The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Rick Muntean

 Silver Knights Opening Weekend

What: The Silver Knights play their first two home games of the season against the North Shore Navigators and the Brockton Rox.
Where: Holman Stadium, 67 Amherst St., Nashua
When: Friday, June 1, at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, at 5:05 p.m.
Tickets: Tickets start at $6 for adults and $3 for kids under 10. Kids under 3 free.

Baseball GM
New Nashua Silver Knights GM starts inaugural season


 You bring several decades of front-office experience to the Silver Knights. Tell me a little about your background with the sport.

I’ve been a baseball nut since I was 5 years old, when I started listening to Cleveland Indians games with my dad almost every night of the season. My career in baseball has taken me across the country, and I’ll be working my 34th opening day when the Silver Knights play the North Shore Navigators on June 1. I started as an assistant GM for the San Jose Expos in 1982, which was a minor-league affiliate team of the Montreal Expos. Since then I’ve [worked] in front offices for minor-league teams in Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio and Connecticut. I became GM for the Saint Joseph Mustangs in Missouri in 2008, back when they only had 10 people at a game and they couldn’t even give tickets away. We renovated the stadium and ran a ton of promotions, and by the next season we had as many as 1,500 people in the stands.
What are the main functions of your job?
I’m in charge of the long-term viability of the team, which encompasses everything from community relations to developing our on-field product and, most importantly, selling tickets. I always tell people that they wouldn’t believe what it takes to sell minor-league baseball tickets. There’s a lot of creativity involved, and timely and clever promotions play a big role. There have been nights when I’ve run five promotions all at once. I love how every night is different and the relationships we’re able to build with our fans. When someone pays money to come in to our stadium, we have to treat them like gold. 
How do you feel joining such a successful organization?
There’s a little pressure coming in since they’ve been so successful. Drew Weber is a great owner and one of the biggest reasons the team’s done so well, and I’m really impressed with our manager, B.J. Neverett. He’s the exact kind of guy you need to make a program work: a no-nonsense great communicator who knows the game inside and out. Attendance has been very good for a college summer baseball league.. 
What goals do you have for your inaugural season with the team?
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel this year. They’ve had a formula for success that’s really worked well. I’m going to follow through on that formula this season, evaluate where we stand at the end of the summer and see if we need to add anything new to the equation. But for right now I want to continue fostering the great vibe we have in this town and make sure our fans always leave the stadium saying “that was a good time.”
Any major changes or events fans can look forward to at the ballpark this summer?
For our opening day on June 1, we’re going to have a ring ceremony on the field to celebrate last season’s championship, which will include skydivers landing on the field with the rings. … After the game, we’ll have a huge fireworks show. We’re also hosting the Futures Collegiate Baseball League all-star game on July 17 for the first time since 2012, which coincides with the 80th anniversary of Holman Stadium. We’re going to have a baseball showcase and skills competition and a home run derby before the game and a huge fireworks show right after, and we’re trying to book a concert for the night as well. The city has purchased every ticket to the game, and citizens of Nashua will be able to come in for free. We want to make a monster out of this thing. 
Thoughts on the current MLB season?
I’ve noticed ... games are getting a little shorter, which might be because of the new rule limiting mound visits to six per game. Pitchers are also throwing faster now, because of how much emphasis hitters are putting on home runs. You’re seeing a lot more strikeouts as a result, but boy are there are a lot more home runs too. And of course, you have to love the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Both teams look really, really good this season. 
— Scott Murphy 

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