fenwicks bags Hickory Crawdads stay busy in the off months
Welcome to Crawdads Corner. Every other Tuesday, we look forward to bringing you entertaining and insightful information about your Hickory Crawdads.
You will have the opportunity to hear from our staff members and some special guests throughout the year. I would like to introduce you to our front office staff.
We have 11 full time staff members that work year round: Charlie Downs, assistant general manager; Donna White, business manager; Douglas Locascio, executive director of sales and merchandise; Kevin McAlee, director of food and beverage; Andrew Tallent, head groundskeeper; Chris Dillon, director of promotions and community relations; Ashley Salinas, creative services specialist; Robby Willis, director of group sales; Mitchell Lister, group sales executive; and John Ryan, group sales executive.
People often ask us what we do during the offseason from Labor Day through March. One answer, to quote Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, is “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” (For those that have never of heard of Hornsby, he played for 23 years and has a career .358 batting average).
The real answer is we stay pretty busy. We spend a lot of time in the community. Each member of the staff volunteers their time in various community projects. We sit on local nonprofit boards, we deliver for Meals on Wheels, we are involved with the Lunch Buddy program, and we attend various community events such as ribbon cuttings and Chamber events.
We plan offseason events at the ballpark such as the annual Fall Fling, Spring Fling, and Open House. This past Christmas we participated in 14 different local holiday parades. On Valentine’s Day we will also be out and about in the community with our mascot, Conrad, delivering ticket packages to fans. Conrad stays busy year round, making over 200 appearances in 2017.
We talk with people about sponsorship opportunities, ticket packages, and we plan promotions, such as our Mother’s Day weekend Crawmoms promotion (which depending on your personal opinion either you enjoyed the way we announced it or not so much) and our two Christian concerts.
Preparing for each home game is similar to planning a wedding. The Crawdads play 140 games in 154 days, 70 of those are at home. In essence we are planning for 70 weddings this spring and summer, and you are all invited to be our guest at each and every “ceremony.”
We are excited about the 26th year of Crawdads baseball in Hickory. We have plenty of new and exciting things going on at the ballpark. In upcoming articles you will hear about the offseason renovations at the ballpark, there will season ticket holder spotlights, interviews with players, where are they now (detailing the current where locations of former Crawdads players), insight about various promotions for the year and the process that goes into planning them, how Minor League farm systems work, info about the day in life of a Minor League employee and plenty more interesting topics.
We look forward to talking Crawdads and baseball with you throughout the year.
We look forward to connecting with you over the next the year. Thank you for 25 years of support. Only 65 more days until the Crawdads home opener April 12; we look forward to seeing you there.