SPRINGFIELD, Mo–For the first time in two years there were thousands of school kids gathered downtown.

Their cheers echoing through Hammons Field as mid-week afternoon baseball returned for the Springfield Cardinals.

And those kids also got to see a special big league guest.

The return of mid-week daytime baseball saw the return of the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

The Diamondbacks Double AA affiliate made its first appearance at Hammons Field since 20-19.

Also a familiar face was wearing the Springfield Cardinals uniform Edmundo Sosa.

The big league shortstop is on a medical rehab assignment.

Edmundo Sosa/St. Louis Shortstop:”I had the Covid in the Kansas City series.”

Sosa had three negative Covid tests which allowed him to return to the diamond.

He showed no rust after missing a week of action.

The 26-year old singled to left and then scored on a Jordan Walker double to right.

Sosa was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Sosa:”Well I feel good. My body is good. My swing is good. My defense is good. I’m ready.”

Springfield started the bottom of the first with a 2-nothing deficit.

Walker’s RBI and then Moises Gomez’s single to left which scored Matt Ko-Pern-iak tied the game at two.

Springfield took the lead on an error, then Chase Pinder singled to left, Gomez scores to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.

Malcolm Nunez then capped the inning with a single to right, Pedro Pa-ges scores and it’s 5-2 Springfield.

It was 7-3 Cardinals in the sixth when Chandler Redmond takes this deep to left, over the bullpen and gone, a three run homer, 10-3 baby birds.

Springfield survived a five run Amarillo ninth inning to win 11-10.

Chandler Redmond/Springfield DH:”After he missed with the slider, well here comes the sinker. I got it and didn’t miss. It’s always good to get a win. Even when it’s close and we’re out in front and we make it close. It doesn’t take away the fact that we won. So it’s always something to be celebrated.”

And Redmond welcomes big leaguer’s like Sosa when they come back to the minors on rehab assignments.

Redmond:”It’s refreshing to see somebody who’s made it. We’re all on this grind to make it to the big leagues. To see somebody who’s made it. And getting to talk with him and pick his brain some.”

Sosa played one game for Springfield in 20-17.

The Panama native played half a season at Hammons in 20-18 before being promoted to Triple A Memphis.

Sosa made his major league debut in late September of 20-18 and has been a key member of the St. Louis Cardinals ever since.

He’s hitting 271 with 6 homers and 27 RBI in 113 big league games.

He says just being in the same dugout as Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina is amazing.

Sosa:”It’s amazing because just talking with Pujols, Yadie and Waino it’s amazing. It’s incredible for sure.”