Baseball commission clarifies role

By Julie Fann

STAR STAFF
jfann@starhq.com

   The Elizabethton Baseball Commission on Monday discussed upcoming promotional events for the Elizabethton Twins new season and also sought to clear up recent misunderstandings concerning Joe O'Brien Field and the baseball commission's goal. Due to a recent decision made by the Johnson City Cardinals to sell beer at this year's games, area media representatives have questioned the possibility of the Elizabethton Twins making the same decision.
   Baseball Commission Manager Mike Mains clarified that service at Twins games will not change. "We want to preserve the community spirit and feeling that we have at our games, and we will continue to do that the same way as before," Mains said. Also, Harold Mains, Baseball Commission President, stated that his son had been misquoted by an area newspaper as having used the word "suds" in reference to beer being sold at Johnson City Cardinals games. "Mike would never use the word 'suds' ", he said.
   The commission also explained a recent decision made by the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Board to charge a rental fee to those outside the city who want to use Joe O'Brien field. "The fee was made by the city in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Board and is in no way related to the Elizabethton Twins, or the Minnesota Twins, or the Baseball Commission," Mike Mains stated.
   Harold Mains said that he agreed with Dave Ornduff, Director of Planning and Development for Elizabethton, who expressed the city's need for the additional revenue that will come from charging the fee, which is $200 without lights, and $300 with lights. The Parks and Recreation Board has received requests from area schools such as Unaka High School and University High School to use the field for their tournaments.
   The commission addressed promotional events scheduled for this year's season, including family night, June 24, the Twins first home game. Free ice cream will be served, and Sheriff John Henson will give away a used car. Another promotional event will be "Click It or Ticket" night, a program developed in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to generate funding for the sport. Fans will receive "clickers" with the Elizabethton Twins logo printed on them.
   Also, due to the recent death of baseball commission member, John Frank Vanhuss Jr., the commission decided to send flowers and condolences to his family members and made it policy that the commission will properly honor the loss of any member by taking similar action in the future.