Loudoun Hounds' first FanFest is a hit for baseball lovers

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 17, 2011

More than 9,500 fans packed the halls of Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn on Sunday for the inaugural FanFest hosted by the Loudoun Hounds professional baseball club, the team's president said in a statement.

The event included a lineup of former Major League Baseball players, including 1960 World Series Most Valuable Player Bobby Richardson, former Washington Senator Frank "Hondo" Howard and four-time All-Star Boog Powell, as well as more than a dozen other players who shared stories and signed autographs for fans.

"We knew this event was going to be big, but this exceeded our expectations," said Bob Farren, president and chief executive of the Hounds. "The response from the community was amazing."

Farren said that fans from as far as Lancaster, Pa., and Virginia Beach attended.

"This was the first of many great days for the Loudoun Hounds. We look forward to being a part of the community and continuing these great experiences for our fans and corporate partners," Farren said in the statement.

The Hounds also revealed the team's mascot, a hound named Fetch - the winning name submitted by 4-year-old Ashburn resident Ayla Shapiro.

The Loudoun Hounds are the newest team to join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent organization with no major league affiliation.

The team is expected to play its first home opener in May 2012 at a 5,500-seat stadium at Kincora Village Center, a mixed-use office and retail complex to be built at Routes 7 and 28.

At a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac), who attended the fan festival, said she was impressed by the number of families in Loudoun who welcomed the arrival of the team.

Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large), who attended a reception hosted by Farren after the fan festival, said he was equally pleased by the reported turnout.

"I'm so thrilled to hear that they had such great success," he said.

More information about the Loudoun Hounds is at www.loudounhounds.com .

© 2011 The Washington Post Company