Exciting Day at BB&T Ballpark on March 8th!

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The line at BB&T Ballpark began forming at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday.

Giddy. Excited. Thrilled. Like a kid on Christmas morning!

That’s how I felt when I showed up to BB&T Ballpark just around 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 8 for the first day of Single-Game ticket sales.

When I got here, I was overwhelmed with excitement. There were a number of fans already here! That excitement continued into the afternoon as many more fans made their way out to the ballpark in hopes of attending Knights games during the team’s inaugural season at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte.

Stunning. Just stunning.

In all, hundreds of fans flocked to BB&T Ballpark on Saturday with hopes of securing tickets to Opening Day and other games on the 2014 schedule. With a calendar filled with great promotions, giveaways, celebrity appearances, and more, fans had many options when they stepped up to the ticket window. 

first fans

Jeremy Coffey (left), and Mike Bullard (right), were the first two fans to arrive at BB&T Ballpark on Saturday.

While the ticket office at BB&T Ballpark opened at 9:00 a.m. on  Saturday, many fans were at the ballpark well before that to secure their tickets to the first game in Charlotte since 1988. That’s the last time the Knights called Charlotte home. On April 11th, baseball officially returns to the Queen City.

Mike Bullard, 29, was the first person in-line. He eagerly arrived at BB&T Ballpark at 4:40 a.m. — over four hours before the ticket office even opened. His buddy, Jeremy Coffey, 29, arrived a little later and was second in-line. The two waited patiently as time passed by — both eager to secure tickets to Opening Day on April 11.

“We’re excited, we’re excited,” said Bullard. “We were here at 4:40 (a.m.), it was a little breezy, a little cold, but well worth it!”

For Bullard, Coffey, and hundreds of other Knights fans, tickets to Opening Day were secured. The chance to be a part of history and the opportunity to witness baseball back in Uptown Charlotte was something many fans couldn’t pass up. Memories at BB&T Ballpark started early — and they will continue throughout the season.

ticket office

Our Ticket Office was open and ready to go at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 8th. The ticket office closed at 5:00 p.m., but will re-open on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

While single-game tickets for Opening Day are now sold out, there are tickets still left for many great games at BB&T Ballpark this season. We still have tickets to our Negro League Tribute Night on April 15, our Charlotte O’s Tribute Night on April 18th — and many more fun-filled games this year.

Fans will be able to bring their dogs to BB&T Ballpark on two occasions this year (June 8th and August 25th). They will be able to meet pro wrestling Hall-of-Famers Tito Santana (May 5th) and George “The Animal” Steele (June 8th). Tito will be here as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration — “The Animal” as part of our Bark in the Ballpark day.

Anyone interested in finding out more about promotions and giveaways, I encourage you to check out our promotional calendar for our entire lineup of festivities: Promotional Calendar

All and all, it was a great day for the Knights, the city of Charlotte, and of course, our fans. For me, it’s very gratifying knowing just how excited people are for baseball in Uptown. There is a real buzz around this city and it’s a magical time to be a Knights fan. Thank you for your support. Thanks for being a Knights fan!

We’ll see you again very soon!

Spring Training Update – March 5

Spring Training is in full swing and the White Sox have posted a 2-3 record through five games this spring. On Wednesday, the team was shut out by the San Diego Padres, 8-0. Stay tuned for an update of some of the team leaders later in the week. cactus_st_logo

Earlier in the day, the South Siders reassigned seven players to Minor League camp. Here is a list of the players who were reassigned:

  • RHP Chris Bassitt, RHP Parker Frazier, INF Mike McDade, RHP Brian Omogrosso, OF Denis Phipps, LHP Mauricio Robles and C Kevan Smith.

Out of the seven players, two have spent time with the Charlotte Knights in their career. McDade spent the majority of last season with the Knights after he was claimed off waivers from Cleveland. With the Knights in Columbus for a four-game series in early May, McDade literally switched dugouts and made his Knights debut on May 3. In 94 games for the Knights last season, the Las Vegas native hit .254 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs.

