Last night, I attended the picnic that the Hoppers hold for their season ticket holders. I was really excited about it, ’cause it would be a chance to meet the players, have some good food, and watch batting practice.
I arrived at the ballpark just as they were starting and met my ticket rep, Kate. She was holding an extra Opening Day ticket for my wife, so I went ahead and picked that up. Then I headed over to where the food was going to be served and milled about a bit. After a few minutes, the players came out of the clubhouse and started mingling with the fans. The picture on the left shows them hanging out. They were really happy to chat with everyone and sign autographs. I looked for Kyle Skipworth (catcher) since he’s the only returning player from last year. I had his baseball card from last year’s set and wanted to get it autographed. He was great to chat with and said he was happy to be back in Greensboro. He likes it here, and I’m looking forward to watching him play before he moves up, which I expect to be soon.
After eating supper, I had a chance to chat with Curtis Peterson (right handed pitcher) for a while. He said that he was really enjoying Greensboro, loved the ballpark, and was looking forward to being able to explore some of the downtown attractions. He seemed like a really nice guy, and I want him to do well. Later in the evening, I watched him pitch a little bit and think he might have a future. It looked like he was struggling with his control a little bit, but he seemed confident enough that he’ll work through it just fine.
I also had a brief chat with manager Andy Haines, and got his autograph on a baseball. I had previously picked up autographs of several other players on the baseball, too. Hopefully, by the end of the season, I’ll have the full team.
Here are a couple of the autographs I got:
Before the team took batting practice, Andy Haines introduced all his staff and players by name and position. They were all standing on top of the dugout:
After the introductions, the players took the field for batting practice, which was really fun to watch. I also ran into a couple of my friends, Caroll and Jason, who are the chaplains for the team. The three of us had a great chat about the fantasy league we’re in this year, and about baseball in general. We’re all looking forward to the season.
The Hoppers let us stay as late as we wanted. I was having so much fun watching, I didn’t notice that pretty much everyone else left and I think I was the last one to leave. Everyone was extremely nice, from the players to the staff. It was a great little perk for season ticket holders, and I’m glad I went. It would be nice if they opened up batting practice more often.
Anyway, we’re less than a day away from Opening Day now. I can’t believe I’ve waited all winter and now the wait is finally over! I’m looking forward to it. If you’re at the game tomorrow, come find me and say “hi.” I’ll be in Section 104, Row Q, Seat 1.