Jesse, Grizzlies, Harney discussed on Only A Game
This is only a game. I'm nor prince Yati. I think it makes sense to start this week's show by quoting my boy, William Shakespeare RIP more specifically a little play called Romeo and Juliet. You may know it as I do as the source material for a little ditty called love story by Taylor swift. But I digress in act two scene to one of my personal faves Juliet says to Romeo what's in a name that which we call a rose by any other word would smell sweet. Well, I'm sorry. Juliette and I don't mean to pile on because I know you're dealing with a lot right now, but you're wrong names do matter. And only games. Matthew stock has the story to prove it. Jesse an early coal where at a friend's wedding in New Jersey, when the CEO of their business called with bad news Jesse, we just overdrafted our count. We're completely out of money for the first time. Really. We had completely failed in how do you run out of money and not have a backup plan. A few months earlier, Jessie and Emily had bought a collegiate summer league baseball team in Savannah, Georgia. They had already taken on millions of dollars in debt and opening day was still months away on the drive home from New Jersey to North Carolina. Jesse, and Emily talked about what they could do to keep their new team afloat. And Emily came up with a plan. She's Harney said, we've no other options. We have to sell our house. You is in the back of our minds the whole drive. But it took me saying it for us both to accept that. That was really our only option left. We were not ready to give up on this. This was not just he's first experience with failing baseball team in two thousand eight as a twenty three year old. Bachelor. He was hired as the general manager of guests. Donia grizzlies I showed up that first day the team was only averaging a couple hundred fans of game. I found out that the team had lost over one hundred thousand dollars the previous year, and I found out that there was two hundred sixty eight dollars in the Bank account right away. Jesse started calling local businesses to drum up sponsorships. Most weren't interested and some had never even heard of the grizzlies. I was like, what have I got myself into? I mean, the team had been there, but nobody cared. So Jesse went to the team owner with a new idea. Ken, we can no longer be a baseball team. We need to be a circus in maybe a baseball game breakout and luckily didn't fire me and he said, we got up into lose Jesse called a group of his college friends, and they started brainstorming ideas to draw fans to grizzlies games. Things were about to. Get crazy in gastonia. We came up with flatulence fun night where we actually gave away Whoopi cushions at the gate, and we had a farting contest on the field beam, burrito, eating contest, salute to underwear night. If anybody wore their underwear on the outside of their pants in came in, they got a free ticket. George Bush was the president in his term was over. So what do we do? We offered him an internship. Jesse also brought the players into the fun. They started handing out programs before warm-ups and doing choreographed dances in between innings. It started getting a lot of buzz and that's when the attendance started skyrocketing. It really became bigger than we even imagine. People started hearing about Jesse and the grizzlies among them was a young woman named Emily McDonald my boss at the time heard Jessie, speak at a conference, and she actually left the room and called me and said, I met the guy that you're gonna. Marry family was working for a minor league baseball team in Gusta Georgia. Like Jesse. She also believed that fan Centric entertain. -ment was the secret to success in baseball. The two started exchanging emails and sure enough overtime does kinda got to know each other and fell in love. And then I ended up moving together Dona and working for the team with him. I will always remember the first time I walked into that gastonia ballpark Jesse was teaching the players the thriller dance on the field in Texier oh, by the way, he was in a block tuxedo..