This spring, McDade appeared in four games for the Sox and hit .400 (2-for-5) with two walks and an RBI. McDade got a chance to start on Sunday, March 2 when Paul Konerko was scratched from the lineup due to the flu. The 6’1″ McDade went 2-3 with an RBI in the game.

Brian Omogrosso 2

Omogrosso was the other player reassigned today that has previously spent time with Knights. In fact, “Omo” has spent time with the Knights over parts of the past three seasons. Overall, Omogrosso has appeared in 58 games for the Knights from 2011-13 and has a career Triple-A mark of 1-4 with 11 saves and a 5.20 ERA. He made one appearance for the White Sox this season and earned a victory after one scoreless inning of work.

Earlier this offseason, Omogrosso elected for free agency after the White Sox outrighted him off
of the 40-Man roster. He later resigned with the White Sox and was a non-roster invitee to spring.

Omogrosso was originally selected by the White Sox in the sixth round of the 2006 draft. He’s appeared in 29 games for the White Sox over the past two years. He is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA in the Majors.

With the moves, the White Sox have 55 players remaining in major-league camp: 27 pitchers, five catchers, 14 infielders and nine outfielders.

More Non-Roster Pitchers in Camp

Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Saturday, February 15 and the first official workout started a day later on Sunday, February 16. Later this week, the rest of the White Sox players will join in on the fun on Thursday, February 20. Spring Training games are not too far away and baseball season is on the horizon. I can’t wait for an exciting 2014.

Here are a two more notable pitchers in camp as non-roster invitees:

David Purcey is back with the White Sox for a second straight season. Purcey originally signed with the Chicago White Sox in November of 2012.David Purcey The University of Oklahoma product began the 2013 season with the Charlotte Knights and excelled on the mound. The 31-year-old was selected to the IL All-Star Team on July 3 — earning an IL All-Star spot for the second time in his career. His other All-Star nod came in 2008 while with Triple-A Syracuse. He posted an 8-6 record with a league-best 2.69 ERA in 19 games that season.

At the time of his All-Star nod in 2013, the Illinois native was 0-2 with a 3.03 ERA and three saves for the Knights in 26 games. In 38.2 innings pitched, Purcey struck-out 43 batters and left-handers were hitting just .146 (6-41) against him.

Purcey never had a chance to play in the All-Star Game though as later that day the right-hander was promoted to Chicago. He never returned to Charlotte and went on to post a 1-1 record with a 2.13 ERA in 24 games for the South Siders. 

In October of 2013, Purcey became a free agent, but that didn’t last very long. He signed with the White Sox in November and this spring he will now compete for a spot in the Chicago bullpen. In five Major League seasons, Purcey owns a career line of 7-13 with a 4.98 ERA in 111 games.

Purcey wasn’t the only right-handed pitcher to sign a contract with the Chicago White Sox in November of 2013. He wasn’t the only Oklahoma guy either.

frazier

The club also signed RHP Parker Frazier to a Minor League deal. Frazier, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has spent the past seven seasons in the minors. Originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the eighth round of the 2007 draft, Frazier spent the first six years of his career as a starting pitcher. In 2013, he moved to the bullpen — and also changed organizations.

After pitching in Colorado’s system from 2007 to 2013, the Rockies traded Frazier in July of 2013 for Reds farmhand Armando Galarraga. At the time, the Tulsa native was pitching for the Tulsa Drillers (Double-A Rockies) and was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 16 games. He spent nine games in Triple-A last year for the first time in his career and posted a 0-1 mark with a 10.67 ERA for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

Now, Frazier is in camp with the White Sox looking for chance to lock down a spot in the club’s bullpen. After starting 116 games over six seasons in the Rockies system, Frazier will look to successfully continue his transition to the ‘pen. With Double-A Pensacola last year after his trade to the Reds organization, he went 2-3 with a 1.93 ERA in 13 games. Frazier is just 25 years old and owns a career Minor League record of 40-52 with a 4.66 ERA in 160 games. 

