Avon is ready to play ball in 2009

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  • 12-12-08: Lake Erie Crushers looking for summer host families

  • 4-4-09: Lake Erie Crushers job fair today

  • 5-3-09: Crushers open tryouts today

  • 5-24-09: Crushers won't hit cars on I-90

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 1-22-09

    ``Avon Crushers looking for interns

    Avon Professional Baseball will be offering full-time summer intern positions to college students and recent graduates who are interested in working in the sports industry.

    Each intern will be able to get a glimpse of how a ballpark is run and observe a variety of industry operations.

    Manager Ryan Gates said he is looking for interns who are willing to work long nights and weekends, depending on each scheduled game. Gates said each intern must work hard, but it will also be a fun and rewarding opportunity.

    Interested candidates can submit a cover letter and resume to

    www.lakeeriecrushers.com/

    or to

    www.TeamWorkOnline.com

    The deadline for applications is Feb. 13, 2009.''

    Call (440) 934-3636 for more information.

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    www.locophotogblog.com/?p=290

    Lorain County Photographer?s Blog

    Views from a Lorain Shutterbug

    The Ballpark in Avon

    January 8, 2009

    ``The City of Avon is developing a 122-acre complex just off of Rt. 2, at Rt. 611. The complex will feature a ballpark, YMCA, soccer fields and indoor hockey. The ballpark is well underway and the crews recently broke ground on the Y. Mayor Jim Smith says that when they get to 2 million people per year coming to the site, he estimates about 500,000 will be staying over night.''

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    blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/01/avon_lorain_not_worried_about.html

    Avon, Lorain not worried about baseball competition

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-17-09, by Laura Johnston/Plain Dealer Reporter

    Plastic protects the space for the upper-level loges from the weather at the new 5,000-seat ballpark in Avon. The stadium scheduled to open in June when the Lake Erie Crushers take the field.

    AVON -- In 148 days, the first pitch will fly through the city's new minor league ballpark.

    Until then, while a Web site counts down the hours and the steel structure grows alongside Interstate 90, the Lake Erie Crushers are talking up their team at community meetings, developing a mascot and recruiting families to host players.

    The Crushers will play in the Frontier League against 11 other teams, none of which are affiliated with major league teams. They'll also be vying for Northeast Ohio baseball fans, who have their choice of the Cleveland Indians, Akron Aeros (the Indians AA farm team), Lake County Captains (the Indians A team in Eastlake) and Northcoast Knights, a summer team for college players kicking off its inaugural season at Lorain's Pipe Yard Stadium.

    But Avon Mayor Jim Smith is confident about the region's two newest teams, separated by a dozen miles on I-90.

    "They'll do fine," Smith said. "Lorain County is a very baseball-oriented county."

    Lorain officials aren't too worried, either.

    "There won't be too many times the two stadiums are butting heads for somewhat of the same population," Lorain recreation director Bob Renney said. "It's going to be some of the best baseball at some of the most affordable prices, which is going to be crucial in the economy we're dealing with." ...

    In Avon, a 15-year lease agreement and .25-percent income tax approved in 2007 will pay for the 3,500-seat, $12-million park, which contractors are framing with classic red brick, Mayor Smith said.

    The stadium won't drain the city's finances because of the income tax, he said.

    That contrasts with Classic Park in Eastlake, which was built without funding in place, Mayor Ted Andrzejewski said. The 7,200-seat park, built in 2003, ended up costing the city about $48 million including interest.

    "We're glad to have the team. People like to go to the games," Andrzejewski said. "But it's not a money maker."

    In Akron, the city borrowed most of the $31 million cost for Canal Park, which opened in 1997, and is paying it back out of its annual budget. Officials there laud the 9,000-seat stadium for bringing new restaurants, residents and vitality downtown.

    The Avon ballpark will anchor a 122-acre complex along Ohio 611, with a YMCA, indoor hockey rink and soccer field. Smith hopes the complex will spur development around the I-90 interchange.

    Like other major league teams, the Crushers pitch themselves as low-cost, family-friendly entertainment. Tickets will start at $6 and families can lounge on blankets beyond left field.

    "Any market, you can saturate it, but people do love their baseball," general manager Ryan Gates said Wednesday. "We're not going to stop people from being Indians fans, nor do we expect to. But I think we'll offer sort of a neat alternative."

    Gates is making the rounds at Rotary clubs and VFW halls to promote the team, passing out fliers with photos of current construction and renditions of the finished product, advertising fireworks nights and giveaways and explaining the team name.

    Crushers began as an homage to grape-crushing wine makers in the area but has expanded to represent the tough, hardworking nature of Clevelanders, he said.

    www.lakeeriecrushers.com/

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    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-12-08, By CHANDA NEELY cneely@MorningJournal.com

    ``Lake Erie Crushers looking for summer host families

    AVON -- Wanted: Families with extra space and a love of baseball to adopt a Lake Erie Crusher.

