April 18, 2014

WFNY Night at Canal Park

Forty-plus came out to our annual event at Canal Park last night. As always the Aeros were gracious hosts, though for the first time since we’ve been getting together (our sixth year) the Aeros did not win on WFNY night. Good times were still had.

As always Jon Cole was there to document the evening in photos-

wfny scoreboard post [Read more...]

New look, ‘new ballgame’ for Akron Aeros and Canal Park

Akron aeros opening day

Everyone knows the clichés about first impressions. They last a lifetime, the first few seconds define a relationship, etc. But has anyone heard about using bubbles to make a second first impression?

Bubbles were the item of choice for the new-look, “new ballgame” Akron Aeros on their Opening Day game on Thursday night. The glitz and glamour of the changes to Canal Park in downtown Akron combined with a reinvigorated emphasis on fan experience. [Read more...]

The Diff: Market saturation and Indians attendance

In last week’s edition of The Diff, I shared a number of statistical notes about the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers. This week, I’m covering a topic I’ve been trying to get to for a while, but is perfect for right now: Cleveland Indians attendance.

The Diff

Cleveland Indians attendance is a topical news item this week. Firing right off the Nick Swisher arrival and the surprise signing of Michael Bourn, the Indians unveiled their new promotional schedule and then sold out of Opening Day tickets in six minutes on Monday. Excitement about the Tribe is as palpable this February as it’s been in the last decade — save maybe for right after ’07′s surprising playoff run. And that brings people to the age-old question: Will it show up in the ticket booths? Fortunately, I’m here to help — as I teased in Monday’s podcast. [Read more...]

Like Jimmy Haslam III in Cleveland, Ken Babby is a Sign of Hope for Akron Aeros Fans

Disclaimer: I worked for the Akron Aeros in various media capacities from 2008-2010. I maintained many close relationships with my former colleagues.

This November, two candidates are hoping for your votes in the polls as they strive to change the American political scene.

More likely, however, Ohioans and especially Northeast Ohio sports fans have been more inspired and excited about two new faces in town that are delivering sports hope by the bundles.

Jimmy Haslam III, the new official of the Cleveland Browns, has been all over the media in the last few weeks, starting his reign with a bang and doing all of the little things right. But he’s not the only new owner in town making people smile left and right.

Ken Babby, son of long-time NBA agent and executive Lon Babby, also took over ownership over the Double-A Akron Aeros baseball team this week. Terms of the agreement have not been announced, but the 32-year-old retired newspaper guru looks to be taking bold steps for the future over at Canal Park.

[Read more...]

Akron Aeros Showcase Star Wars-Themed Jerseys

Not too many words are needed to describe the photo below.

The Double-A Akron Aeros debuted the new uniforms for a special “Star Wars Night” yesterday at Canal Park. Combined with Star Wars fireworks and whatever “Jersey Pillow Giveaway Night” means, the team was able to attract 5,375 fans (h/t @nextyearinCLE), a pretty solid attendance for an August Saturday in downtown Akron.

Wearing the new uniforms, the team defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats by the score of 8-3. The jersey design above is via a press release on the team’s website, while outfielder Thomas Neal and reliever Shawn Armstrong both posted photos to their Twitter accounts.

Now, if only the team could keep up the alliteration by changing its name to the Akron Admiral Ackbars. That’s something I think everyone could get behind.

[Related: Contention Windows and Depth Charts: Analyzing the Cleveland Indians’ Future]

Proud Canadian Nick Weglarz Relishes Moment in Spotlight for Akron Aeros

Sunday was a special day for Nick Weglarz.

No, not just because it marked his 29th game out of 31 in the Akron Aeros starting lineup. And not only because he just finished one of the best months of his career.

But Sunday, July 1, was Canada Day. And for the 24-year-old and only Canadian on the Aeros team, that meant a special observance at Akron’s Canal Park.

Before the afternoon game, a local hockey fan sang the national anthem while draped in a red maple leaf flag. Throughout the game, Weglarz and teammates shared their love for Canada on the Aeros video board. There were Canadian random facts, plenty of beavers and many, many snippets of “Oh Canada”1.

[Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. Those lucky enough to be in the Canal Park press box also heard Akron Beacon Journal writer Stephanie Storm and I belt out the anthem, too, in the seventh inning. Weglarz laughed at the idea of that after the game. []

David Huff to Make Rehab Start for Aeros Tonight

Left-hander David Huff will make a rehab start on the road for the Double-A Akron Aeros tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Aeros will be facing off against the Reading Phillies.

Huff, 27, is recovering from a strained right hamstring that he suffered March 29 at the end of Indians spring training. He was one of the leading early candidates to win the No. 5 position in the starting rotation, but his injury sealed the deal for right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

Most recently, Huff pitched a simulated game last Monday at Canal Park in Akron. He is expected to pitch four innings or 60 pitches this evening, whichever comes first. He was eligible to come off the disabled list April 14, but no specific timetable is known for when he could return to Cleveland.

Huff holds a 15-25 career MLB record with a 5.50 ERA in 49 games. He was a supplemental first-round draft pick by the Indians in 2006 out of UCLA. He burst through the team’s farm system to make the club in mid-2009, but has struggled to find consistency against major-league hitters ever since.

He did shine in his first 6 starts last year with a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings pitched, before crashing down to earth again. Likely short-term options for Huff could be a return trip to Triple-A as a starter, a move to being a long-relief guy in Cleveland or possibly competing again against Gomez, who has just made one start so far.

Source: [Akron Aeros press release]

WFNY and Akron Aeros Get Together

Another great night at Canal Park, thanks to our hosts the Aeros and some terrific company! The Aeros won 6-0 as Matt Packer shut down the Altoona line-up. The big blow for Akron was a Beau Mills 3-run home run. But as always, the game was somewhat secondary to the company for this one. [Read more...]

Akron Aeros at it Again, Introducing Two More Hot Dogs

If the “Three Dog Night”  and “Nice 2 Meat You” Burger were not enough to fill you up on a trip to Canal Park, the Akron Aeros would like to introduce you to two more of their upcoming culinary creations at Canal Park.

Keeping up with their initial promise of an additional  menu item prior to the start of the season, the Aeros have opted to provide not just one new hot dog-based item for the month of February, but fans will have their choice of size now that the 2011 baseball season will feature the half-pound, 14-inch “Wonderdog” as well as the full pound, 16-inch “Eighth Wonder of the World,” both pictured above in comparison to a standard stadium hot dog.

Both of the last two items we discussed understandably pride themselves on girth.  This time around, it is not exactly the size that matters.  

[Read more...]

Akron Aeros Introduce the Three Dog Night (With Updated Calorie Count)

While John Madden is slicing up Turduckens with his bare hands and Ted Mosby is opting for an additional turkey instead of the duck and chicken, the Akron Aeros are taking a Thanksgiving Day delicacy and turning it up a notch.  Swapping the birds for dogs – hot dogs, that is.

Enter the everso esculent “Three Dog Night.” 

Named after the late-60s rock band that popularized the song “Joy to the World,” the Aeros will be serving up a trio of ballpark favorites…all in one edible item.  That is correct: the Three Dog Night will consist of a hot dog, inside of a bratwurst, inside of a kielbasa.  And if that isn’t enough, the entire “dog” will be stuffed inside of a hoagie roll and topped with sauerkraut.

You read that right. [Read more...]