Pitchers and Catchers Report to Spring Training

Pitchers and catchers in the Chicago White Sox system reported to Arizona today (Saturday, February 15) — thus officially starting Spring Training! The 2014 season is going to be a special year throughout the organization. The White Sox have made some key offseason additions to their squad and are ready to compete in the American League Central.cactus_st_logo

As for the Charlotte Knights, the 2014 season is quite possibly the most anticipated one in the history of the franchise. After playing just one season in Charlotte (1988), the Knights have spent the past 25 seasons across the state line in Fort Mill, SC. Well now, the Knights are back home and Opening Day is less than two months away (April 11).

The excitement is building each day in Uptown Charlotte. Our front office staff moved into our new offices at BB&T Ballpark at the beginning of the month, the ballpark is about 98% done, and it just gets more real by the minute. With all that being said, today is the day that it officially gets real. Pitchers and catchers are in Arizona and baseball is closer than ever.

Let’s take a look at a pitcher and a catcher who have both spent time with the White Sox over the past two seasons. Each of these players report to White Sox camp as non-roster invitees. Neither of these players are on Chicago’s 40-man roster, but each of them has had a spot on Chicago’s roster over the past two seasons.

Deunte Heath

Deunte Heath has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Charlotte Knights (2011-13). The 28-year-old right-hander was recently outrighted off of Chicago’s 40-man roster (February 7) when they signed RHP Mitchell Boggs. With Boggs taking Heath’s 40-man roster spot, the Georgia native will now go to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee looking to win a spot in Chicago’s bullpen this year.

Heath has spent parts of the last seven seasons in the minors and owns a career Minor League mark of 31-35 with a 3.82 ERA and 11 saves over 221 games. He won a season-high 13 games in 2008 split between Myrtle Beach (A+) and Mississippi (AA), while in the Braves organization.

After appearing as a starter for five of those seven Minor League seasons, Heath was moved to the bullpen in 2012 and excelled at his new role. In 36 games for the Knights in 2012, he posted a 4-3 record with three saves and a minuscule 1.48 ERA. He fanned 74 batters in 67.0 innings.

Later that season, Heath made his Major League debut (September 1) and compiled a 4.50 ERA in three games (two innings pitched). He was once again back with the Knights in 2013 and once again excelled on the mound out of the Charlotte bullpen. In 30 games, he posted a 2-1 record with a 2.20 ERA and four saves. He finished a season-high 19 games.

Heath made five appearances for the White Sox last year and finished the campaign with an ERA of 11.74 in 7.2 innings. He has just eight games and 9.2 innings of Major League time after two seasons and will look to get back to Chicago again this year to contribute.

For a third-straight season, Hector Gimenez is back in camp with the Chicago White Sox. Gimenez will look to make it back to the majors after he began 2013 on Chicago’s Opening Day roster as the backup to catcher Tyler Flowers. After appearing in just five games for the White Sox a season before that (2012), Gimenez was ready for more of a role in 2013. He played in 26 games for the White Sox and hit .191 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Things changed however in July. 

Hector Gimenez - 2012

With the torrid hitting pace of Josh Phegley at the Triple-A level, Gimenez and Phegley switched teams in July, with Gimenez going to Charlotte to make way for the young catcher in Chicago. Gimenez appeared in just five games for Charlotte before an injury placed him on the DL on July 22. He never returned to the field in 2013. 

The White Sox have a crowded catching scenario with six backstops heading in Major League camp. This year’s crop includes Flowers, Phegley, Adrian Nieto — a 2013 Rule 5 Draft selection, as well as non-roster invitees Gimenez, Miguel Gonzalez, and Kevan Smith. All but Nieto and Smith played in Chicago at some point last season. There are decisions to be made this spring on just who the White Sox will break camp with.

So, who will be the starter and bench player at the Major League level and which players will end up in Charlotte. Only time will tell. That’s Spring Training for you!

Stay tuned…

Marrero Back in the White Sox System

The White Sox signed a number of key Minor League free agents during the month of January.  One of the notable names was 1B/OF Christian Marrero, who was drafted by the South Siders in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft.  After spending the last two seasons between two organizations — Pittsburgh and Atlanta, Marrero is back with the organization he started with — the White Sox. 

