Eric Haase, catcher for the Akron Rubberducks spoke with Sam and Brad on a Feel Good Friday to talk about being named Eastern League Player of the Week and his time with the club.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Sam and Brad spoke with Akron Rubberducks pitcher Cameron Hill to talk about him being selected to the Eastern League All Star Game.

Hill is one of four Rubberducks selected to the game, which will be played in New Hampshire July 12.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Akron Rubberducks pitcher Thomas Pannone joined the Sam and Brad SHow on a Feel Good Friday to talk about being named to the Eastern League All Star Game coming up on July 12.

Pannone is one of four Rubberducks going to this year's game in New Hampshire, along with Manager Mark Budzinski and the coaching staff who will be a part of the game as well.

  

The full interview can be heard here.

 

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Akron Rubberducks outfielder Greg Allen spoke with Sam and Brad on Tuesday live at Canal Park. He talked about his season thus far and what he's looking to do as a member of the Cleveland Indians organization.

Published in Sam and Brad

Akron Rubberducks owner Ken Babby joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the home opener tonight versus the Bowie Baysox.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Friday, 24 March 2017 15:50

AUDIO Rubberducks Inch Closer To Opener

With the Opening Night for the Akron Rubberducks just 12 nights away, many people will be making their way to Canal Park for some great baseball fun.

Adam Liberman, Director of Public and Media Relations for the Rubberducks joined Brad Russell on a Friday.

 

For the full interview, click here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

The first Akron Rubberducks Hot Stove Banquet has come to the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn in Akron, and a familiar name in baseball circles in Northeast Ohio will be the keynote speaker at tonight's event.

Former Cleveland Indians second baseman Carlos Baerga spoke with Sam and Brad about tonight's event and the Indians' run to Game 7 of the World Series.

 

Carlos talked with the guys about his love of baseball and the event going on tonight with the Rubberducks.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Mark Budzinski, the new manager of the Akron Rubberducks joined the Sam and Brad Show Tuesday to talk about his new venture, and how excited he is for the opportunity to lead the Eastern League Champs at Canal Park.

Budzinski comes to Akron from the Lynchburg Hillcats.

 

For the full interview, click here. 

 

Published in Sam and Brad
In 2016, the eyes of the sports world were on Northeast Ohio. From basketball to hockey, to baseball to mixed martial arts, the titles and accolades poured all over the region.

Here in Akron, the RubberDucks took home the Eastern League championship, and their manager, Dave Wallace, was named Minor League Manager of the Year. Wally called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the Ducks’ journey towards their title, as well as the manager’s job at a level such as Double-A. He went into specifics about how to manage a team with players being called up to higher levels at different times and how the coaching staff can adjust.

Wallace has been the manager of the RubberDucks since their current incarnation in 2014, and has been with the Indians’ organization as both a player and coach since 2002.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

As the Indians prepare to head to the World Series Tuesday night at Progressive Field,  former Rubberducks pitcher Ryan Merritt pitched a heck of a game on Wednesday for Game 5 against the Blue Jays to propel the Tribe in the Fall Classic.

Rubberducks manager Dave Wallace joined Sam Bourquin Thursday to talk about Ryan's pitching performance and the Tribe.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 18:13

RubberDucks' Pfander Tapped EL Executive Of Year

RubberDucks general manager Jim Pfander has been named the 2016 Eastern League Executive of the Year...the same year that the team won the Eastern League title.

Pfander says that this award is a team award.

"This is really a reflection of the 27 full-time staff members, and then our gameday staff of over 150 people that work here at Canal Park day in and day out," Pfander tells WAKR's Sam Bourquin, "that really get Affordable Family Fun and make it come to life here at the ballpark."

Pfander says it's been quite a year for Akron's baseball team.

"We had an incredible record up until Memorial Day, and then you had promotions and you have guys that moved up, guys who got traded, it was a crazy year," Pfander says, "and really, the credit goes to Dave Wallace, our manager, for keeping the team together as they made that historic run."

Pfander also says that the city of Akron should share in the honors, with its support shown through increased attendance in this championship season, and the past four years, for the RubberDucks.

Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 12 September 2016 17:27

AUDIO Rubberducks Ready For EL Championship

The Akron Rubberducks are heading to the Eastern League Championship against the Trenton Thunder starting Tuesday at Canal Park.

Manager Dave Wallace joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about his ballclub heading into the series.

First two games are 6:35pm first pitches in Downtown Akron

 

Published in Sam and Brad
The Akron RubberDucks have once again qualified for the playoffs, winning their division for the ninth time in franchise history.

