The Hippo


Mar 17, 2018








Fisher Cats. Photo by Ric Zaenglein.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Where: Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive, Manchester
When: Next home game is Monday, Aug. 15, at 7:05 p.m. against the Binghamton Mets
Cost: $12 general admission for tickets to a game
Silver Knights
Getting a chance to see some local talent on a big stage is what the Futures Collegiate Baseball League is all about – and the Nashua Silver Knights make it a point every season to bring that to the Gate City.
The Silver Knights have been around since 2011 and are one of 10 teams throughout New England that gather eligible college baseball players for a summer season for members of their respected community to watch.
“We do a good job putting together local rosters, which is really cool,” team general manager Ronnie Wallace said, “so we have several players from Nashua, Merrimack, Hollis, Hudson, and a lot of others from the surrounding communities.”
Wallace said what makes the league unique is the special focus on New England baseball players. He said there is a league rule of maintaining at least 33 percent of the roster, but about 95 percent of this year’s Silver Knights team were made up of players living in the Greater Nashua area.
“It’s a really cool aspect, because generally when you go to a Fisher Cats game, you’re not going to see that same level of local talent, unless you get lucky,” Wallace said. “But it’s definitely really cool to see what kind of talent is around you.”
The team plays at the 2,600-seat Historic Holman Stadium, built during the Great Depression and home to the first ever integrated professional baseball game in the United States.
“Technically, Jackie Robinson broke the barrier, but he did so in Montreal for the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league affiliate,” Wallace said. “But at the same time, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe broke it [at Holman] for the Nashua Dodgers. The city has done a great job of commemorating them at the stadium with plaques.”
The Silver Knights have not won an FCBL league championship since winning it all in each of their first two seasons as a team, in 2011 and 2012. They are currently in a best of 3 game playoff battle with the rival Seacoast Mavericks, based out of Portsmouth. The Silver Knights are slated to begin a best of 3 championship series on Aug. 11 if they can defeat the Mavericks. Visit for the latest updates.

Coming out swinging
America's pastime anchors community in N.H.

By Matt Ingersoll

 The 6,500-seat Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in the heart of downtown Manchester averages about 4,800 fans at every Fisher Cats game. But the record for the largest turnout was set in May 2009, when more than 8,900 fans gathered around the large surrounding concourse to see Major League Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz in a rehabilitation assignment for the Red Sox Triple A-affiliate Portland Sea Dogs, who were in town to play against the Fisher Cats — the minor-league Double A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

It's that kind of major league-level young talent that makes the Double A baseball experience unique, according to Tyler Murray, broadcasting and media relations manager for the Fisher Cats.
“[Double A] is really the best spot you can be in besides the major leagues,” he said. “Because below that, you have much younger kids and Triple A is full of major leaguers not quite ready to be there yet. But Double A is full of prospects, and those are really the types of players that fans gravitate toward. You are basically looking at guys who are guaranteed to be playing in the major leagues very soon.”
Since the team's first season in Manchester in 2004, 82 Fisher Cats players have gone on to play for teams in the major leagues. Murray said with the Double A League teams rapidly becoming a springboard for players straight to Major League teams, several of the Toronto Blue Jays' current stars — pitcher Marcus Stroman and outfielder Kevin Pillar, just to name a few — were regular members of the Fisher Cats just a couple of years ago. And current Fisher Cats players like home run leader Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez are expected to break into the major leagues very soon, he said.
When the Blue Jays picked up star players in recent years, like current Red Sox ace David Price and former Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, at least four or five Fisher Cats players were involved in those trades.
“It's definitely cool to see how [those players] are involved in cornerstone and season-changing trades,” Murray said, “and to see how quickly the players establish themselves. That's why it's fun for us.”
But coming to games is fun even if you're not that big a fan of baseball or don't follow minor-league sports.
“We try to give everyone else a reason to come to the ballpark every game, and to be a fun and affordable family-friendly option within Manchester and its surrounding areas,” Fisher Cats Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jenna Raizes said.
Eight of the 15 remaining home games for this season will wrap up with a fireworks show courtesy of Atlas Fireworks, for example.
During the Fisher Cats' upcoming series at home against the Binghamton Mets from Aug. 15 to Aug. 18, special back-to-school promotions will be offered, including a pencil bag giveaway on Aug. 15 and a drawstring backpack giveaway on Aug. 18, when the first 1,000 kids who come to the park for the game will receive free Fisher Cats-branded bags.
Feeling lucky when you go to get a ballpark hot dog? Before the game on Aug. 17, Fisher Cats personnel will hide $1,000 in cash inside several hot dog wrappers that will be split into $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills.
Get ready to witness the possible breaking of a world record right in New Hampshire on Aug. 21, for the largest ever balloon swordfight. Dan Staples of Dan's Balloons in Nashua will come to the park about an hour before the Fisher Cats play the Altoona Curve to make balloon swords for the first 1,000 kids that make it to the game.
The Fisher Cats will conclude the season with Fan Appreciation Day, during their final game on Sept. 5 against the Portland Sea Dogs. Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster is expected to make a special appearance at this game.
“It's always our way to say thank you for a great season,” Raizes said. “We give away so many prizes, gift cards, gift certificates, and tickets for next season. We try to keep our fans engaged as we can. We even try to show appreciation for our players too.”
With general admission tickets starting at just $12 and accessible parking all around the ballpark within a 10-block radius, Raizes said, the feedback has often been that fans see going to Fisher Cats games as an affordable way to have a really good time. 
“The general idea is we have something for everybody here, even if you're not a diehard baseball fan,” Murray said. 

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