Category: Blowfish News

All You Can Eat Ticket Package Announced

By Brian Larkin
General Manager
Lexington County Blowfish

Here’s what you get with our All-You-Can-Eat 5-Game Lexington County Blowfish Ticket Package that you order:

All-You-Can-Eat. At every game you attend in this 5-game ticket package, you’ll get all of the hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, bags of chips, dessert, ice cold bottled water & Coca-Cola from when gates open at 6pm till the top of the 7th.
Tickets to Our 5 Biggest Games of the Season. These games are going to have our best promotions and are going to be the most exciting during the season.

Highly Limited. Our capacity puts a limit on the amount of these packages we can sell. All-Inclusive is not available to single game buyers.

Guaranteed Perks. Our ticket packages are automatic renewal which guarantee your Blowfish perks and guaranteed pricing. If you choose not to renew, just let us know and we’ll take care of you. The renewal date is August 1, 2017.

Highly Affordable. These All-You-Can-Eat tickets for field level box seats/reserved covered grandstand start at just $15 per game. That’s just $75 per 5-game plan! And just $13 per game for our Bleacher Creatures GA section at just $65 per 5 game plan!
With this 5-game plan, (please click link for form) you get a manageable amount of games. It works out to about one game every three weeks, which is just right for a lot of fans.

Buy online or email this form to Dillon@blowfishbaseball.com. If you have a group of 10 people or more and are interested in our new ALL YOU CAN EAT Group Ticket Option, please call 803-254-3474 or email Dillon as well for more details.

Just think, if you left your wallet at home at one of your five games, you wouldn’t miss out on anything. You’d eat as much as you wanted and you’d have fun watching our game.

www.blowfishbaseball.com

The Five Game All You Can Eat Ticket Package Includes Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken Sandwiches And More....
The Five Game All You Can Eat Ticket Package Includes Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken Sandwiches And More….

Thursday, June 1st
Opening Night
Vs. Thomasville HiToms
“Thursty Thirsday”
1/2 Off Bud Light/Buds until 8pm,
2017 Magnet Schedule Giveaway

Friday, June 23rd
Fireworks!
Vs. Savannah Bananas
“Cars 3 Night”
Disney Cars 3 Themed Fireworks

Saturday, July 8th
Fireworks!
Vs.Florence RedWolves
Princess Night!
Pregame Princess Parade,
Kids Can Play Catch with Blowfish Players from 6-6:30,
Disney Princess Themed Fireworks

Saturday, July 22nd
Fireworks!
Vs. Forest City Owls
Halloween in July Night!
Dress up as your Favorite Superhero or Costume,
Kids Can Play Catch with Blowfish Players from 6-6:30,
Superhero Themed Fireworks

Saturday, August 5th
Fireworks!
Vs.Asheboro Copperheads
Fan Appreciation Night & Star Wars Fireworks Night!
Kids Can Play Catch with Blowfish Players from 6-6:30,
Dress Up as your favorite Star Wars character,
Total Eclipse Jersey Auction

Buy Now

Seating Chart 2017

schedule17_ltr_4c

2017 St Patrick’s Parade Is On-Rain or Shine!

 

DID YOU KNOW:

The traditional symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day is the Shamrock. “Shamrock” is the common name for several different kinds of three-leafed clovers native to Ireland. The shamrock was chosen Ireland’s national emblem because of the legend that St. Patrick had used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity.

Irish eyes will be smiling in downtown Lexington Sunday March 12th at 3pm as the 2nd Annual St Patrick’s Parade will roll down Main Street. This year’s Grand Marshall is Command Sergeant Major Lamont Christian as we honor and celebrate Fort Jackson’s 100th birthday in 2017.

After a successful inaugural St Patrick’s Parade in 2016 -honoring the SC National Guard’s Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston Jr. as the first ever Grand Marshall -this military tradition continues into 2017.

Fort Jackson soldiers will be marching, the 282nd Fort Jackson Army band will perform, the Ancient Order of Hibernians with their Irish Flags will be waving and watch Irish Step Dancers do their jigs as they dance down Main Street.

Family activities include a carnival of amusement rides, presented by Palmetto Amusements, and new this year, a free family concert featuring the Fort Jackson’s 282nd Military Band and the Rince Na h’Eireann Irish Step Dancers. 

The Blowfish will also present the first ever Shamrock Award to Lexington Medical Center for their many years of community service in Lexington County and the Midlands.

