Rafters Release Full 2017 Promotional Schedule
For the City Times
June 9th Mustache Night to feature MLB Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The past few days the Rafters have unveiled a list of fireworks shows, entertainment acts and special guests slated to appear at Witter Field this summer. Today the team announced the full promotional schedule for the 2017 season.
Opening Day is Tuesday, May 30 at 7:05 against the Kenosha Kingfish. The Rafters have partnered with Paul Gross Jewelers to present a replica Championship Ring scavenger hunt, where medallions will be hidden around the stadium and will need to be located to receive a ring; limit one ring per ticket holder. Gates will open a half hour earlier than usual, at 5:30, for fans to enjoy pre-game festivities that will include a balloon artist, face painting and unveiling of the 2016 World Series Championship banner. Wednesday, May 31 will feature an appearance by the always-entertaining ZOOperstars!, sponsored by Paper City Savings. On Friday, June 2 Advanced Disposal is sponsoring a bobblehead of Rafters mascot Rosco P. Rafter with the Northwoods League Championship Trophy.
In addition to the Rosco Championship Trophy bobblehead, the team will host four additional bobblehead nights in 2017. On June 17, Bull’s Eye Credit Union presents Turn Back the Clock Night with a bobblehead featuring former Rapids Twins icon Elmore “Moe” Hill in his 1974 pinstripes to pay tribute to him winning the Midwest League Triple Crown that year. In 1974, Hill batted a career-best .339 to go with 32 home runs and 113 RBIs, becoming the first player in Midwest League history to win the Triple Crown. Skyward Educators Appreciation Night on Tuesday, June 27 will feature the Skyward Central Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, Mr. Adam Klonowski (Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School) on a bobblehead featuring his likeness. In 2016, former Rafters pitcher Ben Heller became the first Rafter to reach the Major Leagues when he debuted with the New York Yankees on August 26. On August 9 Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics is partnering with the Rafters for a Ben Heller “First Rafter to the Show” bobblehead. The Rafters fifth and final bobblehead will be unveiled in a special announcement later today…stay tuned to the team’s social media pages for details you won’t want to miss!
On four Saturday nights during the 2017 season the Rafters will feature post-game fireworks shows that will dazzle all fans in attendance. The fireworks series will open up on Saturday, June 10 presented by Budweiser. Advanced Disposal will help start the Fourth of July festivities with a fireworks extravaganza following the Rafters home game on July 1. All fans in attendance on July 1 will also receive a lighted baton to enhance the atmosphere at Witter Field during the fireworks display. Advanced Disposal will also present the fireworks show on July 15. The 2017 fireworks series will conclude on Saturday, August 12 and will be presented by Heartland Farms.
On Friday, June 9 Bull’s Eye Credit Union is presenting Mustache Night along with a special guest appearance by a man with one of the most recognizable mustaches in baseball history, MLB Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Brewers closer Rollie Fingers. The first fans through the gates on June 9 will also receive their very own handlebar mustache to wear throughout the evening. One of the most popular figures in Wisconsin Rapids Twins history will return to Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, June 17 for Bull’s Eye Credit Union Turn Back the Clock Night. Moe Hill will be in attendance to meet with fans and sign autographs on his Triple Crown Bobblehead Night. After paying tribute to the ‘90s a year ago, the Rafters will host their first ‘70s Night on Thursday, June 22 this summer. Joining the Rafters to meet with fans will be a gentleman who symbolized the 70s American dream of success—Jimmie Walker—who played gleamy-toothed J.J. Evans in the popular 1970s CBS hit TV series Good Times. Walker’s catchphrase “Dyn-o-mite!” became a popular item in the American vernacular and he became such a major celebrity that Time Magazine named him “Comedian of the Decade.” The Rafters encourage fans to don their 1970s attire and be ready to ‘dance the night away’ to classic tunes from the ‘70s. On Sunday, July 30, LubDub Sports presents Wrestling Night at the ballpark with special guest Jerry “The King” Lawler. There will be interactive features available for fans to engage all evening long and win special prizes, courtesy of LubDub Sports.
The ZOOperstars! will perform on Wednesday, May 31 courtesy of Paper City Savings. The ZOOperstars! act has ranked at the top of sports promotions, featuring hilarious inflatable characters with clever names such as Harry Canary, Tommy Laswordfish, Clammy Sosa, Shark McGwire, and many more! The performance combines synchronized dance routines, acrobatics, tricks and comedy for performances that connect with fans of all ages. On Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Clinics Night on June 12, the Flying Houndz Frizbee Trick Dog Show invites you to “Come Catch the Fun” with their unique, one of a kind, family themed entertainment experience bringing audiences thrilling fun that’s out of this world! Thursday, July 13 will feature an appearance by baseball juggling Josh Horton presented by Solarus. With nine gold medals in the world championships of juggling, Horton is one of the best jugglers in the world. He will combine his talents to juggle baseballs, bats, helmets, and whatever else he can find at the ballpark! It’s Rally time again on Saturday, July 29 presented by Heartland Farms. Players flying out of the dugout, dancing grounds crews, and pranks pulled on fans, are just a few of Rally’s tricks fans can expect. On Saturday, August 5 Nasonville Dairy presents a special appearance by the Sweet Right Brothers. The Sweet Right Brothers are big blue mascot characters that have a few between-inning antics up their sleeves that will entertain fans of all ages.
