ARLINGTON — Community leader and avid sports lover Mike Britt hosted the second annual AquaSox signing at Britt's Sport Cards in Arlington July 26.
The free event featured AquaSox first baseman Kyle Petty, catcher Adam Martin and mascot Webbly signing autographs and items, as well as a free drawing.
Petty was born in Stewartsville, N.J. and attended the California University of Pennsylvania, and Martin was born in Marietta, Ga., and attended Western Carolina University.
"They have busy schedules and the fact that they came out to visit our community is humbling," Britt said.
The winner of the drawing was Connie Rice, who won a chance to deliver the first pitch for the Aqua Sox game on Aug. 10, tour the facility and meet the coaches.
"She's a hardcore fan; you never know where the tickets are going to," Britt said. "So it's good to know the tickets went to a dedicated fan."
Petty and Martin enjoyed their opportunity to meet the Arlington community.
"It's good to see a smile on the kids' faces," Petty said. "It's never something I got to do as a kid, because there was no minor league teams where I was from."
"This is just another way to give back to the community," Martin said.
One of those lucky kids was Connor Engbert, who pitched for the Stilly Valley Little League 11-year-old team.
"I just met them today, and they seemed like cool guys," he said. "I saw the passion that they have, and they love the game."
Connor also hopes to climb through the minor league system when he advances in his baseball career.
Britt became involved with the AquaSox through a business partnership established last year. How the small-business owner and the AquaSox met was a "funny story."
"We were actively looking for new businesses to get involved with the team. I called what we thought was to be a repair shop, but Mike picked up the phone," AquaSox account executive Duncan Jensen said. "He seemed really interested in working with us."
It turned out to be the perfect fit.
"Mike has been a good sponsor for us, and the sports theme is a natural tie-in," AquaSox executive vice president Tom Backemeyer said.