Smell the hot dogs and popcorn?
It’s opening day for the Holly Springs Salamanders and the brand-new Holly Springs Ballpark, as the team takes the field tonight at 7 against the Edenton Steamers.
Come out and cheer them on!
“Everyone is excited about having the Salamanders here,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears. “They will have 30 home games here. Those games will bring brand new people into town to play baseball.”
Gates open at 6 p.m., and Sears will throw out the first pitch. Joining him on the field will be Holly Springs Parks and Recreation Director Len Bradley; Town Manager Chuck Simmons; team owner and chair/CEO of the Coastal Plain League Jerry Petitt; commissioner of the Coastal Plain League Justin Sellers; and tentatively team owner and Coastal Plain League President Pete Bock.
The Holly Springs Fire Department will serve as honor guard.
Major League Scouts
The newest member of the Coastal Plain League, which has teams in North and South Carolina and Virginia, Salamanders players are unpaid college students who sharpen their skills with wooden bats during the 56-game summer season.
The players hail from nearby, such as Thomas Young of Cary and Michael Sconzo of Holly Springs, and far away, like Florida and Missouri.
“I love this brand of baseball,” said Bock. “The quality of play and how hard these kids play — they’re playing in front of major league scouts. They want their future at the professional level, so they’re playing hard.”
The 1,800-seat ballpark, meanwhile, is the centerpiece of Holly Springs’ $20 million North Main Athletic Complex, a multi-sport center set on 42 acres between North Main Street and the N.C. 55 Bypass. Its beer garden features Carolina Brewing Company products on the third base side promenade, and picnic tables.
The emphasis at the stadium is on fans and family, Bock says. Players will be available for autographs at every game, and kids can come onto the field and interact with the players.
“I can promise it will be clean, fun, fan-friendly entertainment,” he said.
The Coastal Plain League is celebrating its 19th season this year. Notable alumni include Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander; Ryan Zimmerman; Kevin Youkilis; and Russell Wilson.
Tickets for tonight’s game are $8-$11, and are available online and at the gate. Flex passes and season tickets are also available.
On Saturday, May 29, the Salamanders host the Wilson Tobs; tickets for that game are $5-$11.
Holly Springs Ballpark is located at 1151 N. Main St. For more information, call (919) 249-7322 or visit salamandersbaseball.com
Read Cary Magazine’s full article on the ballpark project here.