Formerly Unbeaten Crocs Hope to Snap Fan Shortage
Posted April 17, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — They have one of the best records in all of baseball, and they're starting to get national recognition. They're the Cape Fear Crocs, and they're sitting in first place in the Sally League. Strangely enought, most of the people in Cumberland County apparently don't realize that team is in their own back yard.
They're 15-1 and were closing in on the South Atlantic League's record winning streak. But through their first six home games, they've only averaged 1,000 fans a game.
WRAL talked to some local residents about the Crocs. Here's what they had to say:
Crocs management says it's not disappointed at the lack of fan support. They're hoping time and word of mouth will change things. This week, schools have been out for spring break. That may account for why many people are out of town.
For the most part, management's efforts to get local retailers to carry team apparel has failed, so the stadium is about the only place you can get hats and shirts.
"Some of the other stores I hoped were going to start picking up on it," says Crocs General Manager Brad Taylor, "not because we're winning, but because we're their home town team. You know it's a civic pride I hope for them.
As the saying goes, everybody loves a winner. Locals are optimistic that the teams early success will make a difference.
Fayetteville resident Naiel Ali believes that if the team keeps winning, local people will start thinking of Cape Fear as the home team. Then the word will get out, and the true baseball fans will come out to watch.
When the Crocs play next at home, team management hopes win or lose, the exposure the team has gotten from this incredible winning streaks finally fills up this ballpark on a regular basis.
The Crocs lost their 15-0 winning streak Friday night. The Piedmont Boll Weevils defeated Cape Fear by the 3-0 score.