Results tagged ‘ Tommy Thompson ’

Game #1 Preview – Dash vs. Wilmington

Game #1 – Home Game #1
Winston-Salem Dash (0-0) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (0-0)
Thursday, April 3 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)


The Dash will open the 2014 season against Wilmington, the same team they played in the final game of 2013. Since becoming the Dash in 2009, Winston-Salem is 1-4 on Opening Day, including consecutive nine-run losses during the last two seasons.

Courtney Hawkins is one of three Top 10 prospects in Winston-Salem (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Courtney Hawkins is one of three Top 10 prospects in Winston-Salem (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).


Jacob May – CF
Tim Anderson – SS
Courtney Hawkins – RF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Jason Coats – RF
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Martin Medina – C
Nick Basto – 3B
Grant Buckner – DH
J.B. Wendelken – RHP


  • This is the first time a Winston-Salem team has opened a season at home since 2007, when the Warthogs fell to the now-defunct Kinston Indians 5-3 at Ernie Shore Field.
  • Veteran minor league manager Tommy Thompson returns for his second stint as Dash skipper. In 2012, he led Winston-Salem to the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball: 87-51-1. That squad also reached the Mills Cup Finals.
  • The Dash Opening Day roster features three of the top 10 prospects in the White Sox system, according to Baseball America. Infielder Tim Anderson is ranked third, outfielder Courtney Hawkins is rated seventh, and outfielder Jacob May checks in at 10th.
  • The Dash dominated the Blue Rocks last season, winning 15 of 20 games against the northern-most team in the Carolina League. That includes an 8-2 mark at BB&T Ballpark.
  • Probable starting pitcher J.B. Wendelken will be making his first career professional start, after 49 previous outings as a reliever in the Red Sox and White Sox organizations. The 21-year-old has a 4-2 career record, with a 2.96 ERA in 100.1 innings.


Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The game is also available on and

- Dave

PHOTOS: Coaches Luncheon, “Home Run,” Players

Tuesday was a huge day at BB&T Ballpark. In case you missed anything, here is what happened:

Dash unveil “Home Run” statue
Howard West, Senior Services honored at Coaches Luncheon
White Sox announce Winston-Salem’s Opening Day roster

There were some great moments from the event, and some of them are captured below. Thanks to Rebecca McNeely, Kristin DiSanti and Dave Polaski for the photos.


“Home Run” is unveiled for the first time.


Mayor Allen Joines speaks to the crowd at the statue unveiling.


Artist Tom Ogburn discusses and admires his incredible piece of art.


Dash manager Tommy Thompson addresses the record crowd at the Coaches Luncheon.


Longtime high school basketball coach Howard West accepts this year’s Service Through Sports Award.


Attendees were treated to a delicious cookie cake from Great American Cookie.

MD 1

Most local news outlets attended the festivities and talked to Dash players and coaches. Here, WXII, Fox 8 and News 2 reporters chat with Courtney Hawkins.


The Dash also held Photo Day on Tuesday. Here, Jacob May poses for the camera.


Adam Heisler gets his motion headshot taken by our crew.


A great shot of Dash hurler J.B. Wendelken.

MD Workout 1

The day wrapped up with the Dash’s first workout at BB&T Ballpark in 2014.

MD Workout 2

Joey DeMichele takes some swings in the cage.

It was a great day at BB&T Ballpark, and the community cannot wait to get the season going. We can’t wait to get it going tomorrow night!

- Brian

Some sights from Spring Training

The White Sox are currently playing their first exhibition game of the season, and three of the Dash’s owners–Billy Prim, Jimmy Strickland and Bryan Andrews–are in Glendale taking in the sights and sounds of Spring Training.

The view from Camelback Ranch. This is Jose Abreu’s first plate appearance as a member of the White Sox organization.


Tommy Thompson will return to Winston-Salem to lead the Dash in April. From left to right: Strickland, Thompson, Prim and Andrews.


Tim Anderson could very well start the season in the Triad. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, Anderson and Strickland.


A blast from the past! Former Dash manager Joe McEwing and pitching coach Bobby Thigpen are now with the White Sox. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, McEwing, Thigpen and Strickland.


We’ll keep you posted on the start of the White Sox exhibition slate. Have a great weekend.

- Brian

A 2012 encore?

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The 2012 season was a special one in Winston-Salem. Thanks to the White Sox 2014 field staff assignments, the three leaders of that squad are back for another go-around this summer.

Tommy Thompson will lead the Dash this season, with pitching coach J.R. Perdew and hitting coach Gary Ward also returning to the Triad.