Ken Babby, the owner of the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his club’s perseverance. Babby gives a lot of credit to manager Dave Wallace, who had to grind through the season as his best players were called up to a higher league. The Ducks’ owner was proud of how the team played, especially down the stretch, as they were victorious in 20 of their last 25 contests.

The RubberDucks are the top seed in the playoffs, and will take on the Altoona Curve this Wednesday for two games before returning home to Canal Park.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

The Akron RubberDucks and the Cleveland Indians have signed up for another four years.

The teams announced an extension of the player development contract that will now run through the 2020 season.

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(Akron RubberDucks, news release) The Cleveland Indians announced today a four-year player development contract extension with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks of the Eastern League through the 2020 season.

"(RubberDucks owner/CEO) Ken Babby and his team have gone over the top in making Akron a top-of-the-line facility for our players, our staff, and the tremendous fans who come to see them play," said Carter Hawkins, Cleveland Indians Director of Player Development. "It has truly been a partnership, so extending our relationship with the RubberDucks was an easy decision. We couldn't be more excited to continue the relationship with the team and the city of Akron, and look forward to many years of championship-caliber baseball at Canal Park."

Since moving to Northeast Ohio in 1989 as the Canton-Akron Indians, the RubberDucks franchise has been the Indians' Double-A affiliate. The franchise moved to Akron when Canal Park opened in 1997 and became the Akron Aeros before becoming the Akron RubberDucks in October 2013. The franchise has won the Eastern League title four times: 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2012. Currently, 24 of the players on the Indians 40-man roster played in Akron, and 17 of those within the last four seasons, including Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin, Danny Salazar, Jose Ramirez and Mike Clevinger.

"We are thrilled to continue our working partnership with the Cleveland Indians," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "The Indians are a first-class organization with a deep, emotional connection with the people of Northeast Ohio. We can't wait to watch the next wave of Indians superstars to come through Canal Park during the next four seasons."

The 2016 regular season wraps-up Labor Day Weekend with a four-game series vs. Bowie Baysox, Sept. 2-5. The fun starts on a jam-packed Friday with Main St. Festival from 5-7 p.m. in front of Canal Park. It continues at 6:05 p.m. with the resumption of the Aug. 21 suspended game at Bowie. The game is in the top of the fifth inning with Akron leading 6-3. After that game finishes, a seven-inning game between the Baysox and RubberDucks will start. All of that is capped off with 1990s-themed fireworks, presented by Bober Markey Fedorovich and APV Engineered Coatings.

Tickets are available at the Canal Park Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., or by calling 330-253-5153 or by visiting www.akronrubberducks.com.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 season is its 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.

Published in Local
In Akron and across the region, it has been a rather toasty summer. The only thing that has been burnt more than folks’ skin is the grass in their yards. Well, except down at Canal Park.

Chis Walsh, the head groundskeeper for the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to gloss over how to manicure a professional baseball field. Walsh was named the Field Manager of the Year in the Eastern League, a high honor, especially with Canal Park hosting the league’s all-star game back in July.

Walsh, a Kent State graduate, explained the type of maintenance one has to tend to on a diamond, including fertilizing and moisturizing the infield, and how to appease the superstitious players.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

Two of the Indians' best and brightest prospects are one step closer to their dream of becoming big-league ballplayers.

Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer were called up to AAA Columbus Sunday night, and Akron RubberDucks Manager Dave Wallace was the one to give the two young men the good news.

Wallace joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday afternoon to talk about the guys being called up. He said that moment was gratifying for him as a manager and seeing young men being able to realize their goals.

"That's part of the job, that's the most rewarding the most gratifying," he said. " It was a very cool moment last night, two really special kids not because of their talent, but their character and who they are, and I couldn't be more proud of either one of them."

For the full interview with Manager Dave Wallace and Sam Bourquin, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Saturday, 25 June 2016 10:27

Canal Park Serves Up "LeBlock Burger"

Northeast Ohio has been hungry for a championship for the past 52 years, and now our local baseball team has something fans can sink their teeth into.

The Akron RubberDucks have announced a new addition to their popular "Extreme Menu" called the "LeBlock Burger". It's a bacon-stuffed burger with Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw, and a championship onion ring on a Kaiser bun. The entrée is even served with a side of fries topped with "Salty Curry" powder.

The burger was named, as you might have guessed, in honor of LeBron James' memorable block against Andre Iguodala in the Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

The "LeBlock Burger" is available now at Canal Park at Taters concession stand behind home plate.

