Wilmington, DE- A helicopter dropping candy down on Frawley Stadium, two legendary WWE wrestlers interacting with fans, a ballpark full of Storm Troopers and Jedi, a summertime appearance by jolly old Saint Nicholas and three opportunities to bring your best furry friend to a game are at the top of the list of special events on tap for the 25th season of Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball. The return of the Mega Candy Drop as well as Wrestling Night, Star Wars Night, Christmas in July and Three Bark in the Park games headline the promotional calendar in 2017.
Back by popular demand, the Blue Rocks Mega Candy Drop will be after the game on Sunday, June 11. A helicopter will fly over top of Fralwey Stadium and sprinkle delicious treats onto the outfield grass. Kids in attendance that day will then have the opportunity to run on the field and collect as many sweet snacks as they can get their hands on.
Speaking of capturing the imagination of youngsters, Wrestling Night on Thursday, June 15 and Star Wars Night on Saturday, August 19 are sure to accomplish that. WWE legends The Nasty Boys will be the headlining guests on Wrestling Night, posing for pictures with fans and signing autographs all evening long. On Star Wars Night movie characters will be present throughout the ballpark and the entire look of Frawley Stadium will transform into a battle of good vs. evil, as players are slated to wear special jerseys representing one of the most popular film franchises in cinematic history.
The term dog days of summer will take on some new meanings with the Blue Rocks this season as well. On Thursday, July 13 the club will turn red-hot Frawley Stadium into a winter wonderland as it celebrates Christmas in July. Carolers singing throughout a decorated stadium and an appearance by Santa Claus highlight the festivities. Then, the Blue Rocks will literally turn their ballpark over to the dogs during a record-setting three Bark in the Park Nights (presented by Concord Pet) in 2017. Fans will be allowed to bring their dogs to a Blue Rocks game on May 9, July 17 and August 14.
Two additional exciting dates fans should mark on their calendars are Football Night on April 22 and Judy Johnson Night on August 5. Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood will be on hand to interact with fans on Football Night and the first 1,000 patrons will receive Philly football-inspired midnight green Blue Rocks caps (compliments of Delaware Express). Then Judy Johnson Night features the Blue Rocks annual tribute to Negro League Baseball.
Wilmington began its three-part promotional calendar release on Wednesday by announcing the return of Fireworks Friday and the cowboy monkey rodeo as well as the slate for the 25th season festivities on opening weekend.
As is Blue Rocks tradition, the Wilmington night sky will light up with an expansive fireworks show set to music after every home Friday game in 2017. Each show will also feature its own theme. In addition to the 11 Friday fireworks shows, there will be postgame fireworks after Blue Rocks games on Sunday, May 28, Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3.
Blue Rocks fans will also have plenty of opportunities to watch their favorite performing act, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. Monkeys dressed as cowboys riding dogs as though they were horses while herding rams will perform on the field at Frawley Stadium during and after the games on May 12, 13 and 25, as well as July 24 and 25.
Then the Rocks have plenty of fun slated for the first weekend of their 2017 season. Opening Night on April 6 will feature flashbacks to when the team played its first game in 1993 as well as an on-field ceremony that will include speeches from local dignitaries and a special first pitch. Plus the first 5,000 fans will receive magnetic schedules. After the first Fireworks Friday of the season on April 7, the Blue Rocks will distribute a 25th season team set to the first 1,000 fans on Saturday, April 8. These baseball cards (courtesy of Wilmington University) will feature the most popular figures in franchise history. Then on Sunday, April 9 the team will celebrate mascot Rocky Bluewinkle's 25th birthday, as mascots from around the region will be on hand to share in the fun.
On Thursday the team released its giveaways for upcoming campaign.
The Blue Rocks bobblehead series (presented by Bank of America) will run throughout the summer. On June 17 the first 1,200 fans will receive a bobblehead of slugger Johnny Damon, who played for the Rocks in 1993. On July 16 the initial 1,200 patrons will receive a Carlos Beltran bobblehead. Beltran played parts of two seasons with Wilmington in 1997 and 1998. Then, on August 5 the first 1,200 fans at Frawley Stadium get a Zack Greinke bobblehead. He starred with the Rocks as a teenager in 2003. And finally on September 2 the first 1,200 fans will receive an Eric Hosmer bobblehead. Hosmer won a Carolina League batting title with the Rocks in 2010.
Fans should reserve their tickets for all four games, because for the first time in Blue Rocks history the individual bobbleheads fit together to form a larger commemorative keepsake. Ticket packages to secure seats for an opportunity to accrue the entire set are available online now at BlueRocks.com.
In addition to the bobblehead series the Blue Rocks will also feature a complimentary shirsey series to fans at four games in 2017. The t-shirts will look like jerseys from different eras of Blue Rocks baseball.
On May 11 the first 1,000 fans will receive a shirsey of slugger Mike Sweeney, who played with Wilmington in 1995. Almost one month later on June 10 Delaware Express will provide the first 1,000 patrons through the gates with a Clay Buchholz shirsey. Buchholz pitched for the Rocks in 2006 and is currently in the Phillies rotation. On August 17 the first 1,000 fans get a shirsey of World Series MVP Salvador Perez, who spent the 2010 campaign in Wilmington. And finally, on August 31 the initial 1,000 patrons will get a Jacoby Ellsbury shirsey, in honor of the perennial All-Star who roamed the outfield at Frawley Stadium in 2006.
The Blue Rocks will also feature a five-game Heritage series in 2017 (presented by Unique Image), with t-shirt giveaways honoring the German, Polish, Irish, Italian and Jewish cultures. Other notable giveaways will include:
- Bandanas on May 13
- Infinity scarves on Mother's Day, May 14
- Beach towels (courtesy of Delaware Division of Public Health) on May 24
- Digital camo caps (presented by The Greene Turtle) on May 27
- Military tribute card sets on May 28
- Youth t-shirts (presented by IMPACT Delaware) on June 16
- Golf umbrellas (courtesy of M&T Bank) on Father's Day, June 18
- Patriotic socks on July 1
- Blue Rocks Santa hats on July 13
- Camo boonie hats (presented by Delaware Lottery) on July 15
- Senator Chris Coons bobbleheads (courtesy of ShopRite) on August 3
- Uniform-evolution canvas prints on August 6.
Individual tickets for the 25th season of Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball go on sale on Saturday, March 4 at Frawley Stadium. The Rocks are celebrating with a Blue Saturday Ticket Extravaganza that will feature special discounts, prizes and refreshments at the Frawley Stadium Ticket Office. Season seats, mini plans and group packages for the Blue Rocks' 25th season are on sale now via BlueRocks.com. To learn more about what is on tap for the Rocks' 25th season celebration, check out www.BlueRocks/25thseason.com.
#25thSeasonOf Blue Rocks Baseball
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.