Black gives S-Cards some Arkansas flavor

Former Newport, UAM pitcher returns to state; Plus scores, schedules and promotions for the Arkansas Travelers

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Travs report: Newport’s Black makes return to Arkansas

Jeremy Peppas

The eyes of Newport will be on Dickey-Stephens Park this week as Grant Black returns to Arkansas as a professional baseball player with the Springfield Cardinals.

Black, who played at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has had an improbable path to the Minors as a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher.

At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds Black has the size of a pro, but his baseball resume was thin. He last pitched for UAM in 2017, where he spent two seasons and was honorable mention all-conference his senior year for a solid Boll Weevils squad.

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Undrafted and unsigned by a big-league club, Black hit the independent league circuit playing in the Frontier and Atlantic leagues with the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, Illinois, and then on to the New Britain Bees in Connecticut. 

As a relief pitcher, he didn’t put up impressive numbers -- an ERA of 4.38 for the Grizzlies and then a 2.81 ERA for the Bees -- but he managed a total of 17 saves over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

That was followed by a momentous December 2019 tweet where Black said he was looking for an “affiliated opportunity” and listed what he could do: A four-seam fastball that was between 94 and 96 miles per hour, a curveball that hit between 83 and 85, with a changeup that came in on the radar gun at 86 to 88. Plus 65 strikeouts in his two independent league seasons.

In February 2020, the St. Louis Cardinals came calling and the Redbirds bought out Black’s contract with the intention of sending him to the minors last season, then came the pandemic and all of baseball shut down in 2020.

Hope, like baseball, springs eternal and Black was back on the mound and pitched two games in relief last week for Springfield. His stat line wasn’t the greatest as he gave up five hits and three earned runs in two appearances, but Black’s potential flashed with four strikeouts in just three innings pitched, while also hitting 95 miles per hour on the radar gun.

Now, for Black, he’s back in Arkansas and playing for the organization he grew up following. And, if you go, you might hear some familiar voices in the crowd as Black’s father, David, and uncle, Buddy, are the long-time announcers of Newport High School football.

Schedule, tickets and promotions

Tickets to Arkansas Travelers baseball games at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock can be purchased by clicking here.

The Arkansas Travelers went 2-3 last week in the opening series of the season against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Opening Night last Tuesday drew a crowd of 3,581 and they saw a loss, as the Naturals won, 7-4.

The Naturals won again on Wednesday night but the Travs responded with back-to-back wins on Thursday and Friday as the crowds picked up as well but the Naturals won on Saturday night in what turned out to be the end of the series.

The Sunday afternoon game was postponed due to weather and will be made up on Aug. 4 as part of a double-header with seven-inning games.

The scores

  • Tuesday: Northwest Arkansas 7, Travs 4

  • Wednesday: Northwest Arkansas 3, Travs 0

  • Thursday: Travs 4, Northwest Arkansas 2

  • Friday: Travs 4, Northwest Arkansas 0

  • Saturday: Northwest Arkansas 6, Travs 3

  • Sunday: Northwest Arkansas | Postponed

The standings

  • Wichita … 5-1 ... .833

  • NW Arkansas … 3-2 … .600

  • Travs … 2-3 … .400

  • Tulsa … 2-4 … .333

  • Springfield … 1-5 … .167

On deck this week

Tuesday, May 11: Springfield

  • Start time: 11 a.m. 

  • Game Highlight: School and Senior Day

  • Promotion: Thunderstix Giveaway; Presented By Project Prevent

Wednesday, May 12: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, May 13: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, May 14: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks Show

Saturday, May 15: Springfield

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Calendar Giveaway; Presented By First Arkansas Bank & Trust

Sunday, May 16: Springfield

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

Next Week

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, May 18: at Corpus Christi; Wednesday, May 19: at Corpus Christi; Thursday, May 20: at Corpus Christi; Friday, May 21: at Corpus Christi; Saturday, May 22: at Corpus Christi and Sunday, May 23: at Corpus Christi

Rest of the schedule

Tuesday, May 25: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, May 26: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlights: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

  • Game Highlight: Diamantes Night; Presented by Telemundo

Thursday, May 27: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

  • Promotion: Dizzy's Birthday Bash - Tennis Ball Giveaway. Bring your dog to the ballpark to help us celebrate Dizzy "The Ballpark Dog's" 4th Birthday. A Tennis Ball will be given to the first 300 dogs in the ballpark. Presented By Arvest Bank

Friday, May 28: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks Show; Presented By Hugg & Hall

Saturday, May 29: Tulsa

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Blood Drive; Presented By Arkansas Blood Institute

  • Promotion: Team Photo Giveaway; Presented By Big Rock Fun Park

Sunday, May 30: Tulsa

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, June 1: at Wichita, Wednesday, June 2: at Wichita, Thursday, June 3: at Wichita, Friday, June 4: at Wichita, Saturday, June 5: at Wichita, Sunday, June 6: at Wichita, Tuesday, June 8: at Springfield, Wednesday, June 9: at Springfield, Thursday, June 10: at Springfield, Friday, June 11: at Springfield, Saturday, June 12: at Springfield and Sunday, June 13: at Springfield

Tuesday, June 15: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, June 16: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, June 17: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlights: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

  • Game Highlight: Boating Safety Night; Presented By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Promotion: Boat Giveaway; Presented By Arkansas Marine

Friday, June 18: Tulsa

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlights: Rolex Dig, Presented By Sissy's Log Cabin

  • Post Game Fireworks Show, Presented By Arkansas State Parks

  • Girl Scout Night, Presented By Arkansas State Parks

Saturday, June 19: Tulsa

  • Start time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Game Highlight: Faith and Family Night featuring Plumb; Presented By Chick-fil-A, Higginbotham Investments, Kiko's Kountry RV