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(Akron RubberDucks, press release)The Akron RubberDucks announced today a new addition to the popular "Extreme Foods" menu. The "LeBlock Burger," a bacon-stuffed burger topped with Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw, and a championship onion ring on a Kaiser bun. The entrée is served with a side of fries topped with "Salty Curry" powder.

The new burger celebrates Akron native LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship, Cleveland's first major sports title in 52 years.

"This is the most exciting time Northeast Ohio sports," Akron RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander said. "We're always looking to incorporate the sporting trends of this region into our menu and I can think of no better way to do so then honoring the 'King' bringing a title to his hometown of Akron."

The "Extreme Menu" item will sell for $9.75 and is available at Taters concession stand located right behind home plate.

"It's a delicious burger meant to honor King James and the Cavaliers. First, it's tough to top a bacon-stuffed burger, but we added local Northeast Ohio Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw to represent the Cavaliers' colors, the "championship" onion ring to celebrate the title, and we thought we'd have a little fun with another Finals participant by doing 'Salty Curry' fries," said assistant director of food and beverage Collin Tulley.

"Our fans seem to enjoy when we have fun with our Extreme Menu as it relates to current Cleveland sports, such as the 'Johnny Footlong' and the 'Return of the King Burger,' and this only reinforces that," said Director of food and beverage Brian Manning.

The "LeBlock Burger" joins other "Extreme Menu" entrees such as "The Pineapple TeriyAKRON Bowl," a half pineapple, hollowed out and stuffed with a stir fry mix and finished with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, and the "Ugly Duckling," 16 ounces of stout beer poured over three scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

The "LeBlock Burger" hits stands on June 24 before the 7:05 game at Canal Park vs. Trenton Thunder.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 season is its 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. Akron will host the Eastern League All-Star Game, Eastern League Home Run Derby and festivities July 12-13. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website,www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.

 

Published in Local

Akron Rubberducks baseball is in full swing down at Canal Park, and the young team has been hitting their stride as of late in the Eastern League.

Dave Wallace, the manager of the Rubberducks joined Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell during their live broadcast from Canal Park Tuesday to talk about the team's first month of the season and how they're developing.

"It's been an interesting first month of the season," Wallace says. "I say that in a positive manner, because it's been cool to see some of the guys I've been hearing about for a long time, but haven't had a chance to see."

Wallace pointed to youngsters Clint Frazier and pitcher Ben Heller just to name a couple of the players who came in highly touted, but have worked very hard to get to this level of baseball.

He also said big-leaguers Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall have been instrumental to the development of the Ducks' players during their rehab stints as well.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 07:05

AUDIO: Ken Babby Promotes RubberDucks Opener

Canal Park will be the home of the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game in July, with the Home Run Derby kicking off the festivities. Until then, the Akron RubberDucks are having a home run derby of their own.

Ken Babby, the owner of the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talking about the team and the improved ballpark experience. Babby talked about the mashers in the middle of the Ducks’ lineup, which include top prospects Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier. Akron is off to a 5-0 start as they come home.

In addition to the team, the overall experience at Canal Park has stepped up its game, as well. Babby touched on the upcoming promotions, the new food offerings, and the festivities around the home opener, including the addition of “Rubberta,” the new female mascot.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

Think you can sing? Well the Akron RubberDucks are giving you a chance to sing the national anthem before a Ducks game.

The team will hold auditions on March 12th from 1-3pm at Canal Park.

Team spokesman Adam Liberman explains the process.

"They are going to be judged," Liberman tells WAKR.net. "They will get 90 seconds so no long drawn out anthems. They get to sing outside and we get to hear them over the loud speaker. What a neat opportunity especially if you can sing and have a love for baseball."

And with social media today, there's always a chance an audition could go viral.

"Who knows maybe they will be the next American Idol hero or social media sensation." Liberman said. "How cool is it to do it in front of a packed house before a fireworks game and just the buzz of the station. It's just an experience someone will never forget."

WIth open auditions there can be renditions on each end of the spectrum.

"There's some people you know within five seconds, 'you know you could stop and get out of the cold you're excellent ," Liberman said. "Then there are other people you want to get the gong out or the big hook out and get them out of there and speed it up."

If you want to give it a shot you will need to pre-register by calling the RubberDucks at 330-253-5151 during regular business hours.

Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 16:47

RubberDucks Single Game Tickets On The Pond

It's another sign of the upcoming spring in Akron.

Single-game tickets for the 2016 Akron RubberDucks season go on sale starting Tuesday, March 1st at 10 AM.

