2018 was a record year for the Gary SouthShore RailCats with a franchise high 59-41 record, countless events at the ballpark, and an intense playoff appearance. Fans are anticipating the start of the upcoming 2019 season and wondering what they can expect from the division champions.
The RailCats’ front office spent the offseason acquiring veteran players to supplement their young talent. While they are the only team in the American Association to make the playoffs in the last two years, they were knocked out in the first round both times. The RailCats think this year’s increased veteran presence will help push the team over that hump and earn them their first championship since 2013.
“The expectation here is that we’re always competing to win the division and always fighting in the playoffs,” said David Kerr, Director of Marketing & Promotions for the RailCats. “There’s a lot of history here, and we have to live up to that.”
The team saw a huge upgrade off the field as well: partnering with Creekside Outdoor Living to build the Creekside Bar. Located right behind home plate, the bar features bar top seating and an array of draft beers.
“This addition is a great opportunity to take this fantastic stadium Gary built to the next level,” Kerr said. “I can’t stress enough how awesome Creekside is at what they do; they blew away my expectations. It’s turned out to be three levels beyond what I could’ve imagined.”
To celebrate the new addition, the RailCats are hosting eight different “Pop-Up Bar Wednesday’s.” These eight home games will celebrate different iconic TV shows, such as Seinfeld, the Simpsons, and Rugrats. Fans can purchase a $25 Pop-Up Bar Pass that includes tickets to every Pop-Up Bar Wednesday. There is also a $75 option that includes an alcoholic beverage at each game.
“It’s a fantastic way to merge pop-culture, baseball, and this fantastic new bar that Creekside built us,” Kerr said. “There are a couple of day games in the package, but each night game will start at 6:45pm to align with Happy Hour.”
All of the RailCats’s usual promotions are making a return, such as Taco Tuesdays, Kids Run the Bases, and more. One of their biggest promotions is Clunker Car Night, where they give away “clunker” cars donated by local dealerships between innings. Of course, a fan favorite, the Fireworks Super Shows, are back and looking to be better than ever.
“I tell people that you don’t want to miss our fireworks shows,” Kerr said. “We actually shoot them off from center field, so you’re as close as you can get. I’ve seen a lot of fireworks shows over my career and I’m impressed by ours every time.”
With a calendar packed full with events, a championship contending team, and what RailCats promise to be endless “FANtastic Family Fun,” it should be another exciting year of baseball at the U.S. Steel Yard.