Marrero, an eight-year Minor League veteran, spent six seasons in the White Sox system from 2006-11. Over the course of those six years, the Miami-born slugger worked his way up to Double-A Birmingham where he became a Southern League All-Star in 2011.

marrero

That season, he hit .293 with eight triples, 12 home runs, and 59 RBIs in 115 games for the Barons. His eight triples tied him for fourth overall in the league that season — two behind teammate Tyler Kuhn — a former Knights infielder. It was a solid all-around season for Marrero — but it proved to be his last in the White Sox organization  – until now.

On January 6, 2014, the 27-year-old signed a Minor League contract with the White Sox. Now that he’s back with the White Sox, Marrero will look to work his way through the system, much like he did the past two seasons while with Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

After being traded by the White Sox in late March of 2012 to the Atlanta Braves, Marrero played for Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett for the first part of the 2012 season. While it was his first season playing for the Braves, Marrero was originally drafted by the club in the 20th round of the 2004 draft, but he did not sign.

He appeared in 68 games for the G-Braves in 2012 — his first stint in Triple-A, before being traded again — this time to Pittsburgh in exchange for Brian Friday in July of 2012. He finished the 2012 season in Pittsburgh’s system and played for both Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.

Last year, Marrero appeared in 130 games for Double-A Mississippi and hit .230 with five triples, eight home runs and 44 RBIs. Keep an eye out for Marrero as he is no stranger to the White Sox system. Also, stay tuned for more updates on all of the White Sox free agent signings this offseason as we near the start of Spring Training.

White Sox Sign Eric Patterson

As we near the end of January, baseball is in the air. It may still be cold here in Charlotte, but one thing is for sure, Spring Training is just two weeks away!

Recently, the White Sox signed a number of free agents to Minor League contracts and invited 21 players to camp as non-roster invitees. Over the next two weeks, I’ll take a look at each of those players as we near the day that pitchers and catchers report (February 15).

Eric PattersonSigned to a Minor League contract by Chicago on January 10.patterson

Patterson, 30, was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 2004 draft. In his first professional season (2005), Patterson excelled at the plate. The Florida born infielder/outfielder combined to hit .325 with 13 HRs, 11 triples, 73 RBIs, and a remarkable 43 stolen bases in 119 games (Single-A Peoria and Double-A West Tennessee). He played in just nine games in Double-A (110 with Peoria), but was more than ready to return to Double-A in 2006.

For his efforts in 2005, Patterson was named the MVP of the Peoria Chiefs and was named the Cubs Position Player of the Year.

In 2006, Patterson hit .263 with eight home runs, 48 RBIs, and 38 stolen bases over 121 games with Double-A West Tennessee. That same season, Patterson played in the Futures Game in Pittsburgh.

Before the season was over, he appeared in 17 games for Triple-A Iowa and hit .358 with two home runs, 12 RBIs, and eight stolen bases.

Heading into the 2007 season, Patterson — the son of former NFL defensive back Don Patterson — was ranked by Baseball America as the sixth-best prospect in the Cubs system. The talented youngster didn’t disappoint in 2007.

In 128 games for  the Iowa Cubs in 2007, the Harrison High School (Kennesaw, GA) product hit .297 with 14 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases. He earned his first promotion to the Majors that season and ripped his first Major League hit on August 7 off of Houston’s Woody Williams. He appeared in seven games that season for the Cubs. Patterson earned a spot on the Pacific Coast League All-Star team in 2007.

A year later, Patterson played in just 13 games for the Cubs and was traded on July 8 with Josh Donaldson, Sean Gallagher, and Matt Murton to Oakland for Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden.

Patterson — who is the brother of former Major League outfielder Corey Patterson — spent parts of three seasons with the Oakland A’s (2008-10) and hit .221 with 20 stolen bases over 114 games combined. On June 26, 2010, he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox for Minor Leaguer Fabian Williamson.

