Hey batter, batter ... swing! Don’t you just love baseball? The smell of hot dogs, popcorn and the crowd yelling after a home run?
    “We are a lot more than just baseball,” said Mark Wilderman, operations manager of the Fayetteville SwampDogs. “We are affordable, fun family entertainment.”
Wilderman added that in today’s times, where it is hard for a family to go on vacation with $4 a gallon gasoline, their games are a great family outing.         
    The SwampDogs have a plethora of promotional events that will keep the Fayetteville community busy for the rest of the year. Friday the 13th is Freaky Friday. There will be a costume contest and trunk-or-treating inside the park.
    {mosimage}Military Appreciation night is June 14. On June 15 the SwampDogs play the U.S. Military All-Stars. The team consists of active-duty military from all over the country raising money for military charities.
    On June 20, the team will host USA Baseball’s National Team of Collegiate standouts in an exhibition contest at J.P. Riddle Stadium. The team consists of the best collegiate players in the country.
    There is an area high school all-star game on June 21 with recent graduates from the area. The MVP will receive a scholarship.
    June 28 is the SwampDogs’ first annual Green Night. It is designed to show appreciation for Planet Earth. Canvas tote bags will be given away at the event. On July 3,  there will be a  Fireworks Extravaganza.
    “This has become a staple in this area for fans to come out and see one of the best fireworks shows in the area,” said Wilderman.
    The second annual Striking Out Cancer night, hosted by the Blood and Cancer Clinic, is July 19.
    “Our players wear pink jerseys and we auction the jerseys off,” said Wilderman. “We donate the money to a local cancer charity.”
    Wilderman added that cancer survivors come out and walk around the bases during the seventh inning, making it a powerful night. Other events include a Hanna Montana night for young girls. There will also be a Bobble Head Doll giveaway on Aug. 1 for the first 500 fans.
    The SwampDogs have partnered with South River EMC of Dunn to bring three one-day camps to J.P. Riddle Stadium this summer on June 26, July 15 and Aug. 1. Camp hours are 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Students must be between the ages of 5-13 and will receive a free SwampDogs T-shirt, lunch and a ticket to a SwampDogs game. One day of camp is $40, two days of camp is $75, and all three days of camp are $100. Space is limited.
    “We love to give back to our community,” said Wilderman. “I am so excited about all the fun things that we do for families.”
    Tickets for SwampDog games range from $3 to $7. For more information, call 426-5900 or visit www.goswampdogs.com.

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