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For One Minor League Baseball Team, Never an Empty Seat – NYTimes.com

via For One Minor League Baseball Team, Never an Empty Seat – NYTimes.com.

“No franchise has sold out like the Dragons of the Class A Midwest League.  The Dragons achieved their 814th sellout on Saturday…surpassing the national sports record set by the N.B.A.’s Portland Trail Blazers from 1977 to 1995.” In the Daytona area, industry has declined, which makes the team’s success even more marvelous.

Also, with Sunday night’s win against the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Dragons are now first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.

Though the Dragons are setting records and winning first place spots, what really got my attention in the NY Times article that I linked was the last few paragraphs, describing what it’s like to be there on game nights:

“There is a family mood on game nights. The foghorn blasts at 6 p.m. when the gates open. Fans walk in from free street parking, enjoying the bright sunlight on the far edge of the Eastern time zone. Some fans head for the suites, which can be leased in the high $20,000 range, and others spread out on the wraparound concourse.

On these lush summer evenings, the shaky economy is stored in the back of the mind. Children con adults into buying them snacks; the Green Team lobs free T-shirts into the stands. Manager Delino DeShields, who stole 463 bases in 13 big-league seasons, tries to coax a victory out of young players, most of whom will never make the majors. Yet for these few months, they are the biggest thing in town.

One of the Dragons drops a lovely bunt down the third-base line and beats it out for a single. Some of the fans applaud, making this event feel, oddly enough, just like a ballgame.”

The article also describes a long-time fan getting the attention of one of the team mascots who would come and kiss his 90 year old mother on the head.  She would talk about it for the next week.

 

 

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Sugar Land: New minor league baseball team to be called the Skeeters

Sugar Land: New minor league baseball team to be called the Skeeters | khou.com Houston.

Here’s a new team whose stadium I posted about earlier.  They now have a name – fans chose it from three options – and kids from a local elementary school helped with the name and logo unveiling this morning.  The Sugar Land Skeeters’ first season will begin in April 2012!

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Elizabethton, TN’s O’Brien Field undergoing changes for the better

The Elizabethton Star Online Edition

Here is an example of how minor league baseball works for communities:

Great news for the Appalachian League‘s Minnesota Twins and Elizabethton High School Baseball!  The Twins, the City of Elizabethton, and generous donors provided a new lighting system, scoreboard, batting cage, new restrooms, and concession stands.  It was built by inmates from the Northeast Correctional Center in Roan Mountain.  The Minnesota Twins spent $18,000 on a new batting cage last year and added $10,000 in improvements prior to the 2011 season — a facility that is primarily used by the Elizabethton High School baseball team.

A statement made by Elizabethton Parks and Recreation director Mike Mains, who also serves as General Manager of the Elizabethton Twins baseball club during the summer months, went this way: “This is just another improvement that directly benefits the school system in many ways more than it does the minor league team…Sometimes I wonder if people are really fully aware, in our community, of the benefits that a minor league team has. Not only of bringing money into the community, which will be close to a half-million dollars over a two-month period, but because we have this team here our youth reap the benefits of it.”

Also from the article:  “In the last 10 years alone, over 30 former Elizabethton Twins have made their way onto a Major League Baseball club – and many citizens in the community have missed out on an opportunity to see names such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Matt Garza and Denard Span.” Great record guys – congratulations on the new stadium improvements!

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Minor League Baseball: No. 1 pick Harper excites fans in Kannapolis | Salisbury, NC – Salisbury Post

Minor League Baseball: No. 1 pick Harper excites fans in Kannapolis | Salisbury, NC – Salisbury Post.

18-year-old Mickey Mantle?  Babe Ruth?  Skilled AND a nice guy?  Watch the Washington Nationals to see more of this meteoric star!

 

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Sugar Land, TX MiLB Stadium Journey details online!

Here is a blog about Sugar Land, a city in Texas which is in the process of building a $27.9 million MiLB stadium.  This section of the blog contains a timeline of developments, beginning with the February, 2010 press release through choosing a baseball partner, selecting the site and progress of construction.

The latest news?  “The ceremonial installation of home plate at the future site of StarTex Power Field marked an historic milestone for professional baseball in Sugar Land”!  How exciting it would be to be a resident of this town, beginning with the project as an idea and seeing it through to your seat behind third base!

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