Hickory Crawdads

Hickory is a baseball town. The region is home to several youth leagues, middle and high school teams, Catawba Valley Community College’s two-year old nationally ranked Junior College team and the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball team, but at the top of this baseball ladder is the area’s Minor League Team: The Hickory Crawdads.

The Hickory Crawdads are the Single A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The ‘Dads (as many locals call them) play a 140-game regular season; 70 of these games are played under the big lights at L.P. Frans Stadium easily spotted from Highway 321 and several parts of Lake Hickory.

Hickory has watched the team and its players grow and develop since the franchise’s start in 1993. The Hickory Crawdads have watched 99 of its players move on to the big leagues, including several fan favorites like Magglio Ordonez and Jose Bautista. The ‘Dads also won the South Atlantic League Championship in both 2002 and 2004. While the team has had tremendous success in the scope of baseball for individual players and as a team, the Crawdads’ focus is on family entertainment and community involvement.

“Affordable family fun and entertainment is our top-priority,” said Hickory Crawdads General Manager Mark Seaman. “We make sure everyone can afford to get into the game and enjoy their experience once they get here.”

Hickory Crawdads games have brought families of the community together since its opening in 1993. Children spend hours of their summer nights chasing foul balls, tugging on the tail of Conrad the Crawdad, riding the carousel and enjoying the sweets every child is entitled to at a ball game. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy food, drinks, post-game entertainment and an overall quiet night at the ballpark.

The list of promotions at L.P. Frans Stadium is endless. Nearly every home game has special offers or giveaways ranging from Conrad Bobble Claw Night where fans receive a free “bobble claw” doll to “Craw Moms” Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Local corporate sponsors give away gift cards and merchandise to winners of between-inning competitions and every game can be attended for close to nothing because of Crawdad discounts.

All Catawba Valley Community College students can attend games for free with a valid student I.D. and children can join the “Claw Club” and get season tickets for only $29. On Wednesday Nights the Crawdads have “Unemployment Wednesday” where those less-fortunate members of our community get four free tickets to the game by presenting their North Carolina Employment Security Commission (NCESC) debit card or a printed statement from their NCESC Internet account at the Crawdads Ticket Office.

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