Hoppers Steam The Crawdads…

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President and General Manager Donald Moore with Babe

It was an incredible night for baseball.  The wind was calm and made for a very comfortable night at the ballpark.  It was fantastic to see the crowd out in support of Greensboro baseball.  The between inning games did not disappoint either.  The really do a great job of all around entertainment at the park.  Dollar for dollar, there is no better entertainment deal in Greensboro.

On to the game last night…

Hickory would score first with their second batter of the night, Lewis Brinson.  He would score off a wild pitch by Jarlin Garcia.  When it became the  Greensboro Grasshoppers turn to bat in the bottom of the first, we would see all three batters hit into the gloves of the waiting gloves of the Crawdads.  The second inning would prove to be a fantastic inning for the Hoppers.  They would hit two doubles in the inning causing three runners to cross the plate.  Thus making the score 3-1 Hoppers on top.  The Hoppers, nor the Crawdads, would score for the next three innings.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, there was a “bunch of singling going on…”  Austin Dean would be the first of eight Hoppers to touch first base.  Five of those Hoppers would cross the plate scoring for the good guys.  That would end up being our final score for the night.  8-1 HOPPERS WIN!

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James Wooster, our returning Hopper from the 2011 Championship season pitched last night.  He would see three batters, and no strikeouts.  Jarlin Garcia was our starting pitcher seeing 18 batters and 7 strikeouts.  It was so good to be back in the ballpark and hearing the cracking bats and smell the hot dogs grilling.  It is a sure sign that the long nights of summer are upon us.  With the zingers being thrown from the mound, and the pop of the bat as it slams a homer, to the smile of that little childs face when he meets Guilford for the first time.  All of those reasons is why… IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!

jordan

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2014 Hoppers Fan Preview

Welcome back, Hoppers fans! This is Jordan, with a preview of what your Greensboro Grasshoppers have in store for you this year. First off, before I dive into the games and the happenings of the ballpark Greg and I would like to thank each of you for your kindness and support throughout the last three years. It has been an eventful ride to say the least. We have seen our boys become SAL League Champions for the first time in team history. We have seen championships lost on our home field. We have witnessed Jose Fernandez, now Rookie Of The Year, sling 99 mph fastballs on the mound. I have witnessed our Hoppers fire home runs off an air craft carrier in the middle of the Charleston Harbor. These last two years have also seen new additions to the Hoppers Fan family. Greg and his wife welcomed Rorie into the world May of 2012. My wife and I welcomed Addie into the family May of 2013. We both have so much to be thankful for, and this blog is what brought us together.

Which brings us to this year… Thursday night is Opening Day! I can’t wait to smell the hot dogs and hear the cracking of the bats again. This is my favorite time of year, by far. If you are heading to the ballpark Thursday, make sure you get there early. There will be a street festival, concerts, and giveaways galore.  You will see Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” singing the National Anthem before the first pitch. This year the Hoppers are celebrating their tenth season. So a lot of the giveaways and prizes will be directed around that.

This season will also bring back some familiar faces. Dave Berg is back as the Manager this year. You may remember he coached the Hoppers back to the SAL Championship game for the second year in a row, back in 2012. James Wooster, an unsung hero of the ballpark, is back… but at pitcher. An outfielder converted. And I’m sure we will see the return of… THE SAUSAGE RACES!

Greg and I will be trying to make it out to several games this year. Please come by and say hey. Get ready for some baseball and strap on your seat belts, because IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!!

-jordan


Hi, Hoppers Fans — Greg here. First, I’d like to thank Jordan for everything he’s done for the blog and the Hoppers Fan community. I’m especially grateful for the dedication he devotes to the Hoppers Fan Facebook Page, which is a great place to keep up with some “quick hits” related to the team and the Hoppers Fan community. I’d also like to echo everything he said above — I’m thrilled that Opening Day is just around the corner! We’re all excited to have the boys of summer back in town. Balancing family, work, and baseball is probably going to continue to be a challenge for both of us this year, but we’re going to go out to as many games as we can and you’ll be able to read about all of our adventures at the ballpark here.