The parade route begins on West Main Street from Haygood Ave onto East Main and ends along North Lake Drive. The parade is rain or shine.

The St Patrick’s Parade & Festival is presented in part by the Lexington JayCees, Lexington Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Lexington and the Lexington County Blowfish. For more information log on to  www.blowfishbaseball.com

FORT JACKSON’S

COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR LAMONT CHRISTIAN-2017 GRAND MARSHALL

COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR LAMONT CHRISTIAN

Command Sergeant Major Lamont Christian is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He enlisted in the Army Reserves completing Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, VA as a Parachute Rigger in 1986. He later entered active duty and served with multiple signal, infantry and special mission units at Fort Bragg, NC, including the 82nd Airborne Division, 18th Airborne Corps, and the United States Army Special Operations Command. CSM Christian was later assigned as an Infantry One Station Unit Training Drill Sergeant with 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry and later selected to be a Drill Sergeant Leader at the Fort Benning, Georgia Drill Sergeant Academy. He was then reassigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, HI. He continued to serve with 2nd “Stryker” Brigade Combat Team through the Army’s interim armored vehicle transformation. CSM Christian was later assigned as Command Sergeant Major for 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry, Fort Jackson, SC. He then served with 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY. He most recently served as the Commandant of the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

CSM Christian has provided leadership from positions that include Team Leader, Squad Leader, Drill Sergeant Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Command Sergeant Major.

CSM Christian’s military education includes: Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course; United States Army First Sergeant Course, Drill Sergeant Course, Jumpmaster Course, Instructor Trainer Course, Parachute Rigger Course, Pathfinder Course, Battle Staff Course, Sergeant Major Force Management Course, CSM Development Program, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.

CSM Christian’s awards and decorations include the: Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, North American Treaty Organization Medal, Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Drill Sergeant Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, French Commando Badge, German Marksmanship Badge, Order of Saint Maurice (Centurion Award). He has earned the basic German, French, and Honduran parachutist badges. CSM Christian is a member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and a lifetime member of the US Army Infantry and Drill Sergeant Associations.

CSM Christian is married and they have four children.

 

Big South Conference Baseball Championship To Be Played At Lexington County Baseball Stadium Through 2019

Stadium Shot from behind home plate

Baseball Championship To Stay at lexington county baseball stadium Through 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – As the 2017 college baseball season begins today, the Big South Conference formally announces an extension with the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission (LCRAC) to host the Big South Baseball Championship in Lexington, S.C., through the 2019 season. Last year was the first of an original three-year agreement to play the conference tournament at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.

“The Road to Omaha starts in the Town of Lexington! We are honored to have the Big South Conference extend their agreement to play the Baseball Championship at Lexington County Stadium,” said Mayor Steve MacDougall. “The Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission worked tirelessly to provide an amazing experience at last year’s tournament and have solidified their commitment to bring quality baseball to our community.

“When building the Lexington County Baseball Stadium, our goal was to utilize this beautiful collegiate baseball park year-round by reaching out and securing event opportunities like this great tournament,” stated LCRAC Executive Director Randy Gibson. “We are excited to host the Big South Conference and showcase Lexington County to visitors from all across the Southeast and the nation through 2019.”

Big South members Charleston Southern and Liberty will play regular-season non-conference games at the venue this spring. The Flames will face UMBC and Kansas State the weekend of Feb. 24-26, while the Buccaneers will match-up against in-state rivals USC Upstate (March 28) and Wofford (April 25) later this spring.

The LCRAC and Lexington County Baseball Stadium are the first-ever true neutral entity to host the Big South Baseball Championship, and enjoyed tremendous local support in 2016. In addition, the Big South Championship game on Saturday, May 27 will be televised live on ESPNU at 3:00pm — the second-straight year the title contest will have a national audience. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament, which is presented by Big South corporate partner Hardee’s, will run May 23-27 and determine the Big South’s automatic bid recipient to the NCAA Championship.

Single-day tickets will be available for $10 and will grant access to all games held that day. Tournament books may be purchased for $50 and will grant access to all games for the duration of the event. Students with valid ID from a Big South member institution will be able to purchase tickets for $5 per day. Available seating areas include field level box, home plate grandstand and general admission. Advanced tickets will be on sale at the “Blowfish on Main” Store beginning March 1st at 101 East Main Street, Lexington, S.C. For additional ticket information, visit www.bigsouthsports.com, www.blowfishbaseball.com or www.lcrac.com, or call 803-254-3474.

