From the Butler BlueSox
Christmas arrived a few days early for the Butler Community.
The Butler BlueSox and the City of Butler Parks Recreation Grounds and Facilities Authority reached an agreement for the use of Pullman Park. A two-year lease was agreed upon Tuesday afternoon keeping the BlueSox playing ball at Pullman Park through 2013. The team has the option to renew the agreement for the 2014 season.
The local owners of 60 percent of the BlueSox are Attorneys Raymond J. Conlon and William C. “Wink” Robinson, Jr., Dr. Michael Fiorina, Gordon Marburger, and former major leaguer Matt Clement. BlueSox’s founder and former owner Leo Trich transferred his remaining interest to the local owners in July 2011.
“Business negotiations are usually very difficult and sometimes emotional,” said Wink Robinson, the Managing Partner of the local ball club. “Compromises must be made by both sides sitting across the table from each other. We fully understand the value of Pullman Park to our community and especially the unique identity established between Pullman Park, the BlueSox and our community.”
Not only did the BlueSox get the good news about the lease at Pullman Park, it also received its 2012 Prospect League schedule. Opening Day is slated for Tuesday, May 29, 2012, when the BlueSox host perennial powerhouse Chillicothe Paints.
“Needless to say, our ownership group is excited about the 2012 season,” said Robinson. “We learned on the fly in 2011 and made some mistakes. Operating the BlueSox is not all peaches and cream. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes work and off-season duties to perform in order to put a team on the field. I think we all enjoyed it. With the lease finalized, our staff can immediately get started to make the upcoming season better than last year.”
Season tickets and new merchandise for the 2012 BlueSox are already available.
The BlueSox’s front office consists of General Manager Matt Cunningham, Ticket Manager Dallas O’Donnell, and Media Relations Coordinator Patrick Reddick. “These guys helped us navigate the mine field in 2011,” Robinson said. “Each is a quality individual possessing that special BlueSox passion. They’re our go-to guys.”
“People may ask me who won the lease negotiations,” Robinson added, “The only true winners are the many BlueSox fans and the community businesses who support our local team.”
The Prospect League has added four additional games for a total of 60 over the course of the summer, with 30 being played at home. The BlueSox will face each of their Eastern Conference opponents of Chillicothe, Richmond, West Virginia, Lorain, and Slippery Rock six times each at Pullman Park.
The BlueSox will open their season at Pullman Park with four games against Chillicothe and West Virginia before traveling to Richmond, Indiana on June 2 for their first road series.
Promotional and media schedules will be announced in the upcoming months. Fan favorites including multiple firework nights will return. The BlueSox broke their attendance record with over 17,500 fans attending last summer. The Prospect League also set a League-wide high for per game attendance.
The League’s regular season schedule is composed of 69 days, including the three-day All Star break and off days on most Mondays. Teams will play on back-to-back days in each series and only face teams from their respective divisions. Robin Roberts Field in Springfield, Illinois will host the Eastern vs. Western Conference All Star Game on July 11. Playoffs will be held from August 7 through 12.
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