John Hopkins broke into baseball in 1978. After working as a wire editor for the Shelby (N.C.) Daily Star, he joined the Shelby Reds of the Western Carolinas League in 1978. He became assistant general manager of the Greensboro Hornets of the WCL (later SAL) in 1979 and GM in 1982. In 1984, he was named president of the Carolina League. Under his tenure, the league has expanded geographically as far north as Delaware and down to South Carolina.
Where will you be on Opening Day?
It is my practice to be at the home opener of the defending champion. Frederick won last season and they open at home with the first series of the season.
What are you most looking forward to in the 2008 season?
Good weather. It is a frequent problem.
Which Minor League player would you pay to watch play this year?
Well, the great thing about Minor League Baseball is you never know who's going to do well. You never know which club is going to do well -- you never know.
What is one little-known fact about being a league president?
Trying to look good in cheap clothes.
What is your favorite part about being league president?
I go to the playoffs every year.
What would you be doing if you didn't work in baseball?
I think I'd like to be a lawyer.
What's your favorite Minor League promotion?
The "Dash for Cash." I don't think any teams do it anymore though.
What is your favorite Minor League memory?
I think it was when we won the first California League-Carolina League All-Star Game at Lake Elsinore in 1999. The All-Star Game is the only time during the season I can root for one team to win, and that was our first win in that series. We started it in 1996.
Have you ever witnessed a no-hitter? If so...when and where?
That would have been about 1981 in Greensboro, before I became the league president. His first name was Kelly. That's all I remember.
If I were a Minor League mascot, I would be...
A cannon ball. 'Cause of my shape.