    That's right, 30 players for the new Frontier League team in Avon are looking for host families to take them in.

    "Families who open their home to a Crusher player will have the unique opportunity to experience the daily grind and lifestyle of an elite athlete," said General Manager Ryan Gates. "The host family experience leaves a valuable impression on both the athlete and the family, often building memories and relationships that last a lifetime."

    Players, who begin arriving in May, will be matched up with interested families based on questionnaires. Families will be asked about their households, and both sides will be asked about what they like to do in their spare time and if they go to church.

    "Hopefully they'll have a spare room and some extra closet space for the player," said team spokeswoman Nicolle Meyer. "Families have to be somewhat enthusiastic about baseball so they can provide that support for the players. They don't have family there to watch them play everyday so we'll need host families to kind of take their place."

    Families will not be paid to house the baseball players, but they will receive tickets to the home games, recognition at the ballpark, invitations to host family-only events and a special host family souvenir.

    Everyone is welcome to apply. For further information on how to become a host family, call (440) 934-3636.''

    www.lakeeriecrushers.com/

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-5-08, By ALAN INGRAM aingram@MorningJournal.com

    ``And the winner is ... Avon pro baseball reveals team name, logo

    Tom Long, of Avon, was announced as the winner of the "Name the Team" contest with the name Lake Erie Crushers for the new professional baseball team yesterday [12-4-08] at Avon City Hall.

    AVON -- The Lake Erie Crushers it is. Avon Professional Baseball unveiled the name and logo yesterday of the Frontier League team that will begin play in Avon next summer. The name was chosen from entries submitted in a Name the Team contest sponsored by The Morning Journal.

    The team's logo features a bat-swinging ballplayer putting a crushing hit on a baseball. The words "Lake Erie" appear at the top of the logo, and the word "Crushers" runs across the center.

    "It's exactly how I envisioned it," said Tom Long, an Avon man who submitted the winning name. "When I sent my name in, I started sketching ideas out, but nobody ever asked me for anything. And it's pretty much exactly how I envisioned it. I had a ... muscular guy crushing the ball. I even thought of the Crushers name where it was crunched down in the middle with big letters on the end."

    Team owner Steven Edelson said more than 800 team name ideas were submitted.

    The Name the Team contest was launched in October, and the hundreds of entries were whittled down. Fans then voted on finalist selections, choosing from Ohio, Lorain County, Avon, Cleveland or Lake Erie for the team location name and the Groove, Ironmen, Red Tails, Artichokes, Crushers, Walleyes and Woollies for the team name.

    Edelson said any of the runner-up names could have been selected, but the team wanted a name that represented the area. The name recognized the vineyards in Lorain County and crushing grapes to make wine. Edelson said yesterday that the Crushers name also alluded to the industrial nature of the area.

    Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the name is perfect because grapes and wine are an important part of this area's history. Several wineries remain active in the area, he added.

    "Lake Erie Crushers is just about as good a name as you can possibly get," the mayor said.

    Team General Manager Ryan Gates said he thinks the Lake Erie name will help increase the regional appeal of the team.

    "I think while Westlake and Rocky River and Lakewood and Bay Village are important markets for us, I feel like with the Avon Professional Baseball moniker, it kind of kept us out of that area a little bit," he said.

    Long said his 12-year-old son, Ian, is involved with the North Coast Slammers baseball team. Long tried "to come up with another adjective that was intimidating and dominating." He's told his son before that he has to crush the ball not just hit it.

    "I'm very proud of the name," Long said.

    As the contest winner, Long received T-shirts, hats, tickets to opening day, four 12-game mini-season ticket packages and a one-year subscription to The Morning Journal.

    "We're proud," Edelson said after the announcement. "We're very happy that all of our thoughts and everything we've put on paper is coming to fruition."

    The team will reveal its uniforms when it announces its first team members, Edelson said.

    Gates said five or seven players have already been signed, and he thinks an announcement will be made before the holidays.

    A separate announcement, possibly in the next 10 days, will reveal who has the naming rights for the new stadium being built at Interstate 90 and SR 611. Team officials wouldn't reveal that information yesterday, but Gates did say a local company is negotiating for the rights.

    Edelson also revealed some of the humorous names that were entered in the contest, including the Lorain County Cucumbers, Atomic Roosters, Demented Otters, Avon Sprawl and the Wolverines.

    The Lake Erie Crushers' home season begins June 2 against the Windy City ThunderBolts.

    "Hopefully, we'll be crushing our opponents if (field manager) John (Massarelli) has anything to say about it," Edelson said.

    Those interested in buying team merchandise can visit the team's Web site,

    www.lakeeriecrushers.com,

    or call the office at (440) 934-3636, Gates said.

    "We'll be more than happy to help people out for the holidays," he said.''

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    EDITORIAL from The Morning Journal, 12-6-08,

    ``Batter up this summer with the muscular Lake Erie Crushers

    The naming of the area's newest sports team as the Lake Erie Crushers offers a ray of sunny optimism during a dreary December.

    The Frontier League team will be playing next year in a new stadium at SR 611 and Interstate 90 in Avon. There was excitement in the air on Thursday when Morning Journal Publisher Jeff Sudbrook announced the seven finalists in the Name-the-Team contest sponsored by the newspaper. More than 800 naming ideas were submitted before being whittled down to the final seven.

    The winning name was the brainchild of Tom Long, of Avon, who was beaming as the audience cheered when the logo was unveiled showing a muscular ball player putting a crushing hit on a baseball. Being named the Lake Erie Crushers gives the team a regional appeal from Sandusky to Bay Village and beyond.

    "It's pretty much how I envisioned it ... a muscular guy crushing the ball," said Long, who is an avid baseball fan and has a 12-year-old son playing on a local team. Long said he was inspired in choosing the name from advice he gave his son "to crush the ball, not just hit it."

    It is a huge investment by the city of Avon and Avon Professional Baseball to build a positive and family-friendly attraction in one of Ohio's fastest growing communities. The Morning Journal is proud to be part of the anticipation and effort associated with the launching of the new team.

    The name was picked not only because it conjures up the crushing of grapes from the area's wine-growing heritage, but also reflects the manufacturing component based in the county.

    The team's home season begins June 2 against the Windy City ThunderBolts and the excitement is building for owner Steven Edelson, General Manager Ryan Gates and Field Manager John Massarelli along with their staff and supporters.

    A beautiful field, a new team and affordable family entertainment that will draw people to the area -- that is what the Lake Erie Crushers bring to the county. And we're glad to have them as the region's "home team."''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 12-11-08, By Stephanie Furst sfurst@sunnews.com

    ``Lake Erie Crushers on top in team naming contest

    It wasn't opening day for Avon Professional Baseball, yet Dec. 4 was a proud day for the team when the Lake Erie Crushers was announced as its official name.

    More than 50 people attended the news conference held at city hall by Avon Professional Baseball staff and Chairman/CEO I. Steven Edelson. Avon's Tom Long entered the ballpark's Frontier League team name contest and it his name was chosen for the team.

    "I'm very excited about my name idea being selected as the official team name," Long said. "My son, Ian, plays for a little league team each summer and when I coach him, I always tell him to crush the ball, hence the Crushers. The team logo is everything I envisioned it be."

    The logo was designed by Plan B Branding. The company will promise a new mascot and uniform design that will be ready for the inaugural season.

    Long was greeted by the Avon Professional Baseball staff, Edelson and Mayor Jim Smith. Long was presented with a gift package filled with team memorabilia such as T-shirts, baseball hats, tickets and four 12-game mini season ticket packages.

    More than 800 entries were submitted since Oct. 7. Other finalist team names included The Redtails, Ironmen, The Artichokes, The Wooly Bears, The Walleyes and The Groove. Fans had the opportunity to vote for their favorite team name finalist.

    Some of the entertaining names included The Avon Gorillas, The Avon Sticky Ducks, The Avon Ladies and many others.

    Avon Professional Baseball will offer entertainment for the community next year.

    "I have confidence on June 2, you will see a baseball game," Edelson said. "Today we celebrate another important milestone that we are accomplishing together. The name selected captures some of the essence of the community."

    Edelson said he liked the name because it represents the crushing of grapes produced by wineries, a major local industry. He also said it could resemble the steel industry such as the crushing of steel.

    "Hopefully we will crush our opponents," Edelson said. "We have signed some of the top rated ball players and we will not be an expansion team. We may not win the World Series, but at least we should be there."

    Edelson said the team name demonstrates toughness, hard work and resilience. He also said the team means a lot to residents and he was pleased with the participation and support given by the community for the ballpark.

    Smith said he was very excited to be present for the naming of the team.

    "It's a good name and depicts the region very well," he said. "The new ballpark will be good for the community."

    The Lake Erie Crushers are the latest expansion team to be added to the Frontier League, an independent professional league. The league comprises 12 teams participating across the Midwest. The new stadium will be able to accommodate 5,000 fans. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 90 and Route 611.

    Season tickets and game tickets can be purchased by visiting

    www.lakeeriecrushers.com/

    or by calling (440) 934-3636.''

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    EDITORIAL from The Sun, 12-11-08,

    ``Welcome to the league, Crushers

    Baseball season is months away, but fans are eagerly awaiting the first pitch for Avon Professional Baseball.

