Evansville Otters Trade Riopedre to Rockland Boulders

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have finalized a deal to send infielder Christopher Riopedre to the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League for a player to be named later.

“Chris expressed an interest in playing closer to home so we agreed to terms with Rockland,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “Chris was instrumental in our championship season in 2016.

“We will miss him but it’s what he felt he needed to do.”

The Otters acquired Riopedre, a Miami, Fla. native, before the 2016 season from Joliet after spending the previous two years in the Washington Nationals’ organization.

In 93 games with Evansville last season, Riopedre batted .261 with 90 hits and 47 RBIs. He accounted for 12 doubles, three triples and five home runs. He also stole 22 bases while being caught only seven times.

“The team was amazing,” Riopedre said. “It was a great experience and I wish the Otters the best of luck.

“If they ever need anything from me again I’ll be right there because I enjoyed my two years playing for Andy and I want them to succeed.”

A Frontier League All-Star selection in 2016, Riopedre helped Evansville win the franchise’s second league title later that season when he scored the only run in a 1-0 win over River City in Game 5 of the Frontier League Championship Series.

Riopedre played collegiately at East Tennessee State University and was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft by the Nationals. He played for the Auburn Doubledays from 2014-15 before arriving in Evansville.

Traverse City Beach Bums Add Outfielder Donald Glover

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums have come to terms with former PECOS league stand-out, Donald Glover.

The Las Vegas native split the 2017 season, his first as a professional, between the High Desert Yardbirds and the Monterey Amberjacks. Combined, in 46 games, he had a batting average of .393 with two home runs, 14 doubles, and 32 runs batted in. In the playoffs, with the league champion Yardbirds, he played in six games, hitting .350, adding two doubles and two homers.

Before his professional debut, the lefty played collegiately at Western Nevada College in Carson City, where he was a .290 hitter with 10 extra base hits. That performance in his first two years earned him an NCAA division two scholarship to Dixie State College of Utah, in St. George. In two seasons with the Trailblazers, he hit .315 with three homer s, 20 doubles, three triples, and he drove in 46 runs while scoring 45.

Normal CornBelters Ink Jose Canseco

NORMAL, Illinois (February 14, 2018) – The CornBelters have announced that Jose Canseco will be joining the roster for a weekend series in the 2018 season.

Jose attended last year’s Legends Game as a participant and will be returning to The Corn Crib in 2018 to suit up for the CornBelters as a member of the team’s lineup for the three-game homestand against the Florence Freedom June 29-July 1. He is expected to be slotted as the DH and may play some outfield over the course of the weekend.

“It’s unique opportunities like this that make independent baseball so much fun,” said CornBelters President and General Manager Steve Malliet. “We’re looking forward to having a Hall of Fame caliber player like Jose join the team. He’s great with the fans, and it should make for a special weekend of baseball at The Corn Crib.”

Canseco played for various organizations throughout his 17-year career which included seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics (1985-1991).

In 1986, Canseco was awarded Rookie of the Year.  Two years later, he was AL MVP. He went on to be named an All-Star six times, was a two-time World Series champion, four-time Silver Slugger Award recipient, two-time MLB home run leader, and was the MLB RBI leader in 1988.

Throughout his time in the MLB, he played alongside other big names such as Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Derek Jeter, and Barry Bonds.  Canseco and McGwire were nicknamed “The Bash Brothers” when they hit a combined 80 home runs in the 1987 season.

The 1988 and 1991 seasons were some of Canseco’s best, where he had 42 and 44 home runs, respectively. In 1988, he had a batting average of .307, 124 RBIs, and 40 stolen bases. Jose’s 1991 season was impressive as well, with a batting average of .266, 122 RBIs, and 26 stolen bases.

After the 1992 season, Canseco was traded to the Texas Rangers where he would play for three seasons.  He finished up his career in 2001, playing for the Chicago White Sox. Jose is still a record holder for total career home runs, sitting at number 14 with 462.

CANSECO WEEKEND GAME DETAILS

Friday, June 29: CEFCU Entertaining Friday featuring Jose’s debut as a CornBelter.

Saturday, June 30: State Farm Saturday at The Corn Crib and Ag Night presented by 4-H in Livingston, McLean & Woodford Counties.

Sunday, July 1: Sunday Family Funday and Bark In The Park Day at The Corn Crib. Purchase a General Admission Lawn Pass for your furry friend, and you get in free! Just remember to keep your pet on their leash.

