For the first time ever, The SwampDogs have added uniforms specifically honoring the dedicated emergency services community in Cumberland County.
The new jerseys, which the team will don for the first time on Saturday night, incorporate multiple design elements from the police department, fire department, and emergency medical services. Fayetteville will continue to wear them periodically throughout the season, concluding with a jersey auction on Saturday, July 21st, with all proceeds benefitting local first responders.
"We want to be able to give back to those who give so much for our community, sometimes without even a thank you," said SwampDogs' general manager Jeremy Aagard.
That sentiment exists throughout the organization, from the intern staff to team owner and "Instigator of Fun" Lew Handelsman.
"I think it's important for the SwampDogs to participate with first responders," Handelsman said. "We appreciate what they do in the community, and it's a gesture on our part to be supportive."
The uniforms feature a blue front celebrating local law enforcement, a red back in support of firefighters and an EKG heartbeat readout on the sleeves to draw attention to emergency medical services. The most intriguing aspect, though, are the inclusion of actual pictures of a Cumberland County Sherriff's vehicle and city of Fayetteville firetruck as well as fire, police and EMS badges.
"The manufacturer told us they've never put pictures on like that before," Handelsman said. "They are really a unique design, and [that's] something that we think our fans will appreciate when we auction them off."
The first responder uniforms become the fourth option for the SwampDogs in 2018, joining a rotation of home whites, road grays and alternate stars and stripes.
"Not only is it a good way to continue to give back, it's fun for our players and our fans to see different looks," Aagard said. "It enhances the excitement to see something new."