Prices start at $9 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under or adults 60 and over, and $5 for general admission tickets...and can be purchased by phone, at Canal Park or at the Akron RubberDucks website.

Tickets for the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game and the Eastern League Home Run Derby are already on sale.

(Akron RubberDucks, news release) The Akron RubberDucks announced today its single-game tickets will go on sale starting Tuesday, March 1 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available over the phone, in-person at the Canal Park box office, and online at www.akronrubberducks.com.

Tickets start as low as $9 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under or adults 60 and over, and $5 for general admission. Children three years old and younger are free, as long as they do not require a seat. There are also seats available for $25 in the new Homerville section and $17 tickets are available for the premium Duck Row seats.

Tickets for the 2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby and 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game are already available online at www.akronrubberducks.com or by calling 330-253-5151.

Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Canal Park box office at 330-253-5153. The box office is open on non-game days Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on weekends. During Monday through Saturday home game dates, the box office will open from 10 a.m. until the end of the game. On Sunday home dates, it will open at 11 a.m. until the end of the game. Tickets are not available for purchase in the Canal Park team store.

"This will be a special season in Akron with the Eastern League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, but we have an amazing 71-game lineup of promotions, top-notch baseball, and unmatched customer service that will make Canal Park the epicenter of affordable family fun this summer," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "We are excited for fans to see what we have planned, and the April 14 Home Opener will be here in just over 50 days!"

The new Homerville area, located in front of the right field Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita Tiki Bar in the Tiki Terrace, consists of the two rows of 11 swivel-seats with drink rails. These seats provide some of the best views in Canal Park. Homerville tickets include either two 16-ounce beers or four 24-ounce soft drinks, which are redeemable at the Tiki Bar. Duck Row has amazing close-to-the-field views, and those tickets also include a full wait service, seats with a 360-degree swivel capabilities, and a drink rail. A limited number of the Duck Row seats are available.

In addition to this season's 71-game home schedule, which includes a packed promotional calendar with 23 fireworks dates (including the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game), giveaways every Saturday, celebrity guests such as Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin from "Happy Gilmore") and Dina Platius (Miss Lippy from "Billy Madison"), and nightly promotions such as the D.G. Yuengling Brewery's "Thirsty Thursdays" with dollar beverage specials, and fun, community nights for the entire family.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Following the 2015 season, the team was named winner of the Larry MacPhail Award as Minor League Baseball's top promotional team. The 2016 season will be the franchise's 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. Akron will host the Eastern League All-Star Game and festivities July 12-13, and the season opens Thursday, April 7 with the Home Opener at Canal Park on Thursday, April 14 vs. Bowie Baysox at 6:35 p.m.

For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.

2016 RubberDucks Single-Game Tickets Details:

On Sale: Starting Tues., March 1 at 10 a.m.

To Purchase: By phone - 330-253-5153; Online - www.akronrubberducks.com; At the Canal Park Box Office

Canal Park Box Office Hours:

Non-Gamedays - Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed on Weekends

Gamedays - Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. until the end of the game; Sunday: 11 a.m. through end of the game

Ticket Prices:

Adults $9

Juniors/Seniors $8

General Admission $5

Homerville $25

Duck Row $17

*Juniors 12 & under, Seniors 60 & over

Published in Local
On Monday, the Sports Business Journal came out with their Forty Under 40, a list of forty professionals under the age of 40 who have made an impact on the business side of athletics.

Ken Babby, owner of the Akron RubberDucks, was included on that list, and he joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss this honor. Ken talked about his life growing up in Washington DC, how the RubberDucks are contributing to the community, and how he’s taken the Akron blueprint down with him to Jacksonville.

The Ducks owner also touched on what is to come for Canal Park in 2016, specifically the home opener on April 14th and the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 13th. Babby will receive this award in Los Angeles in April.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 18:53

AUDIO Dave Wallace Back With Rubberducks

The Akron Rubberducks baseball team has brought back Dave Wallace for his third year as the manager of the team, and Wally says he's excited for a third season with the club.

Wallace joined Brad Russell in the Average Sports Show to talk about some of the new staff that will be joining him in Akron and what he's learned in his three years as the skipper of the Rubberducks.

Both pitching coach Tony Arnold and hitting coach Tim Laker will be on the staff in 2016 and Wallace says he's ready to work with some solid baseball men.

"The way I look at it, I'm probably going to learn a lot more from those guys, then they're going to learn from me," Wallace said.

 

As far as expectations for the upcoming season at Canal Park, Wallace said it's all about getting better and getting them one step closer to their ultimate goal of being in the big leagues.

 

Published in Brad Russell