January 2013

A Lasting Image

By Katie Buchholz, Promotions Assistant

Check out this photo of one of our fans after he failed to complete the CLAWlossal Challenge last season.

Sorry, bud. You’re headed to the CLAWlossal Wall of Fame.

It’s nice, right?

This is the photo that welcomed me to my desk on my first day here as the Promotions Assistant for the 2013 season. Media Relations guru Andrew Buchbinder thought it’d be a funny joke-and it was. But what’s even funnier is that I’ve made it the background on my computer and kept it as such since that day.

Everybody in the office has an opinion on it-most come in and laugh and make some remark about how miserable the poor guy looks after falling short of CLAWlossal glory. Assistant GM Charlie Downs is especially fond of commenting on the photo-he actually came in while I was writing this and joked that I should write about our mystery man here…Already in progress! And Director of Promotions Jared Weymier, with whom I have the good fortune of sharing an office, can’t understand why I’ve put this on my desktop. He tells me probably everyday that I should take it down, but I won’t. For a few reasons, actually:

First, I think it’s funny.
Second, I have yet to find another picture on this computer that I like more.
And third, I just don’t care to change it.

This picture was good enough for me when I started and, barring the discovery of an even more exceptional picture, this photo will be good enough for me until the day I bid my desktop adieu.

And I guess that, in a way, this is what I want to look like at the end of the season. Beat down and exhausted and utterly defeated after having put all of myself into every inning of every game; ready to burst from having inhaled and crammed in every last bit of information that I can fit into my brain; and disappointed that there are things left undone, things we couldn’t manage to find a way to squeeze into an already chock-full promotional schedule.

And really, it reminds me of how much I can’t wait for ballpark food. Because, seriously, is there anything better? I think not.

Katie is in her first season with the Crawdads as the promotions assistant. A native of Racine Wisconsin, Katie will graduate in May from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in sport management. Previously, Katie has interned with the UW-La Crosse baseball and football teams, as well as the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods baseball league. A die-hard fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, Katie likes to read in her free time, as well as follow sports.

Introducing Teddy

By Teddy Ingraham, Director of Food and Beverages

Hello Crawdads fans, my name is Teddy Ingraham, and I am your new director of Food and Beverages. I want to take some time to introduce myself. I have just moved to Hickory from Hebron, Kentucky where I was living and attending Northern Kentucky University. It is a growing school in Highland Heights, KY that just became Division 1 and member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, a small conference composed mostly of teams in Florida and Tennessee. I lived in many places as a small child with my Dad being in the Army. I was born in Georgia, moving to Germany when I was a year old, and then back to the states when I was 3. Ever since my dad’s retirement from the military, I have lived in the Northern Kentucky with the exception of living in Wilmington, Delaware for a year while working concessions for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Single-A team in the Carolina League. I could not be more excited to move out here and help you all have a great time at the ballpark while also enjoying a quality food experience!

Just to give you a little bit more about me, I am a huge sports fan with baseball being my favorite sport. I grew up a huge Cincinnati Reds fan which hasn’t been a great experience in the past but these last few years has been fantastic due to our recent run of success. My dad is from the northeast, so I will admit to being a fan of the Boston Red Sox, which also wasn’t that much fun until 2004 when we finally broke through and won a World Series. Another sports love of mine is the Kentucky Wildcats, since being from Kentucky, basketball is more of a religion than a sport. Watching the Wildcats is always a fun activity, even though this year hasn’t gone so well.

Well now you know a little more about me and I look forward to learning more about Hickory and all of the Crawdads fans!

Teddy is entering his first season with the Crawdads and second season in baseball. He is from Hebron, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, with a degree in Sports Business and minors in Math and Business Administration. In his spare time he enjoys watching ESPN and following his Kentucky Wildcats and Cincinnati sports teams.

San Francisco Treats

By Sam Sigal, Media Relations Assistant

The “Big Apple” and “The City of Brotherly Love”, New York City and Philadelphia to be exact, can cast a pretty big shadow, especially when it comes to professional sports. And for the majority of the last fifteen years, I have lived in Princeton, New Jersey, a place smack-dab in the middle of those two fan territories. With two teams occupying New York in all four of the big-time sports, most of my friends, and the people around me rooted overwhelmingly for one of three professional teams in each sport. For example, in baseball I was usually overwhelmed by Phillies fans, Yankee fans or Mets fans, while in football it was the Eagles, Giants or Jets most people were cheering for come fall season. I, however, was born in the beautiful city by the bay out west known as San Francisco, California. So when the Yankees were celebrating the four World Series Championships in five years from 1996-2000 and again in 2009, the Phillies won a title in 2008 and a National League Pennant the following season, and the Mets were, well, the Mets, but for some reason still being talked about, my team, the San Francisco Giants, meddled through mediocrity.

Football was certainly not any better. The Philadelphia Eagles may have failed to win a Super Bowl during the Andy Reid Era, but no NFC team during the past decade won more games. And let me tell you, not many things are more obnoxious than Philadelphia sports fans who THINK they’ve accomplished more than they have. During that time period, the New York Giants made the postseason six times, with two Super Bowl appearances and one title (adding a second this past season). Then, there are the Jets. The Jets to me epitomize New York sports. Sure, outside of one successful guarantee by Joe Namath more than forty years ago they haven’t won anything. However, due to an obnoxious head coach who likes hearing himself talk as much as he likes coaching, the New York fan base is peculariouly hypnotized into believing that the Jets are actually worth caring about.

