Kane County Cougars’ 25th Anniversary Season Starts Today!
The Kane County Cougars will treat fans to a variety of special promotions and ballpark fun for the upcoming 25th silver anniversary season of Cougars baseball, which kicks off on Thursday, April 9 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The first 1,500 fans entering the ballpark that evening will receive an Opening Day cap, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank. It’s also a Thirsty Thursday, presented by Miller Lite, with $1 select beers and sodas. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. that evening and tickets are available by calling (630) 232-8811 or ordering online by clicking HERE.
Voting is underway at kccougars.com for fans to select a “Silver Anniversary Team”. The ballot includes some of the Cougars’ most popular alumni who have achieved greatness in the Major Leagues including Edgar Renteria, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Dempster and Adrian Gonzalez. To date, a total of 128 former Cougars have reached the big leagues.
On the field this season, the Cougars team will wear commemorative silver caps and silver jerseys during select Cougars games. The Cougars’ special 25th anniversary logo will be painted and displayed on the field this season as well.
Fans will be treated to a new state-of-the-art video board this season and as part of the Cougars’ game presentation, fans will see numerous “Happy 25th Anniversary” videos including former Cougars, members of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and special friends of the Cougars organization over the years. Also, the Cougars will debut a new intro video that will be played before each game this season that reflects the organization’s 25 years.
Sponsored by Comfort Inn & Suites of Geneva, one of the Cougars’ between-innings promotions will be the High/Low Challenge where contestants will attempt to guess the price of an item from 25 years ago, such as a gallon of gasoline or a postage stamp. Cantigny Park will also be sponsoring a “This Day In History” in-game promotion.
Earlier this week, the Cougars announced several new food and drink items as well as some fan favorites. Considered the Cougars’ signature item, the barbeque pork chop sandwich will be available at the Wannemaker’s Outside Grill, located on the first base side of the ballpark concourse. The boneless butterfly pork chop is now a 10-ounce instead of a 6-ounce chop and is smothered in barbeque sauce for fans to enjoy.
Fans born in the Cougars’ inaugural season of 1991 will receive a free reserved seat ticket. This offer is valid for any game this season and a photo ID with proof of age must be shown at the box office windows in order to receive a complimentary ticket.
“Throwback Tuesdays”, which include all Tuesday games from June through September, features individual ticket pricing from the Cougars’ inaugural season – $5 box seats, $4 reserved seats and $3 lawn seats.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary season, the Cougars are currently offering a $250 party suite special for April and May non-fireworks dates. The suite package includes 20 tickets for a private suite and space is extremely limited. Fans who are interested in reserving a suite can contact the Cougars at (630) 232-8811.
Additional 25th anniversary promotions and events will be announced at a later date. For more information on the Kane County Cougars and the organization’s upcoming 25th anniversary season which begins on April 9, fans can visit kccougars.com. Fans are also encouraged to ‘like’ the Cougars on Facebook while following the team via Twitter and Instagram at kccougars.
SOURCE: Kane County Cougars
Opening Day Roster
The Kane County Cougars, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, have announced the organization’s Opening Day roster. The incoming group of 25 players arrived from the D-backs spring training complex in Arizona yesterday afternoon and will take the field for Opening Night this Thursday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. against Cedar Rapids at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Cougars manager Mark Grudzielanek begins his first season as a minor league skipper and the former Major Leaguer will be accompanied in the dugout by pitching coach Doug Bochtler, hitting coach Vince Harrison, coach Audo Vicente, athletic trainer Rafael Freitas and strength and conditioning coach Sean Light
A total of 11 players on the Cougars’ roster spent all or a portion of last season with the Short-A Hillsboro team that compiled a short-season best 48-28 regular season record while winning the Northwest League Championship. Further, the Cougars’ roster includes 11 players who spent a portion of last season at Class-A South Bend, which went 83-56 in 2014 – the best record in the Eastern Division and the second-best mark in the Midwest League behind Kane County’s historic 91-49 record.
Arizona’s 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th round selections from the 2014 draft are on the roster including right-handed pitcher Brent Jones (4th round, 2014), who split last season between Class-A South Bend (5-2, 2.80 ERA in 8 starts) and Hillsboro (2-1, 3.90 ERA in 6 starts) for an overall 7-3 record and 3.29 ERA. Jones attended Cornell University and was named All-Ivy League Honorable Mention in 2014. Reliever Zac Curtis (6th round, 2014) led the Northwest League with 14 saves last season and was a mid-season All-Star. Six-foot-seven right-handed pitcher Jeferson Mejia was acquired by the D-backs in an off-season trade with the Cubs that sent a ’14 Cougar, Zack Godley, to the Arizona organization in exchange for catcher Miguel Montero. Mejia posted a 2.48 ERA in 12 games with the rookie-level Arizona Cubs in 2014.
Offensively, outfielder Grant Heyman (8th round, 2014) was 7th in the Northwest League with a .315 batting average for Hillsboro while driving in a team-high 37 runs. Catcher Stryker Trahan (1st round, 2012) hit 13 home runs with 52 RBI at South Bend last season. Trahan spent a majority of last season in the Midwest League before being transferred to Hillsboro, where he added another six home runs to his 2014 total of 19. Trahan is rated the 17th-best prospect in the D-backs farm system by MLB.com. A pair of infielders who played 80 or more games with South Bend last season return to the Midwest League. Marty Herum (non-drafted free agent, 2013) batted .273 with 4 home runs and 38 RBI and was named a Midwest League All-Star while another South Bend infielder, Joe Munoz (2nd round, 2012) hit 9 home runs while driving in 44 runs last season. Outfielder Chuck Taylor (4th round, 2012) played in 109 games with South Bend last season and batted .285 with 50 RBI. Eighteen-year old switch-hitting shortstop Sergio Alcantara (non-drafted free agent, 2012) played in 70 games at Rookie-Advanced Missoula last season and recorded an on-base percentage of .361. Alcantara is rated the 15th-best prospect in the D-backs farm system by MLB.com.
Short Hops: Baseball America lists four players in the publication’s top 30 D-backs prospects: Sergio Alcantara (#20), Stryker Trahan (#21), Jeferson Mejia (#23) and Brent Jones (#25). Right-handed pitcher Mason McCullough (5th round, 2014) participated in the 2014 NCAA Division II College World Series with Lander University and the 2013 NCAA Division I College World Series with the University of North Carolina. Another right-handed pitcher, Markus Solbach (minor league free agent, 2014) was born in Dormagen, Germany and threw a pair of complete games with South Bend last season, including a nine-inning, three-hit shutout on July 20 against Peoria. Left-handed pitcher Jared Miller (11th round, 2014) pitched in last season’s College World Series with Vanderbilt.
The Cougars will have two days of team workouts before opening the franchise’s 25th anniversary season with Opening Night this Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark against Cedar Rapids. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. The first 1,500 fans entering the ballpark that evening will receive an Opening Day cap, courtesy of Fifth Third Bank. It’s also a Thirsty Thursday, presented by Miller Lite, with $1 select beers and sodas. Fans can participate in a pre-game autograph session and run the bases following the game. Tickets are available by calling (630) 232-8811 or ordering online at kccougars.com.
For more information on the Kane County Cougars and the organization’s upcoming 25th anniversary season which begins on April 9, fans can visit kccougars.com. Fans are also encouraged to ‘like’ the Cougars on Facebook while following the team via Twitter and Instagram at kccougars.
Opening Day Roster (as of 4/6/15)
SOURCE: Kane County Cougars