GARY, IN 1-25-2011 – The Gary SouthShore RailCats organization and fans alike will have the chance to thank Willie Glen for his years of exemplary service in a RailCats uniform and wish him well as he prepares to enter the coaching ranks. Glen will join fellow Tenth Anniversary Team finalists Erik Blakeley and Dan Soria at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville on February 5th.
Discount pre-sale tickets for the 2011 Fan Fest are on sale now at www.railcatsbaseball.com or by calling the RailCats ticket office at 219.882.2255. Tickets are $15 for adults ($20 at the door) and $10 for 2011 season ticket holders and kids (age 12 and under, and include a pass to a day full of ballpark fun and the chance to mix and mingle with some of your favorite RailCats of the last decade.
As an added bonus, the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a free Fan Fest poster and program, along with a ticket to Opening Day, Friday, May 20 at U. S. Steel Yard against the arch rival Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. In addition, the first 500 adults and first 300 kids will receive a free t-shirt.
When the RailCats announced Glen would be pursuing a coaching career in 2011, there was an outpouring of support and encouragement from fans on Facebook and Twitter but many had the same question, “Is Willie coming to Fan Fest?” Now that arguably the best player in RailCats history is confirmed to attend this one-of-a-kind minor-league event, fans have the opportunity to join the RailCats in showing gratitude for all those great memories including that unforgettable performance in Game Five of the Northern League Championship Series in 2007 which clinched the RailCats second title.
Glen is the RailCats career leader in nearly every measurable pitching category and is an amazing 43-11 with a 3.03 ERA in 88 games in a ‘Cats uniform. Glen racked up the awards during his four years with the RailCats including First Team Baseball America All-Independent Leagues honors (2007, 2010), the Northern League Pitcher of the Year award (2007, 2010), the Northern League Championship Series Most Outstanding Player, Northern League Post-Season All-Star (2007, 2010) and Northern League Mid-Season All-Star (2006-07, 2010). After an outstanding playing career, Glen will continue in professional baseball as Pitching Coach for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the Florida Marlins system under former RailCat Andy Haines.
An Indiana University Alum, Eric Blakeley returned to the Hoosier State and helped the RailCats to win a Northern League Championship in 2007. The Coldwater, Ohio native was selected in the 21st round of the 2002 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners advancing as high as Triple-A in their system. Blakeley spent two very successful seasons with the ‘Cats before retiring to focus on his thriving baseball and softball training complex, Diamond Kings in St. John, Ind.
The single best success story in the history of the RailCats open tryout, Dan Soria spent his only two professional seasons pitching for the RailCats. The East Chicago native and East Chicago High School standout made the RailCats Opening Day roster after being discovered in an open tryout at U. S. Steel Yard in May 2003. Soria started and finished the season strong, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his first five starts and allowing just one earned run in 9.2 relief innings on the RailCats season ending road trip.
The additions of Glen, Blakeley and Soria brings the total number of guests at the 2011 Fan Fest to ten joining two-time manager of the year Greg Tagert, current RailCats Hitting Coach Mick Curran, former RailCats Hitting Coach Kenny Graham and Tenth Anniversary Team Finalists Tony Cogan, Travis Kerber, Mike Rohde and Tanner Townsend.