An April to Remember (Part 1)…
The baseball season is by far my favorite time of year. It’s better than the Christmas season, way better than football season, and it’s the reason I enjoy summer. When I was a kid, summer meant a month down the Jersey Shore at Seaside Heights. That was a lot of fun! The 1980’s were a lot of fun too! Long live the 80’s.
Now, many years later, summer means seven days a week filled with baseball. I eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. And, it’s still not enough baseball. I can’t imagine working any other job.
It’s not easy, but it’s well worth it!
With that, let’s take a look back at the month of April. The first month featured a number of days that truly stick out to me. First, Opening Day was historic. The 24th and final Opening Day in Knights Stadium history featured three All Knights Stadium Team members — Jordan Danks, Josh Phegley, and Ross Gload. The entire team was announced for the first time during a pre-game on-field ceremony.
Some players sent in a video message. It was great to hear from Charlie Manuel, who was named as the manager. He submitted a video and it was played on our video board.
Jason Bourgeois — the All Knights Stadium Team’s second baseman, also sent in a video. The current Durham Bulls star was humbled by his appearance on the team. It was great to hear from Jason.
Just two days later, Jason was on-hand to accept his award during an on-field ceremony. Jason and the Durham Bulls were in town to face the Knights. He was off to a hot-start to begin the season. I spoke to Jason before the game and we later showed the interview on the video board before he accepted his award. You can view that video:
Knights TV : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bkJ6R13JzU
He later accepted his plaque in front of the fans from Knights General Manager of Baseball Operations Scotty Brown (pictured, right). I hope to be able to have other All Knights Stadium Team members at Knights Stadium this season. Stay tuned for more updates about that throughout the year.
On Friday, April 12, the Knights welcomed Country Music Superstar and 8-Time Women’s Wrestling champion Mickie James to Knights Stadium for a fun evening at the ballpark. Mickie was on-hand to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and sign her new song “Somebody’s Gonna Pay”. Mickie was a lot of fun and even throw out a ceremonial first pitch. She did a good job with the pitch!
She later made her way around Knights Stadium and appeared on the Charlotte Knights radio network to talk about her album and more. She even tried her hand at play-by-play with Knights radio broadcaster Mike Pacheco.
It was great to have Mickie at Knights Stadium as she becomes a household name in the music business. Thanks again Mickie! Good luck with the album and good luck with your push for another championship in TNA Impact Wrestling!
The same night that we welcomed Mickie to Knights Stadium (April 12), MiLB President Pat O’Conner was on-hand to present Knights catcher Josh Phegley with his 2012 Rawlings MiLB Gold Glove Award. Phegley became the second Knights player in as many seasons to earn the award. In 2011, Knights OF Jordan Danks won the award.
Before the game, Phegley was presented the award during an on-field ceremony. Knights Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski was there to present the award to Josh, along with Pat O’Conner. It was a nice moment for Josh. He had a remarkable 2012 season and he was honored for his hard work. Last September, Josh also received the Knights Community Service Award. He was even an International League All-Star a season ago! Good job Josh!
Perhaps one of the coolest ideas of the season was the Knights wearing throwback jerseys during all Friday games this season. Each Friday, the Knights are having a special “Flashback Fridays” series. All Knights players will wear the jerseys that the 1990 Charlotte Knights wore — the first Knights team to play at Knights Stadium (the stadium opened in 1990). So far, the jerseys have been a huge hit with fans! They have really added an extra element to our games on Friday nights!
Stay tuned for the first throwback hat giveaway on Friday, May 10 as part of the series.
Wow, I started this blog to take a look back at the first month, but I am still just on the first three home games! April 11 and April 12 were jam-packed full of fun. On April 13, the Jason Bourgeois ceremony was fun as well.
I also want to make sure I mention our lovely Dance Team — the KnightinGals, who originally debuted at Knights Fest on March 30. Their first appearance during a game, however, came on Opening Day, April 11. On that day we revealed their new name and gave the fans a chance to see them in action before the game!
So far, the girls have performed at two games (should have been three, although there was a postponement due to rain on April 27) and they have been AWESOME! There have been so many fans coming up to them to take a photo with them. They have already become a staple at Knights Stadium!
There will be more with the Dance Team as the season goes on. Stay tuned for that!
I’m going to leave this blog with a look back at the fireworks. All Saturday home games this season feature post-game fireworks and the first Saturday of the year had an amazing show. Check it out (pictured, right).
I’ll be back with Part 2 of April soon!
In the meantime, I hope to see you at Knights Stadium in May. We return home on May 10 for a fun “Flashback Fridays” game.
On Saturday, we’ll host our 8th Annual Pink Knights, thanks to Charlotte Radiology & Belk. There will also be post-game fireworks, thanks to BB&T Ballpark and News Talk 1110 WBT. On Sunday, we’ll treat moms to a great Mother’s Day at Knights Stadium.