As always, this is a blog written by fans, for the fans. We love connecting with the fans. If you have any Hoppers-related stories to share, leave us a comment on the blog or on the Facebook page. We love sharing pictures, so please get in touch if you have some great Hoppers-related photos and we’ll try to share them on the blog with everyone. And if you ever see either of us at the ballpark, please come and say “hi.” One of the greatest joys we have from writing this blog is getting to meet some of the folks who enjoy reading it.

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoppersFan

What if… We had one Single-A Champion?

This is an awesome idea! Jordan and I would love to cover the same game with you, on opposite sides of the fandom!

Minoring In Baseball

Whatif1The off-season is a time to reflect in the season past, and at the same time look to the future. With sports in general, fans have always conversed on the ‘what if?’ factor, and I’ve been contemplating an idea for months now, ever since last season’s baseball trip. First, let me state that my two favorite Minor League’s are the Midwest League and the South Atlantic League. The MWL has three teams here in Michigan, and is where my hometown team, the West Michigan Whitecaps, reside. We also attend some Great Lakes Loons games over in Midland, and that is a  great venue, also. In fact, I’ve been to every stadium in the MWL except two, the Lake County Captains and the Bowling Green Hot Rods. We’ll get back to those teams momentarily, as they’re important. As for the SALly league, through work training down in Charleston and southern Georgia, I’ve was able to attend…

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Top 100 MLB.com Blogs

Big thanks to all the Hoppers Fan readers for putting us back on the Top 100 MLB.com Blogs list again this year — that’s 2 years in a row! We came in at #68 — moving up the charts from the #78 spot we captured last year. Like I said last year, it’s great to see that a blog devoted to a Single-A Minor League team in North Carolina is as popular as blogs devoted to Major League teams. From Jordan and me, to all of you, thank you! We’re excited to see what 2014 brings — just 40 days until pitchers and catchers report!

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HoppersFan

MLB.com Blogs Central

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It’s hard to believe we are entering the 10th season of blogging at MLB.com! Now comes the annual tip of the hat to all of the best blogs in our community, or at least the ones who had what it took to draw the largest followings. Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 100 MLB.com Blogs list, based on page views from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2013. If you’re on the list, make sure you add your Top 100 MLB.com Blogs badge to your sidebar, with the link to this post. That goes for you active players, front-office crews, player wives, groundskeepers, fans, photogs, broadcasters and Idols like Scotty McCreery. The coming year promises to be even better, so a big Thank You to everyone in our community — whether you’re a veteran or a rookie.

MLB PRO

Once again the blog maintained by all MLB.com reporters claims the top…

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Hoppers Give Back: Poker For Preemies Fundraiser

Howdy, Hoppers Fans! This is Greg, with an update on one way the Greensboro Grasshoppers are pitching in (pun intended) to support the local community. After you read this, I hope you’ll consider pitching in, too.

As you may remember, last year I became a father to a beautiful daughter, who was born two and a half months prematurely. Earlier this year, Jordan also became a father to a daughter born prematurly. Both of us are extremely grateful for the support we received from Family Support Network of Central Carolina (FSNCC), an organization whose mission is to provide support, education, and caring connections to those who have a child with special needs or those born prematurely. A few months ago, FSNCC asked me to serve on their Executive Board and I was honored to accept that invitation.

For the past several years, FSNCC has hosted a casino-themed fundraising event called Poker For Preemies. Proceeds from this event go to support all of FSNCC’s programs, not just the efforts surrounding working with NICU families like Jordan’s and mine. Because of the severe funding cuts FSNCC (along with many other non-profit organizations) has suffered due to lessening support from the state budget, the Poker For Preemies fundraiser has been an extremely important event that has helped FSNCC maintain the level of excellent programs we have been providing for many years.

By this point, you may be wondering what the Hoppers have to do with all of this. Read on and wonder no more! The Hoppers have a long history of supporting the community in various ways. They even have a “Donation Requests” page on their website, proclaiming that they “are happy to help numerous charitable organizations in the greater Triad area that are dedicated to making a difference in our community.” I’m pleased to report that they are, indeed, happy to help.

