March 2010

CBS (Greetings from the Ticket Booth)

Douglas Locascio, Tickets Manager

It’s March Madness and we are 2 rounds through the 2010 tournament. The tournament itself has been plenty exciting with numerous upsets and countless nail biters that have thrilled all who have watched. Some folk’s brackets are looking good while others no so much with all the drama that comes with the madness.

How about that amazing coverage we have been given this year. Amazing coverage… Ya, right. There have been some nice things, being able to watch any game you want live through cbssports.com but the on air coverage and game selection, that is another story. Do not get me wrong; they do have a lot of games to cover for only being one network but use some common sense. When a team is up by 25 with 5 minutes to play I’m pretty sure the game is looked up and you can switch to more exciting games, ones that the fans want to follow. Now I understand we are going to get regional coverage and that is totally fine but where the problem comes is when an instant like this happens.

Sitting in my apartment on Sunday watching the Duke vs. California game and following the Pittsburgh vs. Xavier and Purdue vs. Texas A&M games online not much could have gone unexpected. Being here in Hickory knew going in I would have the Duke game to watch no matter what the score was, but what I didn’t see happening was when the two other games going on at the same time were neck in neck with less than five minutes to play. CBS stuck with the Duke game for its entirety and switched over briefly at moments but then when a timeout was called switched back and then stayed with Duke even after the other games timeout. CBS stayed with the Duke game till the buzzer hit 0 and then switched to the others. Yes I know we are in ACC country but come on, it’s March Madness, who really wants to watch a 15 point blowout when you have two close matchups going. They made me miss watching the buzzer attempt for the Pittsburgh game because they didn’t switch the games. Can you imagine how upset people would be if that shot fell and people missed it when they were watching the station they were supposed to be?

I’m not upset I just want CBS to be smart and think through logically what a fan wants to watch. It has been a great March Madness and can’t wait to see how the rest of the tournament unfolds. Good luck to everyone’s brackets and enjoy watching one game at a time now that the field has been slimmed down.

Remember Opening Day is quickly approaching. Purchase your single game tickets now online or stop by the box office; we are here from 8:30-5:30 Monday through Friday and purchase your game tickets. April 10th is our Open House so come on out to the ballpark for a great time.

Douglas enters his first season as interim tickets manager with the Crawdads and second year in baseball, after spending the 2009 campaign with the Wilmington Sharks of the Coastal Plain League.  The Tampa, Florida, native is a 2009 graduate of Campbell University.

The One and Only Vin Scully (Media Relations Mutterings)

Kevin Zeni, Media Relations Assistant

As I’m sure some of you may have seen in the news recently, legendary Hall-of-Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully was hospitalized towards the end of last week from a fall he had at his home. A scary time for the family of the 82-year-old Scully, but just as scary for the millions of Dodgers fans that have listened to Scully broadcast games going all the way back to their days in Brooklyn.

What made the news so scary is that in 2002 a similar situation occurred with another Hall-of-Fame broadcaster in the Los Angeles area, Chick Hearn of the Lakers. Chick however, wasn’t as lucky as Scully and didn’t make it, leaving a huge void in the Lakers’ broadcast team that to this day still hasn’t been fully filled.

Vinny has been the only true voice for the Dodgers my grandparents have ever known, my parents have ever known, and I have ever known. Sure there have been several radio guys and recently Steve Lyons and Eric Collins have done road games not on the west coast for television (don’t even get me started on them), but Scully has been the one constant.

While it has been announced, even before this most recent incident, that Scully is seriously considering retirement after this season, I don’t think that anyone has really come to believe Vinny will ever leave the booth willingly. Broadcasting Dodgers games is all we’ve ever known for Scully, and really outside of spending time with his family its all Scully as ever really known.

I know that one day the reality of not having Scully in the broadcast booth doing Dodgers games is going to be a reality, but until that day comes I just can’t envision it. When that day comes, I can only hope that the current crop of secondary Dodgers broadcasters isn’t the full-time answer.

Kevin enters his first season as media relations assistant with the
Crawdads and second year in minor league baseball, after spending the
2009 campaign with the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League
(High-A).  The Los Angeles, California, native is a 2009 graduate of the University of La Verne.

