100 Days Until Opening Night!
There are exactly 100 days until Opening Night at “The Joe” and the weather certainly makes it feel like it’s right around the corner.
Actually, baseball at “The Joe” will begin much sooner than the ValleyCats home opener on June 20th. The Hudson Valley Community College baseball team begins their home schedule on April 1st. Not fooling!
In fact, stadium groundskeeper John Hudson has officially settled into “The Joe” for the baseball season. His “office” sits behind the scoreboard in left field and today he was here extra early to wax his tractor.
Because of the frost during the winter, the infield dirt becomes very soft and needs to be “turned.” This is done with a roller:
Here’s a video of Hudson in action:
We in the ValleyCats front office aren’t as lucky as John to be able to spend a beautiful day entirely outside. Each of us are working on a number of things to get ready for Opening Night and the events leading up to it.
Here’s a brief rundown on what we’re working on:
Fan Development Manager Michelle Skinner has been creating some info sheets and flyers for Girls Night Out on Sunday, August 26. There will be a Diamond Dig following the game, where the ladies in attendance will get the chance to dig for a diamond!
Michelle is also organizing the Relay For Life jersey auction on Saturday, July 7. The team will be wearing custom purple jerseys and the proceeds from the auction will support the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.
Box Office Manager Jess Kaszeta has been spending the day taking many St. Patrick’s Day Package orders over the phone.
It’s really one of our most popular packages of the year, and with St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday, the demand is heating up. Here’s what the package includes:
- Ticket to six of the ValleyCats best games of the year
- One of those games is Irish Night on September 4, with a pregame concert by award-winning Irish band Hair of the Dog.
- Food voucher for a corned beef & cabbage dinner and a Guinness on Irish Night.
- $10 gift card to the South End Tavern in Troy.
- St. Patrick’s Day ValleyCats t-shirt
- Guaranteed bobblehead giveaway
This limited time offer can be purchased for just $65! (a $90 value). You can order by calling Jess at 518-629-CATS or online by clicking here.
Where would we be without our interns? They are such a crucial part of our organization. Today, College of Saint Rose Senior Tom Lloyd is busy getting the New York-Penn League replica championship trophy mailing list in order. Tom is from Ithaca, NY and is a big Yankee fan!
Today, not only has Account Executive Kyle Wheeler been setting up meetings, but he has also been reviewing ‘4 in 24’ entries.
Last year, the ‘4 in 24’ field renovations were a huge success that we look to build off of for this year. About 25 entries were submitted from leagues around the Capital Region. Those not selected for the ‘4 in 24’ in April will be considered for our Community Grounds Crew tour this summer.
One of our other AE’s, Michael Johnson, has been spending the day looking for different groups that would like to have an outing at “The Joe” this summer. Specifically camps & scout groups. We have two Camp Days this year, the first on July 24 and the second on August 6. Both games begin at 11am.
Scout Night is being held on Saturday, June 30 and all scouts in attendance will be allowed to camp out on the field overnight. There will be fun activities throughout the night and a movie shown on the video board before lights out.
If you want to bring your group to a ValleyCats game this year, you can call Mike or one of our other representatives at 518-629-2287.
Speaking of our other representatives…Chris Dawson has also been busy answering the phones. “People are starting to think baseball!” he says.
Media/Production Manager Chris Chenes turned on the video board for the first time since the fall, and it seems to be responding very nicely!
He has also been busy catching up on all the former ValleyCats who are currently at the Astros spring training camp in Kissimmee, Florida. He is a regular reader of two other great MLBlogs including Alyson’s Footnotes by Astros social media guru Alyson Footer & Tag’s Lines by Astros beat reporter for MLB.com, Brian McTaggart. He also makes it a point to read everything posted on the Ultimate Astros page of the Houston Chronicle’s website. He’ll also keep up-to-date by checking the Twitter status updates of former ‘Cats.
Chenes will be down at the Astros spring training facility from March 22-27 and will be speaking with many of them. He’ll also be gathering content for the 2012 ValleyCats Yearbook and video board.
Have any ideas or suggestions for Chris?? Send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a tweet to @ChrisChenes. He’ll be blogging on ‘Cats Corner and tweeting each day while he is down in sunny Florida.
‘Cats Assistant GM Matt Callahan has been busy contacting many of the ValleyCats corporate partners, working on player housing for the 2012 season, sorting out the summer internship program and approving samples of our 2012 bobbleheads.
Once the bobblehead images are approved, we will be sure to post what they look like. The Derek Jeter bobblehead as an Albany-Colonie Yankee will be given away to the first 1,500 fans through the gates on Monday, August 20 as part of Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night.
You can guarantee the bobblehead by ordering our Heritage Mini-Plan package, which includes tickets to six of the ‘Cats best games and the benefit of a guaranteed bobblehead on August 20.
Our other bobblehead giveaway will take place on “We Love New York Night” on Monday, July 9. Look for the announcement of that bobblehead at the end of March.
Stadium Operations Manager Keith Sweeney was outside checking on the group area formerly known as The Cat-tle Ranch, that will now call the “Field of Dreams” home.
The Field of Dreams is a brand new group area being introduced along the stadium’s left field concourse. This unique, baseball-themed picnic area will be ideal for youth sports teams as it provides a one-of-a-kind experience at “The Joe.”
The Field of Dreams area will cater to youth sports organizations as the perfect spot to host end-of-season award ceremonies and picnic outings. This brand new picnic area will replicate the look and feel of a real baseball field.
With cornstalks, turf, and an outfield fence-style wall, this outstanding atmosphere will provide great ballpark fare at an excellent value.
The Field of Dreams will feature a one-hour, pre-game buffet that includes the following menu items and additional benefits:
-Individually wrapped hot dogs & hamburgers
-Soda & water
-Each guest will receive the opportunity to have their very own souvenir baseball card produced for FREE in The Field of Dreams area.
-Opportunity for your group/team to take the field with the ValleyCats for the national anthem as part of the Baseball Buddies program. Includes a special PA welcome message.
-Grandstand seats for your entire group to enjoy the game together.
-Cost: $15 per person
You can book your outing in the “Field of Dreams” now by calling the ValleyCats front office at 518-629-CATS (2287).
One last thing of note…Individual tickets will be going on-sale Wednesday, April 4 at 10am. It’s also Major League Baseball’s Opening Night.
For those season ticket holders who have not yet renewed their tickets for 2012, in order to guarantee your same seats you will need to renew by April 1.
Make sure you get outside this week, enjoy the great weather and think baseball!