Imagine coming to a baseball game, where most of the admission is merely $6, and leaving with a brand-new car. It sounds crazy, unreal and most of all impossible, right? Don’t tell that to Fayetteville SwampDogs fan Robert Cox, who on Wednesday, June 9 left The Swamp with a $15,000 Nissan Versa from Stewart Nissan.
In the seventh inning of the SwampDogs matchup with Columbia, SwampDogs infielder Nick Natoli stole home to win Cox the brandnew car.
After silence and amazement while Natoli was dashing towards home in the seventh inning, cheers and jubilation erupted from the large crowd on hand for history at The Swamp.
“It was awesome hearing the crowd go crazy when I crossed the plate,” Natoli said. “I could tell right then that I was a part of something special.”
“It sent chills down my spine as I watched Nick run down the third base line,” SwampDogs Co-Owner Lew Handelsman said. “I started screaming we’re going to give away a car, we’re going to give away a car!!”
The car giveaway was a part of the SwampDogs promotion called “Steal of a Lifetime.” In this promotion every fan in attendance could enter their name in a box, free of charge, prior to and during each SwampDogs home game. If a SwampDogs player stole home, then the SwampDogs drew a name from a box. The name drawn won a $15,000 Nissan from Stewart Nissan. On that Wednesday night, Cox was the fortunate winner.
“One of the things I kept on thinking about is that one of our fans didn’t have to pay a single penny to win a car,” Handelsman said.
Natoli was the second SwampDog player in the last three years to steal home and win a fan a vehicle.
The SwampDogs handed the keys to Cox in a special ceremony during a doubleheader on Saturday, June 12 at The Swamp. The SwampDogs even allowed him to drive the car around the stadium, with Natoli in the passenger seat of course.
Cox has been going to SwampDogs games since the team originated. As a way of saying thanks for winning him a brand-new car, Cox says that he will take Natoli out to dinner — most likely in his new car