Six months later, Patterson was dealt again. This time, he was a player to be named later in a trade for slugger Adrian Gonzalez. On December 6, 2010, the Red Sox dealt Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Feuntes, and a player to be named later to the San Diego Padres for Gonzalez. 10 days later (December 16) Patterson was that player to be named later.

Patterson spent most of the next three seasons (2011-13) in the Minors. After one season in the Padres system (2011), he was released by the team on December 9, 2011.  He appeared in 64 games for the Toledo Mud Hens in 2012 and hit .244 with two HRs with 23 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases. In eight games against the Knights in 2012, he hit .286 with two runs scored, two doubles, and a triple. He was released by Detroit on June 12.

Last season, Patterson played for the Independent York Revolution and hit .275 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs in 62 games. In July, he signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers and played 38 games for Double-A Huntsville. He hit .204 in 38 games and was released in September.

Now, Patterson, 30, will look to work his way back to the Majors and will do so in the White Sox organization. The nine-year Minor League veteran owns an impressive .291 batting average with 64 home runs, 344 RBIs, and 197 stolen bases (731 games). A versatile player in the field, Patterson has played mostly second base, but has also played every infield and outfield position. Stay tuned for more on Patterson and other free agent signings as the 2014 season nears.

Coaching Staff Set for Inaugural Season at BB&T Ballpark

The 2014 Charlotte Knights coaching staff was announced on Tuesday, January 21 — making it the first staff to lead the Knights into a new chapter of Charlotte baseball history.

After finishing up 25 years in Fort Mill in 2013, the Knights are set to return home to Charlotte, NC for the first time since 1988. BB&T Ballpark will officially open its doors for Opening Day on Friday, April 11 as the Knights host the Norfolk Tides in a 7:05 p.m. game.

This is the crew that will lead the Knights.

skinner_full

Joel Skinner – Manager
The 2014 season will be Skinner’s third-straight with the Knights. The last manager to pilot the Knights for three-straight seasons was Nick Capra, who managed the club from 2002-04. Skinner has 148 wins over his two-year Knights careersecond only to Capra’s 197.

Skinner’s 2012 squad won 83 games — the second highest single-season win total in Knights franchise history. The Knights won 86 games under Charlie Manuel in 1993. The ’93 team won the Governors’ Cup Championship and was led by Jim Thome, Sam Horn, and Manny Ramirez.

Speaking of Manuel, Skinner replaced Manuel at the helm of the Cleveland Indians on July 11, 2002. He finished the season 39-47. By managing the Indians, the Skinner family became just the third family in Major League Baseball history to manage at the Major League level. They joined the Macks (Connie & Earle) and the Sislers (George & Dick).

A nine-year Major Leaguer, Skinner finished out his career in 1994 in a Minor League stint with the Charlotte Knights. He is one of just two people to play for the Knights and later manage them (Nick Capra is the other).

A year after his playing career came to an end, he took the Watertown Indians to a League Championship as a manager (1995). He’s had a ton of success as a manger and now he will look to continue that success in 2014 in Uptown Charlotte.

Richard Dotson – Pitching Coach dot
The 2014 season will be Dotson’s seventh-straight with the Knights as pitching coach and 13th overall in the White Sox system. He’s done a great job developing young pitchers during his time as Charlotte’s pitching coach.

As a player, Dotson was a solid Major League pitcher. He had a remarkable 1983 season as a member of the Chicago White Sox. “Dot” finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting after posting an impressive 22-7 mark with a 3.23 ERA. He won 18 of his last 20 decisions that season for the division champion White Sox.

A former first-round pick of the California Angels in the 1977 draft, Dotson went on to win 111 games at the Major League level. He had seven seasons of 10 wins or more and was an American League All-Star in 1984.

Dotson and Skinner go back a long time. The two were teammates with the White Sox and with the New York Yankees during their playing days.

Ryan Newman – Assistant Coach
Newman is a newcomer to the Knights. For the past six seasons, Newman has managed in the Minors. Five of those six seasons have been spent as a manager in the White Sox system. After two seasons with Bristol and two with Great Falls (2011-12), Newman moved up the ranks and managed Winston Salem (A+) to a 71-69 record last season.

