WILSON — With a home game promotion schedule packed with fan favorites, the Wilson Tobs will open their 2023 season at Fleming Stadium this Sunday.
Tobs general manager Mike Bell says the team is still on pace from last year’s Coastal Plain League championship run. Representing the Eastern Division, Wilson lost the CPL crown to Western Division leader Savannah Bananas.
“We were one game away from winning a championship last year, so we have that same fire burning inside of us,” Bell said. “We have a very good team coming up and we are ready to ‘get that win.’”
The Tobs want that same fire in their fans, so the team has scheduled a season full of weekly home game specials and promotions. The “Pump It Up” theme started during promotional events last year and Bell said it will continue through the 2023 season.
“It doesn’t matter if you like baseball or not, you’ll have top-notch entertainment this season,” Bell said. “There will be fun for absolutely everyone.”
Bell said the Tobs’ season-long theme is “We Are Wilson”.
Sunday’s season opener features Matty Begs as the pregame band, beginning as soon as the gates open at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30, the Tobs take the field against the Fuquay-Varina Twins. Immediately after the game, fireworks will light up the night sky.
“You always want to start with a bang,” Bell said of the opening night festivities. He also suggested wearing red, white, and blue in honor of Memorial Day.
Saturday June 3rd is a date that barbecue lovers will want to mark on their calendars, as the Tobs organization is hosting their Beer & BBQ Festival. Doors open at 5:45 pm with local band Street Revival playing before the game. The Tobs will take on the Asheboro Zookeepers at 7.
“This is a licensed barbecue cook-off event hosted with the NC Pork Council,” Bell said. “If a cooking team enters this contest, they get a spot in the state barbecue cooking championship.”
An adult all-you-can-eat Beer & BBQ Festival ticket that includes game admission is $16; an all-you-can-eat ticket for a child/service member is $13. A game-only ticket costs $8.
On Tuesday, June 6, the Tobs will host their annual Book and Baseball Party, an evening to celebrate a Tobs-sponsored reading initiative program that is active in 18 Wilson County schools.
“We’ve been doing this for more than 10 years so teachers have another way to encourage reading,” Bell said of the program for elementary and middle school students. “The more children read, the more tickets and prizes they earn and become better readers.”
Other promotional nights in June include:
• Thursday, June 8: Wilson Whirligig & Chamber Night promoting and celebrating Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.
• Tuesday, June 13: “2 For 1 Date Night” at Fleming Stadium, which means your special someone gets a free ticket to the game.
• Thursday, June 15: Education Appreciation Day is for any employee of a Wilson school or school system. Any school employee walks in the door for free that night. Please bring school employee identification.
• Saturday, June 17: Disney Night, a packed evening featuring a Disney theme and “Mascot Madness,” featuring mascots from various teams and businesses. It is also the birthday of Tobs, the tobacco worm mascot Slugger. Fans of all ages are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Disney characters.
• Thursday, June 22: Healthcare Heroes Appreciation Night, when anyone who works in the healthcare profession enters the game for free.
• Sunday, June 25: “Home Run 4 Hunger,” a food drive for more than 10 Wilson County food pantries. Bring four cans of non-perishable food and receive a free ticket to the game.
• Thursday June 29: Host Family Appreciation, an evening to say thank you to local families hosting Tobs players from across the country. These families are known as “the team behind the team.”
• Saturday, July 1: Fireworks show. Dress in red, white and blue for the game and stay until the end for a patriotic fireworks display on Independence Day weekend.
The July and August promotions can be found on WilsonTobs.com under “Schedule/Promotions Hours.”
Throughout the season, the Tobs host fan-favorite weekly promotions at their home games.
• $1 Dogs With Your Dogs Sundays: Sunday nights offer $1 hot dogs and $1 slushies, and fans are encouraged to bring their family dogs to the games. Due to the fireworks display scheduled for Sunday, this promotion excludes the home opener on May 28.
• Fleming Fan Feast Tuesdays – Enjoy special offers on all you can eat and drink, excluding select items and wine specials.
• Thirsty Thursdays – This ever popular Thursday game day promotion features beer and wine specials.
The Wilson Tobs play in the Coastal Plain League, an NCAA-sanctioned summer college baseball league. The team plays its home games at Fleming Stadium, 300 Stadium St. For current rosters, standings, game schedules and promotions, visit WilsonTobs.com.
Tickets for the game can be purchased via a link to ticket provider Showpass.com accessible via the Tobs website. Admission for a single game is $9 for ages 12-adults and $7 for service members and children ages 6-11. Children under 5 years old enter free.