The 2017 Big South Baseball Championship will have 10 games over its first three days, May 23-25, with live television coverage on the Big South Network. Game broadcasts for May 26 (anywhere from 2-4 games as needed) will be shown on ESPN3. The “Winner-Take-All” Championship Game on the final day (Saturday, May 27) will air nationally at 3:00pm on ESPNU.

Big South Logo New 2

Blowfish Announce 2017 as the Season of the Total Eclipse

The Season of the Total Eclipse 

As The “Centerline” Goes Directly Through Lexington County, S.C.

FullSizeRender 25FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Jan 24, 2017

Lexington County, S.C. – The Lexington County Blowfish announced today their 2017 season-long campaign to promote the first transcontinental Total Eclipse in 99 years and the once of a lifetime view from Lexington County, S.C. for the August event.

On August 21st at 2:41 pm the “Centerline” of the path of totality of the eclipse will cut through the heart of Lexington County and cast total darkness for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. Being on the “Centerline” is most important for viewing the longest totality.

The “Centerline” will make Lexington County the prime spot to see the transcontinental total eclipse as it delves West to East from Oregon directly through South Carolina and almost precisely the spot of Lexington County Baseball Stadium.

In commemoration of the “Centerline” going directly through Lexington County, the Blowfish have designed one of a kind Total Eclipse themed jerseys and will wear them during the 2017 season including Opening Night, Thursday June 1st at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. These jerseys will be auctioned off at the Saturday August 5th game and proceeds will benefit all five Lexington County Elementary School Districts.

Columbia and the Midlands, and by sheer science, Lexington County is going to be an awesome view of the total eclipse.

The Blowfish want to help spread the word on this amazing opportunity to observe from the optimal viewing point. To help draw more attention to Lexington County and the “Centerline” the Blowfish will also wear the themed “Total Eclipse” jerseys during selected road games to the fifteen cities of the Coastal Plain League, which include South Carolina and the states of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

“I am a bit of an astronomy enthusiast and my wife Vicki and I hold Lexington County close to our heart. We are proud to live in Lexington County and to have the Lexington County Blowfish show support for science and the five Lexington County Elementary School Districts. The one of a kind commemorative total eclipse jerseys will be helping to raise funds and awareness for science programs within all the districts,” said Bill Shanahan founder and co-owner of the Blowfish.

You can actually bid on  your own total eclipse themed player jersey by submitting a winning bid during a silent auction held on the final Saturday night home game of the season, Saturday August 5th.  Fans will have an opportunity to bid on the player jerseys that night up to the seventh inning.  The auction will be followed by a “Total Eclipse” Concert in the Sky Fireworks Spectacular. Proceeds of the auction will benefit the five Lexington County Elementary School Districts to help promote science.

Total Eclipse Jersey Front Lightened

The Lexington County Blowfish in cooperation with the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission will open the Lexington County Baseball Stadium and field as a free, safe and central location to view the Great American Eclipse.

Other season long promotions include during each home game a “Total Eclipse Inning”, winning Total Eclipse glasses and “Moon Pies” will be tossed out to the crowd. In addition, the foul lines at Lexington County Baseball Stadium will be renamed for the 2017 season as “centerlines”.

Fun Facts on the total eclipse:

  •     This is the first transcontinental total eclipse in nearly a century and will begin in Oregon and end through South Carolina.
  •     The Moon completely covers the disc of the Sun. Only the Sun’s corona is visible.
  •     The sky goes dark, temperatures fall drastically- birds and animals often go quiet.
  •     The Centerline view will enable you to see diamond rings and the interval of totality between them.
  •     The shadow is round so the longest eclipse occurs at its centerline where you are at the Moon’s shadow’s full width.
  •   August is a perfect time of year for camping, so consider bringing a tent or RV and experience the centerline of the total eclipse at Lake Murray.
  •   The Midlands and Columbia will be a host to a variety of events the weekend of August 18-21as part of the  total eclipse observation.
  •   If you plan on viewing the eclipse, you’ll need to take precautions to protect your  vision. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses”.

 

Total Eclipse Mock Up Blowfish Jersey 2

The Lexington County Blowfish are working in cooperation with the Columbia CVB total eclipse weekend/Columbia, SC.  Visit their website for the latest “TE” news: www.totaleclipsecolumbia.sc
The Lexington County Blowfish, voted 2015 Coastal Plain League Organization of the Year, are owned and operated by Lexington County residents Bill and Vicki Shanahan.