Ryan is the son of Jeff Newman, a former Major League player, coach, and manager. Jeff hit 22 home runs for the Oakland A’s in 1979. Seven years later (1986), Jeff managed the A’s on an interim basis. The team went 2-8 during his brief tenure.

Newman guided Great Falls (Advanced Rookie) to a Pioneer League Championship in 2011 and has done a solid job as a manager. He should be a great addition to the Knights staff this season.

Andy Tomberlin – Hitting Coachandy
Tomberlin, a native of Monroe, NC, returns to the Knights after spending the 2013 season as the hitting coach of the Kannapolis Intimidators (A). A product of Piedmont High School, Tomberlin spent the 2012 season as Charlotte’s hitting coach and returns to the Triple-A level for 2014.

In 2012, the Knights went to the Governors’ Cup finals and the team hit .254 as a team with 105 home runs and 592 RBIs. Dan Johnson hit an impressive 28 home runs that year.

Tomberlin appeared in 192 games at the Major League level over parts of six seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, A’s, Mets, and Tigers. He spent 15 seasons in the Minors and played in the International League in 1990-92 with Richmond, 1994 with Pawtucket, 1996 with Norfolk, 1998 with Richmond and Toledo, 1999 with Norfolk, and 2000 with Buffalo. He played for five different International League teams over his career.

In fact, technically you could say six IL teams. He also played for the Durham Bulls in 1988-89 when the team was the Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. His manager back then… former Charlotte O’s manager Grady Little.

Also, the Knights will have Joe Geck as the team’s Athletic Trainer and Chad Efron is back in Charlotte as the club’s Strength & Conditioning Coach. Efron was also in Kannapolis in 2013 after spending 2012 with the Knights.

The Axe-Man Returneth…

Dylan Axelrod was a household name for Charlotte Knights fans from 2011-12. During those two seasons, Axelrod shined on the mound for the Knights — posting an impressive 13-6 mark with a 2.58 ERA over those two seasons (31 games). His remarkable ERA over his 188.1 innings pitched has him ranked first all-time in Charlotte Knights franchise history (180.0 innings minimum).

Let’s take a look at the list:

Charlotte Knights vs Norfolk Tides 4-7-2012 1960Charlotte Knights
Career Pitching Records (1988-Present)

Minimum (180.0 IP)

1. Dylan Axelrod……….. 2.58 *
2. John Salles……………. 2.83
3. Charlie Leesman…….3.02
4. Steve Trachsel………. 3.06
5. Carlos Torres………… 3.07

* His 2.58 ERA also ranks first in the ERA history of the Charlotte Os’. The lowest career ERA for a Charlotte O’s player (1976-1987) is Jose Bastian, who compiled a career mark of 2.93.

In 2011, he went 6-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 starts for the Knights. He appeared in four games for Chicago that season — making three starts and compiling a 1-0 record with a 2.89 ERA.

A year later, Axelrod was back in Charlotte, but earned more time with the White Sox too. His final Knights numbers were sharp — 7-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts. He struck out 92 batters in 97 innings.

In 14 games for the South Siders in 2012, he went 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA (seven starts).

A former San Diego Padres draft pick (30th round of the 2007 draft), Axelrod was stellar for the Knights on the mound during those two seasons and eventually parlayed that into a full-time gig with the Chicago White Sox in 2013. In fact, the California native spent the entire season on the South Side of Chicago — and now, he’s back in the organization.

The White Sox recently signed Axelrod to a Minor League contract (January 9) and now the 28-year-old right-hander will look to improve on his first full season in the Majors.

In 2013 with Chicago, Axelrod posted a 4-11 record with a 5.68 ERA in 30 games (20 starts). Nine of his 20 starts last season were of six innings or more with two of seven innings or more.

Axelrod’s longest start of the season came on May 4 in Kansas City when he was the hard-luck losing pitcher. On that day, Axe allowed just two runs on eight hits over 7.2 innings pitched, but was charged with the loss.

