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.
Yesterday, I received an email that the 2010 season tickets were ready for pick-up. This morning before work, I headed over to the ballpark to pick mine up. Once again, I was greeted by friendly, professional staff at the Hoppers Yard and someone quickly retrieved my packet. I signed for my tickets and was one my way.
In addition to my tickets, my packet included information about how to sign up for the online account I can use to manage my tickets — it will allow me to print out copies of my tickets if I lose them, email tickets to other people if I’m not going to use them, etc. After poking around the website a little bit, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to manage it without a problem, but I’m still going to go to the training session they’re having next week.
The tickets themselves are really cool — they’re sturdier and look nicer than a normal ticket. I’m almost going to hate tearing them out of the booklet to use them. Maybe I’ll just print out duplicates from my online account.
Anyway, enjoy these pictures of the tickets. I’ll enjoy looking at them while I count down the 22 days until Opening Day.
Yesterday, I bought a season ticket for the 2010 season. I’ll be attending as many games as I can this year, and when I do, I’ll be sitting in Section 104, Row Q, Seat 1. It’s an aisle seat, so I’ll be able to easily stretch out my leg if I need to. It’s behind the Hoppers dugout, high enough so that I’ll be able to see over the dugout net for most of the action on the field. I’m really excited about it.
This is my first year as a season ticket holder, so I wasn’t entirely sure what was involved with getting a ticket. My account representative is Kate, and she’s as nice as can be. I initially talked to her in December to find out about ticket options. She gave me all sorts of information about the different options that are available. It gave me some things to think about. Then, the holidays came and I got really busy. I never followed up about getting a ticket. Kate emailed me earlier this week to see if I was still interested in a ticket. I got back in touch with her and arranged to come by the ballpark yesterday afternoon to talk about the details.
I arrived at the ballpark and was quickly met by Kate, who had a big chart that showed which seats were already sold and which ones were still available. We headed out to the stands and I walked around, sitting in several seats, trying to decide what area I wanted to sit in. I knew I wanted to be in the infield area on the third base side, mostly because that section gets the shade quicker. On hot summer days, that will be a big plus. Several rows still had aisle seats available, so I quickly gravitated to checking those out. The first seat I previewed was on Row H, and had a great view of the field, but I was looking through a net on top of the dugout. That was pretty distracting, so I went further up in the section and checked out the view from Row Q. The third baseline was still partially obscured by the net, but the rest of the field looked great. This is the seat I decided on, and I think I’m going to be extremely happy watching games from that vantage point.
After making that decision, Kate and I headed back to the Hoppers Yard gift shop to finalize all the paperwork. Kate also reviewed some of the other perks associated with being a season ticket holder: the opportunity to buy tickets to the Marlins-Hoppers exposition game before they go on sale to the public, a meet-n-greet opportunity with the team a few weeks before the season starts, and a few other interesting perks. I’ll be writing all about them as the season progresses.
Kate tells me that I will be receiving a booklet with all my tickets sometime in the next few weeks, as well as start receiving email notifications and newsletters from the team. I’m excited about it — only 56 more days until Opening Day!
Here’s the view from my seat: