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Asheville Tourists Open Season On Thursday Night

Matt Bush
Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Asheville Tourists begin their season Thursday night at McCormick Field. Game number one pits the Tourists against the Augusta Green Jackets.  Being that it’s a Thursday night, opening night will also be a Thirsty Thursday, the Tourists popular promotion for every Thursday home game that features $1 beer and sodas.  

The Tourists promotional calendar contains other familiar nights, including the team playing as the Beer City Tourists and Asheville Hippies for one night each, complete with special uniforms.  The big addition this year is a Star Wars Night, falling on international Star Wars Day May 4th – as in May The Fourth Be With You.  “One of the great things about this ballpark and really Minor League Baseball is that you can get creative," says Doug Maurer, the Tourists broadcaster and director of media relations.  “You can attract any kind of genre you want.  We’re going to have a Star Wars night this year, and hopefully that might get a lot of people out here to the ballpark that might not necessarily come out.”

As for the product on the field, the dimensions and elevation of McCormick Field might favor hitters, but it’s the Tourists pitching staff that is full of headliners.  Three first round draft picks by the Tourists parent club the Colorado Rockies are on the roster this year, including last year’s 1st rounder Ryan Rolison and the fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft Riley Pint, who returns to Asheville after missing nearly all of last season with an arm injury.  

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.