Ready or not, the 2023 Silver Knights season is upon us
It all begins to get real on Monday.
And then, when the players board the bus Wednesday to take that nice ride on the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Berkshires and Pittsfield’s Wahconah Park, it really gets real.
Yes, it’s here already, Nashua Silver Knights season. Players who are available – a good chunk of the 40 man roster is still in post season play with their respective colleges, or are still finishing up senior year in high school – will report for orientation, a workout, etc. on Monday at Holman Stadium. They’re due to report at 11 a.m.
Yes, it’s really real.
Even general manager Cam Cook can’t believe the 2023 season is here already.
“I’m saying ‘OK, we’ve got five weeks to go,'” he said about a month ago. “Then it’s like, ‘It’s just a couple of weeks away.'”
And now it’s even less than that. Not weeks, days.
The Knights open up with three road games to start, and have their Holman opener next Saturday, May 27. Because it’s not a Friday opener – which Cook would have rather had – the team will have its Championship Ring Ceremony on Friday, June 2.
“I love watching my guys go play baseball, I’d love to have a home game there,” Cook said. “I’m fine with Wednesday on the road, Thursday on the road, but I’d like to have that Friday at home. But also, having those three road games to start gives us time to make sure our opening day is running smoothly, our ring ceremony will run smoothly, all of those things.”
Not many fans will likely make the drve to Pittsfield, but if you’re dying to see the Silver Knights before next Saturday, you can catch them at Brockton next Thursday or at Worcester on Friday.
Then the fun begins, six of their next seven at Holman. A Saturday-Sunday Memorial Day Weekend, a home game the following Tuesday night which is a special historic event with a pre-game ceremony with Holman officially being added to the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, and then the fun controlled chaos of the annual Education Day on the morning of May 31. A sellout. Yellow Bus Day. Last year’s drew a record 3,000-plus crowd.
What was all pre-season planning, meetings, phone calls, faxes, emails, etc. is now people in the seats, concession stands open, ticket lines out front, etc.
This is Year 13. When the Futures Collegiate League first began with a fledgling four teams, what did we give it? Five, six years? But the Silver Knights under the then-ownership of Drew Weber began to develop a following, the marketing and promotional effort was superb with Spinners VP Jon Goode making the calls. There’s less of that celebrity splash now, but the nowCreedon family ownership is very consumer friendly. And the philosophy for both ownerhips was the same: Get them here and they will come back.
The winning – six championships in 12 years — doesn’t hurt, it keeps the hard core fans engaged. There was a good chunk of fans that took a bus to Vermont for the deciding game last August, and it was a classic, a game for the ages. It seems like it was just yesterday. High School football practices had started that day, summer turned into fall, fall turned into winter, and what little spring we get is slowly but surely turning into summer.
And that means that suddenly, the Silver Knights are back. Some will have the memory of last August – Game 2 of the Finals at Holman was a classic as well – fresh in their minds. Others just want a night out of fun and good baseball, which is fine.
“I think people embrace us as the hometown team with the success that we’ve had,” Cook said. “But I bet there’s a lot of people who will show up on June 2nd that don’t know why we’re getting rings.
“And that’s fine. It’s something for everybody. But it is funny, at Chamber (of Commerce) events, people come up to me and say, ‘How do you guys keep doing this?'”
Good question. Besides great fan support, there may not be one definite answer.
But we hope they keep doing it anyway. The 2023 Nashua Silver Knights season is here. Enjoy.
Tom King can be reached at email@example.com, or on twitter @Telegraph _TomK.