    The newest addition to the Frontier League finally has a name: the Lake Erie Crushers.

    The moniker and team logo were unveiled at a news conference at Avon City Hall. Adding to the excitement is word that Tom Long, an Avon resident, submitted the winning team name. As a thank you, Long received a gift packaged filled with team memorabilia, including T-shirts, hats, tickets and four 12-game mini season ticket packages.

    His suggestion was among 800 entries received during a contest to name the team. Other name ideas included the Redtails, Ironmen, Artichokes, Wooly Bears, Walleyes and the Groove. Among the more entertaining suggestions were the Avon Gorillas, Avon Sticky Ducks and Avon Ladies.

    Long said his inspiration for the team name came from some advice he gives to his little league-playing son, Ian. He always tells him to "crush the ball."

    Steven Edelson, chairman and CEO of Avon Professional Baseball, sees the name a bit differently. He said it represents the crushing of grapes produced by wineries, a major local industry. In addition, he said he hopes the players will crush their opponents because they've signed some of the top-rated ball players. The name also represents toughness, hard work and resilience.

    As the staff and team begin to work on the athletic side of things, construction continues on the new stadium, which will be ready for opening day, June 2.

    It's an exciting time in Avon and we wish the Crushers well as they prepare for their inaugural season.''

    Top -- Home

    [The Crushers' opening day is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. June 2, 2009, against the Windy City Thunderbolts at the All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon (Colorado Rd., SR611), where Avon's July 4 fireworks will also be held.

    Fireworks on 7-4-09 start in the stadium after the game, which will probably be sold out. Other parking will be available on City land, recently mowed, next to the BP station. A good view of the fireworks also can be had from the BJ's parking lot. There will be no left turns out of the stadium on to Colorado.]

    TIPOFF COLUMN from The Plain Dealer, 4-13-09, by Michael K. McIntyre, Plain Dealer Columnist

    ``Lake Erie Crushers guarantee no snow on opening day ...

    The Lake Erie Crushers, the new Frontier League team that will play in the brand-new All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, have issued a no-snow guarantee for their opening day. Noting the snow-outs this year in Boston and Chicago and evoking years past when the Indians have been snowed out, the Crushers put their money where their mouth is:

    "If the home opener snows out, all fans in attendance will not only be able to use their ticket for any future 2009 Lake Erie Crushers game, but each fan will also receive a $50 Crushers gift certificate to purchase warm clothing from the Crushers merchandise store."

    The ballpark can seat 5,000. So $50 a pop can get pricey.

    Oh, one more thing. The home opener for the Crushers is scheduled for June 2 [2009].''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 3-16-09, By MORNING JOURNAL STAFF

    ``Lake Erie Crushers seeking seasonal, game day employees

    AVON -- The Lake Erie Crushers are looking for more than 100 seasonal, game day employees to be ushers, ticket takers, cleaning crews, parking attendants, and work in concessions, promotions and guest services.

    Candidates have to be able to work at least 30 games, and those who are hired will be paid at least $7.30 an hour.

    A one-day job fair to accept applications and interview applicants will be held on Saturday, April 4 [2009] from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lorain County Community College's Spitzer Conference Center.

    Applications are available on the team's Web site,

    www.LakeErieCrushers.com

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 3-14-09, By Alicia Castelli

    ``Crushers holding job fair at LCCC for seasonal positions

    ELYRIA -- The Lake Erie Crushers are hiring ushers, cleaners, ticket takers and other personnel for this summer's baseball season and will be holding a job fair April 4 to take applications.

    Anyone interested in seasonal work this summer can download an application at www.LakeErieCrushers.com

    Fill it out and bring it to Lorain County Community College's Spitzer Conference Center, 1005 N. Abbe Road, Elyria, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 [2009] ...

    Job seekers will drop off their applications when they arrive at the Spitzer Center and take a number. They will be interviewed in order, Meyer said, adding it may be two to three weeks before applicants learn if they've been chosen. The Crushers decided to handle the interviewing themselves rather than use an employment agency ...''

    Interviews may run past 1 p.m., but applications won't be accepted after that, Meyer said.

    All positions are seasonal, part-time jobs that will end at the conclusion of baseball season which runs from late May through early September. Applicants must be able to work a minimum of 30 games and wages start at $7.30 an hour.

    The Crushers' opening day is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. June 2 against the Windy City Thunderbolts.

    Contact Alicia Castelli at acastelli@chroniclet.com.

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 1-7-09. By Laura Johnston, Plain Dealer Reporter

    http://www.lakeeriecrushers.com/

    ``Avon, Lorain not worried about baseball competition

    AVON -- In 148 days, the first pitch will fly through the city's new minor league ballpark.

