The Train is Coming to Kinston

Dear Wade Howell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks]:

It has been too long since we have communicated, my friend. I have been busy solving Major League Baseball’s attendance problems as a freelance project at the request my childhood friend Fast Eddie who used to be an international scout for the Baltimore Orioles, but was released because of his penchant for cocaine and acid. He figures be can get some skin back the game with my astute data analysis. Even though Fast Eddie is  complete degenerate, I still have debts to him from childhood. I guess you can say he helped mold the man I am today.

I see if the Carolina League ended today that the Woodies’ first round playoff opponent would be the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, which would just drip with irony and cause me wardrobe angst. Of course, if your team keeps beating their asses like tonight, that long bus rise to Myrtle Beach could very well materialize. If the ‘Peckers hang on though, well, you might make to to Segra Stadium this year after all. Fun fact: four teams in the Carolina League responded to my missives this season. All four are poised to make the post season. The losers who did not respond will be getting an early start on their 2020 promotional schedule, just like the Inland Empire 66ers. 

Hey, while I was analyzing MLB’s woes, I had an epiphany and pretty much solved your attendance issues while saving the city of Kinston. All you need is a high speed rail project, Wade, and fans from all over the Carolina League can zip to Historic Grainger Stadium. The line can run from Myrtle Beach all the way to Wilmington, eliminating those hot, long bus rides where the hours turn to days. 

Of course, this is going to take time and money to build, but in the meantime, you can leverage the vision of the high speed rail to inspire the Rangers to pay for the new video scoreboard that Grainger Stadium desperately needs, which would undoubtedly lead to a corporate sponsor to ante up a tidy sum of sweet, sweet cash to have the naming rights to your ballpark. Maybe you could even get DEWD a better costume, one where he looks more like a buff duck rather than a roadrunner than fell in a pile of radioactive waste. All you have to do is tell your bosses you heard from a reliable source that high speed rail is coming to the Carolina League, funded by out of state investors who see eastern North Carolina as a fertile area to develop a technological hub because of depressed land values. 

Whisper the rumor to Mayor Dontario Hardy and let him promote it while you rest over the offseason. Once the buzz builds, create some 2020 promotions around it, especially after you ensure there is a great deal of public speculation of what tech companies are coming to Kinston. Every Monday can be Microsoft Monday. Perhaps invite Bill Gates to throw out a first pitch — look how well that turned out for you when you asked me to do that! Tesla Tuesdays! Workiva Wednesdays! Think of the t-shirt sales! You can even sell toy trains with the likeness of DEWD on it. The Woodies’ Express.

Remember, it is not the actual rail itself that will inflate property values; it is the idea of the rail and land speculators will swoop into Lenoir County. The first thing they will do is build some decent hotels in Kinston, and then quality restaurants will follow. In the meantime, I can write other Carolina League front offices to tell them the train is coming, and you are aboard (in a snappy conductor uniform). After this summer, they are going to want everything I have to offer now that they know I am kind of a big deal.

I know this is a great deal to disseminate right now, but we have all fall to flesh this out. If Mayor Don comes to the playoffs, do not hesitate to tell him the big news. 

Your friend in baseball,


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