Stormers are set to have a ball
Detail plans for the 2013 season BY DAVID O'CONNOR, Staff Writer
If fans had voted differently nearly a decade ago, Lancaster's minor-league baseball team would not be known as the Barnstormers.
Also under consideration when the team was being created was everything from Red Roses, the name of the team that left Lancaster in 1961, to Wagoneers, Thorns, Red Rockets and Fireflies.
And this summer, for one game only, the Barnstormers will adopt one of those other team names and wear their jerseys in a special "What Could Have Been Night" on Friday, June 28.
That, plus everything from a record 22 fireworks shows and two first-of-their-kind laser light shows to a new "Two-Buck Tuesday," featuring popular concessions items for $2, are being planned for the 2013 season.
Tired of your TV? The Barnstormers plan to give away at least one flat-screen television at every Friday home game this year. (Details will be announced in coming months.)
The Barnstormers, who are entering their ninth season at Clipper Magazine Stadium this summer, this week announced the busy promotional schedule.
The fireworks shows include one after every Saturday home game. Five of the displays will be launched from the field, from behind second base.
Most of the fireworks shows will again feature popular on-field post-game parties, giving fans a chance to mingle with their favorite players and Cylo, the Barnstormers' mascot.
The new laser light shows will be featured on a pair of Saturdays, June 29 and July 27.
Team officials "want something going on at the ballpark every single night," Barnstormers' vice president Tony DeMarco said Thursday.
And, with nearly three months to go until the April 18 home and season opener against the Camden Riversharks, they've already come pretty close.
DeMarco, vice president of fan experience, was seated Thursday at a long table in the Barnstormers' team offices with marketing manager Bryan Shaffer, creative services manager Shaun Kreider and intern Mike Gramola, brainstorming promotional ideas for the coming season.
They faced an erasable whiteboard containing the 2013 home schedule that was filling up with promotions.
"We call ourselves the 'Go Team,' because we're always on the go, and we are in full planning mode for 2013," DeMarco explained.
The promotional highlights for the 2013 season include:
n Visits from such popular costumed characters as Buzz and Woody from "Toy Story" (April 21), Iron Man (May 26), "Star Wars" characters (June 30), Gru from "Despicable Me 2" (July 13), Donatello from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (July 28) and SpongeBob SquarePants (Aug. 18).
n Popular giveaways, including a bobblehead series featuring manager Butch Hobson, hitting coach and former catcher Lance Burkhart and pitcher Ross Peeples.
n "School Spirit Nights," which celebrate the accomplishments of students and staff from school districts. They became very popular last season and again will be featured in 2013. They will recognize Conestoga Valley, Donegal, Warwick, Hempfield and other local districts.
n For Boy Scouts, the annual "Scout Sleepover" nights, to be held June 15 and Aug. 23, with a special night for Girl Scouts on July 26.
n The annual night for local dogs, "Bark in the Park," to be held Sept. 1.
n Santa's return for "Christmas in July" on July 25, exactly five months before Christmas, when scarves will be a featured giveaway.
n "Faith and Family Night," presented by Christian contemporary radio station WJTL-FM and featuring the Steven Courtney Band, scheduled for June 14.
For the special June 28 game when the Barnstormers will take on an alternate name for a night, fans will be able to vote online for their favorite non-Barnstormer team name.
For details on the promotions and the 2013 game schedule, visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com.