Adventures in (Baseball) Fantasy Land (Group Sales Gab)

Kathryn Bobel, Co-Director of Group Sales

Everyone loves an underdog story, and this Spring kiddos, I’ve got a doozey for you.  It’s bigger than the 1991 Duke Blue Devils, bigger than the 1969 Mets, bigger than the 1980 Miracle on Ice. Alright, maybe it’s not bigger than the 1980 US Olympic hockey team upsetting the Soviets, but hey, who can blame a girl for her use of hyperbole?

This underdog story involves yours truly and her first introduction into the world of fantasy sports. I have always had a sort of vendetta with the concept because I really do believe that it takes away from the aura that has surrounded athletics for decades.  It is still about the Yankees and the Red Sox and the Browns and the Steelers, but now it is also about paying money to have access to rumors that people take a little too seriously (ESPN insider, anyone?)  I can talk about it until I’m blue in the face and have the greatest arguments with the best citations, but until I attempt it, I have no credibility on the subject.  

So, I’m taking the plunge, creating a team, and going up against competition that I have no business being in the same league with.  Our office league is made up of guys that are following spring training like I’m following Michael Kors’ spring clothing line.  Now, that’s not to say I won’t be able to hold my own–I know a thing or two about starting rotations and OBP–but when these gentlemen are watching ESPN in the morning before work, I’m rocking out to Jason Aldean and Joe Nichols on CMT.  My office mates may know who will come back from surgery stronger than before or whose bat will have a little less pop in it than last season, but I bet they can’t belt out Big Green Tractor quite like I can.

Despite my trepidations, I’m going to lace ’em up and head out into the field come April.  I may not be (even nearly) as confident in this fantasy world as I am in reality, but I certainly am not going to sit idly by.  That being said, help a sister out! Please feel free to email any tips, advice, guidance or direction to kbobel@hickorycrawdads.com.  It will be greatly appreciated.  

Have you noticed I have yet to mention perhaps the most important piece of this fantasy puzzle I’m slowly putting together? My team name! Do I honor my team? Do I go raunchy? Do I go funny?  After thinking long and hard (and by that I mean brainstorming for about a half an hour while on the treadmill), I’ve decided on VizquelGivesItThome.  I honor my team (Go Tribe!), I go raunchy, and I go funny–the trifecta–all in under 20 characters.

And remember, it always feels good to root for the underdog.

Kathryn
Bobel is entering her second season with the Crawdads and first as
Co-Director of Group Sales.  She served as Sales Assistant with the
‘Dads throughout the 2009 campaign, after stints with the Indianapolis
Indians (AAA) and US Track and Field.

Hello form the Ticket Office (Greetings from the Ticket Booth)

Douglas Locascio, Interim Tickets Manager

Hello from the ticket office. My name is Douglas Locascio and I am your Hickory Crawdads new Interim Ticket Operations manager. I have been here a week and things are already picking up with anticipation for the upcoming 2010 Crawdads season.

I came up here from Tampa, Florida but I am no stranger to the state of North Carolina. North Carolina has been my home for the past 4 _ years as I attended and graduated in December 09 from the great Campbell University located in Buies Creek, NC (everyone knows right where that is right?). Campbell is located in between Raleigh and Fayetteville.  Sports have always been a part of my life from growing up through college. When I was younger did the traditional little league baseball but was not very good so I picked up wrestling at the age of 11. Now I’m not talking Vince McMahon wrestling (not saying I didn’t enjoy watching that) I am talking about true folk style wrestling. In High School I was a three sport athlete doing Football, Wrestling, and Track and Field, all intertwined with each other and kept me in the best shape. At Campbell I was a 4 year letterer on the Fighting Camels wrestling team.
 
