WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK (Lexington, KY) - The Lexington Legends thanked their 281,000+ fans that came out to Whitaker Bank Ballpark over the course of the 2017 season today in a year end wrap up letter that was distributed via email to all Season Ticket Holders, Luxury Suite Holders, Corporate Sponsors and Individual Ticket Buyers. Legends President & CEO Andy Shea candidly recounts the many high points throughout the baseball season while ultimately thanking Central Kentuckians for their continued support of Lexington Legends Baseball.
Full letter released to fans below:
Dear Legends Fans:
Thank you, our 281,000+ Central Kentucky fans! We capped off our 17th season with the prestigious distinction of 2017 Community Service Organization of the Year, awarded by the South Atlantic League! This incredible accomplishment would not have been possible without the tremendous community support in a variety of ways. Over 100 special events were held at Whitaker Bank Ballpark throughout the 2016-2017 season - bringing in over 84,000 additional fans - like the KHSAA State Baseball Tournament, Eastern Kentucky University baseball games, High School and Middle School baseball games, non-profit charity walks, concerts, luncheons, a wedding and various business meetings!
Not only is Whitaker Bank Ballpark a community asset for non-Legends events, but we also have the philosophy on giving back while being immersed in all aspects of our community. We donated close to $1.1 million back into the Lexington and Central Kentucky regions throughout the course of the 2017 season, with Big L making over 200 appearances at schools and charity events.
Both art and sports are important pieces of the Legends culture and history and the 2017 season saw us continue our artistic efforts while broadening our impact and fan base throughout the season. We hosted the first ever Lexington Philharmonic concert on the baseball field and featured new artwork at the Whitaker Bank Ballpark, from local artists-the Trinity Gay Mural by Dani Greene and the Electrical Box Painting Project completed by students at Cardinal Valley Elementary School. We also held Community Yoga in the outfield of Whitaker Bank Ballpark, brought Dancing with the Students classes to students at Crawford Middle School, partnered with local arts council LexArts to reward smART Card holders with Legends tickets for donating to arts organizations, and sponsored the Explorium of Lexington's Educational Interactive Arts and Science Summer Camp.
The Legends have also been memorialized at the new Junior Achievement BizTown through a large art mural installation in the Town Square, to remind students of the importance of the sports industry. Additionally, the Legends began a new education program for schools in Fayette County, similar to our Hit the Books Reading Program, with the focus directed on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) related learning.
On top of these incredible accomplishments outside of the ballpark, we also had a wonderful season of full of 70 fun and exciting home games. We saw two sellout Education Day games with over 7,300 students from around Central Kentucky who experienced an interactive learning game, with topics such as STEM and Character Building/PBIS (Positive Behavior Instructional Supports). We welcomed other family pets like pigs, chickens, horses and cats to the ballpark and celebrated family date nights with Princess and Super Hero Nights. The Tim Tebow effect resulted in three consecutive sellouts when the Columbia Fireflies came to town, we celebrated the historic Hatfield & McCoy Feud with a season long promotion with the West Virginia Power and the City of Pikeville, created an amazing new partnership with the Calipari Foundation to bring our fans a Coach Cal Bobblehead series and specialty jersey, and partnered up with Tempur Sealy and Sleep Outfitters to give 100 kids brand new beds and bedding through our Pajama Party and Bed Donation Event.
There were many accolades to be had on the field for the Legends. Andre Davis, Justin Camp and Anthony Bender were named SAL Pitchers of the Week. First baseman Chris DeVito, catcher Meibrys Viloria and outfielder Khalil Lee were named SAL Players of the Week. Pitchers Grant Gavin and Jace Vines earned a trip to the SAL All-Star game in Columbia, SC and outfielder Kort Peterson was also named to the team, but was promoted to Wilmington before the All-Star break. After an outstanding season at the plate, third baseman Emmanuel Rivera was named to the annual South Atlantic League All-Star team and won the SAL batting title with a .310 average.
As a team, the Legends finished in the top three in the league in several offensive categories: second in runs (256), doubles (258), RBI (593) and total bases (1,830); third in home runs (111), stolen bases (155) and slugging percentage (.398); and tied for third in batting average (.258). As usual, there were no shortage of former Legends making their MLB debut this season. Luke Farrell and Jake Junis (both Legends pitchers in 2014), Cam Gallagher (Legends catcher in 2013) and Ramon Torres (Legends second baseman in 2013-14) each made their MLB debut with the Kansas City Royals in 2017. The number of former Legends to reach the big leagues now stands at 78.
What a year! Opening Night for the 2018 Season is April 5, 2018 against the Charleston RiverDogs. Please join us again next year as we welcome our 6 millionth fan.
Have a happy, safe and STACHETASTIC offseason!
President & CEO
For more information, contact Sarah Bosso at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-422-7855. The Legends, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and a member of the South Atlantic League, will return home to Whitaker Bank Ballpark against the Charleston RiverDogs, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, on Opening Day - April 5, 2018. For ticket information, call (859) 422-7867 or visit LexingtonLegends.com