    Until then, while a Web site counts down the hours and the steel structure grows alongside Interstate 90, the Lake Erie Crushers are talking up their team at community meetings, developing a mascot and recruiting families to host players.

    The Crushers will play in the Frontier League against 11 other teams, none of which are affiliated with major league teams. They'll also be vying for Northeast Ohio baseball fans, who have their choice of the Cleveland Indians, Akron Aeros (the Indians AA farm team), Lake County Captains (the Indians A team in Eastlake) and Northcoast Knights, a summer team for college players kicking off its inaugural season at Lorain's Pipe Yard Stadium.

    But Avon Mayor Jim Smith is confident about the region's two newest teams, separated by a dozen miles on I-90. "They'll do fine," Smith said. "Lorain County is a very baseball-oriented county."

    Lorain officials aren't too worried, either. "There won't be too many times the two stadiums are butting heads for somewhat of the same population," Lorain recreation director Bob Renney said. "It's going to be some of the best baseball at some of the most affordable prices, which is going to be crucial in the economy we're dealing with."

    The 1,000-seat, $3 million Pipe Yard Stadium is paid off, mostly through grants and sponsors, Mayor Tony Krasienko said. So the Knights, culled from college students, won't have to generate a giant fan base to be profitable.

    In Avon, a 15-year lease agreement and .25-percent income tax approved in 2007 will pay for the 3,500-seat, $12-million park, which contractors are framing with classic red brick, Mayor Smith said. The stadium won't drain the city's finances because of the income tax, he said ...

    The Avon ballpark will anchor a 122-acre complex along Ohio 611, with a YMCA, indoor hockey rink and soccer field. Smith hopes the complex will spur development around the I-90 interchange.

    Like other major league teams, the Crushers pitch themselves as low-cost, family-friendly entertainment. Tickets will start at $6 and families can lounge on blankets beyond left field.

    "Any market, you can saturate it, but people do love their baseball," general manager Ryan Gates said Wednesday. "We're not going to stop people from being Indians fans, nor do we expect to. But I think we'll offer sort of a neat alternative."

    Gates is making the rounds at Rotary clubs and VFW halls to promote the team, passing out fliers with photos of current construction and renditions of the finished product, advertising fireworks nights and giveaways and explaining the team name.

    Crushers began as an homage to grape-crushing wine makers in the area but has expanded to represent the tough, hardworking nature of Clevelanders, he said.''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 2-26-09, By JASON LLOYD, jlloyd@MorningJournal.com

    ``Take me out to ... All Pro Freight Stadium for a Crushers game

    AVON -- All Pro Freight Systems, a transportation and distribution company located in Avon for the last decade, has purchased the naming rights to the new minor league stadium of the Frontier League's Lake Erie Crushers.

    The stadium will be called All Pro Freight Stadium and likely All Pro Stadium for short. "All Pro Stadium doesn't feel that bad," Crushers owner Steven Edelson said ...

    All Pro Freight Systems has been in business for 20 years and moved to Avon about 10 years ago after spending the first 10 years in Cleveland. When President and CEO Chris Haas saw how close the stadium was to his business, located on Chester Road, he took it as a sign to try to strike a deal ...

    Haas has about 60 employees, he said, not counting truck drivers. Because his business relies heavily on manufacturers, it admittedly makes a commitment like this a bit of a gamble, particularly in the current financial times. But Haas has always enjoyed running a progressive, forward-thinking company, he said ...

    As for the park construction, it remains on schedule, Avon Mayor Jim Smith said. The home opener is June 2 [2009] against the Windy City ThunderBolts.

    "It's going to be on time and under budget," Smith said. "It'll be a great asset to the area."''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 2-26-09. By Adam Wright

    ``Home of the Crushers going "All Pro"

    AVON -- The new name of the Avon baseball stadium couldn't be more fitting.

    All Pro Freight Stadium, or All Pro Stadium for short, will be the name of the Lake Erie Crushers baseball team's home.

    On Wednesday, the team announced naming rights were acquired by All Pro Freight Systems Inc., a warehousing and distribution business headquartered in Avon, about a half-mile from the stadium off Chester Industrial Parkway.

    Team owner Steven Edelson spoke of how proud he was to call the new stadium home at the ceremony staged at Jake's on the Lake restaurant in Avon Lake ...

    All Freight President and CEO Chris Haas said purchasing naming rights was a great way to keep his business moving in the right direction, despite the recession ...

    All Pro Freight Systems employs about 100 workers at its Avon headquarters, where it has operated been since 2000. The company also has a location in Orlando, Fla.

    The Lake Erie Crushers are the newest expansion team in the Frontier League, an independent professional league with 12 teams throughout the Midwest.

    The team will play its first game at the 5,000-capacity stadium at the intersection of Interstate 90 and state Route 611 on June 2 [2009].

