BURLINGTON, North Carolina — After ushering in a new era of baseball just over a year ago today, the Burlington Sock Puppets promised their new brand wouldn’t be the only “unique” thing about the organization and that the entertainment experience would surpass the previous 30-year history of having baseball in its hometown in Alamance County. Despite a record under .500 last season, the Sock Puppets were able to increase attendance by 35% and sell out multiple times in their inaugural season. Heading into their second season, the Sock Puppets are determined to have a club whose on-field play matches the energy the fans radiate from it.
Ty Blankmeyer, who will take over as the club’s manager, arrives in Burlington after joining the Wake Forest Demon Deacons coaching staff for their 2022 season. Ty will add an exciting mix of baseball energy and knowledge to the organization thanks to his time on and off the pitch. Prior to joining the Deacs this year, Blankmeyer served as a zone scout in the Milwaukee Brewers system from 2017-21. While with the Brewers, he oversaw all scouting responsibilities in the Northeast States region. United and was responsible for drafting and signing Sal Frelick (the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and the current No. 2-ranked prospect in the Milwaukee system).
The new puppet master also excelled on the court as an infielder at St. John’s, which resulted in his selection by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2016 MLB Draft. beat .280 for the Reds farm team in the Pioneer League before putting his talents to use in player development.
“I look forward to leading the Burlington Sock Puppets this summer,” said Blankmeyer. “It’s a great baseball city and the environment is even better. We will do our best every day and provide our fans with a great brand of baseball.”
“We really couldn’t be happier to announce that Ty is our club’s new manager.” said general manager Anderson Rathbun. “He’s been in every aspect of our game and I think he’ll have an incredible impact on not just the kids in our clubhouse, but the organization itself.”
Blankmeyer’s staff will present a familiar face to many Sock Puppets fans as Anthony Essien returns to his role as pitching coach. Essien is currently an assistant coach for the Reedley College Tigers in California. New batting coach Rob Selna will round out the staff. Selna comes to the Sock Puppets with 27 years of coaching in the sport, coaching at the JUCO level, DI level and summers spent in the Cape Cod league.
With just under four months until opening day, the 2nd season of The Burlington Puppets Presented by VisitAlamance.com is looking good. Join the Wade’s Jewelers Season Membership Waitlist by emailing [email protected] and follow @gosockpuppets on all social media to stay up to date with all things Sock Puppets.