The first in a short series of Meet & Greet events in Summer 2021, hosted near various local ballparks. The ballpark in question is Atrium Health Ballpark, home to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers.
The team was founded in 1963 in Spartansburg, South Carolina, as the Spartansburg Phillies, a minor league affiliate of the Major League Philadelphia Phillies. They played in Spartansburg from 1963 to 1980, and after a five-year hiatus, finished their tenure in South Carolina with their 1986 to 1994 seasons, after which they moved to Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium (later known as CMC-Northeast Stadium and Intimidators Stadium) in Kannapolis. When the team arrived in 1995, they were renamed to the Piedmont Phillies, but were quickly renamed again to the Piedmont Boll Weevils following a name-the-team contest in fall of 1995, and retained that name from 1996 to 2000. After the 2000 season, NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. bought a share of the team, and the team was renamed to the Kannapolis Intimidators in honor of his nickname. At this time, the team's major affiliate changed from the Phillies to the Chicago White Sox. Following Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500 in February 2001, the team retired his number 3 the following year, and kept the Intimidators name for the better part of 2 decades. In Kannapolis, the team has won one Division Title (2017) and one League Title (2005).
2020 brought several major changes for the the team:
- The move to a new ballpark downtown, Atrium Health Ballpark (one block from the event site)
- Following a restructure of the minor leagues in 2020, the team's Class and League changed (presently Low-A East, formerly Class A South Atlantic League)
- The team was renamed the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers following the move downtown, with a logo reminsicent of Earnhardt.
The event is an informal Meet & Greet at Dale Earnhardt Plaza. Please follow all local, state, and federal guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing, etc.
There is extensive free parking (details on the Kannapolis municipal website).
WHAT: Meet & Greet
WHERE: Dale Earnhardt Plaza in Kannapolis
WHEN: Saturday, June 12th, 5pm-6pm