What do major league pitchers Chris Martin and James Paxton have in common? Both played with the Grand Prairie AirHogs in 2010.
Martin, a star Arlington High School pitcher, experienced shoulder problems after playing in community college in Waco and with the Fort Worth Cats. He then entered the real world lifting heavy equipment for Texas Appliance. A friend encouraged him to pitch one day, and Martin realized the heavy lifting must have rehabilitated his shoulder. One day during catch with his friend, Martin threw a cut fastball that moved about six inches and ripped through the left handed catcher’s mitt. That was when Martin decided to try out for the AirHogs, where he pitched in 2010. From there, he went to Red Sox minor league camp, and was invited to the Rockies in 2013. Martin has a 95 mph fastball and cutter.
Paxton grew up in Canada and was a star college pitcher at the University of Kentucky. He pitched for the AirHogs in 2010, and signed with the Seattle Mariners in March 2011 playing for the Clinton LumberKings and Jackson Generals. Paxton and another player represented the Mariners in the 2011 All-Star Futures game. He was invited to the Mariners’ spring training camp in 2012, but did not make the opening day. After playing on the Jackson Generals, and Tacoma Rainiers in 2013, he was promoted to major league pitcher for the Mariners. His first major league appearance was on Sept. 7, 2013, when he started against the Tampa Bay Rays. Paxton is currently recovering from an injury to his triceps and hopes to return to pitching for the Mariners this season.
Other AirHogs players may be on their way to the majors. Come out to QuikTrip Park
and see who the next great prospect could be. The next home games are as follows:
AirHogs vs. Trois Rivieres Monday, June 2, 7:05 p.m. Military Monday – two free reserved tickets with military ID, 60s Night
AirHogs vs. Trois Rivieres Tuesday, June 3, 7:05 p.m. Taco Tuesday - $1.50 tacos all night long, 70s Night
AirHogs vs. Trois Rivieres Wednesday, June 4, 7:05 p.m. Wine-Down Wednesday, 80s Night – Wine-based drink will be on special
AirHogs vs. Trois Rivieres Thursday, June 5, 7:05 p.m. Thirsty Thursday, Vision Night - $2 beer all night long, donate a gently used pair of eyeglasses and receive BOGO tickets
AirHogs vs. Trois Rivieres Friday, June 6, 7:05 p.m. Foodie Friday, Star Wars Night – A unique food item will be available at the concession stand, the night will be Star Wars Theme – dress as your favorite character
AirHogs vs. Wichita Wingnuts Sunday, June 8, 1:05 p.m. Doubleheader, Pepsi Family Fun Sunday - $1 hot dogs, $1 soda, pre-game catch on the field, post-game running of the bases
Tickets are $8 per seat for general tickets and $12 per seat for box (the first eight rows). Parking is free. No outside food or beverages are allowed, but the stadium’s concession stands offer a wide variety of food and beverages available for purchase. QuikTrip Park, 1600 Lone Star Parkway, offers fun for the entire family with a playground for the kids, and excellent seating and sight lines throughout the park.
The Grand Prairie AirHogs are members of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Other teams in the league include Amarillo; El Paso; Laredo; Gary, Indiana; Kansas City, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; and Wichita, Kansas. For more information about tickets, group packages and more, call 972-504-9383 or visit www.airhogsbaseball.com