Monday, September 17, 2012

Up Next: Game Day

I had the pleasure of dining with the television announcers last night, George Grande and Jim Kaat. We introduced them to Durham and the American Tobacco Campus at the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe. I believe we made a good impression, and I was certainly impressed with the dinner conversation. These guys are great story tellers! 

Kaat pitched in the Majors from 1959-83, won 16 Gold Gloves and has been broadcasting for over two decades. It seems to me that he remembers absolutely everyone he played with or against, every game and everything that has happened during his rich career. Grande was one of the first ESPN anchors and has done play-by-play for the Yankees, Cardinals and Reds. We were in the company of baseball broadcasting royalty!

Mandy Mitchell at TV5 Sports posted a blog about the game. She will join Grande and Kaat on the air Tuesday night. And here's our latest news release:


Triple-A Champion To Be Crowned In Nationally Televised Showdown At The DBAP

 DURHAM, NC – The matchup for the 2012 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game has been set. After sealing victories in their respective league championship series, the Pawtucket Red Sox and Reno Aces will square off in the one-game, winner-take-all Triple-A final at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday, September 18th. The game will be televised live at 7:00pm on NBC Sports Network, with veteran broadcaster George Grande handling play-by-play duties alongside longtime Major League pitcher Jim Kaat.

The 2012 International League Champions are the Pawtucket Red Sox, top affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Pawtucket took home their first Governor’s Cup since 1984 by sweeping the Charlotte Knights in the IL Finals. After securing the IL Wild Card berth with a 79-65 regular season record, the PawSox knocked off their chief rival in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to advance in the first round.

The Reno Aces will represent the Pacific Coast League in Tuesday’s Triple-A National Championship Game. After dispatching Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs, Reno topped the Omaha Storm Chasers in the PCL Finals to claim the league’s crown. Led by manager Brett Butler and 2011’s third overall draft pick RHP Trevor Bauer, the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate finished the 2012 regular season with an 81-63 record to win the PCL Pacific North Division title. The Aces will serve as the home team during the game, as the Pacific Coast League won this year’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo, NY.

Country music superstar and American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will headline the National Championship Game festivities, as the Garner, NC native will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and perform “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th Inning Stretch.

Tickets for the 2012 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on September 18th are available online at, by phone at 919.956.BULL, or in person at the DBAP ticket office.

The TV production truck rolled in Monday afternoon.
(I sacrificed my parking space.)