The Dash’s 2012 season was one for the record books. Here are some of my favorite stats from that season:

  • The Dash finished with the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1), narrowly edging out the Asheville Tourists (Low-A, Colorado) and the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A, Pittsburgh) for the top mark.
  • This record is good for the second-best mark in the 110-year history of the franchise. Only the 1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals (106-47) had a better record. That team is the best in the history of the Carolina League.
  • Thompson won the circuit’s Manager of the Year Award, which was Winston’s third in the previous four years. Dan Black collected the club’s second straight Most Valuable Player honor.
  • The Dash went 15-3-3 in home series and never suffered a sweep at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem’s 48-23 home record was the best in full-season Minor League Baseball.
  • Five players from that squad have already advanced to the big leagues, while 14 others have made it to Triple-A since appearing on that team.
  • These three men led the Carolina League past the California League 9-1 in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game. That victory snapped the Carolina League’s three-game losing streak in the series.

There is no question that Tommy, J.R. and Gary will have a tough time replicating the success they shared during the 2012 season. However, Winston-Salem fans have to be excited about what their reunion could mean for the Dash in 2014.

- Brian

Top 10 posts of 2013

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

It has been another successful year here with the Dash Board Blog. Thanks to all of you, our readers, the Dash Board Blog has been one of the most popular blogs in Minor League Baseball.

After compiling a “Dash Top 10” based on the team’s 2013 accomplishments back in September, why not share our list of the Top 10 blog posts of the 2013 season.

This list is based on hits, and I omitted the posts solely dedicated to transactions or game previews. Without further ado, here are the blog’s best posts from 2013.

1. “When a foul ball meets a computer screen” – July 22

The picture of the monitor is crazy, but the conversation in the broadcast booth before the damage was even crazier. I’m happy that my computer’s demise did have one positive impact.

2. “Breaking down the Dash…on Twitter” – May 20

Baseball players can send some unique tweets. A few Dash players discuss their different tweets.

3. “One millionth fan tribute” – May 10

BB&T Ballpark reached one million total fans quicker than any other facility in High-A history, so we put together a video tribute to our loyal fans.

4. “All-You-Can-Eat Night by the numbers” – April 19

The Dash hosted their first All-You-Can-Eat Night in April, and our fans left the game quite stuffed. The final numbers were very impressive.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

5. “Snow at BB&T Ballpark” – January 18

Snow covered the stadium early this year, and the photos are great.

6. “The shoes of MiLB’s stolen base leader” – August 2

Micah Johnson has style and speed. Both of those traits came together in his shoes.

7. “Smith’s unique journey to Pittsburgh” – June 9

Kevan Smith was a college football quarterback before he joined the White Sox system. How he arrived at the University of Pittsburgh is a fascinating story.

8. “Shagging baseballs at the Home Run Derby” – August 7

Josh Richmond played on a big league field at a young age. He was in uniform at the 1998 Home Run Derby.

9. “Dash to a million: BB&T Ballpark in pictures” – May 15

Before the millionth fan celebration, we took a look back at some of BB&T Ballpark’s best moments.

10. “Catching up with Tommy Thompson” – April 29

The Dash’s 2012 manager, who has a fascinating personality, reflected on his time in Winston-Salem and looked ahead.

Thanks again for following along with the Dash Board Blog throughout the 2013 season. Happy Holidays!

- Brian

Friday funnies

The Dash and Mudcats are a few hours away from kicking off a three-game series at Five County Stadium. With many of you approaching a long weekend, we figured to give you some quick laughs and quirks before heading off to your holiday destinations.

After last night’s game in Salem, the Dash hit the road for Zebulon, N.C. There was some, well, unique deliberation about the movie choice on the bus.

Also last night, 2012 Dash skipper Tommy Thompson had quite an exit last night when Low-A Kannapolis played Hickory.

(H/T to @TepidP for the link on Twitter)

The Intimidators and Crawdads played in arguably the wackiest game of the minor league season thus far this season. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Hickory’s Jordan Akins hit a long fly down down the left field line. It was originally ruled a home run, but the umpire duo reversed the call AFTER Akins rounded the bases and celebrated with his teammates.

Take a listen to the highlights from the ninth inning from Kannapolis play-by-play broadcaster Josh Feldman.

Unfortunately, the ‘Dads rallied from a four-run 12th-inning deficit to stun the Intimidators 7-6. You can check out the full Kannapolis game story here. Plus, Feldman covers it more in his Intimidating Insight blog here.

The Dash and Muddies kick off their series tonight at 7:15 p.m. The Pregame Dash begins at 7 p.m., and you can listen live here. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Catching up with Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson (middle) and the Dash did plenty of celebrating in 2012 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Tommy Thompson (middle) and the Dash did plenty of celebrating in 2012 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash’s 2012 season was historic. Winston-Salem finished with the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball and the second-best mark in franchise history. There is no doubt that manager Tommy Thompson was one of the biggest reasons why the Dash experienced the type of success they did a year ago.

The 2012 Carolina League Manager of the Year, Thompson is now with the Kannapolis Intimidators, and many of his current players will suit up for the Dash soon. Last week, I talked with Tommy about his current club and the thrill that was the 2012 season in the Triad.

Plus, Tommy is officially off the market! He’s getting married today, and his comments about this are fantastic (skip to the 2:45 mark if you’d like).

