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GreenJackets to celebrate 20th anniversary in 200802/21/2008 6:13 PM ET
AUGUSTA, GA -- Baseball returned to Augusta in 1988 and the GreenJackets are celebrating 20 years of memories and Major League dreams in the 2008 season.
As part of the 20th Anniversary, Augusta is releasing its 20th Anniversary logo. The logo will appear on all media releases and select promotional items.
Baseball has a long and rich history in Augusta, dating back to 1885. For 25 years, however, the game was not played in Augusta. Modern-day baseball returned to Augusta in '88 with the Augusta Pirates.
Since 1988, 92 Augusta players have gone onto play in the Major Leagues. The have been 14 former GreenJackets to compete for a World Series Championship team, 17 All-Star's, two Rookie-of-the Years' and one Gold Glove Winner.
"It's always special when you get to be part of a team that is celebrating an anniversary like the GreenJackets are this year," GreenJackets General Manager Nick Brown said. "It really is amazing, looking at the past 20 years and how much success the team and the former players have had."
Baseball fans in Augusta have been treated to winning baseball since 1988. The GreenJackets has finished at or above the .500 mark 11 times since their first season, and they've compiled an overall record of 1,353-1,297. Augusta has also been home to three South Atlantic League Championships and seven S.A.L Southern Division Titles.
Originally named the Pirates, Augusta changed its name to the GreenJackets in 1994 in recognition of the rich golf tradition in the area. In June 2005, another change came to the organization when Ripken Baseball purchased the team and officially took over the teams operations in October 2005. Headed by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr, the GreenJackets immediately had not only an increase in attendance, but also an influx in stadium improvements to help out the fan enjoyment of the game.
The five largest crowds in franchise history occurred during the 2006 and 2007 seasons and Augusta set a franchise attendance mark in 2007 with over 177,000 fans coming to Lake Olmstead to see GreenJackets baseball. The GreenJackets also went from just two sellouts in 2005 to nine in 2006 and a franchise high 19 in 2007.
Currently, the GreenJackets have posted three straight winning seasons. Augusta won more games in the 2006 and 2007 seasons than any other Minor League team with a 181-98 record. The GreenJackets led all of Minor League Baseball with a 92-47 record in 2006 and then in 2007 compiled an 89-51 record, the best among all full season Minor League teams.
The 20th Anniversary season begins at home on Thursday, April 3 with a four game series against Greensboro. The home stand will finish on Sunday, April 6; one day before The Masters first practice round will begin. It is the first time since the 2003 season that the GreenJackets will open at home before The Masters.
Season seat packages start as low as $55 per-seat. For more information on season seats, call the GreenJackets at 706-736-7889 or visit www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.