In six Minor League seasons, Axelrod owns a career line of 34-19 with a 2.81 ERA (183 games, 68 starts).

The 2014 season will be an important one for Axelrod. Stay tuned…

Become a Part of BB&T Ballpark…

On Monday, January 13, the Charlotte Knights took another step forward in the construction of BB&T Ballpark. After introducing our commemorative brick program in May, construction crews installed nearly 500 bricks on Monday. Those bricks were purchased by fans over the past few months — all with a special story of their own.

20140113_111656

The day turned out to be a big success as media members from all across the Charlotte area were on hand for the big event. There were many stories that came out of Monday’s event.

The Knights invited a few people out that had a special story to share about their brick.

Tim Powitz spent two seasons as an intern in the Knights merchandise department. A big baseball fan, Tim was ready to propose to his girlfriend and used that opportunity to buy a brick to propose. His story is a special one and he was happy to share that with everyone on Monday.

Tim proposed to his girlfriend with a replica brick and she said yes! The two were married in late December and he had a chance to see his brick on Monday.

Knights TV talks to Tim Powitz

Mike Shildt, who is the current manager of the Springfield Cardinals (Double-A St. Louis Cardinals), was on hand for the event. Mike had a brick donated to him and he had a chance to see it go into the ground.

mike shildt

Shildt grew up in the Charlotte area. Shildt’s mom Lib worked in the front office of the Charlotte O’s and he also worked for the Charlotte O’s as a kid.

I had the opportunity to talk to Mike about his days with the O’s, his brick, and his expectations of the 2014 season as he gets set to manage the Springfield Cardinals.

Knights TV talks to Mike Shildt

Brett Honeycutt, a Charlotte native, was also invited out to see his brick go into the ground. Brett dedicated his brick to his dad, who always took him to games at Crockett Park. It was nice to talk to Brett and hear some of his stories of attending games at Crockett Park. It certainly brings up many memories of Charlotte Baseball history.

Knights TV talks to Brett Honeycutt

Betsy Gload is the wife of former Knights standout and Major League star Ross Gload. Betsy also saw her brick on Monday. She dedicated a brick to her husband Ross.

Monday’s installation was the first of two installations before Opening Day. We are still selling bricks and fans can become a part of BB&T Ballpark just in time for Opening Day too. Any fan who orders a brick by February 9, will have that brick installed for Opening Day.

For more information about BB&T Ballpark Legacy Bricks, log on to http://www.charlotteknights.com/bricks.

Showing Our Support for the Panthers…

With BB&T Ballpark getting closer and closer to completion, the Uptown Charlotte area is getting more exciting by the minute. Raise your hand if you can’t wait for Opening Day on Friday, April 11…

As a Charlotte Knights front office staff member, I can tell you that our whole staff is excited to join the Uptown area — and we are excited to become a part of the Uptown Charlotte sports community.

Coach Rivera auto

While the Knights have enjoyed an amazing 2013 — and the expectations of the 2014 are limitless — things have also been very exciting for the Carolina Panthers. After starting their season out at 1-3, the team went on a roll. They strung together a very impressive streak of eight straight wins.

Overall, the Panthers finished the regular season with a remarkable 12-4 record and a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

After the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers last week, the 49ers moved on to set things up for a round-two matchup in Charlotte on Sunday, January 12.

While I won’t be at the game on Sunday, a number of our front office staff members will be. I will still continue to show our support for them!

The Panthers are just two wins away from a Super Bowl appearance. Wouldn’t that be great?
A Super Bowl for the Panthers, a return to the Queen City for the Charlotte Knights, and the Bobcats are becoming the Hornets.

Charlotte is a great sports city already — but now, it seems like everything is coming together to set things up for greatness. I’m so excited to be a part of it all.

SHOWING OUT SUPPORT

On Saturday, January 11 — one day before the Panthers host the 49ers at Bank of America Stadium, our staff showed our support by posting a few banners around our new home in Uptown Charlotte — BB&T Ballpark. Here is a before and after photo of our Rotunda area. #KeepPounding

What do you think?

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