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Lake Erie Crushers

Crushers game the setting for baseball, fireworks

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AVON — Sammie Kramig was planning on seeing the Lake Erie Crushers game Sunday night, but she wasn’t planning on doing it from one of the ballpark’s beer stands.

But when it’s what owner Tom Kramig considers to be the team’s biggest night of the year, he said it’s all hands on deck and his children are no exception.

“My daughter’s actually on break from school in Florida and her boyfriend, who goes to West Point, is also here,” he said. “I’ve got them both working beer stands just to help keep up with the demands we’ve got going on tonight.”

While All Pro Freight Stadium, which seats more than 5,000 people, didn’t have a sell-out crowd Sunday, Kramig said there were about 3,400 people in attendance.

“This game is the biggest of the year,” he said. “We won’t have a final ticket count until tomorrow, but our game over the Fourth of July weekend usually sells the most tickets.”

Kramig said the game would run as normal with a few exceptions.

“We’ve got a veterans presentation earlier, and there will also be patriotic songs to be sung in addition to the traditional baseball tunes,” he said. “And of course there’s fireworks.”

Fireworks are typically done in conjunction with Friday night Crushers games, but a special exception is made for the holiday weekend.

“We also usually shoulder the cost of the fireworks all by ourselves but in this instance the city of Avon helps us out,” Kramig said. “They don’t have city-sponsored fireworks for the Fourth so they chip in a little this weekend to make them twice as long. It’s a really impressive display.”

Kramig said in addition to the people who attend the game to see the fireworks, residents typically gather in the grassy area between the stadium and French Creek YMCA.

“It’s really just a great place to be,” he said.

Even with the game in the seventh inning, well before the Crushers would win 3-0 over the Evansville Otters, folks started setting up chairs and blankets in preparation for the first crack and burst of color against the night sky in celebration for the Fourth of July.

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