Gastonia Grizzlies

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Gastonia Grizzlies
GastoniaGrizzlies.png
Founded 2002
Home Field Buddy Lewis Field at Sims Legion Park
Based in Gastonia, North Carolina
Colors Black, Gold and White
League Coastal Plain League
League Titles 2011
Head Coach Jason Wood
Managing Partner Jesse Cole
Director of Fun Emily McDonald
Owners Ken and Bette Silver

The Gastonia Grizzlies are a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Coastal Plain League. The team plays home games at Buddy Lewis Field at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia, North Carolina. The Grizzlies are known as Gaston County's hometown team. The team is known for crazy promotions, the Donut Dog, Mighty Dollar Mondays, All You Can Eat & Drink Tuesday's Dancing players, Dunk the GM and Dunk the Intern and fireworks shows. The Grizzlies have been known for other unique promotions including: Grandma Beauty Pageant, Dig for the Diamond, Salute to Underwear Night, Flatulence Fun Night and Midnight Madness Night.

Midnight Madness[edit]

The inaugural Midnight Madness game took place on July 9, 2010 against the Forest City Owls. The first pitch was at Midnight with festivities before the game including bed races, eating contests, players in the dunk tank, Home Run Derby and a live band in the Beer Garden. The game drew 3,150 fans with the last fan entering the ballpark at 1:39AM. The game won best promotion at 2010 Summer Ball Conference. The 2011 Midnight Madness was even a bigger success drawing more fans than the previous year.

2011 Season[edit]

2011 was the most successful season in the Grizzlies ten year history, both on the field and off the field. Before the season the Grizzlies teamed up with the City of Gastonia to provide over $200,000 of renovations at Sims Park including a new concourse, beer garden, group area and fans in the grandstand.

The Grizzlies drew 51,910 fans, breaking the previous attendance record by over 9,000 fans. The Grizzlies had eight games over 3,000 fans including the team's first sell out on June 4, 2011 with 4,089 fans. The Grizzlies also hosted the first ever Great Community Give Back Game on July 31, 2011 where the teamed up with sponsors to provide free tickets to the entire community and free dinner for the first one thousand fans. 3,224 fans packed the house and received giveaways throughout the game.

CPL Champions[edit]

The 2011 Grizzlies entered the CPL playoffs as the 6 seed and went on to upset the #3 seed Thomasville Hitoms, the #4 seed Forest City Owls in the Semifinals and the #1 seed in the nation the Edenton Steamers to win the Pettit Cup Championship. Michael Heesch was named Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year by finishing the season at 9-0 including three shutouts in the CPL playoffs. Heesch in addition to RHP Derek Epps were named to the Perfect Game Summer Ball All American Team. The Grizzlies finished the year as the #30 ranked team in the country by Perfect Game.

Attendance[edit]

The Grizzlies set the franchise attendance record in 2012 with 59,399 fans. The team averages 2,048 fans per game for the season. The team's single game attendance record was set on June 2, 2012, with 4,148 fans, making it the first sell out of the 2012 season. The Grizzlies would go on to sell out their last game of the season on August 2, 2012 with 4,092 fans. The Grizzlies have broken the attendance record for five consecutive seasons.

Highest single-season attendance figures[edit]

Season Total Att. Openings Game Average
2012 59,399 29 2,048
2011 51,910 27 1,848
2010 42,758 27 1,574

Highest single-game attendance figures[edit]

Date Attendance
June 1, 2012 4,148
August 2, 2012 4,092
June 4, 2011 4,089
August 4, 2009 3,788
July 31, 2010 3,604
July 3, 2009 3,514
August 2, 2011 3,472
July 3, 2010 3,365
July 17, 2011 3,359

External links[edit]