Hey, Sportsfans! Secure your free ticket and join friends, family, and NFCCA neighbors for an exciting night of professional quality baseball mere minutes from your door! Our hometown team, The Thunderbolts, battle it out against their rivals in 18 home games this summer at Blair Stadium.
Recruited from top college programs all over the country, these incredible athletes stay with local host families each June and July to compete in the DMV-based Cal Ripken Wooden Bat Collegiate Baseball League. This is baseball at its local best and, if you’re lucky, you might just spot some stars of tomorrow at a game. Four Thunderbolts have made it all the way to the Major Leagues, the latest being infielder Matt Mervis, a member of the 2016 team, who was just called up to the Chicago Cubs!
This summer, we’re enhancing the T-bolts fan experience with special promotions and perks. You are cordially invited to attend an NFCCA Community Night at the Friday, 30 June, 7 p.m. home game. Arrive early and cheer on an NFCCA neighbor as they throw out the first pitch! Neighborhood children get in free; 25 complimentary adult tickets will be distributed at the June NFCCA meeting. Parking is free and low-cost concessions are sold on site.
New this year, the concession stand will feature limited quantities of locally made Moorenko’s Ice Cream! Flavors include “Thunderbolt Yellow Lemon Sorbet“ and, in a nod to Head Coach Brock Hunter, “Brocky Road,“ among other delicious options, chock full of quality ingredients and as many puns as we can think up.
Each game, several lucky children are selected to participate in crowd favorite “race around the bases“ and other fun contests between innings. There are raffles, trivia questions, and prizes; veteran fans know that no T-bolts experience is complete without seeing Founder Dick O’Connor in the stands doling out his trademark “long arms“ of raffle tickets.
The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts face off against seven other teams in the Ripken League: the Bethesda Big Train, the Gaithersburg Giants, the D.C. Grays, the Alexandria Aces, the South County (Lorton, Va.) Braves, the Olney Cropdusters, and the Southern Maryland Senators (Waldorf). Like the T-bolts, these teams are composed of elite college players from around the country, and they make for fierce competitors.
If you can’t get to the game, the Thunderbolts will broadcast all home and away games online via the website. For the first time ever this season, the Thunderbolts will stream video from Blair Stadium for home games.
For those who need even more baseball in their lives, there are many ways to get involved, from hosting a player to attending baseball camp or having a birthday party at the stadium. Students can earn SSL hours by volunteering as bat boy/bat girl, and teens can gain experience with summer internships. Go to tbolts.org for info about schedule, events, parties, rosters, team news, and more. Follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TBoltsBaseball) and Twitter (twitter.com/TBolts_Baseball) for all the latest updates!
I hope to see you in the stands this summer. Go, T-bolts!!!
[Ewachiw, who lives on Edgewood Avenue, is a Thunderbolts Volunteer Board Member and Mom of a T-bolts bat boy.] ■
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