landing on the field just behind second base, and everyone's favorite mascot, Strike, will land in a helicopter piloted by Arkansas Helicopters. Each member of the 2010 Naturals will be introduced to the line prior to the game.

Ceremonial first pitches will be thrown by Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse and Kansas City Royals Owner David Glass.

Natalie White, a Van Buren native and the winner of CBS' Survivor Samoa last fall, will also throw a first pitch and be available for autographs once the game starts. White graduated from Bryant High School and went on to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for two years. She then transferred to the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, where she completed a bachelor's degree in marketing in 2005.

The first pitch is scheduled for just after 6:00.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state of the art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. You can purchase season tickets and group outings with the Naturals by calling (479) 927-4900.