As the East Tennessee State University baseball team plays against nationally ranked Florida Gulf Coast this weekend, Little Leaguers from around the region will have an opportunity to see the collegiate three-game series played at Thomas Stadium for free.
Dubbed Little League Weekend, children 13 and under, dressed in their team uniforms, have been invited to ETSU’s new baseball stadium Friday, Saturday and Sunday to watch the games at no cost.
“All they have to do is wear their Little League uniform. It can be a uniform from this year, it can be a uniform from last year. We just want as many Little Leaguers and young people as we can to ... be able to come out and have an opportunity to watch ETSU baseball,” Michael White, ETSU associate athletic director for communications, said.
“It’s an example of some of the things our president, Dr. Brian Noland, and our interim athletic director, Dr. Richard Sander, have talked about extensively in regards to wanting ETSU athletics to continue to engage our region and to be a positive for those out there who want to be engaged on our campus.”
White said Little League Weekend is also a good opportunity to get local kids interested in ETSU athletics and to showcase the new stadium, just as they did earlier this month by hosting a free baseball clinic.
“We reached out to the Little Leagues in the area ... primarily through the Johnson City American Little League, but we opened it to all Little Leaguers throughout the area,” he said. “We had over 250 Little Leaguers attend, along with their parents. We have done different types of promotions in the past to reach out to young players in the area and kids. The reaction of people coming to the free clinic was wonderful and we think this is just going to grow and continue to build.”
According to an ETSU news release, in addition to the Little League Weekend promotion, fans who send in photos of themselves or their children playing Little League baseball may see their submitted pictures appear on the scoreboard throughout the weekend.
White said reaching out to the younger generation is key to gaining interest in ETSU athletics.
“We think a key to that is building a fan base that’s younger, is to get children to become fans of ETSU athletics,” he said. “It’s been very good for all of us to have an opportunity to do this.”
The Bucs will face Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
To email photos for possible scoreboard selections, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on ETSU baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com.