Baseball isn’t the only thing the Lexington County Blowfish will be celebrating this season.
The team is gearing up for the Monday, Aug. 21 solar eclipse, one of the biggest events this summer in South Carolina and across the United States. The centerline of the eclipse will be within yards of the Lexington County Baseball Stadium. And even though the Blowfish season officially will be over by the time the eclipse rolls into town, the team is geared up to celebrate it with a “Total Eclipse” season theme.
Blowfish owner Bill Shanahan plans to open the park on the day of the eclipse so that families and kids of all ages can sit on the field off Ball Park Road in Lexington and experience it together.
“We are always looking for ways to make Lexington and Lexington County stand out,” Shanahan said. “What better way than promoting the centerline of the total eclipse?”
The team’s season kicks off Thursday, June 1. Here are five reasons we can’t wait for the first crack of the bat:
‘Total Eclipse’ theme and specialty jerseys
The team’s Total Eclipse Centerline jersey will be unveiled on opening night and worn at various times throughout the season, including at least once in every city where the team plays this season. The team will wear the jerseys on the season’s final night Saturday, Aug. 5, and then the jerseys will be auctioned off. Proceeds will go to science projects in Lexington County elementary schools.
The biggest food promotion is the advance-purchase, five-game all-you-can-eat package. Fans get tickets to five games that include unlimited hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, desserts, Coke products and bottled water from 6 p.m. until the seventh inning stretch. Cost is $65-$75. The promotion also will include a free T-shirt (limited time).
The ballpark also is adding the Blowie Snowie, the team’s own shaved ice flavor.
Jared Williams is a Gilbert High School graduate who will be playing his second season with the team. Williams played previously with the University of South Carolina and then transferred to USC-Lancaster, where he now plays.
Ryan Brown is a Lexington High School graduate who is now playing at North Greenville University and will be playing his first year with the Blowfish.
The spectacular Blowfish fireworks shows will be every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. Shanahan said he gets more feedback from the fireworks than anything else and expects this year to be no different. (For skeptics who haven’t seen the show: These rival Disney World fireworks).
New this year: Local wine
For the first time, the stadium will offer wine from Mercer House Winery in Lexington County.
“We are really trying to promote homegrown products in Lexington County,” Shanahan said.
Also, the Carolina Comfort Fan of the Game promotion will continue for the second season, and this year the chosen fan will receive a tumbler they can use for free soft drink refills throughout the season. That’s in addition to the regular prize pack that comes with the distinction.
If you go
Lexington County Blowfish baseball season opener
WHO: Lexington County Blowfish vs. Thomasville Hitoms
WHEN: 7:05 p.m. Thursday, June 1
WHERE: 474 Ballpark Road, Lexington
COST: Single-game tickets start at $6; packages available.
And before the opener...
The Big South Conference Tournament is going on now at Lexington County Baseball Stadium for the second year in a row. The eight-team double-elimination tournament will end Saturday, May 27 with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid into an NCAA Regional. Winthrop, Presbyterian and Liberty enter as the pre-tournament favorites.
Single-day tickets are available for $10. Tickets are on sale at the Blowfish on Main store at 101 East Main St., Lexington. For other details, call (803) 254-3474.
Lexington County Blowfish Alumni will play against current team members in a preseason event at 7:05 p.m. Monday, May 29. Go to the website for ticket information.