MLB.com is currently running a content called “Face of MLB” (or, more accurately, #FaceOfMLB), a Twitter-driven popularity contest to determine, yes, the “Face of Major League Baseball.” This bracket-style tournament is now in the finals, with David Wright pitted against dark horse contender Eric Sogard, but Major League Baseball is clearly not the concern of this little slice of the internet. Our concern is this:
Who, or what, is the face of Minor League Baseball? On Monday, with a lot of help from my Twitter followers, the answer to this question was finally obtained. THIS is the “Face of MiLB”:
— Ben Gellman-Chomsky (@benjgc) February 24, 2014
For those who may be unawares, this face is comprised of the eyes of the Lake Elsinore Storm, the nose of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the mustache of the Lexington Legends, and the mouth of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Four teams, in four states, in four leagues, at four levels of play combining their otherwise disembodied facial features into a coherent and not-at-all frightening whole. This is what Minor League Baseball is all about!
My thanks to Ben Gellman-Chomsky for his photoshop skills, and John B. for getting the ball rolling with this tweet.
— John B (@Interstate19) February 24, 2014
And if you’re wondering what this face would like in physical form, well, wonder no longer. Simply observe the efforts on one David Dermer.
— David Dermer (@The_Only_Derm) February 24, 2014
After all this, I only have one more thing to add: an even better “Face of MiLB” would also include a hat bearing the Minor League Baseball logo as well as a gold pendant inscribed with the words “Ben’s Biz.” Feel free to make that happen. (I don’t actually do anything, I just make passive-aggressive suggestions.)
The above bit of inspired stupidity was inspired, however indirectly, by this bit of inspired stupidity: this season, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will wear several new alternate uniforms. And one of those uniforms revolves around brine-soaked pig meat:
From the team:
The “Smell The Change” initiative is brought to life in the IronPigs brand-new bacon-themed Saturday ensemble, which includes a bacon strip logo transfixed to the cap, a fresh “Pigs” jersey design emblazoned across the chest as well as the first-of-its-kind bacon-style piping down both legs of the pants….The bold new bacon strip logo sits atop a two-tone cap featuring the familiar colors of IronPigs Steel and Furnace Blue. The bacon-enriched pants, the first baseball pants to feature a logo design within the piping, are also IronPigs Steel. In addition to the cap and uniform offerings, innovative “scratch-and-sniff” t-shirts that smell like bacon (they’ll literally make your mouth water) are also now available.
In my early days of doing this blog, I would have tried very hard to be “first” with news such as the above. But now that I am old and wizened, I don’t worry about it, for the increased traffic that results is as ephemeral as the morning dew. My strategy now is to simply sit back and watch the amateur hour internet hyperbole pour in from across the land. Hey guys, did you know that the IronPigs are your new favorite sports team, that their epic bacon logo will make your mouth water, that it has “won” the internet, and is therefore the best thing in the history of ever?
Have some dignity, internet, says man who just wrote the above blog post.
When I wrote my celiac disease “coming out” post back in early July, I made clear that I was still ready, willing and able to post any and all Minor League food pictures on this blog. But actions speak louder than words, so let’s kick off today’s post with some deep-fried photography of a decidedly gluten-ous/gluttonous bent.
That would be a fried Snickers bar, just one of many delectable offerings that the Charlotte Knights served as part of a “Fried-day” promotion they ran this summer. The team also served fried Oreos.
And fried S’mores were also on the agenda.
Knights media relations director Tommy Viola reported that the “Fried-day” items “sold like hotcakes,” leading him to then wonder “Hmm, maybe we should try fried hot cakes.”
A decidedly less appetizing and far more ridiculous food-related item emerged in Fort Myers last month, as the Miracle staged a “Salute to Bacon” promotion. As part of the festivities, the balls used for the evening’s ceremonial first pitch looked like this.
When I posted this picture on Twitter, it inspired former Iowa Cubs media relations director/current PR professional Andrea Breen to get in touch. She wanted to let me know that this item was being sold at the Iowa State Fair:
This delectable item was sold by vendor The Bird’s Nest, and described as follows:
The Bacon Wrapped Eggs is muffin-sized and has a layer of pancake batter, crumbled bacon, a cracked egg surrounded by another strip of bacon, then topped with cheese and cooked to perfection. It will be sold for $2.50.
There’s only one possible transition that I can think of at this point, and that is, of course, to write about sports bras. Last month, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans gave them away as part of a “Ladies Night” promotion. Take it away, press release:
Run support won’t be the only thing providing a lift at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark Thursday Night. It’s Ladies’ Night and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are giving away sports bras, courtesy of Carolina Coastal Plastic Surgery, to the first 200 women 18 and over.
With new sports bras in hand, ladies can then bid on “dates” with eligible members of the Pelicans front office. All proceeds will benefit the Bruce Dal Canton Fund to support students higher education goals in Horry County. Winning bidders can date their staff member for the last few innings of the game and then receive a prize pack including movie tickets for a real date night. Whether or not winners take their Pelicans staff members on those dates is up to them. In the history of Ladies’ Night, no staffer has been lucky enough for a second date.
While I don’t have any photographs of the sports bras that were given away, let it be known that “Bachelor Quattro” was very much in demand.
