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Braves bring in big leaguers to back ballpark

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former Braves baseball players are rallying in support of bringing a minor league team to Wilmington.

Columbus County native Otis Nixon, Greg McMichael, Zane Smith and Jeff Treadway all came out to the pro ballpark rally in front of City Hall Saturday. The Wilmington Ballpark Coalition, Port City Baseball and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce teamed up to put on the rally.

Dozens came out, donned in their baseball fanfare, to hear from Nixon and others in favor of bringing a stadium to the Port City.

“It’s very important. You got a lot of job opportunities, you got scouts that will be coming in, Major League Baseball players,” Nixon said. “You know, I played for 20-some years. We didn’t have any minor league teams around. Now we have an opportunity right now to get a team right down here in Wilmington, and I think we should take advantage of it.”

Nixon said he knows many people are against a tax-funded stadium, but he also believes the revenue a ballpark could bring would make up for it.

The rally was geared toward kids, and some even got to throw the “first pitch” to the former MLB players.

Despite the support showed at the rally, there are still many folks who are crying foul when it comes to the stadium. However, no one from The Privately Funded Baseball Alliance or the group started by Ben McCoy were at Saturday’s rally.

Tune in to WWAY NewsChannel 3 Sunday night at 11 to hear more from Nixon and others at the rally.

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