Happy opening day!!! Yesterday Greenville Drive baseball returned to Fluor Field with the season opener against Kannapolis Intimidators. The first pitch was thrown by retired Sergeant Michael Batton, who served as an active duty Marine for 10 years before being injured in combat in Iraq in 2006. Greenville managed to tie it up in the eight inning, and the final score was 7-6 after the 10th, with The Drive coming through with a victory in their first home game.
Greenville’s baseball stadium is located on S. Main Street in the West End. Modeled after Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox), Fluor Field even has its own “Green Monster,” a 30-foot high wall in left field with a manual scoreboard. The dimensions all around the outfield wall are to the same specifications as Fenway Park, including “Pesky’s Pole” in right field. Home to more than 70 Greenville Drive home games a year (unless they get rained out like last year!), the stadium also hosts a number of other functions, including the St. Patrick’s day festivities we attended last year and other special sporting events.
On May 28, 2005 with the ground-breaking in what used to be a lumber yard, the construction of West End Field began. Less than 11 months later on April 6, 2006, the Drive defeated the Columbus Catfish 6-1 in the first game played in the new stadium. That year the Field was selected as the "Ballpark of the Year" by Baseballparks.com, an award given to the best new/rebuilt ballpark, whether it's from the Major, Minor or Independent Leagues. On February 26, 2008 the stadium was officially renamed Fluor Field at the West End after a corporate partnership was reached between the Drive and Fluor Corporation.
A Minor League team, the Greenville Drive is a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Previously the team played in Columbia and was known as the Capital City Bombers. Our mascot is a frog named Reedy Rip'it, and we’ve become accustomed to seeing him at events around town, such as last summer’s Park Hop.
Check out this season’s schedule here, and for ticketing and other information visit the official site of the Greenville Drive here. Great editorial by the Greenville News here.