PRESS RELEASE – The Joliet Slammers may be in the Frontier League, but Thursday nightʼs extravaganza was major league in every aspect.
Patrons lined up outside the Rialto Square Theatreʼs doors an hour before the gates opened. Once the crowd entered at five p.m., they enjoyed Babeʼs Hot Dogs, a stilt walker entertained the kids, and recently retired Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust performed. Baseball legends such as Maury Wills, “Sudden” Sam McDowell, and Bill Madlock among many others walked the red carpet and signed autographs. VIPʼs were treated to free food and beverages.
And that was only the beginning.
At 6:30, the Blooze Brothers took the stage and rocked the house with a thirty minute performance. By the time emcee Chet Coppock took the stage at seven, the audience was already fired up for Slammers baseball. Coppock did a great job acknowledging the baseball luminaries that had taken time out of their schedule to attend. The legendary Chicago sports talk show host introduced Blackhawksʼ national anthem singer Jim Cornelison, who delivered “The Star Spangled Banner” with his usual gusto as the crowd cheered along.
Slammers General Manager John Dittrich got up to say a few words and was “interrupted” by a man claiming to be his new back-up catcher. In reality, it was WJOLʼs Steve Brandy and they proceeded to perform “Whoʼs On First”, the legendary Abbot and Costello bit. It turns out Dittrich and Brandy made for a pretty good combination themselves as the crowd was in stitches.
Coppock and long-time radio producer George Bliss shared the stage for a few minutes as they bantered back and forth before Bliss introduced American Idolʼs Chris Medina. The man who won Americaʼs heart performed his single “What are Words” and got the loudest ovation of the night.
Medina was followed by A cappella group 100% Natural and then the great Cornelison took the stage again for “God Bless America.”
The climax of the show was a video that emphasized the rich history of Joliet through images courtesy of the Joliet Historical Society. At the conclusion of the video, the Slammersʼ logo appeared on the screen for the first time.
The screen rose in the air, dramatically revealing some of the Slammersʼ layers and coaches who stood proudly wearing the brand new uniforms. As they walked to the front of the stage, manager Bart Zeller led an impromptu hat toss into the seats.
It was a thrilling conclusion to an amazing event…and as they say in show business…you ainʼt seen nothing yet.
The Slammers begin play in their inaugural season on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 against the Washington Wild Things. For tickets, please call (815)722-BATS (2287).
The Joliet Slammers are members of the Frontier League of Professional Baseball. The Frontier League is the oldest continuously operating independent professional league, in its 19th season in 2011. For more information about the Frontier League visit www.frontierleague.com.
One response to “Slammers Unveil New Logo In Style”
As a friend and former employee of Alan Oremus’s, first we are looking where we can buy Slammer shirts. Second, we would like to have a Prairie night at a home game. Old time Prairie employees are looking forward to seeing the Slammers kick some butt. Thank you