Black Bears offer new food, themed jerseys for upcoming season

GRANVILLE — With Opening Day less than a month away, the West Virginia Black Bears announced the team’s promotional schedule for the 2019 season.
Opening Day is June 14 against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Included in this season’s promotions are nine fireworks nights, all mostly held on Friday nights, said General Manager Matt Drayer. The two lone exceptions this will year will be June 20 — West Virginia Day — and July 7, a Sunday.
“We’re on the road July 1 through the 6,” Drayer said during a press conference Thursday at the Monongalia County Ballpark.
The team will again auction themed jerseys. Drayer said this year’s jersey themes include Star Wars, the military, Super Heroes and wizards — think Harry Potter. And then there’s the Moonshine series, where the team will wear jerseys featuring a still.
“It ties into the historic nature of West Virginia,” he said. That series is scheduled for July 23-25 when the team plays the Batavia Muckdogs.
Bobbleheads of WVU football legend Jeff Hostetler will be given away to the first 1,000 fans July 11. A bobblehead of former Black Bear and current Pittsburgh Pirate, Kevin Kramer to the first 1,000 fans who come to the Aug. 8 game.
“We gave 1,000 bobbleheads away in 15 minutes,” Drayer said. “We want all games here to be an event.”
New food offerings include a keto pizza, barbecue chicken sandwich, local craft beers and low-carb beer options. The team will also sell a 20-ounce beer cup in the shape of a bat.
“It’s refillable,” Drayer said.
New to the ballpark this year is a new Batter’s Eye in the center field. The blue facing of the new eye — taken from Hawley Field — allows for better tracking of the ball from the batter’s perspective and acts as a backdrop for better pitch visibility. A new awning was added over the Homerun Porch on the concourse beyond the right field wall.
Also new are two promotional nights. Fortnite Night July 31, where two Fortnite XBOX One bundles will be given away. PAW Patrol Night, based on the children’s TV show, is slated for Aug. 13.
Games Monday through Thursday will start at 6:35 p.m. Sunday games will begin at 1:05 p.m. or 4:05 p.m. with one 7:05 p.m. start on July 7, a fireworks night. Friday and Saturday games will start at 7:05 p.m.
And finally, Julia’s Pepperoni Roll Race — a ballpark staple since 2015 — will have some changes after the end of this season. Mascot Double-Stuffed Dave, who has never won a race, will retire at the end of the season.

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