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RubberDucks holding final ’Swing for your Swag’ event of summer

Staff Writer
The Suburbanite
The Suburbanite

AKRON On the final Friday night of August in most any year for many decades past, local sports fans across Summit County would flock to the season opener for their local high school football team.

Other – the more baseball-minded among them – may have a chance to catch one of the final regular-season home games for the Akron RubberDucks at Canal Park in downtown Akron.

In the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, those options are off the table in many communities. County health officials have recommended that Summit County schools postpone the start of fall sports until Oct. 1. That means a quieter final Friday of the last full month of summer – one the RubberDucks are looking to fill with a fan-centric event.

The second socially-distanced “Swing for your Swag” event will take place at 6 p.m., with fans having the opportunity to show off their skills at the plate.

"RubberDucks fans of all ages had a blast at our first ‘Swing for your Swag’ event in July, and we can’t wait to bring more fun to our loyal fans Aug. 28,” RubberDucks general manager Jim Pfander said.

The event challenges fans – for a $20 price tag – to take a shot at hitting balls into tiered, designated zones in the outfield in their 90-second hitting window.

Prizes include autographed RubberDucks memorabilia and if any fan can flex their hitting muscles and drive a home run over the outfield fence, they'll win a 2021 RubberDucks season ticket package.

Those who don't feel the need to take cuts at the plate can purchase a spectator ticket for $15 and receive a meal voucher as part of their admission.

"We’ve prioritized safety all summer long at Canal Park, and this second ‘Swing for Your Swag’ event will be another great way to bring together our RubberDucks community safely as we continue to celebrate the return of baseball," Pfander said.

The team is promising baseball-themed entertainment on the massive video board behind the right-center field fence during the event and for those who have missed summer baseball at Canal Park - save for a few high school exhibition games and travel baseball tournaments - the event is one final chance to visit a place that's typically a staple of summer sports in Summit County.

It's also a chance to the RubberDucks to mitigate the financial sting of having their season canceled due to the pandemic, as is the case for minor league teams across the United States.

It may not be a RubberDucks game or the kickoff of an exciting new season of high school football for communities such as Green (which opens its season Sept. 4 against Tallmadge) or Manchester (which opens Sept. 11 against Fairless), but at a time when fans everywhere are looking for a way to get sports back into their life, it's an opportunity not just to enjoy sports, but be an active part of them.

Tickets for the event are being sold by phone only and fans can call 330-253-5151 to purchase their seat.

Friday high school football schedule

Jackson at Canton McKinley, 7 p.m.

Cloverleaf at Springfield, 7 p.m.

Coventry at Streetsboro, 7 p.m.

Lake at Perry, 7 p.m.

Mogadore at University School, 7 p.m.