Each Sunday also features a Country Financial Agent of the Game where you can visit some of your favorite local agents at the ballpark. Country customers can also use promo code “COUNTRY” while purchasing tickets online, over the phone, or at the MICU Box Office at The Corn Crib and will receive a voucher for a FREE small soda & hot dog with the purchase of a Reserved Box Seat ($10 each).

Sundays also highlight the Busey Bank Reading Program. Kids participating in school and public library reading programs can receive rewards for their reading achievements this spring and summer. Students can redeem their reading program certificates at the MICU Box Office and receive a FREE Reserved Box Seat. Contact your school reading program coordinator or the Bloomington and Normal Public Libraries for more information and full details.

Evansville Ottes Sign Barrios, Cullen and Wynne

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters signed infielder Pedro Barrios, outfielder Hunter Cullen and right-handed pitcher Randy Wynne. 

Barrios comes to Evansville after playing college baseball for the Bulldogs of Tennessee Wesleyan University from 2015-17. As a senior in 2017 at the NAIA powerhouse, Barrios hit .350 with 15 doubles and 38 RBIs. 

He finished his two-year stay at TWU with a .366 batting average, 77 RBIs and 173 hits after beginning his collegiate career at Ranger College. 

“Pedro is a very talented young player and we are looking for him to compete for a middle infield position,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “He had a very good senior year at Tennessee Wesleyan and we are hoping he can continue that play with the Otters.” 

Former Otter Wynn Pelzer, who is now a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers and based in southern California, recommended Cullen to McCauley. Cullen played for Cal State Fullerton from 2015-17 after beginning his collegiate career at Saddleback College in 2014. 

As a senior in 2017, Cullen hit .251 and finished with eight doubles, two triples and six home runs. He appeared in 127 games for the Titans in his career and stole 11 bases. 

“Hunter will be looking to compete for a starting job in our outfield,” McCauley said. “He comes from a very prestigious baseball program in Cal State Fullerton and played in the NCAAs three times there as a player.”

Wynne also came from a recommendation from a Minnesota Twins scout and arrives in Evansville after playing two seasons in the United Shore Professional Baseball League for the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers.

 Last season, Wynne appeared in 15 games on the mound and finished 7-4 with a 3.54 ERA in 86.1 innings. In 2016, he pitched 61.1 innings while going 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA.

Before joining the Beavers, he played collegiately at Grossmont Junior College and Missouri Baptist. 

“He looks to be capable arm that should figure into our rotation,” McCauley said.

 

Traverse City Beach Bums Welcome Home Greg Cadaret

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums have named former major-league pitcher, Greg Cadaret, pitching coach for the 2018 Frontier League season.

Greg returns to the Cherry Capital in the same role he served in during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. During that time, the Beach Bums’ pitching staff had an earned run average of 3.89 which was fifth in the Frontier League over the two years. Bums pitchers also struck out 1,157 batters while walking 596. The staff allowed 100 less walks in Cadaret’s second season, showing great improvement, as he helped guide the team to the 2015 Frontier League Championship.

Cadaret spent 10 years as a pitcher in the major leagues with the A’s, Yankees, Reds, Royals, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, and Rangers. He had a record of 38-32, as both a starter and a reliever, with an ERA of 3.99, 539 strikeouts, and 14 saves. He won a Northwest League title in 1983 with the Medford A’s and, in 1988 with Oakland, made four appearances in the post-season, three in the World Series, and had a 3.86 ERA.

After his playing career ended, the Grand Valley State graduate managed the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League, was a studio analyst for the Oakland A’s on Comcast SportsNet California in 2011, and was Head Coach for Simpson University in Redding, California for the last four years before returning to Traverse City.

Evansville Otters Announce Additions to Front Office Staff

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After unveiling early additions to the 2018 front office staff, the Evansville Otters continue to welcome new members to the club’s front office.
The Otters announced the hiring of Zoe Urbina and Chris Gunn for the 2018 season.
Urbina will be an Account Executive for the Otters. Urbina is an Evansville native, graduating from North High School, and will be aiding the sales staff this season.
Urbina will be entering her third season overall with the Otters after working as a member of the game day staff during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Urbina is excited to come back to the family experience and camaraderie among fans at Bosse Field.
Gunn will serve as the Food Service Manager at Bosse Field. Gunn is a catering and event chef from San Francisco, California.
Gunn began his culinary career cooking for fine dining restaurants in Napa and Sonoma Valleys before making the transition to catering specialty events, parties, and weddings. He also has previous experience working with the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders organizations.
Gunn’s main focuses are guest satisfaction, food quality, and speed of service.

