Jun 11, 2015 8:00 PM by Ross Field
The Chico Heat made a big announcement Thursday, naming their General Manager in a press conference at the Elks Lodge in Chico. Action News Now's Ross Field was there and filed this report.
Baseball is officially coming back to Chico next summer, and the newest version of the Chico Heat made a major announcement, naming local businessman Hunter Hampton as the team's General Manager.
"I'm super excited." Hampton said. "I mean we talked about it, this is the Chico Heat, it's not any baseball team, it's the Chico Heat."
Hampton, who graduated from Chico State in 1996, says he does not bring a wealth of baseball experience to his new position.
"I played throughout high school, wasn't really good enough to make that next step," said Hampton
But, he's active in the community and with a strong background in sales and marketing, he knows a thing of two about making money.
"I understand what it takes to generate revenue and that's the big part of what we need to do," said Hampton.
Hampton will manage the business side of the organization. He hopes to attract sponsors and wants local companies to get involved.
"I've sold broadcast television for close to fifteen years, so I understand corporate sponsorships. I'm going to be talking to a lot of the companies here locally and I'll see what they can do to help us be the best that we can be," said Hampton.
Hampton expects to hit the recruiting trail as well with hopes of bringing in college players from around the country.
"We're going to try to get the best of the best, kids from the UCLA's, the Stanford's, the USC's, Oregon, etc. It's Chico, girls in short shorts and college baseball players, I mean it's not going to be difficult to get the best players I don't think," said Hampton.
But of course you can't field a team without a manager and that's another item on Hampton's to-do list.
"It's definitely a priority. We have a few guys in mind, but our target date is closer to the fall before we announce our manager," said Hampton.
Hampton and the Heat owners also announced a target date for the first game, June 3rd, 2016. The Heat will compete in the wooden-bat Great West League with teams yet to be determined.
While we still have a ways to go until summer baseball officially returns to Chico, at least now we know who the face of the Heat franchise will be.
"I love baseball, I'm a baseball guy, a baseball purist, just can't wait to bring wood bats to Chico so we can have summer excitement once again," concluded Hampton.
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