Get your cowbells ready for the Columbus Clippers, who open their season April 11
Dispatch File Photo, photos below Courtesy columbus clippers
Get your cowbells ready for the Columbus Clippers, who open their season April 11 with a new manager, a roster of promising young prospects and plenty of clever promotions. (“Star Wars” Night is back!)
More information at: clippersbaseball.com
Hired in November, 43-year-old manager Chris Tremie survived 14 seasons in the minors, played a few games in the bigs and turned to coaching in 2006. The seasoned dugout leader shares a look back at his baseball career.
Q. Your major-league debut came in 1995 with the Chicago White Sox. Describe your first at-bat.
A. I was facing [Kansas City Royals pitcher] Tom Gordon. The first pitch was a curveball, and I hit it down the third-base line, and Gary Gaetti backhanded it and threw me out at first base. It was a big adrenaline rush and all seemed to happen very fast.
Q. Which has been more fulfilling: playing or coaching?
A. I enjoyed playing and being able to get on the field, doing things I want to do. Now, we watch our players do it, and you get a lot of fulfillment, but it’s not quite the same.
Q. Whose posters did you hang in your bedroom as a kid?
A. Nolan Ryan, Earl Campbell and the Steel Curtain
Q. If you weren’t involved in baseball, what do you think you would be doing?
A. Math or history teacher. I always liked math, and found history to be entertaining and educational, learning about our past heritage and events. I also like to teach and work with others.
Clippers president and general manager Ken Schnacke points out a few players who might be suiting up in Cleveland one day.
Juan Diaz, 24, shortstop
This switch-hitting shortstop helped the squad secure its second consecutive triple-A national championship in 2011 and is at the front of the line behind the Tribe’s Asdrubal Cabrera.
Danny Salazar, 23, pitcher
The Dominican right-hander has recovered swiftly from Tommy John surgery with a fastball known to reach triple-digit speeds.
Tim Fedroff, 26, outfield
This 2008 seventh-round pick “has pleasantly surprised a lot of people after a slow start,” Schnacke says. “He runs real well and is pretty good defensively.”
Deals & Steals
The on-field action’s great, but minor-league baseball wouldn’t be the same without the perks. Mark your calendars for these favorite promotions.
New at the park: Digital fun
Scattered around the stadium’s murals and interactive displays are QR codes, which fans can scan to upload photos or comments to the team’s Facebook page or get a schedule of promotions.
Striking back: “Star Wars” Night
On May 25, fans with Princess Leia side buns and Boba Fett armor can enjoy fireworks set to music from the films. The Force might be with the Clippers, who have considered adding Jedi flair to jerseys.
Becoming a classic: Party-at-the-Park
Before Friday and Saturday night games, the Clippers blast live oldies in the right field plaza before first pitch. Check out cover bands Big Hole Swiss on April 12 and Legal Tender on April 13.
Never leaving: Dime-A-Dog Night
Every Monday evening game, fans consume an average of 25,000 Sugardale hot dogs during the team’s granddaddy attraction. (The record of 40,000 was set in 2008.) Grab your next snack on April 15.