Red Wings fall to Iron Pigs in home opener Thursday

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The Rochester Red Wings are gearing up for a chilly home opener Thursday evening at Frontier Field. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The Rochester Red Wings had quite a chilly home opener Thursday evening at Frontier Field.

The team faced off against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Red Wings general manager Dan Mason promised all fans that if it’s not at least 51 degrees, everyone in attendance will get a pass to any home game in April or May. That meant all fans got a free ticket.

The first 1,500 fans through the gates also got a Red Wings and Plates reversible winter hat, courtesy of Dunkin’.

Spencerport native Alayna Berry threw out the first pitch at the game. Berry served as the inspiration for the first softball player to be featured on a pack of Big League Chew. Her grandfather, Bobby Bonner, caught the pitch for her. Bonner is a Rochester Red Wings Hall of Famer himself.

"It feels great," said Berry ahead of the first pitch. "I'm so excited. I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll be okay."

The National Anthem was performed by Pete DuPre’, known as “Harmonica Pete”. DuPre', who is 95, has been playing his harmonica at major military events around the world for the last five years. Last November, DuPre was among six veterans honored by President Donald Trump in Paris, France for the centennial anniversary of Armistice Day. In January 2018, he played at the NFL All-Star Game.

DuPre also serves as an active member of Honor Flight Rochester. He served as a U.S. Army medic during the Battle of the Bulge.

Thursdays are usually reserved for the Plates uniforms, but since the team wore its standard home uniforms for Opening Day.

The Wings did eventually lose their home opener 13-6, but have six more games remaining on their first homestand of the year.