The 2013 baseball season is fast approaching, with the Greenville Drive set to kick-off its 8th season in Downtown Greenville's Historic West End in less than 3 months. Drive fans will have an early opportunity to sample the upcoming season's excitement on January 29th, when the Drive and Habitat for Humanity of Greenville partner for a special "Home Run for Habitat" event.
Homerun for Habitat will be held at the TD Convention Center in Greenville with festivities beginning at 6:00 PM. Individual tickets can be purchased for $30, and tables of ten people are available for $300. All proceeds from the event, including the event's silent auction, will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Greenville. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Habitat for Humanity of Greenville at (864) 370-4787 or registering online at www.habitatgreenville.org.
"We are looking forward to our new partnership with the Drive, and the Home Run for Habitat event," commented Habitat Greenville President and CEO, Monroe Free. "This event will benefit those families in need that lack decent, affordable housing through affordable home construction. Habitat for Humanity of Greenville works to eliminate poverty housing, and Home Run for Habitat will feature baseball-themed activities and a ballpark cuisine dinner with a gourmet twist that is sure to be a grand slam of an evening - for a great cause!"
Featured and special guests for the event will be Red Sox Director of Player Development, Ben Crockett, and Red Sox outfield prospect and former University of South Carolina standout, Jackie Bradley Jr. Other Greenville Drive alumni players will also be in attendance.
Drive President and Co-Owner, Craig Brown, commented on the event, noting, "We are excited to partner with Habitat for Humanity for the Home Run for Habitat event on January 29th. This event will help us inform our fans and the Upstate Community about the exciting season we have in store for 2013 while also helping Habitat get the word out about their good works and help them raise money for the year ahead. Habitat is a terrific and a highly relevant organization as they help people in need, not just here in Greenville but all over the world.
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that provides affordable home construction for low-income families and does so while actively engaging the Community in their efforts. Habitat Greenville was chartered in 1985 and has provided homes for over 300 Greenville residents.
Information regarding volunteer opportunities for Habitat for Humanity of Greenville will be on display during the event, and anyone that registers as a volunteer throughout 2013 will receive a complimentary ticket for a special recognition game at Fluor Field.
Brown added, "We are also thrilled that Jackie Bradley and Ben Crockett have taken time out of their busy schedules in preparation for the 2013 season to visit Greenville. This Home Run for Habitat event on January 29th will provide Ben and Jackie with another chance to interact with the Drive's great fan base, and presents us with an opportunity to demonstrate why Greenville and Fluor Field is such a popular and positive experience for the many Red Sox stars who enjoy playing here during their minor league journey."
The 40th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, former South Carolina Gamecocks standout Jackie Bradley, Jr. will also take part in the event. Shortly after making his professional debut in August of 2011, Bradley joined the Drive for the final five games of the 2011 regular season. In 2012, he split time between High-A and AA and posted a combined line of .315 with nine homers, 63 RBI's, 90 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. He was recently named the second-best prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America.
During his impressive collegiate career, Bradley led the Gamecocks to back-to-back National Championships in 2010 and 2011, having been named both the Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament Team at the College World Series in 2010. During his final year at the University of South Carolina in 2011, Bradley was named to the All-SEC Defensive Team.
Ben Crockett, who is entering his seventh season with the Red Sox and second as the Director of Player Development, will also be at the event to discuss the team's success from a year ago, as well as the top prospects that fans can expect to see take the field in 2013 as the Drive look to continue their outstanding on-field performance, which includes trips to the South Atlantic League postseason in 2009 and 2010.
Crockett joined the Red Sox organization in 2007, and served as Advance Scouting Coordinator in 2008 and 2009, before being promoted as the club's Assistant Director of Player Development in 2010. A standout pitcher at Harvard University, Crockett was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and was later selected in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft by the Colorado Rockies. Ben spent four seasons in Colorado's farm system, advancing all the way to the Triple-A level.
"This event will be a one of a kind experience for our fans as they'll have the chance to interact with and participate in a Q&A session with Jackie Bradley, Jr., an outstanding and talented young man who we hope to see in the major leagues very soon." commented Drive General Manager, Mike deMaine.
After seven seasons of record breaking attendance and providing countless fans with an affordable, family-friendly venue and entertainment, the Drive is ensuring that 2013 will be its most memorable year to date. Brown and deMaine will also give fans a sneak peek at some of the new enhancements at Fluor Field for 2013 during the evening.
The Home Run for Habitat event will include a cocktail reception with an opportunity for photos and autographs with the featured guests, interactive games, and a sit-down dinner. The silent auction portion of the event will include both Drive and Red Sox memorabilia, benefitting Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to the great items that will be available during the silent auction, which includes a special VIP trip to see Drive alumni playing for the Salem Red Sox, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a unique "Hot Stove Ticket Plan," that will only be available during this event. This will also be the first opportunity for fans to purchase new Drive merchandise, including exclusive OOBE products, as well as purchase tickets to the upcoming Southern Conference Baseball Championships, hosted at Fluor Field from May 22-26.
Brown commented on the upcoming season, noting, "We are tremendously encouraged by the way the Upstate has supported our efforts to provide a world-class setting and great entertainment value at Fluor Field. The partnerships we've established with our fans, our sponsors and the community at large have been very gratifying, and we are truly excited about the new ways guests at Fluor Field will be able to enjoy themselves at Drive games over the 2013 season, and beyond."
Ticket plans, group outings, and hospitality accommodations are currently on sale for the 2013 season. Call (864) 240-4500 to speak with a representative or log onto to www.GreenvilleDrive.com for more information.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.