The Blowfish are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League. Players are recruited from colleges and universities from across the state, region and nation including the USC Gamecocks, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, the Citadel and more.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 94 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com.

carolina-comfort-BRANDING

The Blowfish would like to thank our friends at Carolina Comfort Heating and Air for their support of this season’s Total Eclipse campaign. For additional information contact Brian Larkin, General Manager / brian@blowfishbaseball.com or call 803-254-FISH (3474).  More to come……

Click Here To Watch WLTX News Story

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Lexington County Chili Cookoff -A Hit! Over 1,000 Chili Samplers & Over $10,000 Raised!

 

$10,000 raised for Lexington County 1st Responders Families in Need and $1,500 for Lexington Police Adopt A Cop Program
$10,000 raised for Lexington County 1st Responders Families in Need and $1,500 for Lexington Police Adopt A Cop Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2nd Annual Lexington County Chili Cookoff & Music Fest a Home Run

LOCATION:IceHouse Amphitheater/Town of Lexington

FOUNDERS/ORGANIZERS: Old Mill Brew Pub, Lexington County Blowfish

Raising $10,000 for Lexington County First Responders Families in Need Plus Another $1,550 for Town of Lexington’s “Adopt A Cop” program.

Last Sunday, January 29th, the chili was hot and the weather was perfectly crisp at the beautiful IceHouse Amphitheater in downtown Lexington as over 1,000 attended and sampled chili from a record eighteen team entries. The founders of this event Kelly and John Clinger, owners of the Old Mill Brew Pub, and Vicki and Bill Shanahan owners of the Lexington County Blowfish Baseball Club are excited to announce the cookie raised $10,000 to assist Lexington County First Responders Families in Need as well as $1,500 for the Lexington Police Dept’s Adopt a Cop Program.

“The Lexington County Chili Cookoff is all about bringing our community together and helping those who need assistance,” said co founder Bill Shanahan, ” All involved are truly humbled to assist our Lexington County First Responders Families in Need as well as the Town of Lexington’s Police Adopt a Cop program!”

Co Founder John Clinger stated ” a huge thank you to all those involved including the Town of Lexington, Freeway Music, all the Teams entered and the over 1,000 who came out for a great time for wonderful local causes!”

The event doubled in attendance in just its second year and proceeds were over tenfold as well. Freeway Music provided all the music with local young artists performing throughout the five hour event. Bands included Nuff Said, Stampede, FWNE RB, Silver Bullets, Strings Attached, Irmo RB, Live Action, MC#, The Dry Sockets, Shark Bait and RB100.

The winners of the Chili Cookoff:

Judged chili:
1- Jeff Sarokas (Bowls of Fury)
2- LeRoy Holiday (L & D Chili Masters) – Town of Lexington employee team
3- Brian Nelson (Keg Cowboy)
People’s Choice:
1- Jeff Sarokas (Bowls of Fury)
2- LeRoy Holiday (L & D Chili Masters)
3- Brian Nelson (Keg Cowboy)
Showmanship Award:
Beth Hite (Just Chilin’)

————————————————————————————————————————

LEXINGTON COUNTY CHILI COOK OFF & MUSIC FEST ANNOUNCE LOCAL BANDS PERFORMING

Lexington County, SC January 18, 2017 – Lexington County Chili Cookoff organizer & co-founder John Clinger announced today Freeway Music’s Lineup that will be performing “Live on Stage” at the beautiful IceHouse Amphitheater. The bands include: Nuff Said, Stampede, The Silver Bullets, Strings Attached, Live Action, MC3, The Dry Sockets, RB 100 and Shark Bait.

“Freeway Music is the Midlands premier music lesson studio offering lessons in guitar, drums, bass, voice, piano, brass, woodwinds, strings ukulele, mandolin, group rock band classes and preschool music classes.” said Clinger, “These local artists are excited to perform for all the residents of Lexington County!”

Chefs (or presumed chefs) are invited to participate in the second annual Lexington County Chili Cook- Off on Sunday, January 29, from 12 noon till 5pm at the IceHouse Amphitheater in Downtown Lexington. This annual event is being presented by the Old Mill BrewPub, Lexington County Blowfish and the Town of Lexington. Proceeds assist Lexington County First Responders families in need/Department of Public Safety families as well as the Town Lexington’s “Adopt-A-Cop” program.