But, I once again didn’t have much to stack up against either of those teams. For my kindergarten memories of the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl XXIX victory in 1994 was the highlight of my football fandom for the better part of the next fifteen years. While the end of the 90’s offered glimpses of success, the ‘ole Gold and Red quickly sunk to the bottom of the football ladder, while my friends’ favorite franchises prospered.

Long story short, watching teams like the Yankees and Phillies prosper on the diamond, while the Eagles and New York Giants thrived on the gridiron (not to mention the Mets and Jets staying annoyingly relevant) caused me to resent even more the lack of success of my favorite squad. But, slowly but surely the tide has turned! In 2010, my San Francisco Giants not only returned to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, but went on to win their first World Series crown since 1954! Unlike fans of perennial powerhouses like the New York Yankees, the World Series title in 2010 left me with a sense of satisfaction that I thought would last a lifetime. I didn’t need a dynasty. Heck, one World Series ring was good enough for me! But, as if I was being rewarded for my years of disappointment (okay, I apologize Cubs fans, I guess it wasn’t THAT bad), one championship didn’t have to last forever, as only two seasons later Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants did it again, and in turn became the first team since THOSE New York Yankees to win multiple titles in three years.

And while I may be jumping the gun a bit writing this days before the 49ers take on the Atlanta Falcons with a birth in Super Bowl XLVII at stake, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Patrick Willis and the rest of Coach Jim Harbaugh’s squad has a chance to turn me into something I never thought I’d be: A fan spoiled by winners. I guess that leaves me with one question I can ask myself:

Is San Francisco the new New York?

Sam enters his first season as media relations assistant with the Crawdads. Born in San Francisco, California before moving to Princeton, New Jersey, Sam graduated from Rider University with a degree in Communications and a focus in Radio Television, while serving as Student Manager for the Men’s Basketball team during his time there. He spent 2012 as an intern with the Trenton Thunder, the AA team of the New York Yankees. Sam enjoys playing and watching sports, as well as hanging out with friends and having a good laugh (or a bad laugh, if there is such a thing).

NFL Playoffs

By Adam Dries, Broadcast Assistant

It is that time of the year, as the NFL Playoffs have hit the final games of a great season. The conference championship games are upon us, and four teams will battle it out for the two spots down in New Orleans, and a chance at Super Bowl glory.

This year like almost every year during the Belichick era, the Patriots are staring down an AFC Title. Just like in the 2012 Playoffs they will be up against the dangerous Baltimore Ravens. We all know that the Ravens will be ready to get some revenge for their heartbreaking loss from last January. This is the Patriots’ time to shine, but do not count out a fired up Ray Lewis, who will reach back for whatever is left in the tank to try to get one last shot at his second Lombardi Trophy.

The NFC Championship will once again feature the other Harbaugh coached team the 49ers, against Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Ryan is trying to prove he can be a big game QB, and there is no better place to do just that than in the Playoffs. But the 49ers are too complete of a team to lose this game if they play their style of football.

My predictions:

AFC Championship: Patriots over the Ravens- 31-21.
NFC Championship: 49ers over Falcons- 41-35

Super Bowl: Patriots over 49ers- 38-35

Make sure to keep reading! My next blog will feature how I am adjusting to life in Hickory, and counting down to April and Crawdad baseball!

Adam Dries is entering his first season as broadcast assistant with the Hickory Crawdads. A 2010 graduate of Western Carolina University, Adam also currently serves as a procurement officer for the City of Charlotte

Introducing Adam

By Adam Dries, Broadcast Assistant

Hello Crawdads fans! My name is Adam Dries, and I am happy to say that I will be part of the ‘Dads broadcast team alongside Andrew Buchbinder this season. I am very excited to have this opportunity, and look forward to some exciting baseball.

Let me start by giving you a little background on myself. I graduated from Western Carolina University in 2010 with a degree in Communications, focusing on Broadcasting and Public Relations. While at Western I served as the voice of Lady Catamount Athletics, as well as the host of a sports talk show called “Season Ticket.” The radio station was my life, as was the Athletics Department, where I served as the equipment manager for Men’s and Women’s Basketball and the Football team. I was constantly seen around campus running errands for one of the teams, or hosting interviews for the radio. College was great, but as do many fun times it had to end.

Once I left Cullowhee, NC I moved back home to the Raleigh area to begin my job search. This led to a position as a Procurement Specialist for a Non-Profit Research Company, where I bought many different items. After nearly two years in this position, I decided to start another chapter in my life and pursue another position. This brought me to my current position as a Procurement Officer for the City of Charlotte. The job is challenging yet rewarding every day, but after a day at work it is nice to escape to the world of sports.

My fiancé is currently finishing her second degree as a Nursing Student at Lenoir Rhyne University. After debating it briefly we decided that living in Hickory would make her studies easier, and would give us a chance to experience the Hickory area. The drive to Charlotte has not bothered me at all to this point, and by living in this area I am able to get back to the sports world after work.

I look forward to a great season of Crawdads’ baseball! Check back to see an occasional blog from me.

Adam Dries is entering his first season as broadcast assistant with the Hickory Crawdads.  A 2010 graduate of Western Carolina University, Adam also currently serves as a procurement officer for the City of Charlotte.