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!!
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.
Very cool to see Hoppers Fan make the monthly “Latest Leaders” list for June 2013, I think for the first time. It’s also great to see our friends over at Bill On Baseball representing the Hoppers on the MiLB Pro front as well. Thanks to everyone who follows the blog, leaves comments, interacts with our FaceBook page, and hunts us down at the ballpark!
As we hit the midway point of the 2013 regular season, the All-Star Game takes center stage. The recently completed Fan Voting saw a lot of debating and campaigning in our community, and you can expect that to continue with the Final Vote looming. The biggest news around here is the return of the Trade Deadline megablog, amassing the reporting excellent of MLB.com’s team of writers to provide the very latest on the trade front ahead of the July 31 deadline. Make sure you’re following it to stay in the know this month and try out WordPress’s reblogging feature!
Latest Leaders ranked by page views from June 1-30:
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Thanks to everyone who reads Hoppers Fan, we ended up on the top 100 MLB.com Blogs list for all of 2012! With family obligations and trying to keep up with the Hoppers themselves, keeping track of the blog standings just kinda slipped past us. When MLB.com announced this in January, we simply didn’t notice. It’s great to know that there are lots of folks out there enjoying what we write and the photos we share. It’s also 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!
Baseball fans aren’t going to forget 2012 any time soon. We saw the debuts of phenomenal young talent, we marveled at historic feats and we held on through truly memorable Postseason moments. Bloggers were there every step of the way, and now is the time to honor those who made the annual Top 100 MLB.com Blogs list. Once again the Hot Stove/Trade Buzz two-headed monster finished as the overall most-visited MLB.com Blog, powered by the only network of 30 traveling beat reporters, with Better Off Red finishing off a very impressive season in second place in the PRO category. The Baseball Collector has bragging rights again among Fan blogs, with the reborn and resurgent Rays Renegade right behind. Carrie Muskat held off Jason Beck to grab top honors among the MLB.com Beat Writers.
Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 100! If you’re on the list, make sure…
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Howdy, Hoppers Fans! Greg here, stopping in for a preview of what’s in store for the Hoppers Fan Blog in 2013. We’ll start by re-introducing ourselves.
I’m sure you all know Guildord, on the left edge of the bench. Next to him is me, Greg, holding my daughter, Rorie. On the right is the blog’s co-author, Jordan. We are the Hoppers Fans. I started this blog in February 2010 and in my first blog post, I talked about my season ticket for that year. 2010 was the first year I became a real baseball fanatic, and the blog posts that year reflect that. Everyone got to watch while I learned more about how baseball works — players moving up and moving down, etc. Everyone watched as I learned how to score baseball games (which I still love doing!) and collect autographs. The focus of Hoppers Fan blog started shifting from just me having fun at the park to really focusing on the team, and on what makes baseball in Greensboro special. That special feeling especially carried through the 2011 season, when the Hoppers won the SAL Championship! I made lots of friends as we all followed our team through the playoffs and the excitement built on itself with each game. It was a wonderful season. I even eventually congratulated the team on their championship win, several months after the fact. Also at that time, things got crazy for me. I had a new job that required lengthy commutes. My wife and I were expecting our first baby (who ended up arriving 2.5 months early). Baseball and blogging, sadly, kept slipping down. I was worried that the magic we were creating was beginning to fade.
But it didn’t fade. Instead, with the help of Jordan Stowe, the blog doubled down and delivered great content throughout the 2012 season. I introduced Jordan on the blog in April 2012 and he jumped in with both feet and a camera. I like to say that Jordan cranked it up a notch, as he took the blog further than I imagined it would go when I started it. Jordan expanded the blog’s reach beyond the family and friends that were reading it, putting it in front of the team players and their families. He captured tons of awesome pictures at games, both home and away. He followed some of the team down to Charleston, SC for last year’s All-Star game weekend. He introduced new features to the blog, such as the player spotlights, and more recently, the fan spotlights. Jordan’s been active on the Hoppers Fan Facebook page (where we’re at over 100 likes now!), too, loading the page with pictures and providing short updates with scoring notes as games go on. The work that Jordan has done helped get the blog prominent exposure on the Greensboro Sports website, which is helping even more people find this blog. In short, when I thought the blog was going to fade away, Jordan stepped up and made it even better.
And that brings us to 2013. What’s in store for Hoppers Fan? Well, to be completely honest, we’re not even sure. What we do know is that this is going to be the best year yet for the blog. It will certainly be interesting as we figure out our schedules: I’m at yet another job, this one much closer to home, and as Rorie continues to grow, I look forward to being able to bring her to as many games as she can stand. Jordan and his wife are expecting their first child in June (a girl), and having experienced fatherhood for the first time last year, I’m pretty sure that Jordan’s going to find himself at the ballpark a lot less often than he thinks he’ll be there. 😉 But that doesn’t mean the blog’s going away. We’re both planning on going to the game this Thursday for the home opener and at least one of us will write about it here. Jordan’s already been doing a great job of keeping up with the team’s away games and posting updates both here and on the Facebook page. That kind of reporting is going to continue. We’ve been batting around some ideas of other things we can do on the blog between homestands, when the Hoppers are on the road. The short version is that we’re both super-excited about continuing to work with this blog, and to make it the number one destination on the internet for where Hoppers fans can gather, talk about the team and players, and just have a great time.
This isn’t my blog anymore. This isn’t even Jordan’s and my blog. This blog belongs to all of us, to all of the Hoppers fans. Jordan and I are here to keep the lights on and provide a place were we can all gather and share our love for being not just fans of baseball, but being fans of the Greensboro Grasshoppers. To that end, if there is anything you’d like to see in the blog, let us know. If you took an awesome picture at one of the games, send it to us and let us put in on the blog so all the other fans can see it, too (like Eli and Pete have done in the past, e.g.). If you see either of us at the ballpark, come up and say “hi.” We love making new friends, and the ballpark is full of friends — some we’ve known for years and some we haven’t met yet.
We’re not the only place on the Internet to get info about the Hoppers, so if you’re enjoying what we’re putting up here, you’ll also going to want to check out some of the other sites that get Hoppers news. I’m looking at you, Greensboro Sports. I’m also looking at you, Bill on Baseball. Greensboro Sports covers *EVERYTHING* that is sports-related in Greensboro, including the Hoppers. Bill on Baseball is the official blog of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, written by Bill Hass, who often has player and coach interviews.
And I know you’ll want to keep up with us here at Hoppers Fan. In addition to this blog, we’re on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there as well. Join us here — leave a comment and let us know what you’re thinking!
Thanks for everything you’ve done for us at Hoppers Fan over the years. We’re excited about making this a year to remember!