By Alison Stewart | Record Publishing Co.
Cheering for the Cleveland Indians has paid off for Greg Pennypacker, whose T-shirt design was selected out of about 200 entries for the team's Sept. 6 "Fan-designed T-Shirt" promotion.
Pennypacker, 23, of Northfield Center, will get to throw out the first pitch that night, when the Tribe faces the Chicago White Sox and the first 10,000 fans through the gate get a T-Shirt bearing his design.
He said this was his first time designing a T-shirt.
"I have done designing in the past," said Pennypacker. "Mostly pamphlets and posters for my friend's company."
He learned about the contest on the Indians website.
"When I started this I thought, 'I'm never going to win but it'll be fun to design something'," said Pennypacker. "Winning was a pleasant surprise."
Anne Keegan, a spokesperson for the Cleveland Indians, said entries to the contest were accepted for several weeks earlier this year and gave fans the chance to vote on three finalists the organization selected.
Pennypacker received an email saying his design was picked as a finalist, then found out he won days later while at work.
"My phone exploded with texts and tweets from people telling me I won," he said. "I was pretty excited."
Though he only got one free ticket for Sept. 6, Pennypacker said he has purchased 40 tickets to the game for family and friends.
"I'll have my own big cheering squad," he said
His parents Gregory and Susan are active with the Nordonia Athletic Boosters. His father is the vice president and his mom is part of Football Moms since his little brother plays.
"My dad is the reason I love baseball," said Pennypacker. "My family members have always played, so I was sort of brought up to love baseball."
The family are such big fans, they took little Greg to the game when he was practically newborn.
"I'm completely thrilled," said Susan. "He had his first trip to the stadium when he was seven days old. It is great to see his passion rewarded."
Pennypacker graduated from The University of Akron with a bachelor's degree in biology last May and presently works at the Dolphin Family Restaurant in Northfield Village while looking for a job in a field related to genetics or something similar.
To make his design, he incorporated the history of the Indians dating back to their start in 1901 into the team's "block C" logo. The design includes famous players, events and more from 1901 until present day.
"This design is to get fans excited and for people who don't know much about their history to learn something new," he said.