Applebee’s Park is no more as the Lexington Legends unveiled the new naming rights partner for their stadium: Whitaker Bank. The ten-year-old franchise will play its home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark beginning this April. Terms of the agreement were not announced, but the team said at its Thursday news conference the partnership with the Kentucky-based bank was a ten-year deal with the option to renew afterward. In a nice touch for fans, all Whitaker Bank locations will sell discounted tickets to Legends home games. That discount, will also apply at the Legends’ box office for fans using a Whitaker Bank debit card, Mark Maloney and Scott Sloan of the Lexington Herald-Leader report.
The Legends announced in December Applebee’s had decided not to renew its ten-year naming rights agreement. The team began looking for a new naming rights sponsor toward the end of the 2010 season, and signed the agreement with Whitaker Bank in December. The terms of the deal could be altered for a number of reasons, including a possible jump to a AA classification or affiliation change to a closer franchise like the Cincinnati Reds, Maloney and Sloan report. (Read more)
Latest links and notes from around Kentucky baseball:
Laura Butler of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports the home of the Lexington Legends will no longer be called Applebee’s Park as Thomas & King, which owns the local Applebee’s franchises, has “decided to step down as the official naming rights sponsor of the Legends.”
Ed Price of AOL Fanhousetweets that other teams expect the Boston Red Sox to sign former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb remains the No. 1 target of the Chicago Cubs.
Patrick Dorsey of The Indianapolis Star profiles University of Kentucky signee Max Kuhn, an Indiana prep infielder.
Louisville Bats first baseman Yonder Alonso was named the International League player o the week, and Lexington Legends outfielder Jacob Goebbert was named the South Atlantic League player of the week.
Mike Marsee of the The Advocate-Messenger in Danville reports recently graduated Boyle County High School pitcher Blake Bottoms will walk-on at Eastern Kentucky University instead of following through on his commitment to Pikeville College.
Jason Stella of the Louisville Batsmedia relations department recaps a historic July that saw the Bats tally a franchise-record 22 wins.
J. J. Cooper of Baseball America profiles recent improvements by Alonso and Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman.
Murray State University has hired former Tennessee Tech assistant coach Chris Cole as baseball recruiting coordinator.
LEX18 reports part of the proceeds from the August country music concert hosted by the Legends at Applebee’s Park featuring Randy Travis, LeAnn Rimes and Craig Morgan will go to support Pike County flood victims. For anyone who uses the special PIKERELIEF promotional code when purchasing a $37 ticket, $20 will go to relief efforts.