Sweet, Brnardic to appear at FanFest
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February 4, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Two members of the Rockford RiverHawks’ 2007 team will appear at this week’s RiverHawks FanFest 2008, which is nearing a sellout.

Catcher Andrew Sweet and pitcher Ryan Brnardic, who both had significant roles in the RiverHawks’ run to the playoffs, will appear at the event, 5-9 p.m. Thursday at Giovanni’s Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Rd. Tickets for the event are $25 and includes dinner, with tables for 10 available. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Rockford Boys and Girls Clubs.

Tickets can be purchased at Road Ranger Stadium, Giovanni’s, Rock Valley Federal Credit Union, Tom Harmer Sports, and Got Quarters in Cherry Vale Mall. Less than 100 tickets remain and sales will be cut off on Wednesday. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Sweet, a Belvidere native, hit .260 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 22 games with the RiverHawks after an August trade from River City. In the finale of a doubleheader on the next-to-last day of last season, Sept. 1, he hit a game-tying homer in the RiverHawks’ last at-bat to keep the team in playoff contention.

Brnardic was 0-0 with a career-low 3.15 earned-run average in 26 relief appearances last season.

Randy Bush, assistant general manager of the Chicago Cubs and a two-time world champion with the Minnesota Twins, will be the featured guest. Wayne Messmer, the public-address announcer at Wrigley Field, will be the event’s master of ceremonies. Other guests include three members of the Cubs’ 1984 National League East championship team. Leon Durham, Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier will appear.

FanFest has been revamped to resemble the annual Cubs Caravan, which will not visit Rockford this winter. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. An autograph show featuring former major-leaguers, former RiverHawks and current members of the team begins at 6:30 p.m. Bush and the other guests will take questions from the audience starting at 8 p.m.

Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase RiverHawks souvenirs and apparel. In addition, the RiverHawks’ inflatable speed pitch from the stadium will be at Giovanni’s.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 16th season in 2008. Most games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM) and the internet. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255.


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