    Contact Adam Wright at awright@chroniclet.com.''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 3-12-09. By SCOT ALLYN, sallyn@MorningJournal.com

    ``Crushers mascot visits name contest winner

    AVON -- A 7-foot-tall gray bear was sighted in Avon last night, but don't be alarmed -- it was Stomper, the newly-named mascot for the Lake Erie Crushers baseball team.

    Stomper was knocking at the door of Laurie Ryan, the Avon woman who won the Crushers' contest to name the mascot. Stomper presented Ryan with her prizes, including two 12-game ticket packages, a team sweatshirt, a T-shirt and a hat ...

    The Crushers season opener against the Windy City Thunderbolts is set for June 2 [2009]. Team field manager John Massarelli is in Arizona now scouting talent to fill out the roster, Meyer said ...

    The Crushers will promote their reading club, being offered to 15 schools representing more than 5,000 students, with visits by Stomper to participating classrooms ... Students who read 20 books will win two tickets to a Crushers game, Meyer said.''

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    http://www.cleveland.com/sunsentinel/news/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1236863249300140.xml&coll=4

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 3-12-09

    ``New YMCA should open next year

    AVON -- The new French Creek YMCA is under construction and appears to be on schedule, despite some harsh winter weather.

    Mayor Jim Smith said the facility should be finished by early next year. Y officials are planning a January [2010] opening.

    The contractor is Dunlop and Johnston, Inc., based in Valley City. Ken Miller, Avon's chief building official, said the snow caused a few delays, but the footers are in and the drainage system is being installed.

    The finished building will have about 67,000 square feet of space.

    Smith and Glenn Haley, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, recently signed a large steel beam which will be incorporated as part of the facility's structure. The beam, which is 8 feet long and weighs 297 pounds, is expected to be raised into place during the week of April 23 [2009] ...

    The new facility, which will be located near Miller Road and Route 611, just west of Interstate 90 and close to the Lake Erie Crushers' new ballpark, will cost about $3.5 million.

    Smith praised the YMCA organization because of its agreement to fund 40 percent of the project. He said he funding contribution helps to take a big load off of the city ...

    Smith said that residents are fortunate to have access to EMH Center for Health & Fitness, 1997 Healthway Drive in Avon, but the YMCA will allow more programs for children, since the EMH mostly caters to adults.

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 2-2-09, By Cindy Leise

    ``Ballpark construction goes undercover in Avon

    So what do you do when you have a big construction project under way and winter throws you a curveball? Get yourself some lumber and heavy-duty plastic. It's working for the city of Avon, which is trying to finish a baseball stadium for opening day on June 2 [2009].

    An enclosure has been built around the new $11.3 million baseball field so work can proceed despite the worst winter in years. The plastic may not keep out the cold, but bricks are still being laid and walls are still going up, said Chuck Polinko, construction administrator for the city of Avon. The stadium will house the Lake Erie Crushers, a Frontier League team ...''

    Contact Cindy Leise at cleise@chroniclet.com.

    Top -- Home

    www.LorainCounty.com/sports/feature.shtml?f=16610

    NEWS ARTICLE from LorainCounty.com, 4-21-09

    ``The Lake Erie Crushers to Hold Open Tryout Camp

    [AVON] -- Do you have what it takes to play professional baseball? The Lake Erie Crushers, ... the new Frontier League professional baseball team coming to Lorain County this spring, is holding an Open Tryout Camp on Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Avon Middle School.

    "I look forward to the Open Tryout Camp every season," said Field Manager John Massarelli. "You never know what kind of talent you will uncover. It is always a bonus when you find local talent who can play in front of their home crowd."

    Per Frontier League rules, players must be at least 20 years old and cannot have reached their 27th birthday by Jan. 1, 2009. There is a $100 registration fee and players must bring their own glove and bat.

    Players can pre-register by downloading a registration form online at

    www.LakeErieCrushers.com

    and mailing the completed form and payment to:

    Lake Erie Crushers,

    Open Tryout Camp,

    36711 American Way, Suite 4,

    Avon, OH 44011.

    Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. [5-3-09] the day of the camp.

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    Talent Auditions

    LAKE ERIE CRUSHERS TALENT AND NATIONAL ANTHEM AUDITION

    Presented by LifeShare Community Blood Services

    Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 1:00 p.m.

    Midway Mall, Elyria

    Do you have talent? Do you think you have what it takes to perform in front of thousands of people this summer at All Pro Freight Stadium? If you do, the Lake Erie Crushers are hosting a Talent and National Anthem Audition presented by LifeShare Community Blood Services at the Midway Mall Food Court on Saturday, April 25 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

    The new Frontier League baseball team is looking for skilled performers to sing the National Anthem. Singers are unpaid, but will receive two tickets to the game and a photograph to remember their performance. LifeShare Community Blood Services is the official blood center of the Lake Erie Crushers and the presenting sponsor of the National Anthem before every home game.

