As we at the Baby Cakes prepare for the start of the 2017 major league and minor league baseball season, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on an incredible year and look ahead to the year to come.
Since I arrived in New Orleans in January of last year, the Baby Cakes organization has undergone a transformation in more than just name alone. The primary focus of our ownership group has been renewed commitment to developing and strengthening relationships with community leaders and with our fans, making the Shrine on Airline the premier venue for families and friends to come together for a night of entertainment.
Arnie Beyeler will return as manager of the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Miami Marli…
At the same time, we are committed to providing a first-class environment for major league stars of tomorrow to hone their craft. While we are grateful for the more than 400,000 people who passed through the turnstiles in 2016 for all of our events, we are equally prideful of the 23 players who took the field in New Orleans last year en route to living their dream of playing big league baseball.
These players have not only dedicated their lives to the game but also are giving of what little free time they have during the season, participating in community outreach ranging from free baseball clinics at the stadium to visits to the Miracle League and Children’s Hospital.
They have logged countless hours of long bus rides with the Batavia Muckdogs and Greensboro Grasshoppers to extra batting cage work with the Jupiter Hammerheads and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and now take the field at the Shrine each night with “NOLA” emblazoned across their chests, just one step away from playing at the highest level of baseball in the world.
Last summer, we extended our player development contract with our parent club, the Miami Marlins, through the 2020 season, making the Marlins the longest-running affiliation in the history of the New Orleans franchise. This commitment is further evidence of the sacred trust we have not just to the community, but to the Marlins to help develop players for a championship-caliber organization.
So as we open our doors on Thursday, April 6 to begin a new era of professional baseball, I invite everyone in the area to attend a game, discover some of the new and exciting things we have to offer as the Baby Cakes, and cheer on some of the most elite ballplayers in the world on the final stop along their path to the majors.
Augusto “Cookie” Rojas, Jr.
senior vice president and general manager, New Orleans Baby Cakes
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