Hey ‘Dads fans,
This is going to be sort of a two-part blog, and probably a lengthy one at that. Let’s get the far less interesting half out of the way with quickly, shall we? For those of you who don’t know, my name is Andrew Buchbinder and I am taking over for Mike Janela as the Crawdads play-by-play broadcaster and media relations director this season. I just got into town about a week and a half ago, and from everything I’ve heard, I’ve got some big shoes to fill coming in here after Mike!
My abbreviated story is this: I’ve spent the last two years working for the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) and last season with the Bakersfield Blaze, the Crawdads High-A affiliate in the California League, in Bakersfield, CA. I am originally from Larchmont, NY, and graduated from Trinity College (the one in Hartford, CT, not the one in Texas!) in 2007. This will be my fifth season of broadcasting in pro sports, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining the ‘Dads and the Hickory community. Both have been great to me in my brief stay so far!
Which brings us to the fun part of this post – there are only nine days left until Opening Day!! Now, this fact does bring along some trepidation since I have a ton left to do, but let’s ignore all that for now. Opening Day is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting days of the year. Period. You never know how your team is going to do in any particular season. Nothing is ever gauranteed (trust me, I’m a Yankees fan!), but you do know that it all starts on one day, when everyone is in first place. When expectations and dreams often outweigh reality.
Granted this is my first season, but I’m not sure there has been a more highy-anticipated opening day for the Crawdads since the first one back in 1993, and I think there’s a good chance all the excitement and expectations won’t necessarily end up outweighing reality this year. This, of course, is because the ‘Dads are entering their first year as a member of the Texas Rangers organization. Far from just any organization, the Rangers have the widely-regarded top farm system in baseball, and have proven the last couple of seasons their dedication to winning at the minor league levels. As you can tell by this blog’s wallpaper, we’re pretty psyched about it all and can’t wait to get going!
Actually, the ‘get-going’ (for lack of a better, more grammatically correct term) process is really starting this Saturday at L.P. Frans Stadium with the Crawdads Open House. There is going to be a lot going on at the event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., not the least of which is the Crawdads Fun for $4 Tickets Deal. Only during Open House this Saturday, Crawdads single game tickets will be sold for just $4 each! Also, we’re going to have some local newsmen on hand in celebration of National Hug a Newsman Day, so be sure to come on down to the park and take advantage of two rare opportunities – $4 tickets and huggable newsmen! We’ll also have an easter egg hunt for young ‘Dads fans, face painting, free popcorn and more! Check out hickorycrawdads.com for the full rundown.
Mark it down, Opening Day is April 9. We’re hosting the Bowling Green Hot Rods at L.P. Frans, and the game starts at 7 p.m. (gates open at 6 p.m.). It should be a lot of fun to say the least, the Hot Rods playing their first-ever game, and the Crawdads playing their first of the new era – the Texas Rangers era – here in Hickory! Give us a call for more info (828-322-3000), and hopefully we’ll see everyone this Saturday at Open House! Go Crawdads!
Oh, and just to sneak you a little piece of info… you can get your first look at this year’s team even before the season starts! On Tuesday, April 7 from about 5 – 7 p.m., the Crawdads will be holding an open workout on the field, and everyone is invited to come on down and get a sneak peak at this year’s squad! Hopefully we’ll see you there!