    The team is also looking for a performer for their mascot, Stomper. This paid performer would work all Crushers home games, as well as special events as needed. Potential mascot performers will be asked to dance and entertain the crowd as part of their audition at the Midway Mall.

    Interested individuals or groups should pre-register for the Talent and National Anthem Auditions at the Crushers website

    www.LakeErieCrushers.com/talent_auditions

    There is no fee to participate.

    For more information, please contact Nicolle Meyer at 440-934-3636 or email nmeyer@lakeeriecrushers.com.

    The Lake Erie Crushers are the newest expansion team in the Frontier League, an independent professional league with 12 teams throughout the Midwest. The team will open its Inaugural Season on June 2, 2009 at All Pro Freight Stadium, the new 5,000 capacity ballpark located at the intersection of I-90 and Route 611 in Avon.

    Season tickets and Mini-plans are on sale now! For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website or call (440) 934-3636.''

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    COLUMN from The Plain Dealer, 5-11-09, by Michael McIntyre, ReporterMmcintyre@plaind.com

    ``Lake Erie Crushers pitcher Josh Faiola stays at Westlake assisted-living facility, but there's a good reason:

    Michael McIntyre's Tipoff

    One of the ace pitchers for the upstart Lake Erie Crushers baseball team has moved into an assisted-living facility.

    No, the Frontier League team isn't signing World War II-era talent (though the Indians could do worse than to sign someone like, say, Bob Feller for their bullpen.)

    Actually, Crushers pitcher Josh Faiola, who is 25, has moved into the Belvedere of Westlake, an assisted-living facility where he's about 55 years younger than the average resident's age.

    Because players in the independent league don't rake in the cash, many live with host families during the season. Faiola, a Dartmouth graduate originally drafted in 2006 by the Baltimore Orioles, and his wife are guests of Cindy Griffiths-Novak, who owns the Belvedere.

    "We considered it for ourselves personally at our house, but we have a 3- and 4-year-old and thought that might not be a good scenario," said Griffiths-Novak.

    "We happened to have a suite available here, so we asked the residents," she said. The vote was unanimous.

    Residents of the Belvedere's other 32 private units plan to attend opening day June 2, along with staffers. And at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, they're planning a meet-and-greet with the whole team, open to the public ...''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 5-13-09, by Shaun Bennett

    ``Crushers player safe at a home

    WESTLAKE -- Not many area baseball fans have gotten to see Lake Erie Crushers pitcher Josh Faiola perform on the mound, but those who were in attendance during the team's meet and greet Tuesday night [5-12-09] at The Belvedere will tell you the young right-hander can deliver a punch line.

    "I had shoulder surgery a couple years ago, and I thought that might be one of the reasons they put me in an assisted-living facility," Faiola said, getting laughs from the crowd. "I have my own apartment here, and I can come and go as I please. They don't make me go to bed early or anything."

    Faiola, 25, and his wife Allison will be living at The Belvedere during the summer as Faiola competes with the Crushers in the independent Frontier League.

    "I read about the host family program in the newspaper and thought it would be mutually beneficial to our residents and the player to have him stay with us at The Belvedere," owner/administrator Cindy Griffiths-Novak said in a Crushers release. "When I pitched it to our residents, they voted overwhelmingly to give it a try." ...

    "We were approached by The Belvedere, and we came out and did a site visit like we did with all the other host families," said Nicolle Meyer, team director of media relations. "They showed us the suite, and it was amazing. Any player that I placed here, I knew was going to be extremely lucky."

    Lucky because the accommodations were great the suite, which normally runs around $5,000 per month according to a rates sheet provided by The Belvedere, includes a kitchenette, flat-screen TV and a washer and dryer and also because the facility has gone out of its way to make the Faiolas and the Crushers know they have The Belvedere's full support ...

    "The first time I talked to Cindy, which is my host mom, she said, 'Well, you definitely have the most fans out of any player already,'" Josh said. "I definitely do, so I'll have something to live up to. It'll be nice because I'm pretty sure they all have tickets for opening game. It'll be nice to have them there."

    Faiola will begin the season in the Crushers' starting rotation. He grew up in Pueblo, Colo., and played at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It was at Dartmouth that he met Allison ...

    Faiola was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 but decided not to sign so he could finish his senior year at Dartmouth and then was drafted by the Orioles again in 2006. He spent his first year on the Orioles rookie team, going 2-0, and striking out 35 batters in 36 innings pitched, and then tore his labrum. He rehabbed the shoulder for the next two seasons and was released by the Orioles after spring training in March.