Congratulations to Tommy. It was great to catch up with one of baseball’s most fascinating people. And sorry ladies, he is off the market.

- Brian

Thursday News And Notes

Bobby Thigpen spent three years in Winston-Salem before his recent promotion to the White Sox coaching staff (Brian Westerholt/Sports on Film).

December is almost here, so the Dash front office is busy spreading holiday joy, hanging out with Santa and gearing up for the holiday season. With 2013 approaching, big league organizations are making some important decisions for the upcoming season. Here are a few notes to quench your baseball thirst on a Thursday afternoon:

  • Congrats to Bobby Thigpen, who will join the White Sox staff as the bullpen coach. Thiggy was the Dash’s pitching coach from 2009-11 before spending this season with Double-A Birmingham in the same role. Thigpen was certainly a fan favorite here in Winston-Salem, and Chicago skipper Robin Ventura has known him for his entire career.
  • The Sox also announced that Daryl Boston, who spent 12 seasons as the organization’s outfield instructor, will join the big league staff in 2013 as the first base coach. Boston made a handful of stops in Winston-Salem this season, and it was good to occasionally chat with him. Congrats to him, too.
  • The only Carolina League team to announce its field staff for 2013 is the Carolina Mudcats, who will have a new look when the Dash open the campaign in Zebulon April 5. David Wallace becomes the Muddies’ manager after guiding Lake County, the Indians’ Low-A affiliate, to the playoffs this season. Hitting coach Rouglas Odor and pitching coach Jeff Harris will accompany Wallace, who replaces 2012 skipper Edwin Rodriguez. The former Marlins boss will lead Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate in Akron.
  • The White Sox have yet to announce their minor league staff assignments for 2013, but this news should be released soon. Last year, Dash fans learned that Tommy Thompson was Winston-Salem’s 2012 manager in mid-November, while the 2011 staff decisions were made public a few days before Christmas.
  • Earlier this week, the BBWAA released the 37-man ballot for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. More than 600 voters have until December 31 to submit their vote, and some notable (and controversial) names are on the list. A few players linked to performance-enhancing drugs (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa) will prompt many debates on the standards to reach the Hall of Fame. It should be fascinating to watch.

The Dash’s season opener is only 127 days away. We can’t wait!

- Brian

Why The Dash Are Thankful

Thanksgiving week is here, and the Dash wish you and yours a tremendous holiday weekend. We are thankful for so much, so we wanted to share some of these things with you, our loyal readers.

The Dash are thankful for…

  • all 305,515 fans who visited BB&T Ballpark for the 2012 season.
  • an All-Star season, capped by a 9-1 victory in the Midsummer Classic.
  • having the MVP (Dan Black) and the Manager of the Year (Tommy Thompson) in Winston-Salem.
  • the decimal .630. It was the Dash’s 2012 winning percentage, good for the best in full-season minor league baseball.
  • large windows in the control room so that they can see T-Rock bust a move to “Tricky” and “Call Me Maybe.”
  • Brady Shoemaker’s first-half dominance.
  • Kevan Smith’s playoff prowess.
  • having the opportunity to see highly-touted prospects Jackie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, Billy Hamilton and George Springer, among others, play at BB&T Ballpark.
  • the potential of the 2013 squad, with players like Courtney Hawkins, Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress and Keenyn Walker candidates to begin the season in the Triad.
  • the fact that things like Bolt, Lemonheads, ZOOperstars mean something to folks in Winston-Salem.
  • a beautiful ballpark that features family-friendly entertainment all summer long.
  • the 2013 season, which is just 136 days away.

Have a tremendous Thanksgiving, and thank you so much for reading this blog all season long. Enjoy your turkey.

- Brian

Thanks For The Help, Winston-Salem

The Dash have done plenty of high-fiving after games at BB&T Ballpark (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The offseason brings with it a chance to reflect on the Dash’s season and recent history. With that as the motivation, I explored Winston-Salem’s successes both at home and overall, and some tremendous facts came from this research.

First off, the Dash boast the best home record in full-season minor league baseball since 2010, the debut season at BB&T Ballpark.

In other words, BB&T Ballpark is the toughest place to play in the minor leagues since its opening April 13, 2010.

Winston posted a 48-23 mark at home this season, which was tops among the 120 full-season clubs. The Dash also thrived at home in their debut season at BB&T Ballpark in 2010 (47-22) before following up with a solid 2011 showing in the Triad (39-32).

Also, the Dash’s drive to the top mark in the minors this season propelled Winston-Salem into the conversation for best minor league team since 2010.

The franchise is 237-180-1 (.568) over the last three seasons, which is the third-best overall record in the minors during that span.

Only the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (244-177; .580) and San Jose Giants (241-179; .574) have been better than the Dash in the last three seasons.

The Dash have had some great players come through Winston-Salem, but fan support helps a ton, too. You, the fans, have brought almost one million fans to BB&T Ballpark since its opening, and this support, the best in the Carolina League, has aided the Dash’s incredible three-year run.

Thanks, fans!

- Brian


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