"Riders-Con" highlights theme nights and celeb appearances

Erik Estrada, Ernie Hudson, Jose Canseco appearances; salutes to Ghostbusters, Star Trek, Star Wars, & Top Gun headline season-long promotional series at Dr Pepper Ballpark

By Nathan Barnett / Frisco RoughRiders | March 8, 2016 2:33 PM

(CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL GAME TICKETS BEGINNING 10 AM ON MARCH 12)

FRISCO, TEXAS (March 9, 2016) - The Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, today announced Riders-Con 2016, a collection of game dates throughout the upcoming season featuring celebrity appearances and salutes to some of the most beloved enterprises in television, movies, sports, and pop culture.

Headlining Riders-Con 2016 during the upcoming season at Dr Pepper Ballpark are scheduled celebrity appearances by baseball legend Jose Canseco on Saturday, June 4; Erik Estrada ("Ponch" from CHiPs) on Friday, June 17; and Ernie Hudson ("Winston Zeddemore" from Ghostbusters) on Friday, July 29.

On each appearance date, fans will have the opportunity to meet the celebrities as part of a free autograph session during the game, and each will participate in promotional activities before and during that night's game.

Canseco's unique appearance will feature the "Jose Canseco Home Run Challenge," where the former 17-year MLB slugger will compete in a softball or baseball home run contest against local celebrities. Canseco claims to hold the world record for longest softball home run at 622 feet!

Highlighting the Riders' theme nights are eight themed jersey nights, with all of the jerseys auctioned off for charity. Headlining the group is a Game Boy-inspired jersey on "Salute to 8-Bit and Arcades Night" on Friday, July 8. The uniforms feature the text "Riders" inside of the Game Boy "screen" on the front of the uniform top, above of a directional pad, "A," "B," "Select," and "Start" buttons along with the classic Game Boy vent-style speaker on the lower right-hand side. On the back of the uniform, each player's number will be represented with 8-bit digits and their name written on the top of an inserted "game cartridge." The team will feature retro arcade games inside the ballpark and will be giving away both a next-gen and a retro gaming console that night. The fun continues as the Riders will be recreating classic video games as in-between innings contests.

The other confirmed theme-jersey nights are Paint the Park Pink (Sunday, May 7), Military Appreciation Night (Saturday, May 21), Vulcan Salute to Star Trek (Saturday, June 11), Salute to Top Gun (Friday, June 24), Ghostbusters Tribute (Friday, July 29), Star Wars Night (Saturday, August 20), and State Fair of Texas Night (Friday, September 2).

The Riders will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original series Star Trek with a "Vulcan Salute to Star Trek" on June 11, as the Riders players will don Star-Trek themed uniforms. Fans are encouraged to put on their Spock ears or come out dressed up as their favorite character for a costume contest. Music and video clips from the various iterations of the shows and movies will be played throughout the game as well as an in-game tribute to Leonard Nimoy, the actor who originally played Spock. The ballpark will go boldly where no ballpark has gone before with LED outfield wall markers measured in light years.

For the Salute to Top Gun, the Riders are commemorating the 30th anniversary of the classic film by wearing flight-suit-inspired uniforms. The players will be introduced by their flight call signs as they come up the plate. Fans can participate in a "Lost that Loving Feeling" singing contest, and the first 30 fans that come dressed in the official Top Gun beach volleyball outfit (swimsuit and dog tags) can participate in sand volleyball match at the ballpark during the game on a genuine sand court!

Fan-favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away will be on hand for Star Wars Night on August 20! Cheer on the Rebel Alliance (RoughRiders) to topple the Galactic Empire (Tulsa Drillers), complete with themed headshots on the video board, music throughout the game, and Yoda-speak PA announcing. Fans in the Choctaw Lazy River can float that night on Stars Wars rafts!

If you've ever wanted to meet the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or climb inside with the Ecto-1, then Ghostbusters Tribute is the night for you on July 29. Along with the appearance from Ernie Hudson, the real-life car of the courageous apparition-fighting heroes will be at Dr Pepper Ballpark for photo opportunities. The team that night will wear uniforms in the style of the Ghostbusters themselves, donning cream uniform tops with green ectoplasm (aka "Ghost Slime") dripping down the front and back of the jersey, covering parts of the Ghostbusters Proton Pack Backpack.

During the final homestand of the year, fans at Dr Pepper Ballpark can get a taste-literally-of the State Fair of Texas with State Fair Night. The club will be celebrating all that is great about the State Fair, with a video homage to the fair, a Fletcher's corny dog eating contest, and some of the great food items from the Fair available at concession stands. State Fair themed unis? Of course! Let's just say "Everything is BIGGER in Texas!" What else would y'all expect?

Additional theme nights throughout the season include Runner-Up Night (April 26), Magic Night (May 20), Superhero Night (June 4), Splash Day (June 14), First Responders Night (June 17), Princess Night (July 9), Christmas In July (July 17), Faith Night (July 30), Olympics Night (August 19), Collegiate Night (September 3), and Education Days (April 19, April 27, and May 23).

Single-game tickets will go on sale this Saturday, March 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Riders TicketFest, a free-to-attend FanFest event at Dr Pepper Ballpark from 10:00-noon. The event includes catch on the field, $1 concession specials, merchandise promotions at the Riders Outpost, and more! Fans will also get a sneak peek at the ongoing construction of the acclaimed Choctaw Lazy River.

The RoughRiders will open their 2016 home schedule at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Thursday, April 14 and host 70 home dates through Labor Day, September 5. Season ticket packages and group and hospitality offerings for the RoughRiders 2016 season can be reserved by calling (972) 731-9200 or emailing info@ridersbaseball.com.

About the RoughRiders

The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 11 seasons (2005-2015). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg and Scott Sonju. The new ownership group has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements, from a completely new team identity to massive additions and upgrades to Dr Pepper Ballpark, including a giant new video board, sound system, sports bar, team store, improved food service and menu, and a complete overhaul of in-game entertainment. The improvements earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest in the under $6 million category. More than 130 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Gonzalez and Ian Kinsler. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Nathan Barnett at (972) 334-1976 or via e-mail at Nathan@RidersBaseball.com.

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