Jersey Auction Nights
The Rafters will hold three jersey auctions during the 2017 season. Fey Printing will sponsor Military Appreciation Night on June 29 featuring patriotic-themed American Flag jerseys. All proceeds from the auction will be benefit the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Advanced Disposal Star Wars Night on July 1 will feature more than a lighted baton and postgame fireworks show to start your 4th of July weekend off right. The Rafters will wear Star Wars jerseys for the first time ever to be auctioned off to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids. On July 12 Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa will sponsor Outdoorsman Night with the first-ever camo and blaze orange jersey that the Rafters will wear. All proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit the Habitat for Humanity charity in Wisconsin Rapids. Baseball bingo will accompany the special outdoorsman-inspired jersey auction.
Theme Nights and Giveaways
Monday, June 5 will be Princess & Cowboy Night with a tiara and sheriff badge giveaway for the first kids through the gates. Make sure dress in your favorite princess and cowboy attire for the on-field costume parade. On Sunday, June 11, Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics is presenting a commemorative World Series Championship Stadium Blanket Giveaway. Duncan Disability Law is presenting the first-ever Witter Field stadium replica model giveaway on Tuesday, June 20. The July 3rd game will feature Bacon themed specials like BLT’s, pigsicles, bacon chocolate sundaes, and bacon wrapped shrimp for Bacon Appreciation Night. Witter Field will once again welcome all dogs to the game on Wednesday, July 5 with the return of Quality Feed and Seed Bark in the Park Night. Fans can bring their canine companions to the game and receive a dog frisbee, courtesy of Quality Feed and Seed. The return of the Hot Dog Hundo promotion will also take place on July 5, with fans having a chance to win cash prizes of up to $100 by purchasing a hot dog. Mid-State Technical College Protective Services Night on July 11th will honor police, fire, paramedics, corrections, and others who perform the tasks that keep us safe. Solarus Baseball Card Night will be held on Thursday, July 13th, when trading card sets of the 2017 team will be handed out prior to the game. Game one of the home-road doubleheader on Wednesday, July 26 at 12:05 will be Boys & Girls Club Day presented by Cellcom. Salute your favorite Wisconsin sports team on Monday, July 31 by donning your favorite team’s apparel. Fans will get to take home a poster of this year’s Rafters team on Tuesday, August 1st, presented by Luke A. Weiland Attorney at Law. Help the Rafters swat away the pesky Battle Creek Bombers mosquitoes with your very own Rafters fly swatter for the giveaway on Monday, August 7. The ever-popular Fan Appreciation Night will take place on Friday, August 12 and will feature giveaways all night long.
Assumption Catholic Schools Night will occur on Wednesday, June 7 as the Rafters host the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders at 7:05 p.m. Make sure to wear blue and show off your Royals pride. United Way is sponsoring the Hun-ger Coalition Food Sculpture Event – United We Can on Wednesday, June 14. Make sure to stop out to the ballpark and vote for your favorite sculpture. In partnership with United Way along with the support of local businesses, the event was able to leverage roughly 6,000 pounds of food that was distributed to five local food programs in South Wood County last year alone. Tuesday, July 4 will be Incourage Independence Day. The first 250 fans that bring a non-perishable food item to the Rafters ticket office will have the chance to purchase two tickets for the price of one. McCain Foods Night will take place on Sunday, June 16th. If you enjoy French fries and deep fried appetizers, this is the night for you. Renaissance Learning Night is slated for Thursday, July 27.
In conjunction with their partnership on the new Video Board getting added to the stadium for the 2017 season, Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics is sponsoring a FREE Community Movie Night at Witter Field on Friday, August 11 at 7:00 p.m. The featured film will be Finding Dory. The Rafters invite families to bring a blanket and relax in the outfield grass for the featured film. Following the season, the Rafters will host the first-ever Rushing Rapids Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, September 9 from 2-6 pm at Witter Field. A $40 ticket includes a 4oz sampling glass and unlimited samples of craft beers from breweries from around the state and beyond. Live music will be performed by the band Hyde and there will be bean bag toss and other activities to take part in. Full details including a list of breweries represented will be released at a later date.
The Rafters host their season opener on Tuesday, May 30 at 7:05 pm when they take on the Kenosha Kingfish. Rafters single game tickets go on sale on Friday, April 21st at 9:00 am. Tickets will be available by visiting Raftersbaseball.com, calling the Rafters ticket office at 715-424-5400, or stopping by the Front Office at Witter Field.