Eight short months from now, Brazos Valley Bombers fans will again gather at Brazos Valley Bank Ballpark and cheer wildly at the sound of two familiar words: “Play ball!”
That much became certain today when it was announced that the Texas Collegiate League, through the Haddock Foundation, has entered into an agreement to turn over control of the league to four of its member franchises. The league went through a tumultuous seven weeks after the Coppell Copperheads captured the league title on August 12, but the future is much brighter with the agreement signed, sealed, and now delivered.
The Bombers are joined by the Coppell Copperheads, McKinney Marshals, and Wichita Falls Wranglers in the TCL’s new leadership structure. The teams will operate the TCL cooperatively, together establishing rules and plotting for the league’s growth. The TCL was founded by former Chairman and CEO Gerald Haddock, and until now he has operated the league through the Haddock Foundation.
Bombers co-owner Uri Geva joined Bombers fans in expressing relief and optimism. “We said all along that this was merely a family squabble and that it would be over soon. Now, we can all turn our attention to making the 2008 season even better than our inaugural campaign.”
Geva said that the Bombers staff has spent the last month preparing for the coming season regardless of the league’s circumstances. Promotions, contests, and events are already on the drawing board for 2008. The team is looking to expand the Bombshells promotional team in anticipation of a busy fall and winter promoting the Bombers.
Season tickets are already on sale in anticipation of the 2008 season. Founder’s Club and reserved seat season tickets are available, and the team has added several new ticket options as well. The first several rows of the grandstand seating will now be Reserved Plus seats, featuring a more comfortable seat with a back. For the more budget conscious, the Bombers have added a general admission season ticket, with a discount for children, students, and seniors.
In the coming weeks, the Bombers are expected to announce a new head coach for the 2008 season. Kevin Moulder, who guided the squad this past summer, has since been named assistant coach at Division I Saint Louis University, so a new coach will take the helm in 2008. The Bombers will also release the team’s new marketing slogan, replacing the “Summer Just Got Fun” refrain that so accurately portrayed the inaugural season. And of course, the Bombers are well under way in piecing together the roster for the coming season, blending a stellar cast of returning players with promising newcomers.
In 2007, the Bombers enjoyed success unprecedented in the TCL, despite being a first-year team. Brazos Valley set a single-game attendance record in its first-ever home game, then shattered that mark six weeks later. The team led the league in attendance, topping it off with a post-season single-game attendance record in its only home playoff game.
The Bombers captivated fans with some of the league’s best talent and wowed them with the circuit’s best atmosphere. Brazos Valley boasted the TCL’s best freshman and top prospect (pitcher Casey Whitmer) and placed six players in the TCL All-Star Game. Clint Helms tossed the first no-hitter in league history, earning him one of four in-season awards racked up by Bombers players.
But fans were equally excited about the Bombers promotions and the environment at a renovated Brazos Valley Bank Ballpark. The promotional schedule included four spectacular Friday Fireworks shows, an Acie Law bobblehead doll giveaway, and items like mini-bats, logo baseballs, and T-shirts. KaBoom entertained fans young and old, and on-field contests like the dizzy bat race gave the ballpark a carnival-like atmosphere. When they weren’t cheering or laughing, fans found their way to the Jack FM Party Deck to socialize.
But with all the success of the inaugural season, Geva is making a bold prediction about 2008. “Next summer will be even better, I promise you that,” he said. “This is something that you absolutely, positively don’t want to miss.”
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