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Hawks players land in Boise

Boise Hawks players are greeted by fans and host families upon their arrival to the Boise Airport on Wednesday.

The life of a minor league baseball player can come with little fanfare.

But as the first wave of Boise Hawks players arrived at the Boise Airport on Wednesday in preparation for the start of the season, they were happy to see fans there to welcome them.

"It's the first time fans have shown up and been ready to get after it," outfielder Ryan Stephens said about his time in baseball.

For patrons and host families, it's a chance to make these guys feel at home.

"As baseball players you think they are larger than life but when they come into your family they are really down to earth," said fan Ethan Twiss, who is a part of a host family. "They are just great people."

While the welcome is a nice sight, Stephens said players are still nervous about their new surroundings.

"Everybody is a little anxious and ready to get out on the field," he said.

Even with players already here, host families haven't found out which Hawk they will house.

"We don't know yet," the Twiss family said. "Not until tomorrow night when we take them home."

This is the first time in Boise for Stephens, who spent last year in both Grand Junction, Colo. and Asheville, N.C. But he did get the lowdown from some former Hawks.

"We know they had a great time," he said. "Great fans. Great support. I am looking forward to it."

It's also a new stop for teammate Bobby Stahel.

"I've heard it's a good town with good people," the outfielder said. "It's sports oriented so we are looking forward to it. It should be fun."

The players have heard good things about Boise, but they never know how long they will actually be with the Hawks. A player can move to another team at any time.

"It's just one step at a time," Stahel said. "There is no saying for what tomorrow will bring or where we will be so we're just taking it a day at a time and I'm just glad to be here and ready to start playing."

The Hawks open the season on June 17 at Eugene. Their home opener is June 20 against Salem-Keizer.

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