Connect with us

Northside

Former Braves star Andruw Jones coming to Richmond for Flying Squirrels’ opening night

The five-time NL All-Star and former Richmond Braves outfielder will help ring in 2020 season at The Diamond.

Avatar

Published

on

Former MLB standout Andruw Jones will be the special guest for Opening Night as the Richmond Flying Squirrels begin their home schedule at The Diamond on April 16, the team announced on Wednesday. The five-time National League All-Star will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs for fans.

Opening Night with the Flying Squirrels, presented by Virginia Birth Father Registry and Chick-fil-A, will include dueling fireworks to ring in the new season. The first pitch between the Flying Squirrels and Bowie Baysox is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the ballpark gates open at 5 p.m.

“Opening Night in Richmond at The Diamond is a very special thing with 10 straight sellouts and a long list of popular ceremonial first pitch participants, some with ties to the Braves’ history here in Richmond,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “Andruw Jones is certainly one of them. Many remember him for his hitting prowess, but his 10 Gold Gloves in the outfield is a high standard. We look forward to welcoming him to Richmond as we pursue our 11thconsecutive Opening Night sellout at The Diamond on April 16.”

Jones played 17 seasons in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. A star in Atlanta for 12 seasons, Jones earned 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1998-2007 and was later selected to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. In 2005, Jones won the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award while leading the majors with 51 homers and pacing the National League with 128 RBIs.

Prior to his major league stardom, Jones suited up for the Richmond Braves in 1996. His stop in Richmond lasted 12 games, during which he hit .378 with five homers and 12 RBIs before earning a call to the majors in mid-August at just 19 years old.

The Willemstad, Curacao native hit .254 in his 2,196 career MLB games, adding 434 home runs over 17 years from 1996-2012.

The Flying Squirrels’ first 10 home openers have all sold out, including franchise-record crowds of 9,845 fans in each of the last two years. Since the franchise’s first season in 2010, the Flying Squirrels have welcomed a special guest to help open the home schedule at The Diamond. Jones joins the list of sports stars and dignitaries to celebrate the start of the new baseball season in Richmond.

Previous guests include:

  • 2019 – Ryan Klesko
  • 2018 – Fred McGriff & Gov. Ralph Northam (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2017 – David Justice (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2016 – Jerome Bettis
  • 2015 – Will Wade (caught by Gov. Terry McAuliffe)
  • 2014 – Michael Robinson
  • 2013 – Javy Lopez & Ryan Kerrigan
  • 2012 – Dale Murphy
  • 2011 – James Farrior, Brandon Rozzell & Chris Mooney
  • 2010 – Gov. Bob McDonnell

Information on group packages for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 are available here or by contacting the front office at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

Comments

comments

Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Northside

Richmond Flying Squirrels looking to recognize community all-stars making a difference during pandemic

The Squirrels are partnering with Elephant Insurance to recognize individuals in the area making a positive difference.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

The Richmond Flying Squirrels and Elephant Insurance have launched the Community All-Star of the Week program, and they are turning to fans for help in finding nominees. The Flying Squirrels want to recognize members of the local community, such as healthcare workers, first responders, and teachers, helping to ease the impacts of COVID-19.

The program is open to nominations of anyone who is making a positive impact around the greater-Richmond community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nominations can be submitted here.

“While there is no action on the field at the moment, there are plenty of All-Stars working in our community keeping us safe and healthy,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We appreciate Elephant Insurance joining in our program to showcase these Community All-Stars with this great program. Stay positive and we hope to be back together soon physically. In the meantime, we will continue to do all we can to bring our fans and community together any way we possibly can.”

“We really value our partnership with the Flying Squirrels and we are proud to support the team’s efforts to recognize our local heroes and support local businesses during this time,” said Alberto Schiavon, CEO of Elephant Insurance.  “This is a fun way that we can work together to give back to deserving community members and we’re looking forward to the weeks ahead.” 

The selected Community All-Stars will be recognized across the Flying Squirrels’ social media channels, and they will be presented with a gift card to a local restaurant as well as a Flying Squirrels prize pack.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Government

Belmont Golf Course renovations in motion in Lakeside

Site work started in early May as part of a $5 million project to revive Henrico County’s landmark public golf course in Lakeside.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

Site work started in early May as part of a $5 million project to revive Henrico County’s landmark public golf course in Lakeside.

The Board of Supervisors approved a 20-year lease in December, allowing The First Tee of Greater Richmond to upgrade and operate the facility. The agreement ensures Belmont will remain affordable and accessible to the community while freeing the county from operating losses due to years of declining play.

