Glens Falls Dragons
GLENS FALLS-- As I sat down with Glens Falls Dragons owner and president Ben Bernard on the Tuesday before Christmas, he told me his goal is bring back baseball the way it was when he was the general manager of the Glens Falls White Sox in 1980.
Oct. 15, 2014 was the day that owner and general manger Ben Bernard announced the launch, a new brand, a new life to baseball in Glens Falls. No matter where you walk to the mall, a street corner or one of the local restaurants the only things you hear or see is baseball or hockey.
“I’m very excited to be back in baseball, I can’t express how I feel it’s just something special,” Bernard said. “It’s all about getting small-big businesses involved. Get them excited now and then they will come back starting in early June when the season starts.”
The Dragons have gotten their feet wet and are ready to breathe some fire, Bernard said as he joked and laughed. He touched on the things that are currently in place and what needs to be changed.
“The locker rooms need to be upgraded and be up to par. The speakers there and the concession stands as well but us a Dragon organization will make it work,” Bernard said.
Coach Johnston Hobbs is back for his third season in Glens Falls to manage the Dragons baseball club this season.
“Glens Falls is a special place,” Hobbs said. He added that it’s become his home for the past few seasons, as he was introduced to this small little town by the name of Glens Falls back in 2012.
Hobbs loves that small community feel. “It’s better than driving in highway roads in Florida, When you go somewhere and you’re wearing something such a Dragons baseball cap, People get excited that they know you’re part of the baseball organization and they ask for an autograph and talk to you for a few minutes,” he said.
A start of a Dragons era has business and fans buzzing. There are already players returning from last year. Mike McFerran is one of them.
“The fan outcome will be much better,” McFerran said. “I’ve improved so much over the past few months. I’m looking for a starting role, but I will be happy to talk what I can get and that’s the attitude you got to have, I’m just looking to be up in Glens Falls for the summer”.
Coach Hobbs now has six guys returning so far from last season’s Golden Eagles team, but has some new faces on the coaching staff.
Former Major League Baseball players Dave Palmer and Jon Matlack will be joining him this summer.
“They are great people to have in a college baseball organization like this, If I knew that I could play in Glens Falls and I knew these former MLB pitchers would be my coaches I would go to Glens Falls in a heartbeat...” said Coach Johnston Hobbs.
Local businesses are jumping on the Dragons era. Tony from Chic's Marina in Bolton /Lake George is one of them and Austin Markey a local car dealership by the name of Auto Saver Ford has joined the Dragons family as well as many other small businesses. A new addition to a baseball tradition is the Glens Falls Dragons motto and it fits Glens Falls quite well. Big things are to come this summer with the baseball team and the Dragons organization as a whole.
The whole community is excited. “…it’s like a breath of fresh air,” Bernard said.
Said Bernard: “It has already; we are getting the people involved, small businesses as well. If anything we are just getting started, all I’m asking is just try us out of one game just one.”
The entire interview with Bernard will be available on Sound Cloud.
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