Evansville Otters Add Fidanza and Rizzitello

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters signed catchers John Fidanza and Michael Rizzitello after acquiring both in separate trades.

Fidanza comes to Evansville after playing for the Washington Wild Things from 2015-17. In return, the Wild Things will receive a player to be named later.

In 77 games with Washington, Fidanza hit .211 with six doubles and 19 RBIs. His best season with the Wild Things came last year when he hit .245, collected 27 hits and scored 11 runs.

A Prospect, Ky. native, Fidanza was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.

Rizzitello was acquired by Evansville in the trade that sent Josh Allen to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association.

Last season, Rizzitello played for the San Rafael Pacifics of the Pacific Association, where he won the Rookie of the Year award after hitting .280 and collecting 40 RBIs in 65 games. He also finished with 15 doubles and 12 stolen bases.

“He’ll be looking to compete for a starting job behind the plate,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “He is coming off a stellar year in the Pacific Association.”

Normal CornBelters Add Kyle Farnsworth to Legends Lineup

NORMAL, Illinois (February 7, 2018) – The CornBelters announced the addition of pitcher Kyle Farnsworth to the 3rd Annual Legends Game lineup at The Corn Crib, presented by Illinois Corn Growers.

The 2018 edition of the Legends Game will be held on Saturday, August 4th. Gates and parking will open at 5:00 p.m. CT. The game will begin at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Farnsworth, a 16-year veteran of Major League Baseball, played for multiple clubs over the course of his career which included six seasons with the Chicago Cubs (1999-2004).

Kyle’s best season was in 2001 with the Cubs, where he pitched 82 innings and ended the season with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, 107 strikeouts, and only gave up 26 runs. He gained a two-hit shutout against the Dodgers in August of 1999, and also ranks in the top 30 for total career games played.

Farnsworth was traded after the 2004 Cubs Season. Over the remainder of his career he spent the majority of his time with the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. Other clubs included the Detroit Tigers, the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, and the Houston Astros.

Finishing up his career at age 38, Kyle ended with the Houston Astros in 2014 for a total of 11.2 innings pitched on the season, with a 3.18 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.

Post-major league career, Kyle played defensive end in the 2015 season for the Orlando Phantoms, an amateur football team in Florida. After that season, he went on to play the second half of the 2015 baseball season in the Mexican League for the Pericos de Puebla. He finished this season with a 2.04 ERA and 0.96 WHIP on 17 relief innings pitched. Farnsworth continued playing both baseball and football during the 2016 seasons, respectively.

Kyle, originally attending high school and college in the Atlanta area, is now (as of 2017) right at home as the pitching coach for the Brookhaven Bucks of the collegiate Sunbelt Baseball League.

Traverse City Beach Bums Sign USPBL MVP John Menken

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums are thrilled to announce the signing of the 2017 United Shore Professional Baseball League Most Valuable Player, outfielder John Menken.

Last season, as a member of the Eastside Diamond Hoppers, the Bartlett, Illinois native lead the team with a .316 average with 9 home runs and 37 runs batted in, placing second in the league in all three categories. He also had a .432 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .514, totaling an impressive .946 OPS in 48 games. John started his professional career in 2015 with the Schaumburg Boomers, playing in 18 games and hitting .281 with a homer and nine RBI.

Before turning pro, Menken played collegiately for a season each at Southern Illinois University and Elgin Community College before finishing with two years at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Combined, in 173 games, the 6-3, 225 pound outfielder hit .300 with 15 home runs, 34 doubles, 11 triples, and he drove in 106 runs, while scoring 109 times himself. Not only is he an accomplished offensive threat, he had a fielding percentage of .992 in his two seasons as a Winthrop Eagle, and was perfect in his first season in the Frontier League with one assist.

Southern Illinois Miners Set Daddy Daughter Dance for Feb. 9th and 10th

Back by popular demand, the Southern Illinois Miners: Daddy Daughter Dance presented by River Radio is back with two back-to-back dates. The original Daddy Daughter Dance of Southern Illinois will be held in the Diamond Club at Rent One Park on February 9th and 10th from 6 pm to 9 pm on their respective nights.

