Time flies for Silver Knights owner Weber — in a good way
Drew Weber learned from his mistake a year ago.
This time he flew.
Remember, the owner of the Nashua Silver Knights missed the 2017 Opening Night ceremonies and half the game at Holman Stadium because he drove from New York City and got caught in abysmal NYC traffic.
But Weber always seems get it right. The former Lowell Spinners and New Hampshire Fisher Cats owner, has learned a lot from any mistakes he may have made in the past but certainly creating the Nashua Silver Knights seven years ago and now, after setting an attendance record and winning four Futures Collegiate League championships, wasn’t a mistake at all.
In fact, Weber will tell you, it’s probably one of the best decisions he’s ever made, especially since his franchise has perhaps the best relationship with a city that any of his ever had.
Yes, Year eight. It is the second longest tenure of any Nashua franchise, as the Pride lasted 11 years.
“Year eight? Is it really?” Weber said. “Wow, wow, wow. That’s really crazy. I would have said five if you asked me. Time goes quick, and not just in baseball.”
But Weber thought it might only last five years, if that, because the business community wasn’t exactly receptive back in 2011. They wanted to have the Knights make up the deficit left by the Pride’s brief successor, the American Defenders, and Weber did just that.
“It was tough when we started, we knew it was going to be difficult,” he said. “Even our best sponsors were extremely skeptical. And now? They’re really happy.”
And so is Weber. So are the fans. Friday night’s crowd wasn’t bad, as the weather got much better just prior to game time and a healthy walk-up line as at the ticket office even at the time for first pitch. Hey, we all know if it sprinkles or if it’s overcast the fans don’t embrace Holman Stadium, but Friday night they did – but the skydivers were afraid of the thunderstorm threat and didn’t.
The June schedule stinks, but fans will come out. It was a great move by the team to have its most loyal fan base, the season ticket holders, hand out the 2017 FCBL Championship rings, and new general manager Rick Muntean was decked out in a tuxedo for the big event.
“You know, I’ve had a lot of experience in baseball,” Weber said. “You will not have a better city to work in.”
He raves about the team’s relationship with its landlord. Now, of course, the elephant in the room with Weber is always going to be how much longer he holds on to the team. That’s because he has come close a couple of times ever since he put the Lowell Spinners (sold two years ago) and the Silver Knights on the block back on a Labor Day Weekend in 2015.
But here it is just shy of three years later, and while the Spinners have been no longer his for two years, the Silver Knights still are.
Let’s face it, at some point the Knights and their armor will belong to someone else. Weber has basically let the franchise run itself, thrilled with the job his former front office leaders, Ronnie Wallace and Cheryl Lindner, did as he monitored things from afar. Friday was the first time he had laid eyes on his new GM after hiring him after several recommendations and phone conversations.
Weber will sell if the time comes someone approaches him with something that he feels makes sense for him and the franchise.
“Who knows?” Weber said when asked about his ownership future. “I don’t have the answer. Whatever it is, this is not going to make or break my life. But what is very important, the city of Nashua has been great to me, and I will make sure I will be great to the city.”
In other words, when Weber does eventually part ways with his franchise, he will hand it over to an owner who will have the ability to keep it thriving in Nashua and no place else.
“When I sold Lowell, it was very important who I sold it to,” he said. “It feels no different in Nashua.”
Year Eight? Yes, Silver Knights fans, time flies. And this year your team’s owner did, too, which was a good thing. Let’s just hope the season doesn’t fly by so we can all enjoy it.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.