The Springfield Thunderbirds announced Wednesday morning that the team will hold "David Ortiz Night" on Saturday, Nov. 11 during the team's game against the Laval Rocket at the MassMutual Center.
As part of the festivities, Ortiz will make an appearance at the MassMutual Center and take part in the pregame puck drop ceremony. Ortiz will be featured throughout the first intermission, with the Red Sox legend down on the ice for entertainment and activities.Fans are encouraged to arrive early to receive a special edition Upper Deck David Ortiz card commemorating the evening.
"I'm very excited to visit my fans in Springfield and thank them for all of their love and support over the past 15 years," Ortiz said in the Thunderbirds' press release.
"We could not be more ecstatic to be able to host David Ortiz at a Thunderbirds game," Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa said. "This is the biggest promotional night in our franchise's history, and we cannot wait to share in our fans' excitement to see 'Big Papi' in Springfield. It will truly be a highlight of our season and a memorable salute to one of the world's most beloved athletes."
Fans can secure their tickets to David Ortiz Night right now by purchasing an Opening Night ticket pack. For $99, Thunderbirds Opening Night Packs will include the following:
"Our organization is dedicated to providing great value and entertainment to Thunderbirds fans throughout the region," Paul Picknelly, Thunderbirds Managing Partner said. "This is yet another example of our local ownership group and front office coming together to create a unique experience that people will be talking about for years to come."
While Ortiz will make an appearance at the MassMutual Center on Nov. 11, this won't be the only time that the Thunderbirds will honor the legendary designated hitter. The Thunderbirds also announced that on Sat., Feb. 17, Ortiz's November appearance in Springfield will be commemorated with a special edition bobblehead depicting "Big Papi" in a Thunderbirds jersey.
Ortiz, who closed out his 20-year MLB career at the end of the 2016 season, won three World Series titles with the Red Sox -- finishing with 541 career home runs and 10 All-Star appearances. The famed slugger had his No. 34 jersey retired by Boston earlier this season.
Wednesday's announcement introduced the headliner in what should be another stacked slate of promotional events for the Thunderbirds next season.
The Thunderbirds unveiled a partial list of their promotional schedule for the 2017-18 season on Aug. 24, with the team bringing back classics such as a pregame block party on Oct. 14, Teddy Bear Toss on Dec. 9, Pink in the Rink on March 10 and Pucks N' Paws Night on March 31.
Springfield will also introduce new promo events this season, including Blast from the Past Night on Jan. 6 and a School Day Game at 10:30 a.m. on Nov.15.
Big Papi Night will come on the same night that the Thunderbirds face a new AHL squad in the Laval Rocket -- the new AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Thunderbirds' 2017-18 AHL season will feature plenty of new opponents for the Thunderbirds to battle, as the Charlotte Checkers are set to enter the Atlantic Division -- while Springfield will also take on first-year squads such as the Binghamton Devils, Belleville Senators, and Laval.
Source: Masslive | Connor Ryan | September 6, 2017