Watching Eric Byrnes flag down fly balls in the outfield or perhaps seeing Brandon Webb baffle an opposing hitter with the nastiest sinker in baseball are some of the opportunities Payson baseball fans will soon have.
They are possibilities May 8 at Chase Field in Phoenix where Payson will be the guest community at the Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals game.
Because the game is played on a Friday evening, a fireworks show will also be held.
The evening is part of the Diamondbacks Arizona Home Town Series that was created to help rural towns showcase their community pride.
Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Cameron Davis calls the game a “great opportunity to get out and support your community.”
At the game, the town will receive about three minutes of on the field recognition and Mayor Kenny Evans will personally invite audience members to visit Payson.
The exposure at Chase Field, Davis believes, could draw more visitors to the Rim Country.
“Due to tough economic times, Payson will be relying on the tourism industry to bring people up the hill,” he said.
In addition to the game helping introduce Payson to professional baseball fans, the pro clash will serve as a fund-raiser with $5 of each ticket going to benefit parks and recreation programs that are now operating on a shoestring budget and only with financial help from Friends of Parks and Recreation.
The tickets, which usually sell for $25, will be priced at $15.
The seats are all in the lower level of center field, a spot many fans prefer because of its overall view of the park.
Davis said the possibility exists that a bus could be provided to transport Payson fans to and from the game.
The tourism director is making a plea to support ticket sales, “We are committed to continuing these (P&R) programs and we need everyone’s support to make it happen.”
Game time is 6:40 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at P&R offices located at Green Valley Park or online at www.paysonrimcountry.com/dbacks.
For more information, call (928), 474-5242, ext. 7.
A reader, obviously a local business person, called early this week to say he wanted to participate in the FLW Bass Tournament “goodie bag” project.
But, he said, he took his give-away items to the chamber of commerce who told him they knew nothing about the program.
What he should have done is take his items to Payson Outdoors and Trails Coordinator Mary McMullen at the Green Valley Park P&R offices.
She is the one coordinating the project as a member on the local FLW Stren Series bass tournament committee.
The venture is being touted as an inexpensive way to advertise local businesses to the expected 400 anglers who will enter the tournament April 15 to 18.
Upon registration, all entrants be given a type of goodie bag the committee chooses to call “Bass Tackle Bags.”
The bags will include coupons, souvenirs, discounts, keepsakes and mementos from local businesses.
Those interested in participating in the venture, only need to take whatever they’d like included in the bags to McMullen before April 8.
For more information, call her at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.
Little League needs a hand
Although the first pitch in the 2009 Little League season will be thrown on April 18, there is still plenty of work to do to ensure spring and summer play is a success.
Among the chores to complete before the onset of the season is holding a benefit rummage sale, a raffle, acquiring sponsors and finding one team manager.
The rummage sale will be held 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, March 21, in the Walmart parking lot.
Little League official Felicia Moore said donation of sale items would be greatly appreciated.
Those who would like to contribute gently used items should log on to Little League’s Web site www.eteamz.com/paysonlittleleague for drop-off details.
Also at the rummage sale, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be sold as will raffle tickets that have as a prize a 42-inch flat screen television donated by Rim Sight and Sound.
Tickets are $10 each or three for $25.
Gibson said many of the teams remain in need of sponsors and a manager/coach is needed for a minor division player-pitch team.
Also, anyone wishing to volunteer to help Little League can do so by filling out a volunteer application. Applications are available at National Bank or on the team Web site. A copy of a driver’s license is needed to volunteer.
Call Moore at (928) 476-5440 for more information.