Tagged: Canada

A Cross-Border Culinary Exchange: The Grizzly Details

Receiving email from readers is one of my favorite things about this job. These missives, sent from all over the globe (well, at least some parts of the globe) provide insight on what motivates the readership, help me determine what topics to focus on and, crucially, boost my fragile ego. 

But, best of all, the unsolicited messages that land in my inbox occasionally provide me with inadvertent guest blog posts. This, from Canadian reader Damian Ford, covers all the bases.

And, yes, tacos play a key role. From this point on, until the italicized text reappears, all words in this post are Damian’s. 


Hello Ben,

First off, great job on everything you do for Minor League Baseball. I greatly look forward to all your articles and appearances on the MiLB podcasts.  I work for an entertainment group in charge of three sports teams here in Canada, and your articles are a wealth of information as I look for ideas to bring to my organization to increase the entertainment value to our fans at our games. I’m a huge Minor League nerd and appreciate all the exposure you bring to each and every team.

Speaking of promo ideas and teams being awesome, the Fresno Grizzlies and I have a good story for you.

Back in August, as I’m sure you remember, the Grizzlies did their Taco Truck Throwdown night (in which they changed their name to the Fresno Tacos). I loved the idea!  (I neglected to mention that I am also a MiLB hat collector, but I think that’s pretty much a given since I said I was a MiLB nerd). I loved the hats and went online to try and buy one. However, I live in Canada.  Like many Minor League teams, the Grizzlies don’t sell/ship to Canada.  I thought to myself, “There has got to be another way to get a Taco hat!” So, I took to Twitter, basically harassing the Grizzlies with challenges that I could perform in exchange for a Tacos hat.

first tweet2nd tweetI finally got an answer to my tweet when I tweeted them “Okay…. @FresnoGrizzlies I’ll mail you a poutine and you mail me a #tacoshat.” They responded “Deal.”  It was on!

3rd tweetThe next day I went to the grocery store and picked up two potatoes, authentic St. Alberts Cheese Curds, and a packet of Swiss Chalet poutine gravy, put it in a box and sent it off to them. I then typed out very specific instruction on how to properly construct and prepare the poutine for consumption.


Poutine (as depicted on Wikipedia’s poutine page)

Some time passed and I did not receive my hat.  I tweeted at the Grizzlies and wrote a letter to general manager Mr. Derek Franks.  Finally, I received a direct message from the team apologizing for the oversight. They said that the poutine was delicious (I saw online what restaurants are trying to pass as poutine in California and it’s unrecognizable to me). They then asked me not only my hat size, but my jersey size! They ended up sending me a Tacos hat, Tacos jersey and a Grizzlies promotional item.


Damian, giving them something to Taco bout


Bonus promotional item. Fresknows what it is.

The Grizzlies more than held up their end of the deal, showing me why they are one of the top-run organizations in professional baseball. As a thank you, I tweeted out a photo of me in my Tacos gear eating a taco above Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.


And that’s all from Damian.

You’ve gotta love a story with a happy ending. Or, at least I think it’s a happy ending. Somebody should probably check in with the Grizzlies front office….

food safety

Nah, the Grizzlies are good. In fact, director of marketing Sam Hansen writes that Damian’s poutine package “inspired us to work on our own ‘Growlifornia Poutine Remix’ with queso Oaxaca and Fresno Chili-spiced gravy. Expect to see this make its debut at Chukchansi Park soon.”

Minor League Baseball: Bridging the cultural divide, one Tweetstorm at a time.





In Which Our Gaze Turns Northward

Thumbnail image for Vancouver Canadians Logo.jpgOnce upon a time, affiliated professional baseball in Canada was fairly common. The likes of Ottawa, Calgary, and (my favorite) Medicine Hat were all part of the Minor League scene, but now that scene is down to just one team: the Vancouver Canadians.

As has been mentioned on this blog in the past, Canadians GM Andrew Seymour has always been conscientious about sending me photos from the team’s events and promotions. This is much appreciated, because photos=content and content is king. Without it, this blog is nothing but a vortex of eternal nothingness. I’m not sure that the previous sentence made sense, but this cursor, much like time itself, can only move forward. So forward we shall go…

To pictures! Over the past several months, Seymour sent me a multitude of pictures that for reasons of varying validity I neglected to post on this blog. This situation will now be rectified.

First, let’s take a look at the Hot Dog Eating Contest that the team staged. The following photos serve as ample proof that Canadians are sometimes more American than Americans.

Here’s where the magic happened:

vancouver -- hot dog contest layout.JPG 

Such a tranquil scene was soon disrupted by the ravenous actions of individuals such as these:

Vancouver -- stuffed.JPG

Vancouver -- stuffed close-up.JPG

Vancouver -- mid-chew.JPG

I call this guy “Kob-Asahi”

vancouver -- canadian kobayashi.JPG

The players looked on in amusement, while enjoying the comfort that only plastic lawn furniture can provide…

Vancouver -- players watch dog eating.JPG

As this man emerged victorious:

Vancouver -- hot dog champ.JPG

Much like a hot dog, I am on a roll. So now let me transfer to the next logical subject: Bergers.

Mitch Berger, that is. The punter for the Super Bowl champion Steelers (and Vancouver native) paid a visit to the ballpark in order to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and flash expensive jewelry:

Canadians -- Berger 2.JPG

Canadians -- Berger 3.JPG

Canadians -- Berger 1.JPG
Kansas City Royals great Frank White also paid a visit. I’ve never met the guy personally, but he emanates so much class you’d think he was a professional class emanater. And perhaps he is.

Canadians -- White 1.JPG

Canadians -- White 2.JPG

Canadians -- White 3.JPG
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This concludes our brief foray into a foreign land that most can only dream of. Tomorrow, it’s USA or bust.