  • Promotion: Print Giveaway; Presented By First Arkansas Bank & Trust Mortgage

Sunday, June 20: Tulsa

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, June 22: at Northwest Arkansas; Wednesday, June 23: at Northwest Arkansas; Thursday, June 24: at Northwest Arkansas; Friday, June 25: at Northwest Arkansas; Saturday, June 26: at Northwest Arkansas; Sunday, June 27: at Northwest Arkansas; Tuesday, June 29: at Tulsa; Wednesday, June 30: at Tulsa; Thursday, July 1: at Tulsa; Friday, July 2: at Tulsa; Saturday, July 3: at Tulsa and Sunday, July 4: at Tulsa

Tuesday, July 6: Frisco 

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlights: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

  • Game Highlight: Diamantes Night; Presented by Univision

Wednesday, July 7: Frisco 

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, July 8: Frisco 

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, July 9: Frisco 

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks Show; Presented By Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Promotion: Baseball Giveaway; Presented By Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield

Saturday, July 10: Frisco 

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Team Card Set Giveaway; Presented By Jacksonville Parks and Recreation

Sunday, July 11: Frisco 

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, July 13: at Northwest Arkansas; Wednesday, July 14: at Northwest Arkansas; Thursday, July 15: at Northwest Arkansas; Friday, July 16: at Northwest Arkansas; Saturday, July 17: at Northwest Arkansas and Sunday, July 18: at Northwest Arkansas

Tuesday, July 20: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, July 21: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, July 22: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, July 23: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Firework Show; Presented By Metro Disaster Specialists

Saturday, July 24: Wichita

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Evan White T-Shirt Giveaway; Presented By New Age Distributors

Sunday, July 25: Wichita

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, July 27: at Springfield; Wednesday, July 28: at Springfield; Thursday, July 29: at Springfield; Friday, July 30: at Springfield; Saturday, July 31: at Springfield and Sunday, Aug. 1: at Springfield

Tuesday, Aug. 3: Northwest Arkansas

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, Aug. 4: Northwest Arkansas

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, Aug. 5: Northwest Arkansas (DH)

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, Aug. 6: Northwest Arkansas

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks Show; Presented By Oaklawn Racing & Casino Resort

Saturday, Aug. 7: Northwest Arkansas

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Wrestling Ring Giveaway; Presented By Midtown Billiards & Svedka Vodka

  • Game Highlight: Clunker Car Night; Presented By Midtown Billiards

Sunday, Aug. 8: Northwest Arkansas

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

Tuesday, Aug. 10: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* *Sales tax will be added for all food and beverages. Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, Aug. 11: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, Aug. 12: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, Aug. 13: Springfield

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks; Presented By Arvest Bank

  • Game Highlight: Diamantes Night; Presented by Telemundo

Saturday, Aug. 14: Springfield

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Jake Fraley Bobblehead Giveaway; Presented By BEEF Council

Sunday, Aug. 15: Springfield

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, Aug. 17: at Frisco; Wednesday, Aug. 18: at Frisco; Thursday, Aug. 19: at Frisco; Friday, Aug. 20: at Frisco; Saturday, Aug. 21: at Frisco  and Sunday, Aug. 22: at Frisco 

Tuesday, Aug. 24: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, Aug. 25: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, Aug. 26: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, Aug. 27: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m.

  • Game Highlight: Pyro In The Park; Presented By Cutwater Spirits/Budweiser

Saturday, Aug. 28: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Promotion: Tooth Ball Giveaway; Presented By Rock Dental Brands

  • Game Highlight: Teacher Appreciation Night

Sunday, Aug. 29: Corpus Christi

  • Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

Tuesday, Aug. 31: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m.

  • Game Highlight: Kid's Night; Free Train Rides & $1 Select Ice Cream.* Presented By Hiland Dairy

Wednesday, Sept. 1: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Dog Days of Summer; $3 General Admission Ticket at the Box Office if you bring your dog and $1 Hot Dogs.* Presented By Moix RV

Thursday, Sept. 2: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlight: Thirsty Thursday; $2 Busch Light, $3 Select Draft Beer for Mug Club members

Friday, Sept. 3: Wichita

  • Start time: 7:10 p.m. 

  • Post Game Fireworks Show; Presented By MiCampo

Saturday, Sept. 4: Wichita

  • Start time: 6:10 p.m. 

  • Game Highlights: Diamantes Night; Presented by Univision

  • Post Game Fireworks; Presented By Fuller & Son Hardware

  • Promotion: Growth Chart Giveaway; Presented By Fuller & Son Hardware

Sunday, Sept. 5: Wichita

Start time: 2:10 p.m. 

Ticket offers

  • Operation Military Appreciation Day: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with a Military ID; Presented By Mid-South Ford

  • Edward Food Giants $3 Off: $3 off a Box, Reserved, or General Admission ticket with an Edward Food Giant Coupon. Redeemable at the Box Office.

  • $10 Church Bulletin Family Pack: $10 for up to 6 General Admission tickets when you bring your church bulletin, no upgrades available with this package. Redeemable at the Box Office.

AWAY GAMES | Tuesday, Sept. 7: at Springfield; Wednesday, Sept. 8: at Springfield; Thursday, Sept. 9: at Springfield; Friday, Sept. 10: at Springfield; Saturday, Sept. 11: at Springfield; Sunday, Sept. 12: at Springfield; Tuesday, Sept. 14: at Wichita; Wednesday, Sept. 15: at Wichita; Thursday, Sept. 16: at Wichita; Friday, Sept. 17: at Wichita; Saturday, Sept. 18: at Wichita and Sunday, Sept. 19: at Wichita

*Sales tax will be added for all food and beverages.

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