Okay, that’s it for me today. I wish I could end with a Zinger, something that would make you Snicker, but I just don’t have any S’more.
When I was in Lancaster earlier this month, JetHawks food and beverage director Adam Fillenworth told me that the team was on the cusp of debuting “the smallest hamburger in Minor League Baseball. Such an item would be a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to the “extreme” concessions that have overtaken the Minor League landscape in recent years, a trend that the JetHawks themselves have participated in (see Burger, Stealth).
My reportage, always free from conjecture and hearsay, was once again accurate. For the team has now unveiled their miniature creation: “The Itty-Bitty Burger.”
The tiny hamburgers in deep fried buns are only available for a limited time. They can be upgraded to a “cheeseburger” (the addition of nacho cheese dipping sauce) and can be served with complimentary sides of ketchup, mustard and relish.
“It seemed like everyone was attempting to out-do each other this year by creating food that didn’t look appealing, so we thought we’d go in a different direction,” JetHawks Food and Beverage Director Adam Fillenworth said.
This development is analogous to the rise of punk rock, a no-frills genre formed in opposition to the over-produced pomposity of ’70s arena rock bands.
A particularly adept Me Decade arena-filler was Bad Company, whose hit “Feel Like Bacon Love” was certainly heard at Richmond’s The Diamond on Wednesday. As you’ll recall, the Flying Squirrels staged a “Tribute to Bacon” featuring an appearance by a local detective with the name of Kevin Bacon.
A similarly sizzling promotion occurred last week in Stockton, as the Ports held “Rolling Stones Night.”
A robust crowd of over 5500 fans took in the action on this raucous evening. Some images and explanations:
Sticking with the Cal League north, let’s head over to Visalia to check out this year’s Helicopter Candy Drop. The name of the promo is truth in advertising: candy is dropped on to the field by a helicopter, and then the children in attendance go on a mad scramble.
But that’s not all that’s been going on in Visalia. The day before the Helicopter drop the Rawhide held a “Belle of the Ballpark Grandma Beauty Pageant.” Broadcasting director Donny Baarns writes that:
The contestants each demonstrated a talent during different half-innings; Doris, the eventual winner, led the crowd in a Rawhide cheer (“Next week I will be 96,” she said, “And I can’t believe I finally made the cheerleading team!”) Another played keyboard and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The contestants also participated in a “White T-Shirt Contest,” where each was given a basic white Rawhide t-shirt and allowed to decorate it creatively in their own style. The contestants came from local retirement homes, where preliminary rounds where held.
And the winner:
I can’t think of a better image to end the blogging week. Thanks, as always, for reading. And more importantly, get in touch! It can be a difficult thing, this writing game, and your feedback and support is very much appreciated.
Well hello everybody and how ya been? It’s Ben’s Biz typing on the keyboard again. I’ve got grace, class, style, finesse and debonair. Writing ’bout MiLB promos and hopin’ folks care.
The point of the above Beastie Boy lyric approximation is simply to say that it’s been a while since I was able to kick out a good old-fashioned blog bouillabaisse (and I spelled “bouillabaisse” correctly on the second try, a new record). I’ve still got some odds and ends from my left coast road trip to share, but today will be all about the here and now in addition to what was recently the here and now but is now then.
For starters, TONIGHT is the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ “Tribute to Bacon” featuring an appearance by Kevin Bacon!
This particular Kevin Bacon has never been immortalized in celluloid, however.
Bacon, a Chesterfield County native for more than 35 years, is currently a detective with the Chesterfield County Police Department….He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice.
So that would be just one degree of Kevin Bacon? Perhaps he’ll obtain a Masters one day. Another Flying Squirrels item of note is that this picture of a “superhero Mom” catching a fly ball went viral.
Name a media outlet, and chances are they ran something on this. For background on how it all came to be, check out this Richmond Times-Dispatch story.
The following photos didn’t go viral, but they were sent along to me by the Toledo Mud Hens and are well worth a look. The ol’ “gum on the hat” trick is never not funny. This time around the victim is Michael Restovich of the visiting Charlotte Knights.
Another perennial source of Minor League humor comes in the form of mustaches. One of the most prominent facial follicle initiatives currently taking place is the Delmarva Shorebirds’ “Mustache May.” Members of the team and front office are participating, and fans can donate money toward their favorite.
The current leader is none other than trainer Will Lawhorn.
You’ve got to have good self-esteem to grow a mustache like that, which is something that Hickory Crawdads mascot Conrad is currently lacking.
HICKORY, NC –In response to SI.com writer Peter King’s column on Mon., May 16, in which Conrad the Crawdad’s self-esteem was questioned, the Hickory Crawdads are introducing a brand-new promotion and ticket deal for the rest of the 2011 season – Conrad’s Self-Esteem Wednesdays!
For every Wednesday home game…fans can receive a discounted $4 box seat ticket just by mentioning “Conrad’s self-esteem” at the Ticket Office.
The Crawdads will then donate $2 from every $4 ticket to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare in support of their ongoing mission to provide behavioral health and support services for those in need in the Unifour community.
I’m sure Conrad will rally from the depths of his despair, something that Akron Aeros fans have become quite adept at doing.
And since I always like to end on a high note, how ’bout these Cedar Rapids troubadours?
Contact me with any kernels of info you may have to disseminate. I’ll be here waiting.