    Allison showed she could match her husband with the quick wit. As she was giving a tour of the couple's room, she talked about how The Belvedere also provided daily meals for Josh.

    "I told them I didn't think that was a good idea, because he was going to expect that from me when we went back home," she said.

    Allison also provided her husband some comic relief when he broke the news that they'd be staying in an assisted-living facility for the next four months.

    "As soon as she heard that, she said, 'That's going to be fun,'" Josh said. "One of her first questions was she wanted to know if they play bingo, because she'd go play with her grandparents when she was a kid. So she's definitely excited about that."

    "I was like, 'Ooooh Bingo!'" Allison said. "It'll be a good opportunity to get some quality bingo time in."

    The couple also seemed excited about their new "roommates" -- the other residents in the 33 suites at The Belvedere.

    "We want to meet everyone and get to know some of the people that live here," Allison said. "They've got great stories, and they've led great lives. You want to talk to people from this generation and hear what they have to say because they know more than we do."

    The young couple laughed and chatted with residents and soon-to-be fans as they began filling up the lobby before the news conference kicked off. Many of the residents and staff members already seemed to know them and treated them as if they'd been living at the facility for months.

    "It's worked out so much better than I could have imagined," the Crushers' Meyer said. "I think it says a lot about Josh and his wife, they're just great people."''

    Contact Shaun Bennett at sbennett@chroniclet.com.

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    [The Crushers' opening day is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. June 2, 2009, against the Windy City Thunderbolts at the All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon (Colorado Rd., SR611), where Avon's July 4 fireworks will also be held.]

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 5-24-09, Posted by Patrick O'Donnel

    ``Avon's new Frontier League baseball stadium near Interstate 90 appears safe for passing cars

    AVON -- Maybe Mickey Mantle could have done it, or Mark McGwire.

    Avon's new Frontier League baseball stadium, set to open June 2 [2009], sits so close to Interstate 90 that westbound drivers get a peek over the right field fence straight to home plate. Cars speeding past the park come only about 100 feet from its walls at one point.

    But even for those legendary sluggers, smashing a ball into traffic would be unlikely, according to city officials and a physicist contacted by The Plain Dealer. And foul balls, with their spin and normal trajectory, are even less likely to drift into the path of cars.

    "It looks close," said Avon Mayor Jim Smith. "But it looks closer than it is."

    Former Illinois Institute of Technology professor Porter Johnson, who has taught classes on the physics of baseball, said the distances and angles involved make the park look pretty safe to him. He reviewed a basic plan that the park's architects provided to The Plain Dealer.

    "It's going to be rather difficult, if not impossible, to hit the interstate," said Johnson, who attended Case Western Reserve University in the 1960s.

    The Ohio Department of Transportation has not weighed in on the park's safety, according to a spokesman, because the park does not encroach on the 60-foot buffer the state owns next to the road.

    So authority rests entirely with the city, which is building the $12 million All Pro Freight Stadium just west of the I-90 intersection with Ohio 611. The park, which will be the home for the Lake Erie Crushers, has 3,500 seats and room for 1,500 more to sit on a hill behind left field.

    The teams play in the [Frontier League], which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Though a few MLB players have played in the Frontier League ...

    Even though the angles and distances leave little chance of a ball reaching the highway, the city is installing a 25-foot high net near the highway as an added precaution, said Smith and architect Ron Landig, of RWL Architects in Sheffield ...

    A ball hit to straightaway center field would be roughly parallel to I-90, according to the plans provided by Landig. But anything hit down the first base line will be angled toward the road.

    Though the stadium walls are only about 100 feet from the road at their closest point, the wall there is 35 feet high and about 200 feet from home plate.

    That point is also at about a 90-degree angle from how a pitch comes in. A batter would have to hit the ball 300 feet completely to the side to clear the walls and reach the highway.

    Straight down the right field foul line, the highway is more than 500 feet away. That's about how far the longest home run in the history of Progressive Field -- hit by Jim Thome in 1999 -- traveled.

    The 25-foot-high netting will go where Landig considers it most likely that the unlikely will occur -- a little past the infield where the stadium walls drop dramatically lower. The midpoint of the net will be 290 feet from home plate with another 60 feet of highway right-of-way before traffic.

    Landig said the team consulted coaches about the path of foul balls as well as Osborn Engineering, the Cleveland firm partnering in the design ...

    Experts debate how far the longest home runs in major league history went and how far they would travel had the ball not hit seats in the outfield. Few are reliably reported to clear or even approach 500 feet.

    Landig notes that the Frontier League players are unlikely to reach that distance. "These are good ballplayers," said Landig. "But they're not that mature."

    And Johnson stressed that balls fouled around the plate are just as unlikely to reach the highway. "These balls go very high -- 200 feet or more -- but don't travel very far," he said ...''

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