“We’re just thrilled to see the project move forward,” said Neil Luther, director of Henrico’s Division of Recreation and Parks. “The last thing we wanted to see was to have the lease take effect and the property sit fallow for months and months on end because of the COVID-19 shutdown.

“With work underway, it’s evident that the project is moving forward and will be done this time next year.”

Belmont is being restored in the tradition of architect A.W. Tillinghast, who designed the course – then-known as Hermitage Country Club – in 1917. It hosted the 1949 PGA Championship, which was won by Virginian Sam Snead.

default

Under its new design, Belmont will feature 12 championship holes created by restoring existing holes 7 through 18. Holes 5 through 6 will be converted into a 35,000-square-foot putting course plus a six-hole, par-3 “short course.” Each hole will range from 80 to 170 yards and be based on Tillinghast holes throughout the country.

Existing holes 1 through 4 will be turned into a driving range, wedge range and short-game practice area. The project also includes an upgraded pro shop, improved concessions and space for youth programs.

“The course, when it comes back, is going to be brand new in terms of quality,” Luther said.

Brent Schneider, CEO of The First Tee of Greater Richmond, envisions Belmont being an inclusive place “where the history of American golf meets the future of American golf.” The nonprofit is a chapter of The First Tee, a national organization that promotes youth participation in golf and values, such as honesty and integrity.

“Our vision is to strengthen the character of our community, and we feel like, with this property, we’re going to be able to do that,” Schneider said.

“Whether you’ve been playing all your life or you’re brand new and want to come try it out, there’s an entry point at this facility for everyone,” he added.

The First Tee of Greater Richmond expects to invest $4.25 million in Belmont, with Henrico contributing $750,000 previously set aside for course improvements.

default

Established in 1998, The First Tee of Greater Richmond operates the Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course in Chesterfield County and the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range in Richmond.

The group enlisted MacCurrach Golf and Love Golf Design as the contractor and architect, respectively, for Belmont. The first phase of work is focusing on restoring the championship holes, with renovated greens, improved bunkers and better drainage and irrigation.

Scot Sherman, lead architect with Love Golf Design, said the underground systems will be “light years beyond what was here before.”

“You see the turf. You see the bunkers, but you don’t often see what’s underneath,” he said.

With its improvements, Belmont will be designed to challenge experienced golfers and nurture the next generation of players. In addition to the community, the facilities will be available to Henrico’s high school golf teams, the Henrico Police Athletic League and other community groups.

“This is obviously a historic golf course, but there wasn’t a lot of variety here,” said Mark Love, a principal with Love Golf Design. “There wasn’t an opportunity to hit balls on the driving range and take lessons. All of the programing that First Tee does involves all aspects of the game. I think the kids have an opportunity to learn in a nonintimidating environment and work their way up to the bigger golf course, and I think that’s a great opportunity.”

The First Tee of Greater Richmond detailed its plans and answered questions from the community in a presentation delivered in March via YouTube due to the coronavirus.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Richmond Flying Squirrels to offer ballpark food pickup with “Funville Foodie Fridays”

Miss the Flying Squirrels experience? Ballpark foods, beer, and wine will be available curbside at The Diamond on Fridays beginning this week.

RVAHub Staff

Published

on

The Richmond Flying Squirrels will have ballpark food available for curbside pickup with Funnville Foodie Fridays on deck at The Diamond. The first Funnville Foodie Friday will be this Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pick-up time slot reservations and food orders can be submitted here. Orders can be placed until 5 p.m. on Wednesday each week. Online payment options are also encouraged to limit contact.

Fans will be able to enjoy their favorite Flying Squirrels concession items, including Squirrelly Fries, burgers, chicken tenders, and more.

Cans of the Flying Squirrels’ new official beer, Richmond Rally Cap, as well as the team’s new wine, Feelin’ Squirrelly, will also be available for pick-up for customers 21 and older. Beer and wine pick-ups are also available every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We miss our fans terribly, and we know one of the things they miss right now is our Funnville food and beverages,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We look forward to being able to give them the opportunity on Fridays to enjoy that through safe, social distance-oriented curbside pickup right here at The Diamond.”

Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, mild and hot sausages, and bratwursts are all available as individual items or as part of combo meals, which include a regular Squirrelly Fry and a 20 oz. bottled beverage.

For pick-up, customers are asked to enter The Diamond’s parking lot on Squirrels Way, where an attendant will direct vehicles to the order pick-up location.

The Flying Squirrels Food & Beverage staff has put additional safety measures into place and will be following all COVID-19 safety protocols.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather

Events Calendar