ALBEMARLE — This summer, a new collegiate wood-bat baseball team will be calling Albemarle’s Don Montgomery Park its home.
The city announced on Jan. 23 that its city council has approved a multiyear lease between Albemarle Parks and Recreation and Sullimak Entertainment, which also owns and operates the Winston Salem-based Carolina Disco Turkeys.
The name of the new Albemarle ball club will be introduced later this month.
“We’re very excited to not only bring a team to Albemarle but to do it in a way where the community and our organization each benefit,” Greg Sullivan, president of Sullimak Entertainment, said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to being in Albemarle and Stanly County for many years to come and look forward to being the baseball team for the Uwharrie region, like the Cannon Ballers are to Kannapolis and the Knights are to Charlotte. We’ve already brought on an exciting head coach and several players as we build our first team.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome this new ball club to our city,” Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael said. “They’re a wonderful addition to what defines us as a regional destination for entertainment, athletics, and outdoor recreation.”
The upcoming team — led by Catawba Valley Community College assistant coach Houston Wright — will play independently of a league, hosting more than 20 home games in Albemarle between late May through early August.
As part of the contract, Don Montgomery Park is slated to receive upgrades such as tabletop and picnic seating additions, a new sound system, updates to the bathroom and concession areas, and additional fencing. In addition to rent, Albemarle will also receive a portion of ticket revenue from the team’s games this summer.
Historically, the eight-acre park located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 52 and Efird Street has been the home for Albemarle Dixie Youth Baseball, Albemarle Babe Ruth Baseball and Albemarle High School Baseball.
“Our parks have always been the place where the community creates memories, especially at the ball field,” said Lisa Kiser, director of Albemarle Parks and Recreation. “Our community now has a chance to experience the best college baseball players in the region competing against other high-level teams. It’s a great opportunity to inspire our young local athletes.”
Any area college baseball players or locals interested in hosting players for the summer (and receiving season passes for their family) are advised to contact team president Greg Sullivan at [email protected].