The Erie Seawolves had a very successful season.  They came within one game of winning the Eastern League Baseball Championship.    But, the team is looking ahead to next year.  It's launching a new promotion that's already drawing attention from baseball fans across the country.

Next season, UPMC Park will be the home of 'The Howling Dead.'  That will be the alternate identity of the Seawolves for every Thursday home game.  Team members will wear a black cap featuring a white wolf skull with haunting red eyes.  Their jerseys will have the word ‘Seawolves’ across the chest in red Gothic script. The Howling Dead logo that's on the cap will also be on the players' sleeves. Thursdays will be Howling Dead nights in Erie.

Erie Seawolves baseball at all other home games will be the same.  Fans, young and old, cheering on the team.  A furry mascot roaming the stands.  Kids running the bases after the game.  Even the team's logo gives off a friendly, non-threatening aura. But on Thursdays, the ballpark will look and feel a little different. 

"We wanted a more edgier look,” says Greg Gania, Asst. GM-Communications.   A lot of our stuff is soft and cuddly and family friendly, which is what we're all about.  But, there is a certain demographic that says, 'We like your stuff, but we want something just a little edgier.” 

“We'll theme our entertainment and everything at the ballpark on those nights with graphics on the video board.  Everything sort of like a pirate theme of dead skulls, pirate Jolly Roger-type of entertainment on those nights,” he said.

Don't worry moms and dads. Howling Dead nights will not be frightening to the point that you would not want to bring the kids.

"C-Wolf is not going to change whatsoever,“ says Gania. “He'll have a Howling Dead jersey that he'll wear on those nights, but C-Wolf is still going to be the same cuddly wolf he's always been."  

Of course, fans are encouraged to wear Howling Dead gear.  Hats are on sale now. Shirts should be available in a few days. The Seawolves organization has no fear that the promotion will be popular.  Howling Dead was introduced on November 1.  In 12 hours after the announcement, hats were sold to fans from 12 states. As of noon Friday, hats have been sold to fans from 34 states.  

The Seawolves love to hold promotions that are different and appeal to various demographics.  The team wants everyone can have fun at the game..

"It just adds to the atmosphere,” says Gania. “Nobody wants a dead atmosphere at the ballpark. We want the Howling Dead atmosphere, but we don't want a dead atmosphere."

The first Howling Dead Thursday will be held April 13 against the Altoona Curve.  The first pitch will take place at 6:05 p.m.     Howling Dead gear is available at the Seawolves Team Store at UPMC Park and online at the Erie Seawolves website.