Come dance the night away with your little one at one of the most enchanting nights of the year! For more information on the Daddy Daughter Dance or to reserve your spot, contact the Miners Box Office at 618-998-8499 or purchase tickets HERE!

River City Rascals Sign Three RHP for the 2018 Season

On January 5th 2018 the River City Rascals signed right handed pitcher Lucas Williams

Lucas Williams is 6’3”, 180 Lb, Right Handed Pitcher from Grain Valley, Missouri. Williams was a stand out reliever for the University of Central Missouri, helping the team make it to the 2016 Division II College World Series. Soon after he was drafted in the 40th round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Baseball Draft by the Houston Astros. Williams pitched for the Class A Quad City River Bandits in 2017, going 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 55 innings. Williams was on the mound to convert the final out for the Bandits as they captured the 2017 Midwest League Title over the Fort Wayne Tincaps. This is Lucas’s first year pitching for the Rascals.

 

On January 9th the Rascals signed two more right handed pitchers Scott Grist and Ethan Westphal.

Scott Grist is a 6’4”, 180 Lb Right Handed Pitcher out of Sugarland, Texas. Grist attended Texas State University where he started 27 games and compiled 179 innings over his career. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Grist in the 38th round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. Grist pitched three years in the Brewers Organization making it to High A+ Ball for the Carolina Mudcats in 2017. Overall Grist totaled three minor league seasons to a 9-4 record with a 3.66 ERA. This is Scott’s first year in the Frontier League pitching for the River City Rascals.

Ethan Westphal is a 5’10”, 170 Lb right handed pitcher from Winterset Iowa.  Ethan attended Martensdale St. Marys HS where he went 48-1. During this time he was a 3-time All-State honoree, 2-time Super Team All-State honoree, as well as earning 3 all-Conference honors and 5 letters during his HS career. he was also selected to the Iowa Senior All-star Game.  In 2016 Ethan was signed as an undrafted free agent for University of Central Missouri by the Colorado Rockies. While at UCM he finished the season with a 2.6 ERA going 11-4 through the 2016 season.  In 2017 he was assigned to Boise (A-).  This is Ethan’s first season pitching for the Rascals.

Windy City Thunderbolts Announce 2018 Firework Theme Nigths

Friday, May 11th at 7:05 pm – Super Mega Fireworks Spectacular I:  It is our first fireworks night of the season and we are celebrating in style!  This show will be bigger, longer and a can’t miss event!  After the show kids can run the bases.

Saturday, May 12th at 6:05 pm – SouthSide Irish Night:  Everyone is Irish on this night!  Before the game the Irish band “Three Men in Kilt” will perform from 4:30 – 5:45 pm behind home plate.  We will continue the good times with Irish dancers, green beer, and more all night long!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, June 1st at 7:05 pm – Bolts Jr. Night:  Chase from Paw Patrol, Mickey Mouse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, & Poppy from Trolls will be in the ballpark to meet their biggest fans provided by Suburban Party Characters!  Clips from your favorite children’s shows will be played and after the game is our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, June 2nd at 6:05 pm – Beatles Night:  Our annual Beatles Night features a pregame show by “Kaleidoscope Eyes” (4:30 – 5:45 pm).  Beatles music will be playing all game long with videoclips and after the game is our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, June 15th at 7:05 pm – Pokémon Night:  Come to the ballpark for our first ever Pokémon Night!  Word on the street is that there is a Pokémon GO gymnasium behind home plate so bring your phones, cards, and more as we celebrate everything that is Pokémon!  Ash, Squirtle, Charmander, & Pikachu will visit Crestwood for the first time ever to meet their biggest fans courtesy of Suburban Party Characters.  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, June 16th at 6:05 pm – Johnny Cash Night:  Johnny Cash tribute band “June’s Got the Cash” will be our pregame entertainment from 4:30 – 5:45 pm behind home plate.  You will hear Cash all night long with videoclips and after the game is our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, June 22nd at 7:05 pm:  To Be Announced!  Stay Tuned!

