Warm summer nights and the smell of popcorn means the return of Tri City Dust Devils Baseball.  The Class A short-season affiliate of the Colorado Rockies kick-off the 2011 campaign June 17th at GESA Stadium in Pasco.

If the numbers mean anything, 2011  could be another Eastern Division Championship for the Devils, as they also grabbed the title in 2007 and 2009.  Coming off a 30-46 season that saw them with pretty good pitching but a bit offensively challenged, the Devils return a number of players from last year's team, plus a fresh mix of draft picks.

The big challenge in short-season A ball is to balance winning with player development.  It's been no secret the Salem Keizer Volcanoes (the San Francisco Giants short A farm club) have loaded their roster a time or three recently with much older, more experienced players--great for the NW League, but not much for developing guys you can send up the ladder and hopefully make the "Show". But regardless, the Dust Devils will be exciting to watch, and GESA stadium is one of the most picturesque places in the evening to watch baseball.

Tri Cities is also one of the few franchises that consistently increases it's attendance each and every year.  Per capita, the Devils are one of the best-drawing teams in the Northwest League.  We say per capita, because some other clubs play in larger venues (The Spokane Indians play in Avista Stadium, which seats over 7,000.)

All Dust Devil games will be heard live on Newstalk 870 AM KFLD, and we will stream them right here on our website. Check out the Devils Schedule.