Tomorrow's stars today in Salisbury and Wilmington.
This month marks the start of the minor league season with the Delmarva Shorebirds and Wilmington Blue Rocks ready for another summer.
A lot of minor league baseball’s success comes from their fan promotions. Eric Sichua, the Shorebirds’ assistant general manager of marketing, said the team will hold promotional nights throughout the year, offering a little something for everyone.
“The last few years, that’s really been the focus, and a lot of work is put in during the offseason to make it happen,” Sichua said. “From September 1 when the season is wrapping up to now, it’s a long tedious schedule. We’re pumped about our promotions this year, with 15 nights of fireworks and multiple theme nights.”
Those will include Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Office theme nights, Jimmy Allen bobblehead night, Worcester County Public Schools night and the newly announced Hispanic Identity night.
“We’re very excited about the entire promotional schedule, there's a ton of stuff happening,” Sichua said. “It’s an exciting time of year for baseball. We’re seeing the engagement, and that’s a tribute to all the hard work of everyone involved here with the Shorebirds.”
Perdue Stadium, the Shorebirds’ home since 1996, has gone through some changes. Along with new seating replacing general admission seats and upgrades to the stadium’s luxury seats and boxes, it has a 360-degree boardwalk deck for fans to walk around the entire ballpark for the first time.
“Now you can watch the game from a perspective that hasn’t been possible at a Shorebirds game in the past,” Sichua said. “No one’s been able to see the game, or batting practice, from centerfield, now you can.”
While rosters aren’t yet official, “there’s always a lot of excitement this time of year and it’s true,we don’t know who our guys are until the last few days of March when they break camp,” Sichua said. “We’ve been blessed seeing guys like Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy and Trey Mancini through the years. It’s unbelievable the amount of talent that’s played through here. It’ll be interesting to see what we have here.”
Up north in Wilmington, the Blue Rocks are also preparing.
Daniel S. Frawley Stadium will be the place to be to see future Kansas City Royals battle it out in the Carolina Leagues.
Along with the exciting baseball action on display, there are a lot of other reasons to head to Wilmington, including weekly promotions.
On Mondays, current or retired military or first responders can buy a ticket for a dollar. Tuesdays are Dog Days at Frawley Stadium, when fans can bring their best buddy to the game for free.
Meanwhile, Wednesday and Thursday are for cocktails and other adult beverages as a slew of discounted drinks will be available. Then, the week closes out with fireworks at every home game Friday nights.
Along with the weekly promos, there are theme nights, special events and guest appearances.
“Special events include a handful of celebrity appearances including Jake the Snake Roberts on May 26, Richards Karn, who played Al Borland on “Home Improvement” on June 20, Seinfeld Night July 23, with an appearance from John O’Hurley,” said Cory Nidoh, the director of broadcasting and video for the Blue Rocks. “We are also having four bobblehead giveaways, including a “Whit” Goodman Dodgeball bobblehead, a Woodstalk Celery bobblehead to commemorate the anniversary of the music festival, Woodstock, a moon landing bobblehead with our mascot Rubble and a Star Wars Rocky bobblehead.”
There are also plenty of food and beverage options at Frawley Stadium.
“Food choices include The Green Turtle, Grotto Pizza, Chickie’s & Petes and Baltimore Crab Cake Co., along with your staple ballpark fare including hot dogs, chicken tenders, popcorn, pretzels and ice cream,” Nidoh said. “Beverage choices include Crafty Lefty’s craft beer, Dogfish Head Brewery, along with other assorted beers.”