Over 15 leagues attended the 2011 Summer Ball Conference. The Grizzlies “Great Community Give Back Game” was a unanimous choice by the Summer Ball Conference Committee. This was the second awards gala of its kind for college summer baseball which has a total of over 400 teams. This marks the second straight year the Grizzlies have won best promotion as in 2010, the Grizzlies “Midnight Madness” took the honor.
“The Great Community Give Back Game” was the first of its kind in the Coastal Plain League. On the second to last regular season game, the Grizzlies organized this game as an appreciation night for the community for the ten years of support. The Grizzlies teamed up with sponsors Tracy Philbeck, James Worthy Foundation, Suddath Relocation Systems, Wal-Mart’s in Belmont and West Gastonia and Planet Fitness and Facet Foundry Jewelry Studio to purchase tickets for the entire community and feed the first one thousand fans.
Facet Foundry Jewelry Studio donated a diamond ring and after the game all fans were invited to “Dig for the Diamond” on the field.
Five local non profits set up in the main concourse and help raise awareness and money for their cause. The Grizzlies had giveaways all night including Outback Dinners, Wal-Mart Gift Cards, and Memberships to Planet Fitness, a storage unit from Suddath and a Dinner and memorabilia with James Worthy.
The line to get in the ballpark started at 3:00 in the afternoon and 3,224 fans showed up for the Sunday game, making it the biggest Sunday in Grizzlies in history and one of the top 10 crowds in franchise history.
“We are honored to receive this award from the Summer Ball Conference, said Managing Partner Jesse Cole. “This award belongs to Gaston County Community for the amazing support for not only this game but for our ten years in Gaston County. It was a special night for our players and our staff and we can’t wait to bring it back in 2012!”
The Gastonia Grizzlies are members of Coastal Plain League, the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Preparing their 16th season, the Coastal Plain League features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer. The CPL has had over 930 alumni drafted and 48 alums make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at http://www.coastalplain.com.