JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Johnson City Doughboys have been seeing large crowds this season as they are currently number one in the Appalachian Baseball League.
During their season opener, they broke their previous attendance record when 4,254 fans filled the stadium.
Patrick Ennis, general manager of the Johnson City Doughboys, said he credits this year’s success to community involvement.
“Showing our community that we support the folks that support us and they’ve shown that by coming out and supporting this team,” said Ennis. “It helps that we’ve been winning, but having the community support that we’ve been seeing so far this season has been tremendous.”
Ennis said having promotions and family entertainment helps brings in the crowds.
“Fan cams on the video board, to fun theme nights, to having Rocky the bat dog,” said Ennis. “It’s just creating that once-in-a-lifetime memory for folks when they come to the ballpark and making sure they have a good time.”
Rocky the Bat Dog, is the Doughboy’s newest addition to the team this season. He retrieves the bats for players and takes them back to the dugout. Ennis said Rocky has become a superstar on and off the field.
“Stay tuned, we’re working on it; might be some Rocky the Bat Dog merch coming through,” said Ennis. “It’s kind of interesting seeing that if a Doughboys player gets out and a pop fly, you don’t really hear much. And then you hear a loud cheer two seconds later when Rocky is running to retrieve it.”
Ennis said Rocky uplifts the team’s spirit in the dugout as well.
Tonight was Army Wednesday and little league night. Little League baseball players had the opportunity to parade around the field before the game.
Cameron Williams, a baseball player with the Johnson City National Major Little League Allstars, said it’s fun and exciting to come out to the games.
“There’s an army recruitment thing where you spin a wheel and you can do a workout or something,” said Williams. “And over there’s a bouncy house and a strike zone pitching thing. And then it’s also fun to go down and get a drink, sit down, sit and watch the game. It’s all fun sorts of stuff to do.”
Mother and son, Brittany and Jax Richardson-Holt, said they enjoy watching baseball games as they are both athletes.
“He plays baseball, I played softball,” said Brittany Richardson-Holt. “It’s a cheap, easy, fun way to come out and spend time with your family. It’s always a good time. So, we always tell everybody come on out.”
Ennis said there are big plans in the Doughboys’ future.
“Talking with the city, we have some future projects,” said Ennis. “But as of right now, we’re going to make sure we put on a quality product for our fans when they come through the gates and make sure we put the best foot forward.”
The next home game will be on the Fourth of July. There will be a professional fireworks show after the game.