Stories Making Headline Around Baseball
• Just call him the Johnny Drama of baseball. Struggling actor Greg Vojtanekâ€”you may remember him as Leap Reader George in the Princess Diaries 2â€”leaves LA for Savannah two years ago before landing a gig as marketing manager in York.
• Former Phillies spring training home Jack Russell Stadium is set to be demolished. The 52-year-old ballpark had fallen into disrepair even before the team left for a new homeâ€”in 2001 a county commissioner broke his ankle when a roped off section of concrete broke off, sending him plummeting nine feet.
• It’s like Opening Day all over again with the start of short-season ball and stories of promotions and giveaways are making headlines around local newspapersâ€”including Everett’s annual hippy-fest known “FrogStock.”
• Mandalay Baseball is set debut as operators at Staten Island and, as the ownership group has done with its other organizations, fans will find many improvements at Richmond County Ballpark. Among the changes and upgrades are: a Yankees Walk of Fame ringing the concourse, a high-definition LED video board, a new 20-foot video scoreboard and every seat has been power-washed or painted.
• The New York Times profiles a couple which apparently has taken a vow to the Brooklyn Cyclones. Beginning in June each summer, Don and Donna Byrnes reschedule their lives around the NY-Penn League ballclub.
• Host families in Batavia got word this season from the Cardinals that when the team is in town, they are expected to provide at least one balanced meal for their little ballplayer at home. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be cooked,” Booster President Hal Mitchell member, “but it has to be balanced.”
• I’ve heard of test flushing every toilet in a new ballpark, but trying out each seat? Apparently, a local youngster sat in every seat at York’s Sovereign Bank Stadium just hours before the team’s inaugural Opening Day. Apparently he thought it might bring the team luck.
• Folks are getting excited about baseball in Missoula as the Osprey’s new ballpark is nearing completion, which according to The Missoulian, “includes actual buildings on the stadium deck instead of trailers and temporary plywood press boxes.”
• Beloit will host “South of the Border Night” on Friday and anyone with an Illinois driver’s license will receive $1 off admission.
• I’ll try and follow-up on this one today, but Hagerstown hosted an auction on Father’s Day to benefit Colorado Springs executive Rai Henniger, who was seriously injured when setting up a fireworks display earlier this spring.
• The Clippers’ new ballpark should provide a much-needed boost to the economy in Columbus.
• The Pioneer Press’ Tom Powers profiles former Twins exec Tom Mee, who retired after serving a variety of roles since the team debuted in 1960.
• Not a business-related story, but our man John Perrotto comes through with a nice Father’s Day story about five Pirates and their dads.
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