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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thunder welcome their seven millionth fan

TRENTON -- Angie Bernstein thought she was getting stopped at the first base gate at Waterfront Park because she was bringing her camera in. The streams of confetti showered upon her quickly proved otherwise.

The Thunder enjoyed another milestone in their illustrious history when Bernstein, a native of Mercerville walked through the main gate at 6:44 PM and became the franchise's seven millionth fan.

"Seven million in attendance is a huge number that really speaks to the success of this franchise since day one," said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. "We can't thank the fans enough for continuing to come out to the ballpark to enjoy Thunder baseball. We also thank all of our great partners who contributed to the wonderful prize package for our seven millionth fan."

According to a team press release, the team awarded Bernstein an elaborate prize package worth about $1,500 that included four tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway contributed by WPST, four passes to Six Flags Great Adventure from Snyder’s of Hanover, a $100 gift card to Wawa, a $150 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods, a grill and cooler set from Coca-Cola, an Adirondack chair from Budweiser, gift certificates to Peddler’s Village and Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds For Sculpture and four Trenton Thunder playoff ticket strips (all 6 potential games) as well a Thunder replica jersey.

The Thunder needed two years, two months and 20 days to accomplish this feat; Franklinville, NJ native Shawn Caple was the team's six millionth fan on June 11, 2008.

Berkmania may be over, but the impact may be felt long past his two-day stay.

Five-time Major League All-Star first baseman Lance Berkman is expected to be activated by the Yankees today after a brief rehabilitation stint in Trenton. But according to manager Tony Franklin, his ballclub will benefit down the road from his presence.

"Here's a guy who's been a very good Major League hitter for a long, long time," Franklin said. "Some of the things that (hitting coach) Frank Menechino has been trying to get these guys to do, Lance comes in and kind of puts the cap on it for them."

"(Lance) says the same thing about batting practice, and how you go about taking it and why you try to do certain things in batting practice and what it's actually for. Then he goes out and performs it on the field. It just kind of reinforces what we try to tell them and what we get them to do. Sometimes, it takes more of a credible person or an actual Major League player to come down and see them in person and do it."

Arizona Fall League rosters were announced today, and Thunder catcher Austin Romine and second baseman Corban Joseph were officially named to the Phoenix Desert Dogs squad, to be managed by Don Mattingly. Additionally, just-promoted reliever George Kontos, ex-Thunder third baseman Brandon Laird and Tampa Yankees starting pitcher Craig Heyer were named to the team.



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