The event is open to the public, beginning at 12 noon. Tickets are $10 adults/$5 kids 12 & under and can be purchased in advance online at www.blowfishbaseball.com .
Those who purchase tickets will receive a wristband and sample all the chili team entries. A “people’s choice” award will be voted on by the public.

Judging starts at 3 p.m. and will be based on the following criteria: aroma, consistency, color, taste and aftertaste. For more information and registration, contact John Clinger at: john@oldmillbrewpub.net or the Lexington County Blowfish at 803-254-FISH (3474).

www.blowfishbaseball.com

The IceHouse Amphitheater is located in the Town of Lexington and will host this exciting event
The IceHouse Amphitheater is located in the Town of Lexington and will host this exciting event

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2017 Lexington County Chili Cookoff & Music Fest Set For Sunday January 29th

Chili Cookoff Poster Bud Light

The 2nd Annual Lexington County Chil Cookoff & Music Fest is Sunday January 29th at the new IceHouse Amphitheater in downtown Lexington from 12 noon till 5pm. This community event is to assist our Lexington County First Responders in need. Proceeds benefit members of Lexington County Public Safety. A donation will also be made to the Town of Lexington’s Police Dept Adopt-A-Cop.

Freeway Music has announced the local bands that will perform throughout the festival on the IceHouse Amphitheater Stage: Nuff Said, Stampede,The Silver Bullets, Strings Attached, Live Action, MC3, The Dry Sockets, RB 100 and Shark Bait!

Have your business or group team up and enter!
Its only $35 for team entry.
Chili-Cookoff-Blowfish-Brochure-2017.

Join us Sunday January 29th to sample some of the hottest chili in Lexington County plus great musical entertainment performed on stage throughout the chili cookoff provided by Freeway Music at the IceHouse Amphitheater! Tickets:
$10 Adults/$5 Kids 12 & Under

BUY TICKETS HERE

WHAT: 2nd Annual Chili Cook Off Presented By Old Mill BrewPub, Lexington County Blowfish & IceHouse Amphitheater.

WHEN: Sunday January 29, 2017

WHERE: IceHouse Amphitheater 107 West Main St. Downtown Lexington (Corner of Main and Church St)

TIME: 12pm-5pm

ADMISSION: $10 Adults/$5    Kids 12 & Under

PRESENTED BY:
Old Mill Brewpub
Lexington County Blowfish
Town of Lexington

Assisting our Lexington County First Responders Families in need

Proceeds to benefit members of Lexington County Public Safety

TEAMS: $35 Entry Fee;

Download Team Entry Brochure: Chili Cookoff Blowfish Brochure 2017

Prizes and Trophies for Teams. Choice and Peoples Choice
For more information go to www.blowfishbaseball.com

Day of the Event: Sunday January 29, 2017
Stand Set-up: 9:00 AM
Check-in: 9:00-11:00 AM
(A volunteer will come to your
stand during this time to finalize
any details and distribute initial
supplies)
Chili Preparation: Immediately
following set-up

Gates Open/Music begins:
12:00 PM
Judging Samples Due: 3:00 PM
Awards Ceremony: 5:00 PM
Clean-up: Following the awards

LIKE TO SPONSOR?

Carolina Reaper Level-$500
One Cook Team registration-if
participation is possible
Admission tickets for (8) including
VIP area with complimentary
beverages
Prominent company logo on sponsor
banner at front entrance
Recognition during announcements
Full page ad in program

Habanero Level-$250
One Cook Team registration-if
participation is possible
Admission tickets for (4) including
VIP area with complimentary
beverages
Company logo on sponsor banner at
front entrance

Jalapeno Level-$125
Admission tickets for (2) including
VIP area with complimentary
beverages

 

Twenty States Represented & Over 2,000 In Attendance For 5K & Half Marathon Race At Lexington County Baseball Stadium

Run Hard Marathon Medal Cropped Circle

Run Hard Lexington Half Marathon Logo

Lexington County, SC: On Sunday, November 12th Lexington County Baseball Stadium was host for the “Run Hard” Lexington 5K & Half Marathon Races. It began early at the stadium lights came on at 5am preparing for the 1,000 runners from 20 states across the country to make there way to the ballpark. At 7:30am 300 runners took off in the 5k followed at 8am with 700 runners in the half marathon. It was quite an event at the ballpark as over 2,000 were on hand at The Lex! Click Link Below for Winners:

http://www.strictlyrunning.com/json/Index_JS_C4.asp?uYear=2016&uRaceId=2413&uEvent=Half

