BURLINGTON, N.C. -- After ushering a new era of baseball just over one year ago today, the Burlington Sock Puppets promised that their new brand would not be the only 'unique' thing about the organization and that the entertainment experience would surpass the previous 30+ year history of having home town baseball in Alamance County. Despite having a record below .500 last season, the Sock Puppets were able to increase attendance by 35% and sell out multiple times during their inaugural season. Now entering the verge of their second season, the Sock Puppets are determined to have a club whose play on the field will match the energy the fans give off of it.
Ty Blankmeyer, who will take over the manager duties for the club, comes to Burlington on the heels of joining the Wake Forest Demon Deacons coaching staff for their 2022 season. Ty will be adding an exciting blend of energy and baseball knowledge to the organization thanks to both his time on the field and off of it. Prior to joining the Deacs this year, Blankmeyer served as an area scout in the Milwaukee Brewers system from 2017-21. While with the Brewers, he oversaw all scouting responsibilities in the Northeast Region of the United States and was responsible for the drafting and signing of Sal Frelick (the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and current No. 2 ranked prospect in Milwaukee's system).
The new Puppet Master also excelled on the field in his playing days as a middle infielder at St. John's, which culminated to him being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2016 MLB Draft. Subsequently, he batted .280 for the Reds farm team in the Pioneer League before taking his talents to the player development side of the game.
"I am looking forward to leading the Burlington Sock Puppets this summer," Blankmeyer said. "It has been a great baseball town and has an even greater environment. We will put our best foot forward daily and give our fans a great brand of baseball."
"We really couldn't be more excited to announce Ty as the new manager for our club." general manager Anderson Rathbun stated. "He has been around every aspect of our game and I believe he will make an unbelievable impact on not just the kids in our clubhouse, but the organization itself."
Blankmeyer's staff will feature a familiar face to a lot of Sock Puppets fans as Anthony Essien will return to his role of pitching coach. Essien currently serves as the assistant coach for the Reedley College Tigers in California. Rounding out the staff will be the new hitting coach, Rob Selna. Selna comes to the Sock Puppets with 27 years of coaching the sport, coaching at the JUCO level, D-I level and summers spent in the Cape Cod League.
With just under four months until Opening Day, the 2nd Season of the Burlington Sock Puppets presented by VisitAlamance.com is shaping up to be a good one. Join the Wade's Jewelers Season Membership waitlist by emailing [email protected] and follow @gosockpuppets across all social media to stay up to date on all things Sock Puppets.