Wednesday, April 10, 2013

FIRST ROAD TRIP - Jackson Tn



After a day on the road its time for a new five game set, this time at Jackson Tn to face the Generals. Jackson Ballpark acquired a new name when the team parted with long time sponsor Pringles. With this location in mind, its time to take a look at their promotions and season ticket info!

SOUTHERN LEAGUE SEASON TICKET COMPARISON

JACKSON TN




Full Season 70 game price: $450 - their website says save 34% vs per game

Parking pass: All parking is Free
Extras:
Free pass to College Tournament Series at the park

Promotions:
Zunino poster giveaway
View of the seating and pressbox areas
Hockey tickets giveaway
Fur Circus appearance
Walker poster giveaway

CASH giveaway

Car giveaway, Twice

MLB Ticket giveaway

Replica jersey giveaway
Baseball camp, twice

Lou Brock appearance

Player poster giveaway
New Name, Same Park
Garden Gnome giveaway
Elvis night
Backpack giveaway
SEC Football ticket giveaway

Football tickets for SEC games? Brilliant! This should PACK the park in probably every Southern League city, every team should add this if they want to swell their attendance numbers. 

Cash giveaway too? Obviously the Generals have someone in their front office who knows how to draw fans in! MLB tickets giveaway, Hockey tickets giveaway, Garden Gnome, TWO CARS being handed out AND Elvis night. Lou Brock appearance? BRAVO Generals!

I havent been to their park, but have heard in the past they have had issues getting butts into seats. The price is right though, and the front office is obviously working hard to let their season ticket holders feel good about the money they spend for seats. Oh, and the team has been LOADED with prospects the past two years.




SKITZ HITZ COACHEZ




OZZIE

In his fifth season as Double-A hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Rays there is much to be said for Timmons efforts with the teams young hitters, helping refine young raw talent into refined ability.

I first met Ozzie in 2009 when he was assigned to Mgm to be our hitting coach. It was at the annual Meet the Team event, I walked up to the former Cub and announced "Hey there Ozzie, Im gonna be your assistant first base coach, its nice to meet you". Timmons was obviously a little surprised, I guess noone informed him of base coach assistants at Riverwalk. He sort of stammered out an "Oh really?" and I suggested if there was anything he needed to just let me know!
Timmons flashing the smile that won Montgomery's heart

Over the course of the past four seasons I think Ozzie has figured out what I meant, as he has been stationed at first base for just about every half inning of every home game, within earshot of my complaints, heckles and cheers.

Right away Ozzie showed he was different than our other first base coaches. For starters, he USED the stopwatch that dangled from his back pocket. He began looking at the people in the crowd near first base, then he even waved and SPOKE to them! This Ozzie Timmons guy worked the crowd.

Biscuit fans didn't know this happened, it was new to them. They liked it. From the very first week Montgomery embraced its new hitting coach.

Ozzie is so easy to get along with, we debated if he had ever been tossed - but when asked about it, Ozzie says yes, once. "The game was over, I was all over the umps for bad calls and they kicked me out after the last out had already been made." 


THE RIGHT WAY TO PLAY
Though not everyone gets along with Timmons.

One late summer game against the Carolina Mudcats turned into a lopsided lateseason sleeper as the 'Cats overpowered the Skitz by a wide margin. Late in the game one of the Mudcat players was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a triple which ended the inning.

As Ozzie ran to his first base coaches box he crossed paths with the hitter, and said something to the effect of "Taking the extra bag with a nine run lead isn't the right way to play the game".

Already in midseason form
The Mudcat hitter, frustrated at being thrown out to end the inning and then called out by the opposing teams coach for disrespecting the other team - exploded.
He went off, got up in Ozzie's face yelling and screaming and offering to swap punches if Timmons thought he "knows so effin much about whats right!"

Being between innings, music was playing and players were jogging on and off the field, most of them didn't know what was happening other than to hear someone getting loud.

So I felt it fell to me to back up our coach! 
I stood up, faced towards the home side of the field where the team was heading into the dugout to get ready to hit, and yelled at the top of my lungs "BISCUITS COME PROTECT YOUR MAN!"

Players turned. The trainer probably worried that half the team would have whiplash.

They saw Ozzie backing off as the first base umpire tried to get between the irate Mudcat and our first base coach. The field was instantly filled with Biscuit players as benches emptied. Thankfully there was no major brawl and the only injury was to the pride of the Mudcat player who had to be told not to run when up by almost ten runs.

being harassed by drunk fan




THE PLAYER

The back of the rookie card!
Osbourne Llewellyn Timmons was born in September 1970 in Tampa Florida. He would go to Brandon HighSchool and chose The University of Tampa over being drafted in the 44th round of the 1988 draft by the White Sox. He would be drafted again in the 5th round by the Chicago Cubs in 1991, they must have noticed when Ozzie was named a Division II All American. Twice.


Orlando Cubs prospect 1993


Ozzie broke into the big leagues in April of 1995, the first batch of post-strike players. He would play for the Cubs, Reds, Mariners and DevilRays in his five major league seasons.

With the Mariners in '99, Ozzie got into a game at first base, his only MLB appearance at that position.

A solid defender, Timmons made just three big league errors. After two in his rookie campaign, he would only be charged with one more error in his MLB career. Excellent when considering the fact that he spent several seasons in the windy outfield of Wrigley Field.

Timmons was teammates with another Ozzie in the year 2000, that season the Devil Rays had both he and Ozzie Guillen!



With Caracas Leones
However, that doesnt cover the full career of this journeyman outfielder. He also spent time in the Japanese league, the Venezuelan league, Mexico and a full compliment of minor league stops as well as independent ball, racking up 1500+ hits in just over 1500 games and a lifetime .273 average.

While with Seattle Timmons was teammates with Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.



Ozzie took an opportunity in Japan, though from what I have read it appears the Dragons of the Japan league may have been expecting Reggie Jackson. American players are often expected to produce overwhelming numbers simply for being Americans playing in Japan, and this could be the case with Ozzie.

Though not known for overwhelming power, one of his home runs came at the cavernous Astrodome, where the fences were blamed for reducing the home run totals for both home and visiting players.


Timmons (left) with musician Fernando

The Dragons weren't the only ones who had expectations for Ozz that summer.
During his season in Japan, the Timmons family pulled together to keep things all good while Ozzie was playing overseas. One of the duties to handle was the yardwork and newspaper reports show that while he was in Japan, Timmons was cited for watering his lawn on the wrong day. Four times! Turns out that while he was away, his mom was helping by coming by his place and turning on the sprinkler for a while. Its not like mom was clueless, she was told by the county what day to water on, but of course its Florida and the City says to water on a different day than the county!


I asked Ozzie during a game how he handled hitting off of Rocket Roger Clemens. Ozzie pantomimed hitting a homer, as he took Clemens deep when he faced him!
 
 

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