New Ballpark Name, 2012 Season Finally Underway

Happy New Year—-

Cooper says "Welcome to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark." Well, if he could talk he would say that. Remember, he is a Hawk. A RedHawk. A Red-tailed Hawk. You get the idea.

Let me first apologize for the delay in the first post of the season. As you may or may not know, we have been really quiet and bored (sarcasm) here in Bricktown the last few days. In order to save space and time, let me summarize Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Media Relations and Broadcasting department:

Monday, April 2 -

  • Morning show appearance on News 4 with Ali Meyer previewing Opening Night
  • Morning show appearance on Fox 25 with Terre Gables previewing Opening Night

Channel 4 anchors Ali Meyer and Kent Ogle wear RedHawks hats during the morning news on Monday, April 2. (photo by Ali Meyer)

Tuesday, April 3 -

  • Media Day, including headshots, media interviews 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • First team workout on the field at 6:00 p.m.
  • Behind-the-scenes preparation for Wednesday news conference at the ballpark
  • Media Advisory announcing news conference released at 9:00 p.m.

All players posed for headshots and worked on video board elements to be used during player introductions. Writers and news outlets also had availability during this afternoon in a session closed to the public.

RedHawks Manager Tony DeFrancesco addressing the media for the first time in 2012 during Media Day.

Wednesday, April 4 -

  • Visited ClearChannel, making appearances on morning shows on four different stations
  • Led a news conference with RedHawks and Newcastle Casino executives to rename the ballpark-11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Oklahoma Gazette prints new ballpark food review: http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-14840-grand-slam-grub.html
  • ISDN lines installed in radio booths (sigh of relief) 3:00 p.m.
  • Front office introductory meeting with team, 5:30 p.m.
  • Team workout on the field 6:00 p.m.

ClearChannel OKC lobby. AM 1340 The Game is the flagship home of RedHawks Baseball.

Thursday, April 5 -

  • Scheduled wake-up call 3:30 a.m.
  • The Oklahoman runs news story on news conference and reaction from on front page
  • The Oklahoman also runs season preview stories in sports section, including player capsules and food preview: http://newsok.com/redhawk-owners-hope-the-way-to-the-hearts-of-fans-is-through-their-stomachs/article/3663558
  • Channel 9 morning show in RF deck (planned well prior to naming) 5-7 a.m.;
  • Talks begin in planning a second new ballpark name to be announced before Opening Night game –  sometime late morning;
  • Recorded last-second commercial for game broadcast, re-wrote radio broadcast intros; 2:15 p.m.
  • Media begins arriving to cover sports story of Opening Day 3:00 p.m.,
  • More media from those same outlets start to cover breaking news of stadium name change from Wednesday 3:30-4:00 p.m.
  • Cell phone and office voicemail start blowing up from outlets looking for statements on a second new stadium name, story that had not been announced yet; 4:15 p.m.
  • New name “Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark” crafted during early afternoon, agreed upon by all involved parties and released at 5:00 p.m.;
  • Interviewed Manager Tony DeFrancesco for pregame show at 5:15 p.m.;
  • RedHawks President/GM Michael Byrnes answers questions from media inside Warren Spahn Gate at 5:30 p.m.;
  • Start filling in scorebook at 6:00 p.m.;
  • RedHawks Radio on the air at 6:35 p.m.;
  • First pitch at 7:05 p.m.
  • Left stadium at 12:05 a.m. and yes, I had a couple of beers before bed.

"News 9 This Morning" broadcast live from the Devon Energy Deck in RF from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. on Thursday.

RedHawks President and General Manager Michael Byrnes answers questions from news media only 30 minutes after announcement of "Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark" name.

Opening Night was packed, with an announced crowd of 9,021. Many seats were pre-sold, but the buzz surrounding the ballpark name, new food options and Opening Night made the walk-up crowd massive as many just wanted to see what all the talk was about. There was a buzz in the ballpark that night, and I don't mean from the dollar beer either.

I don’t remember much about the Opening Night game broadcast, except for the fact that it was on and we lost after a furious ninth inning rally.

On Friday night, the Hawks crushed Memphis 12-3, with Aneury Rodriguez striking out nine Redbirds and Justin Ruggiano going 3×4 with 2 RBI. Fernando Martinez hit a first inning, three-run home run of the right field second deck. I like that guy already.

Media Relations intern Kale Larkin started Friday as well, and he will work weekends in April before coming on board for all home games after school is out in May. He is studying sports media at Oklahoma State and will work at a local golf course in the mornings before coming into home games in the early afternoon. He should have never told us about the golf course part, as he might become the most popular guy in the clubhouse.

I’ll post Saturday lineups shortly…

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