At the Poker For Preemies event, we will be featuring raffles for a number of prize baskets, each with a different theme. A few weeks ago, I contacted Joey at the Hoppers Font Office, soliciting a donation of items for one of the baskets. Joey and the Hoppers came through in spades (again, pun intended), donating over $50 worth of collectible Hoppers memorabilia and Hoppers-themed toys! They are going to fit right in with what we are calling the “Children’s Basket” — a basket full of items that children will enjoy. In addition to the Hoppers memorabilia, the Children’s Basket will help ease a rainy day with passes, gift certificates and memberships to area attractions like the Children’s Museum, Science Center, Monkey Joe’s and more!! On behalf of FSNCC, I would like to extend a huge “thank you” to the Hoppers for supporting our fundraiser with these raffle prizes to add to this basket!

Poker For Preemies

Roulette is just one of the games you can play at this year’s Poker For Preemies fundraising event. (Photo Credit: PokerForPreemies.com)

The Poker For Preemies fundraiser is next Thursday, October 24, 7pm-12:30am. If you’d like to come out and support us, there is still time to buy tickets. My wife and I attended last year’s event and had a wonderful time. We even won one of the awesome prize baskets! The evening features food, music, dancing, and all sorts of casino games. Each ticket includes 10,000 chips for gaming at tables such as blackjack, craps, roulette and poker. Tables will be open from 7:30-10:30 so be sure to arrive early to get your game on! Not into cards? No problem! At any point in the evening, you can “cash” in your chips for raffle tickets. 5,000 chips = 1 ticket. Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchases. Put all your raffle tickets in the prize basket featuring the Hoppers memorabilia and you might just be the lucky winner! If you’re not able to attend the fundraiser, but would like to support FSNCC with a tax-deductible donation, we are happy to accept donations in a variety of ways.

Thanks again to the Hoppers for supporting FSNCC through their generous donation of memorabilia to be used as raffle prizes. If you are involved with a charitable organization in the greater Triad area, I encourage you to contact the Hoppers with a donation request for your charity. It really feels good to be a Hoppers Fan when you hear about some of the ways the team gets involved in the community outside of baseball.

Thank you for reading this blog entry that spent more time focusing on a non-profit organization that means a lot to Jordan and me than it did focusing on Hoppers baseball. I sincerely hope you’ll consider supporting us as well. If you’d like to learn more about FSNCC and/or Poker For Preemies, here are a bunch of links to check out:

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoppersFan

Guest Post From Patrick Abbott: Coaches Reaching Out To The Fans And Giving Back

Over the years of enjoying Greensboro Grasshopper baseball and writing this blog, I’ve been extremely thrilled to meet so many great people and make lots of new friends. Among these friends are Patrick Abbott and his son, Eli. Eli is a budding young sports photographer and memorabilia collector. Patrick is an encouraging and supportive dad. They’re semi-regular contributors to this blog. Earlier this week, the Grasshoppers provided Eli a wonderful experience about… well, let me turn it over to Patrick to tell the story.

Coaches Reaching Out To The Fans And Giving Back

When the season started, as usual we had no idea who the new players were or how the team would play together this season, but we did know that we had two returning coaches from 2012. My son and I decided that we would travel to Hickory on a Saturday night during the Grasshoppers opening series in April and check them out for ourselves. We even saw some familiar fan faces from Greensboro when we arrived. Saturday turned out to be a double header due to an earlier rainout. Between games my 7 yr old son Eli was approached by hitting coach Frank Moore about giving up his orange Hopper hat so he could wear it during the game. Of course, he refused to give it up. Frank continued in the months ahead to get his hat and was successful on a couple of occasions.

Last Saturday Frank offered Eli a chance to hit in their batting cage before the season was over. I didn’t give it a second thought until Frank called out to me after the game Sunday and suggested that I bring him out Monday night and before the game he would take Eli to their cages and let him swing away. I thought, “very cool” and come Monday evening Eli showed up at the game sporting his Hopper cap and wearing his batting gloves as he went through the turnstile. Frank showed up a short time later, guided him downstairs and for 20 minutes allowed him to take BP. When it was over they both walked out through the player tunnel together with Eli holding a new wooden bat that had been signed by all of the Grasshopper players while he was downstairs hitting what Frank had to offer. This took my wife and I totally by surprise. Needless to say Eli was so happy about his bat and BP experience. He has accumulated a lot of Hopper memorabilia including more player autographs and photos than any youngster needs, but being given this bat by Frank and for the players to take their time to sign it for him really meant a lot to the little guy and us. Now in his bedroom, among all of his other team memorabilia, the bat is by far the coolest.

