Twins get ready for new season

By Julie Fann
Star staff

The Elizabethton Twins Baseball Commission on Monday discussed preparation for the upcoming season as well as results from a recent Appalachian League meeting held in Johnson City and hosted by the Cardinals. Parks and Recreation board director, Mike Mains, mentioned options available to the Elizabethton minor league team should the Twins be contracted.
   "Right off the bat, we have two teams that are very interested and that basically said that they would come; that's the Pittsburgh Pirates and also the Toronto Bluejays. Those two teams are currently ready to say, 'Yes, we'll come on in,'" Mains said.
   Mains also addressed a joint campaign between Tennessee's minor league baseball teams and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to generate funding for the sport. The Twins plan to participate in several promotional events for the state at this year's games, including "Booze it; Lose It" night and "Buckle-Up for Safety" night.
   The state will also be helping the Twins develop a mascot, and they will give 2,000 "soft" baseballs to throw into the stands. The baseballs will have the joint campaign logo written on them.
   Additionally, the state will give 10,000 baseballs to the Twins to give away this year and next. "That's going to come in very, very handy when we go up to the Elizabethton Housing Agency. I can take those baseballs and have them autographed for the kids," Mains said.
   The commission will soon set dates for its own promotional nights. Last year, Carter County Motors provided a used car as a prize, and Uniglobe, an area travel agency, gave away a trip to Aruba. Other participating promotional acts that plan to return are the World Famous Monkey Boy, the Mayberry Deputy, and the Blues Brothers comedic act.
   Mains said that O'Brien Field, which underwent much needed irrigation due to dryness, is ready for the season to begin. He said the park has applied chemicals to the field and that only the lights need repair.
   Three players will return for the upcoming season. They are Edgardo LaBron, Travis Bowyer and Jerod Hemus. Two weeks before the first game, Mains will send housing information for players to the Twin's Florida office. The commission relies on area families to host each season's players.