We are now less than a month away from the start of the season. I wanted to share some of the exciting things we will have going on at the ballpark this year.
Are fireworks returning this year? I’m excited to say that we will have 11 shows this season. There will be a show after every Friday night home game plus the biggest show of the year on July Fourth as we celebrate America’s independence. Our usual daily promotions of Dollar Dog Tuesday, Kids Win Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and Super Saturdays (giveaways, concerts, or a jersey auction every Saturday), and Church Bulletin Sundays are all returning, as well.
We will be continuing the Minor League tradition of taking on a fun alternate identity for select games complete with a specialty logo set and uniforms. The Llamas de Hickory will make their return in 2021. The Llamas identity, which celebrates Latinx culture, will take the field for six games spread throughout the season, each on a different day of the week. The nights will all celebrate Latin American culture through music, games, and other activities at the ballpark. This season the alternate identity of the Couch Potatoes will make its on field debut for three games in June. The identity, which was revealed last March, pays tribute to the Hickory Metro as the furniture capital of the world and North Carolina, the country’s leading sweet potato producer.
Speaking of jerseys, we also have a couple one-night-only theme jerseys that the team will be wearing this season. The first jersey honors the emergency hospital constructed to treat the polio crisis of 1944 that would become known as the Miracle of Hickory. The word “Miracle” on the front of the jerseys matches the font of the downtown mural that was completed last year. The second is a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed jersey with SpongeBob and Patrick sitting around the campfire. The team will wear these on Friday, July 17 as part of Nickelodeon Night featuring SpongeBob SquarePants where we will be celebrating one of the all-time great cartoons. Both the Miracle of Hickory and SpongeBob jerseys will be auctioned off on their respective nights.
Giveaways are one of the most popular promotions that we do at the stadium and there’s quite a few this year. We have not one but two bobblehead giveaways on the schedule. The first is a Texas Rangers Joey Gallo bobblehead on July 3 and the second is of the Superbowl champion kicker and Hickory High alumnus Ryan Succop on September 11. On June 26, the ‘Dads will be giving away bank figurines in the shape of the Couch Potatoes logo. We’ll also have a t-shirt giveaway, a replica jersey giveaway, and two hat giveaways. If you want to see the full promotional lineup and dates, check out our website and see all of the awesome things we have planned.
We can’t wait to open up the gates on May 11 for the first Crawdads game in 609 days. Single game tickets will go on sale online this Saturday, April 17. The box office will open at 9 a.m. on Monday morning for in-person sales.
Ashley Salinas is director of marketing, communications and merchandise for the Hickory Crawdads minor-league baseball team.