Run Hard Marathon Winner Eric Ashton
Eric Ashton Won the Half Marathon Race
Run Hard Marathon Photo Collage Early AM
The Stadium Lights Came On at 5am As Race Organizer Jesse Harmon Gave 2 Thumbs Up

Boiled Peanuts Taste Better with the Blowfish

Peanuts

Boiled Peanuts Taste Better with the Blowfish

MARC VIQUEZ

stadiumjourney.com
Thursday at 9:59 AM
Some say they taste great, other says they are disgusting. Chances are if you are not from the area, you probably will never eat or see them sold anywhere within a reasonable distance. However, in South Carolina the boiled peanut is the state’s official snack food and having a bag at the ballpark might just be the best way to enjoy this regional item.

You can find boiled peanuts almost anywhere in the Palmetto State from gas station crock pots, roadside stands along the highway, local festivals, or at the various baseball stadiums. Heck, there’s even a guy who sells them in the middle of the night in the Five Points neighborhood of Columbia where students pick up a bag or two after a night of drinking and partying.
Perhaps one of the better boiled peanuts might just be at Lexington County Blowfish Stadium. The two-year home of the Blowfish brought over a lot of aesthetics from its former home Capital City Stadium and included the boiled peanut stand that has been operated by Owen and Kathy Watts for the past two decades.
For the Watts, it’s a labor of love as the couple prepare the peanuts for each night’s game. A 50 pound bag can take up to 6 hours to prepare. Owen starts off with soaking the peanuts overnight, washing them, and adding salt after the nuts come to a full boil. After six hours of cooking time which includes adding water back into the pot, the final product is ready to take over to the ballpark for sale.
“It’s a hobby, a job, a pleasure, and it’s work,” stated Kathy Watts over the phone at her home in Lexington, South Carolina. “We have made so many friends throughout the years selling boiled peanuts at both stadiums.”
The boiled peanut business started after Kathy’s policeman brother was killed in the line of duty in 1988. The loss of her beloved brother hit the family hard, but it was suggested to start cooking and selling boiled peanuts as a way to bring the family together. Pretty soon the family was cooking up bags to sell at local festivals and it caught the eye of Bill Shanahan of the Capital City Bombers.
The Bombers at the time were the Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets and played out of Capital City Stadium. Shanahan invited the couple to sell peanuts during games, even though, he was not that much of a fan at first. That soon changed during the couple’s first season at the ballpark.
“I really couldn’t believe people were buying and eating them,” stated Shanahan who now owns the Blowfish. “I didn’t think there would ever be a way that I could try a boiled peanut, but they were just so popular that eventually during the season I broke down and tried one, then two, then a whole bag- they were warm and delicious. I couldn’t believe it- from that point on I would order a bag each game and sit in the seats and enjoy my boiled peanuts.”
A scholarship was established for Kathy’s brother, Jessie William Lundy, that provided a number of criminal justice scholarships to students. Also, the sale of boiled peanuts helped raised a little over $600,000 for the children’s hospital during a ten year period. In 1991 the Watts were recipients of the Secretary of the State Angel Award as being one of the top 10 charities in South Carolina.
After the Bombers relocated to Greenville after the 2004 season, the duo continued selling peanuts when the Blowfish were formed in 2006. When affiliated baseball returned to the city, the Blowfish relocated to nearby Lexington County and so did the wooden peanut stand shaped like an engine.
“There were many nights that I couldn’t tell who I was serving to. I was selling peanuts right and left. It was very, very busy,” added Watts who does not always get to enjoy the game on the field.
She even had a few ballplayers come up to her stand to purchase peanuts in their cleats, but does not remember any of their names or faces. Could a young David Wright, Jose Reyes, or Scott Kazmir have been one of her customers? She is familiar with Reyes and Kazmir, but cannot be certain if they ever bought her product, most of the time bat boys would come up and ask for a bag to take back to the dugout for a player.
It is not unusual for a stand to be an integral part of the stadium atmosphere and Owen and Kathy definitely provide part of the ambiance at a Blowfish game. According to Shanahan he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Owen and Kathy’s boiled peanuts stand has been a tradition now for decades, the fans not only love the peanuts, they love Owen and Kathy. They are wonderful people, loving, caring, and have built a loyal following for all these years. When we built the new ballpark in Lexington County one of the first things I did was ask Owen and Kathy to come with us. They did and the tradition continues.”