The Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League) will honor the Bragan family for their long-standing commitment to professional baseball in Jacksonville. This season marks the 25th of Suns ownership for the Bragans, beginning when Chairman of the Board Peter Bragan, Sr., purchased the team in 1984.The Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League) will honor the Bragan family for their long-standing commitment to professional baseball in Jacksonville. This season marks the 25th of Suns ownership for the Bragans, beginning when Chairman of the Board Peter Bragan, Sr., purchased the team in 1984.
To commemorate the occasion, the Suns will hold a series of promotions beginning with Opening Night and continuing throughout the 2009 season. On Opening Night, Thursday, April 9 at 7:05, the Suns will give away collectible coins to the first 3,000 fans. These silver 25th Anniversary coins will feature Suns Chairman Peter Bragan, Sr., alongside Suns President & General Manager, Peter Bragan, Jr., together known to thousands of baseball fans as “Pappa” and “Pedro.”
The Bragan family, natives of Birmingham, Alabama, purchased the Suns franchise from Lou Eliopulos in 1984. One of the original Bragan brothers, WWII veteran Bragan, Sr., has since become the longest-tenured sports owner in Jacksonville history, seeing the Suns through five Major League affiliations and two ballparks over the past 25 years. During this time, the Suns have won Southern League Championships in 1996, 2001 and 2005. In 2003, the Suns moved into the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, and due to the Bragans’ tireless efforts, the franchise has led the Southern League in average and total attendance since.
In addition, the Suns have promoted Chris Peters to Director of Sponsorship Sales and Barbara O’Berry to Director of Business Administration. Peters, from Clearwater, FL, served as Director of Food & Beverage with the Suns during the 2008 season. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Florida. O’Berry, a Jacksonville native, previously worked with the Suns as Office Manager, handling all financial accounting and administrative duties since joining the Suns at Wolfson Park in 2002. Also joining the Suns for the upcoming season are Administrative Assistants Sarah Foster, JD Metrie, January Putt and Josh Rudd.
Finally, the Suns announce the inaugural Dixie Classic, presented by Dixie Egg Company, a one-time exhibition between the Suns and the New Orleans Zephyrs (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
The exhibition will take place on Thursday, April 2, at 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Both teams are in their first season as an affiliate of the National League’s Florida Marlins.