Working in sports has been something I have always known I wanted to do since I was a little kid. My Grandpa always told me to never have a job that you could not enjoy and look forward to going to work every morning. Besides my career in sports as an athlete my work career started during the fall of 2008 when I interned with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL as their Ticket Operations Intern. I learned different aspects of the ticket operations department and how many different things go on throughout the department. It was my first taste of the real world and I am so fortunate to have had it. My next journey was to Wilmington NC where I got my first experience learning the business of baseball. I interned with the Wilmington Sharks of the Coastal Plain League during the 2009 summer. The league is a summer wooden bat league for college players looking to get experience at an elite level. I was a general intern with specific duties that included Director of Ticket Operations, all-star game coordinator, and host family relations. We hosted the league All-Star game and were given compliment as hosting the best All-Star Events in league history. It was with our organizations work ethic that earned us 2009 Coastal Plain League Organization of The Year.

That brings me here to Hickory, NC here with the Hickory Crawdads. I am excited to get things going and continue on my knowledge of the Business of Sports and providing great affordable family entertainment to all those that come out and take in a game.
 
Now do not forget Saturday the 13th here at the stadium come on out and help us celebrate St. Patty’s Day from 11am to 1pm.  It’s a free event with plenty of activities for young and old. Be the first to purchase your individual game tickets for the upcoming season. Stop on by and say hello.

Douglas enters his first season as interim tickets manager with the
Crawdads and second year in baseball, after spending the
2009 campaign with the Wilmington Sharks of the Coastal Plain League.  The Tampa, Florida, native is
a 2009 graduate of Campbell University.

The Journey (Promotions Prattle)

-Michael Johnson, Promotions Assistant

Ever since I accepted an offer a few months ago to work as the Promotions Assistant for the Crawdads during the 2010 season, I have eagerly anticipated starting. That anticipation has finally come to an end as my first day has arrived.  

Leading into this new gig I bring a little over three years of experience in the area of promotions.  I started with a sports radio station in Minneapolis for one summer, though most of my experience up until this point has been working within college athletics.  While attending college at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota I spent some time doing marketing and promotions work during football and basketball games.  Upon graduation I accepted a Sports Marketing Graduate Assistantship at the university in my hometown of St. Cloud, MN (also hometown to the character Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother and referred to as “East Jesus Nowhere” in the movie Juno).

After a 1,300 mile road trip from Minnesota (or simply ‘Sota) which included a fifty degree thaw (-6 when I left Minnesota and 44 when I arrived in Hickory), I have settled in nicely to my new surroundings in Hickory.  Now the fun begins.  With 70 home games and a hand full of additional events at the ballpark I am certain to learn even more about life in the sports world.  The next one of these events is Saturday the 13th here at the stadium celebrating St. Patty’s Day.  We have a lot of fun things planned, so come out and enjoy the celebration.

Michael Johnson is entering his first season as promotions assistant
with the
Crawdads and first year in minor league baseball, after spending
2008-09 as
a Sports Marketing Graduate Assistant at St. Cloud State University.  The St. Cloud, Minnesota, native is a 2008 graduate of St. John’s University.  
      

Exciting Things to Come (Blogs from the Boss)

Mark Seaman – General Manager

It might have just snowed, but we are ready to go at L.P. Frans Stadium.  It looks like we are headed for a warmer stretch of weather, which I’m sure everyone is ready for, so it’s time to start thinking baseball again.  Major League spring training is in full swing with games getting ready to start as I type this.  44 days til our home opener, but we have plenty of activities at the ballpark between now and then.  This weekend, Appalachian State is hosting Rider in a battle of 2 undefeated teams, starting with a game on Friday at 3pm followed by games on Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 1pm.  

On Saturday, March 13th we have our first annual St. Patrick’s Day party from 11am to 1pm.  It’s a free event with plenty of activities for young and old. Individual tickets go on sale that day as well.  Then, April 10th is our 3rd annual open house, another free event with plenty of activities.

On April 15th there will be no game (at home), but there will be a Thirsty Thursday at the ballpark.  We are hosting the kick-off to the corporate challenge; there will be a band, inflatables for the kids, and of course $1 Pepsi’s and beers.  Gates open at 5pm for this free event.  

Then, April 16th, the big day, the Crawdads 18th Home Opener.  As you can see, we have a number of events planned over the next month and half.  We look forward to seeing all of our baseball friends at the ballpark for one or all of the above mentioned events.  

Hickory Crawdads Baseball – Where Fun Happens!