SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Opening Day for the new summer league baseball team in Spartanburg, “The Spartanburgers,” is this Thursday, May 27.
“After the last year, after the past 18 months, after everything we’ve been through, the town wants to come together and be better and enjoy each other,” Casey Milton, with the Spartanburgers said.
What better way to kick off the journey back to normality than good old-fashioned baseball.
“Baseball just does something right,” Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said. “Whether you’re young or old, male or female, it’s a gentile sport that’s all about partnership and teamwork. It’s all about teamwork and I think that’s why I love it the most.”
David Britt told 7 News baseball has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. He even played at Wofford College.
So, when he heard about the new summer league team in Spartanburg, made up of collegiate-level athletes from all over–including some players from right here in the Upstate–he was thrilled.
The team will be kicking off their season this week.
“If you just want to grab a score card, a pencil, and a roster, and sit down and track stats, we’ll have that for you. If you want your kid out there in a funny-looking hat, racing our mascot around the bases, we’ll have that, too,” Milton said.
And there’s just something about a good team name like “The Spartanburgers.”
“We just wanted to invoke a name that’s going to get people to smile. Or at least react,” Milton said. “I would say, overwhelming, the reaction has been positive; but if you don’t like it, it still moves the needle either way.”
This team gives its players a chance to get some extra practice over the summer and to compete with a wooden bat, getting them ready for the pros.
They’re a part of the Coastal Plain League, where they’ll be playing other teams with food-themed names; and they’re already talking smack.
“The Tri-City Chili Peppers, the Savannah Bananas, the Macon Bacon. We will say, we’re going to be the only food team in the Coastal Plain League that a whole meal is based out of. All those other ones are just side dishes, or a snack you hand out at soccer games,” Milton said.
The team really hit a homerun when it comes to history.
They’ll be playing in one of the oldest operating minor league parks in the country and the oldest ball park in South Carolina, built in 1926.
Many big names have played on their homefield.
“Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron,” Milton said. “Some of the game’s greatest figures have played here; and we are just so humbled, honored, and excited to be a part of that history.”
Britt played at the Duncan Park stadium himself and said he’s excited that Spartanburg’s longstanding love affair with baseball will continue with this new team.
“It means so much to us, as a community,” he said. “100 years of history and 100 years of experiences. Whether your grandparents or great-grandparents went there and watched games, it’s a chance to relive history, sitting in those stands.”
The Spartanburgers will have 44 players on their roster, and they’re hoping for many, many more fans, as their main goal is to bring smiles to Spartanburg.
“You’re not just going to call us ‘The Burgers.’ Spartanburg is within that name. We are ‘The Spartanburgers,’ so it’s something to be proud of, to represent this town,” Milton said. “We want you to be a part of this community and be a part of this team.”
The Spartanburgers’ first game, on Thursday, is already sold out, but they have another game on Friday, May 28. There will also be a firework show.