Coble presents Grasshoppers with Congressional Record
For winning the 2011 South Atlantic League championship, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) today presented officials with the Greensboro Grasshoppers a congratulatory statement he inserted in the Congressional Record, the official journal of the House and Senate proceedings. Congressman Coble presented the award to Donald Moore, president and General Manager of the Grasshoppers, along with Katie Dannemiller, Vice President for Baseball Operations.
Rep. Coble presented the statement to the Grasshoppers in a ceremony at New Bridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro. The complete statement is listed below:
“Mr. Speaker, as Major League Baseball begins its post-season push, the professional minor leagues are concluding their seasons. The citizens of the Sixth District of North Carolina are celebrating the first championship since 1982 of the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League.
“The Hoppers –as their fans affectionately call them – were a dramatic, come-from-behind team all season. It took the final games of the season for the Hoppers to even qualify for post-season play. Greensboro split the first two games at home in the best-of-five championship series against the Savannah Sand Gnats. When the series moved to Savannah, the Hoppers lost game three to the Sand Gnats. It has been 11 years in the “Sally League” since a team leading two-games-to-one failed to clinch the championship. With Savannah needing only one more win to capture the South Atlantic League title, the Hoppers were facing the end of their season, when they pulled out a heart-stopping, 11-inning win to force a fifth and deciding game.
“Even in the championship game, Greensboro fell behind 2-0 early before cruising to 7-3 win to capture its first South Atlantic League championship in almost three decades. Hoppers Manager Andy Haines told the Greensboro News & Record that he could not pick a Most Valuable Player for the series. ‘There’s no way I could name anyone,’ Haines told the newspaper. ‘We had a lot of guys contribute. It was someone different every night.’
“All of the Grasshoppers can be proud of the regular season, along with the dramatic run to the title. Among those who were part of Greensboro’s first championship since 1982 included: pitchers Michael Brady, Alex Caldera, Jordan Conley, Grant Dayton, James Leverton, Miguel Mejia, Robert Morey, Gregory Nappo, Mike Ojala, Chris Shafer, Rett Varner, Kyle Winters, and Brett Zawacki. The catchers were Aaron Dudley, Wilfredo Gimenez, and Jacob Realmuto. The infielders included Daniel Black, Joe Bonadonna, Mark Canha, Ryan Fisher, and Noah Perio. The outfielders were Issac Galloway, Marcell Ozuna, James Wooster, and Christian Yelich. Only one of those on the disabled list, Zachary Neal, made it onto the post-season roster, but the others contributed during the year and they included Kevin Cravey, Alan Oaks, Jay Rogers, Adam Veres, and Sean Watson.
“Greensboro is one of the best-run minor league teams in the entire United States and it is because of an outstanding front office. This championship caliber group includes: Donald Moore, President/General Manager; Katie Dannemiller, Vice President, Baseball Operations; Jimmy Kesler, CFO; Tim Vangel, Assistant General Manager, Sales and Marketing; Jake Holloway, Assistant General Manager, Head Groundskeeper; Erich Dietz, Director of Ticketing; Todd Olson, Sales Associate; Murray White, Sales Associate; Joey Burridge, Sales Associate/Ticket Representative; Rosalee Brewer, Sales Associate; John Redhead, Executive Director of Business Development; Laura Damico, Director of Community and Event Development ; Shawn Russell, Director of Promotions/Production; Amanda Williams, Director of Creative Services; Yunhui Bradshaw, Director of Merchandise; Chad Green, Assistant Director of Stadium Operations; Kaid Musgrave, Assistant Groundskeeper; and Bob Perry, Clubhouse Director.
“Championship Skipper Andy Haines was ably assisted by Pitching Coach Willie Glen and Hitting Coach Kevin Randel. The players were kept in championship form all season long by Athletic Trainer Masa Fujimoto and Strength and Conditioning Coach Cody Clark.
“On behalf of the citizens of the Sixth District of North Carolina, we congratulate Greensboro Grasshoppers owners Cooper Brantley, Wes Elingburg and Len White and everyone affiliated with the Hoppers on providing its fans with so many dramatic moments during a memorable season. All of us who love the Hoppers are basking in the glow of the first South Atlantic League Championship since 1982. We may see some of today’s Grasshoppers playing for the parent club – the Florida Marlins – in the near future, but none of us will forget the 2011 season when Greensboro came from behind numerous times to win it all.”
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