GRAND CHUTE, WI - The 2014 Leadoff Experience will be an historic one for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. For the first time ever, the pre-season banquet that was started by the Fox Cities Foxes in 1958 is set for the home stadium of Appleton Professional Baseball. This year's Leadoff Experience will be held in the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium banquet facility on the club level on Wednesday, April 2. Milwaukee Brewers legend Gorman Thomas will be the special guest for the evening.
The doors to the event open at 5:30 pm. There will be a scheduled autograph session with the 2014 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and a social hour from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm. An interactive question and answer program with the players and coaching staff of the Timber Rattlers and Gorman Thomas will follow dinner.
"We are excited to host this year's Leadoff Experience," said Timber Rattlers president Rob Zerjav. "We are looking forward to showcasing our Club Level during this tradition as a kickoff to our 20th Anniversary Season. That we have a guest like Gorman Thomas for the event makes it a true treat for our fans."
Thomas was a Milwaukee Brewers outfielder from 1973-1976, 1978-1983, and again in 1986. He is fourth on the Brewers' career home runs list with 208. Thomas, an All-Star in 1981, led the American League in home runs with 45 in 1979 and tied Reggie Jackson for the AL lead in homers with 39 in 1982. He also spent parts of his 13-year Major League career with the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners and hit a total of 268 home runs.
The Seattle Pilots selected Thomas in the first round of the 1969 draft out of James Island High School in Charleston, South Carolina. Thomas spent 1970 and 1971 playing in the Midwest League. He was a member of the Clinton Pilots in 1970 and hit 31 home runs in 1971 to help the Danville Warriors to a Midwest League Championship victory over the Appleton Foxes.
Dinner will consist of a house garden salad with parmesan peppercorn ranch dressing, garlic dinner rolls, beef tenderloin tips with mushroom gravy, bruschetta chicken with fresh mozzarella, buttermilk mashed potatoes, rustic veggies and a gourmet dessert.
Tickets for the 2014 Leadoff Experience are available now at $35 per person.
Reservations for tickets may be made by contacting Mary Robinson at (920) 733-4152. Fans may also stop at the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Box Office to purchase tickets. Space is limited for the event. Fans are urged to make their reservations as soon as possible.
The Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Box Office is open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Ticket packages for Timber Rattlers games are available in person, by calling (800) WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152 or online through timberrattlers.com. Tickets for groups of 20 or more may be ordered in person or over the phone. Individual game tickets for the 2014 Timber Rattlers season are on sale now.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.