Bat autographed by the 2013 Greensboro Grasshoppers team.

Eli’s Bat, autographed by the 2013 Greensboro Grasshoppers team.

We recognize that these players and coaches are only here for a few months and for the majority they’re off to continue their careers elsewhere after their season in Greensboro. Their priority is to play baseball and improve their skills, so when players and coaches take their time to give a little back to their fans, especially the younger ones, it means a lot. I hope that if my son should ever be on the other side of the fence so to speak, he will remember what others have done for him and give it right back. Thanks to Frank and all of the players and coaches for another memorable season of Greensboro Grasshopper baseball! You’ll surely be missed but we wish all the best in the future.

Patrick Abbott
Elon, NC

Patrick, thanks so much for sharing this story! It’s things like this that make it special to be a Hoppers Fan. I’m glad to hear that Eli had a great time taking BP, and that the generosity of the Hoppers organization made a good impression on him. That bat is a wonderful tangible souvenir, but I’m betting the memories that were made will be the highlight of the experience as the years pass on.

The Hoppers are winding down for the season, and let’s be honest — I think we’ll all be happy to put this one in the books. With just four more games to go — all away — the season will be over and the Hoppers will be watching the playoffs from their various homes. Maybe a few players will get shuffled up in the Marlins organization to help out some of the other teams at the end, but most everyone will scatter here and there, maybe playing some winter ball. Then comes the long wait until  Spring Training, when we’ll be presented with a whole new team, possibly a familiar face or two, and a wonderful SAL leader board where every team in the league is in first place.

Edit: As Patrick pointed out in the comments, the Hoppers have one more home stand next week! I was looking at the calendar wrong when I wrote this. Oops! Hope I’ll be able to make it out to a game next week, and hope to see you there!

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoppersFan

The Sun Sets On The Hoppers Twice In One Night

It’s been since Father’s Day since I’ve been able to make it out to the ballpark for a game. I had a free evening, and with last night’s game being rained out, today was a double-header for the Greensboro Grasshoppers against the Hagerstown Suns. I was pretty excited about being able to see a good amount of baseball and catch up with a handful of my ballpark friends. I rushed to the ballpark as soon as I could after work, and still only managed to get there a few innings into the first matchup. I had a great time hanging out with some of my friends. The baseball was just so-so. The Hoppers ended up losing both games in the double-header. The first game ended in a score of 2-6 (box | recap), and the second game ended in a score of 7-2 (box | recap).

On the field, one of the highlights for me was finally getting a chance to see the current most-talked-about Hopper: Colin Moran. Moran recently signed with the Marlins for $3.5 million and is currently playing third base for the Hoppers. He had a decent night. His defense was textbook. Offensively, he came away with a few sacrifice flies, a few RBIs, and a beautiful double. I think it’s going to be fun to follow his career, and I expect he’ll progress through the system at a decent pace. After the game, Moran took the time to sign autographs for everyone who was asking for one. That’s pretty classy in my book, especially after having endured losses in both games of the double-header.

Moran Scoreboard Moran At Third Moran Hitting A Sac Fly Moran Signing Autographs

Even though he was charged with the loss, I also enjoyed watching Austin Brice pitch the second game. For the first several innings, his pitching was beautiful. Fastballs for strikes, change ups making the batters looking foolish. But as the night wore on, he started losing control. He was finally pulled with one out in the fifth inning, after loading the bases. He’s definitely got potential, but he’s also got a bit of work to do.

I’m not sure when I’ll make it back out to a game, but it sure was nice to make it out tonight. I didn’t score the first game since I came in partway through, but here’s how I had the second one:

20130722 HAG @ GSO Scorecard

Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoppersFan