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Jesse Cole closes on purchase of Gastonia Grizzlies

Gastonia GrizzliesWe now have the totally expected transition in Gastonia Grizzlies (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) ownership, as Jesse Cole has agreed to terms with Ken Silver to purchase the baseball club.

Cole has served as the Managing Partner/General Manager of the Grizzlies since 2008.

“This is a day I’ve been working towards for the last seven years and I’m so grateful to the Silvers for giving me this opportunity,” said Cole. “Ken and Bette are truly two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I am so appreciative of them for giving me the chance to run their team fresh out of college back in 2007. I’m sure that first year when I told them the players would be dancing, we’d be having Grandma Beauty Pageants, and serving Donut Dogs and Donut Burgers, they probably thought I was crazy. They let me see everything through and for that, I am truly indebted.

“My soon to be wife and our Director of Fun, Emily McDonald and I have fallen in love with this community. We met here, we got engaged here in front of a sold out crowd and we plan to get married here. Now our love for the Grizzlies and this community is ours to share for many years to come.   We love this town, this team, and the people who surround us here. We will strive to do anything we can to make this community a better place.”

In Cole’s tenure, the Grizzlies have broken the attendance record in each of his seven years. In 2014, Cole was named the first CPL Executive of the Year. The Grizzlies have also been named Gaston Gazette’s Person of the Year in 2013, won Organization of the Year in the CPL in 2012 and won best promotion in the country at the Summer Ball Conference in 2010 and 2011.

Cole is also president of Team Cole & Associates who took over the management of the Martinsville Mustangs, another team in the CPL, in 2012. In Cole’s first two years in Martinsville the team has broken attendance records and set the all-time single-game attendance record at Hooker Field.

In his seven years in Gastonia, Cole has implemented unique features such as the Midnight Madness Game, the Grizzlies Donut Burger and Donut Dog, The Grandma Beauty Pageant, the Great Community Give Back Game, dancing players and Dunk the GM inning in the Dunk Tank.

Cole graduated from Wofford College where he was a four-year starter. Cole finished among career leaders in starts and innings pitched and also set the record for longest outing, going 9 2/3 innings as a junior. A two-way player Cole was named Southern Conference Player of the Month as a freshman. He was also named to the Southern Conference All-Academic team three times and received the Southern Conference Commissioners Medal in 2006.

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