Saturday, June 23rd at 6:05 pm – Princess Night:  This night will be the most magical night of the season!  Belle, Elsa, Moana, & Snow White will be in attendance provided by Suburban Party Characters.  This night will include a pre-game costume parade, your favorite princesses throwing out ceremonial first pitches, meet and greets, & sing-a-longs!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, June 29th at 7:05 pm – Harry Potter Night:  Our second annual Harry Potter Night courtesy of Emagine Theatre – Frankfort is sure to be a hit!  We will have appearances by Harry Potter, Hermione, Professor Snape, & Ron provided by Suburban Party Characters!  Dress as your favorite movie character and be a part of the pregame parade on the field!  Parade kicks off at 5:30 pm sharp!  The best costume in the parade, chosen by Boomer, will throw out a first pitch!  At the concession stands we will have a special on Butterbeer.  $3 for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the movie treat.  We will have promotions centered around the movie and also we will invite fans to catch the Golden Snitch around the ballpark.  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, June 30th at 6:05 pm – Star Wars Night:  It is our third annual Star Wars Night courtesy of Emagine Theatre – Frankfort!  We will have various official Star Wars’ characters roaming around the ballpark and meeting fans!  Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character, take part in a Chewbacca Roar contest and enjoy Star Wars’ themed sights & sounds!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, July 13th at 7:05 pm – Fright Night:  Halloween comes early in what will be one of the scariest night of the season!  All kids get a free hot dog & soda that participate in our pregame Costume Parade and candy will be given away throughout the park for trick-or-treating.  Also watch out as scary characters will be roaming throughout the park to keep you on your toes.  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, July 14th at 6:05 pm – Jimmy Buffett Night:  We are bringing back Jimmy Buffett Night in 2018 with a pregame show by “Flip Flop Dave” (4:30 – 5:45 pm), cheeseburger & margarita specials, and Buffett music all night long!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, August 3rd at 7:05 pm: – Camp Out Night:   Any fan who buys a ticket to the game is invited to our annual Camp Out Night.  Fans can get their stake-less tents and head to the outfield where they can run around the field and enjoy the ballpark.  A late night movie will be shown courtesy of Emagine Theatre – Frankfort, snacks and refreshments will be handed out, and everyone can sleep under the stars on the field!  In the morning, a light breakfast will be served to all campers before leaving.  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, August 4th at 6:05 pm: – Country Night:   Country Night is back at the ballpark!  Kick it off with a pre-game concert at 4:30 pm by the “Scott Marek Band.”  We will have a mechanical bull on the concourse and will be jamming out to country tunes all night long!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, August 17th at 7:05 pm: – Superhero Night:   Calling all comic book fans…as it is our fourth annual Superhero Night!  Make sure to get here early, where gates open at 5 pm and anyone wearing a superhero costume can get on the field for a pregame parade led by some of the galaxy’s greatest heroes!  Batman, Captain America, Spiderman, & Wonder Women will be here courtesy of Suburban Party Characters meeting their fans and being on the lookout for the best costumes in the ballpark. Each Superhero will pick one costumed fan, and the finalist will head to the field where fans will decide who has the best costume in the stadium!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, August 18th at 6:05 pm: – Elvis Night:   Come on out to one of our most popular nights!  Memphis meets Vegas in a pre-game concert at 4:30 pm by John Elvis Lyons. Elvis music will be on-tap all game long as well!  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Friday, August 24th at 7:05 pm – Fan Appreciation Night:  Dozens of prizes will be given out from numerous businesses in the area!  All fans that enter our gates will be eligible for these raffles.  Check for more details as we get closer.  Stick around after the game for our world famous fireworks show and kids can run the bases!

Saturday, August 25th at 6:05 pm – Super Mega Fireworks Spectacular II:  It is our final fireworks night of the season and we are closing out 2018 with a bang!  This show will be bigger, longer and the best show of the year!  After the show kids can run the bases.

Executive Suites, Picnics, and #WinCity Party Patio ticket availability for ALL fireworks nights are selling fast!  Reserve your spot today!  Information on these areas can be found below.  To reserve your spot call us at 708-489-2255!

Gateway Grizzlies’ Coach Notches Hall of Fame Honors

SAUGET, Illinois – Legendary St. Louis Cardinals infielder and current Gateway Grizzlies hitting coach, Ken Oberkfell, was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. Oberkfell is part of a memorable 2018 class enshrined for Illinois.

Oberkfell began his career in the big leagues as a second baseman, but eventually made his way around to third base. In 1982 he played third base for the World Series Champion Cardinals as part of an infield considered by many to be the greatest defensive infield of all time. This included Keith Hernandez (1st base), Tommy Herr (2nd base), and Ozzie Smith (shortstop). That year Oberkfell hit the game winning single against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Oberkfell spent a total of 15 years in major league baseball with a career batting average of .278 with 1,354 hits and 446 RBIs.

