Written by Lindsey Archer
SEVIERVILLE, TN - The Tennessee Smokies are hosting Henry Rowengartner Night at Smokies Stadium on June 25, 2022. Thomas Ian Nicholas, the actor who played Henry Rowengartner in the 1993 film, “Rookie of the Year,” will be in attendance to meet-and-greet with fans and throw out
Written by Lindsey Archer
SEVIERVILLE, TN - The Tennessee Smokies are hosting Henry Rowengartner Night at Smokies Stadium on June 25, 2022. Thomas Ian Nicholas, the actor who played Henry Rowengartner in the 1993 film, “Rookie of the Year,” will be in attendance to meet-and-greet with fans and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. In addition to the meet-and-greet, the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Henry Rowengartner bobblehead/arm presented by Pepsi that replicates Rowengartner’s unique windup. Nicholas is eager to visit the East Tennessee area.
Growing up, the actor was focused more on the entertainment side of things, rather than sports. When the time came to play Henry Rowengarter, Nicholas went to a baseball field everyday for weeks preparing for the role. Despite having to learn all the mechanics of a baseball pitcher and shooting in front of large crowds, The California native struggled the most with the weather. “We were shooting at Wrigley Field in Chicago in October. I was wearing a big down jacket and still freezing. When we were ready to shoot, it was supposed to be summertime so coats had to come off. That was probably more challenging than being in front of people,” Nicholas explained.
When asked about some of his most memorable moments while shooting the film, “Rookie of the Year,” Nicholas recalled the first time his character took the mound. “It was a full stadium when Henry first walked to the mound because we were shooting in between an MLB doubleheader in September of ‘92. That was my first time on Wrigley Field. We hadn’t even really started the movie yet. It’s still a very memorable moment for me,” said Nicholas.
Despite the major success of the movie, Nicholas never anticipated the film having the “shelf life” that it does today. “I knew that people enjoyed what we had created, but I certainly never imagined that as we approach the 30th anniversary, it would have been handed down generation to generation,” Nicholas said. “It’s pretty cool and it’s something fun that I was able to show my own kids.”
Nicholas concluded by touching on what he hopes people take away from the film. “I think the most important thing that Henry learns is to be true to ourselves. It doesn’t matter what we do. It matters who we are. That’s what’s important.”
Nicholas will also be doing an exclusive VIP meet-and-greet before the game starting at just $140, which includes a table for 2, a guaranteed bobblehead/arm for each guest, a ticket for the Smokies game for each guest, a one hour meet-and-greet, a bbq buffet provided by The Batter’s Box Bar + Grill, and an opportunity for pictures and autographs.
Tickets for Henry Rowengartner Night can be purchased by going to smokiesbaseball.com, calling the Tennessee Smokies Sales Office at (865) 286-2300, or by visiting the box office window. The box office window is open Monday-Friday from 10:00am-5:00pm.
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES
The Tennessee Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the eight-team Double-A South League, Smokies baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America’s national pastime in the East Tennessee region for over 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com.