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Ballpark Notes for Feb. 18, 2009

In today’s installment, the Akron Aeros unveil a "hit for the cycle" promotion, the Fisher Cats’ Mike Murphy snares a prestigious award, and the Orange County Flyers round out their coaching staff.

In today’s installment, the Akron Aeros unveil a "hit for the cycle promotion, the Fisher Cats’ Mike Murphy snares a prestigious award, and the Orange County Flyers round out their coaching staff.

A player hitting for the cycle has only happened three times in Akron Aeros (Class AA; Eastern League) franchise history (dating back to 1989). Should an Akron player accomplish the feat at Canal Park in 2009 however, one lucky fan will ride out of the gates aboard a brand new Trek 3900 mountain bike courtesy of Eddy’s Bike Shop as part of the Aeros Hit for the Cycle promotion.

“This is a really unique way to get fans involved, and also adds to the drama of a player’s final at-bat if he’s only missing one leg of the cycle,” said Aeros Vice President Kevin Brodzinski. “Plus, the Trek 3900 is an excellent bike that the winner will get years of enjoyment out of with all the parks and trails throughout Northeast Ohio.”

The bike will be on display on the main concourse at Canal Park during all 2009 home games, and fans will have to register with their name and email address each night in order to win. The bike will only be given away if an Aeros player hits for the cycle at home, although he can collect the legs of the cycle (single, double, triple and home run) in any order. Finally, the promotion will run throughout the season, so just because one bike is given away doesn’t mean that the promotion is over.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Class AA; Eastern League) announced team play-by-play broadcaster Mike Murphy has been honored as the New Hampshire Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA). Murphy will be honored at the 50th annual NSSA Awards Program in Salisbury, NC, on Monday, May 4.

"We congratulate Mike on this well-deserved honor and look forward to him calling Fisher Cats games on the radio once again in 2009," said Fisher Cats President/General Manager Rick Brenner. "Our fans have grown accustomed to hearing Mike on our broadcasts with Bob Lipman for five years, and we’re happy to keep this tandem in place for another exciting season."

Murphy and Lipman, who was the other finalist for this year’s award, will broadcast all 142 Fisher Cats games on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network.

"It always feels special to win this award because it is voted on by my New Hampshire sports media colleagues," said Murphy. "I thank them for bestowing this honor upon me, offer my congratulations to Kevin for his well-earned sportswriter of the year award and look forward to joining him for the NSSA’s 50th anniversary ceremony in North Carolina."


Orange County Flyers (independent; Golden Baseball League) manager Phil Nevin wasted little time filling the three spots on his 2009 coaching staff as he named Paul Abbott, Dave Bacani and Robert Bafia as coaches for the defending GBL Champions this upcoming season.

"I am very excited to have Abby come on board as pitching coach," said Nevin of his friend Paul Abbott who played for six Major League teams from 1990 to 2004. "He is someone that has always done the right things in this sport and respects the game a great deal. He really enjoys teaching both the mechanical and mental side of being on the mound. Anytime you can have someone that has excelled at the highest level working with your staff it’s a huge plus."

"Dave Bacani is someone that has been an integral part of the Flyer organization for the last two years and brings a ton of energy to the park every day," Nevin said. "This is a great opportunity for him to start making the transition into what no doubt will be a very successful coaching career at any level and continue his rehab from off season shoulder surgery until he is ready to get back on the field and play."

Robert Bafia is another close friend that joins Nevin as he takes over the helm of the Flyers.