After retiring from playing, Oberkfell spent a number of years coaching in minor league, major league, and independent baseball across the country. In 2017 he joined the Gateway Grizzlies staff as hitting coach.

On Thursday Oberkfell was inducted with a standout Hall of Fame class including:

Arthur Johnson (Boxing)

Larry Graham (Basketball)

Rusty Lisch (Football)

Rita Menke (Softball)

Darrin Plab (Track and Field)

Joe Reiniger (Soccer)

Dick Schofield (Baseball)

“Ducky” Schofield (Baseball)

Nancy Scranton (Golf)

Joe Wiley (Basketball)

Gateway Grizzlies Announce Several 2018 Promos

SAUGET, IL – GCS CREDIT UNION BALLPARK – The Gateway Grizzlies have announced select promotional dates for the 2018 season. The organization will look to release more information about particular promotions at a later date. For the full promotional calendar, CLICK HERE!

Highlights of the promotional schedule thus far include nine fireworks dates including two wild firework spectaculars, a celebrity appearance, special giveaway nights and a whole lot more still to come!

The season will kick off Opening Day Friday, May 11 with giveaways like rally towels and magnet schedules sponsored by GCS Credit Union, as well as the renowned post game firework show.

On Saturday June 2, your favorite fairy tale characters will be taking over the ballpark for Princess and Pirates Night presented by BELOMAN. The first 750 fans through the gates will get to take home a BEL-O MAN bobblehead of their very own.

Friday, June 22 will see the return of our Crazy Gameshow Night where fun, incredible prizes are given away every inning including a chance for one lucky fan to walk away with $10,000.

The 2018  season will also see the return of our All American Week (July 2 – July 4) that features three straight nights of the area’s finest fireworks display, and lots of specialty glow items available for purchase to help light up the night.

May the force be with you for Star Wars Night on Friday, July 13. GCS Credit Union is giving away a Coby Jedi bobbleheads to fans who can find the force within.

If your Jedi skills aren’t up to par, don’t be an “L 7” weeny and come meet Squints from the movie The Sandlot on Friday, August 3. The first 500 fans will get to take home their very own Squints bobble head presented by Country Bob’s. Special VIP tickets are available to purchase for $50 which includes a meet & greet with Chauncey Leopardi, and a guaranteed bobblehead voucher.

Time to pull out that toga you’ve been hiding in the back of your closet because the Grizzlies are hosting a College Animal House Tribute in honor of the movies 30thanniversary this year on Saturday, August 4. The event will also feature a themed T-shirt giveaway.

Finally, the season will end on a tradition that has become a staple in the local area when the Grizzlies host their Greatest Night in Baseball. This night will include a prize giveaway for every out that the Grizzlies record, fans will TP the ballpark and the Grizzlies will go out with their biggest fireworks display all year!

The Grizzlies will open 2018 on Friday, May 11 against the Schaumburg Boomers. Full promotional calendar will be available in late February. Season tickets are on sale now. Single game tickets go on sale April 2. For more information call 618.337.3000 or visit gatewaygrizzlies.com.

Voice of the Florence Freedom Joins Yankees Organization

FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, are proud to announce that 2017 Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year, Spenser Smith, will be continuing his career with the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, the double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, in 2018.

Smith, 25, will join the Thunder as the team’s new Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant. In addition to his role as the secondary broadcaster for all home games and select road games, Smith will assist the front office with media relations, writing assignments and various other responsibilities.

“I’m really happy for Spenser to move up and get this chance to chase down his dream job of working in the big leagues,” Freedom VP/General Manager Josh Anderson said. “It’s bitter sweet because we say goodbye to an exceptional talent and human being, but you feel proud that you got the chance to see him develop, grow and pursue his ultimate goal.”

The Thunder play in the double-A Eastern League, with twelve teams up and down the east coast from Portland, Maine to Richmond, Virginia.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity that Josh Anderson offered me with the Freedom in 2017,” Smith said. “The fans are easily among the most passionate and supportive in the Frontier League, and it was a pleasure to call Northern Kentucky my home for a season.”

“I’ll never forget the excitement of the team’s run to the Frontier League Championship Series, and I’ll always remember and appreciate the warmth and hospitality ofthe staff, host families and supporters in the community.”

The team will name a replacement for Smith in the coming weeks.

The Freedom open the 2018 season on Thursday, May 10 against the Joliet Slammers. The Freedom can be reached at 859-594-4487, online at FlorenceFreedom.com or are located at 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, KY, 41042.