It’s been a busy week here at MiLB.com HQ, at least by February standards. We had a stadium groundbreaking on Tuesday, a logo unveiling on Wednesday, and today marked the appearance of my feature story chronicling the Potomac Nationals’ attempt to privately finance construction of their new ballpark.
Through it all, I was surrounded by wispy strands of Minor League Baseball ephemera. I always am. What follows is my attempt to compile these recently appearing items into something resembling coherence. Wish me luck.
Remember last April when I wrote an article detailing the various team-branded beers that can be found across the Minor League landscape? No? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Kane County Cougars are the latest team to throw their stein into the brewing game:
— Kane County Cougars (@KCCougars) February 19, 2015
So, yeah, fans can vote on what the beer should be named. Two of the choices are rather generic and more or less interchangeable; the other choice is not. If that option wins, then expect plenty of jokes like this to follow:
— D.J. Eaton (@deeej15) February 19, 2015
I’ve written several times in the past about the Holiday League, a theoretical professional baseball circuit featuring, yes, holiday-themed teams. The project, overseen by designer John Hartwell of Hartwell Studio Works, unveiled its latest entity this week: The Bourbonville Krewe.
This entity, unbeknownst to most, has been in existence for 40 years. From the press release:
In a carnival atmosphere full of masked performers and festooned floats at Flambeaux Field, the Bourbonville Krewe unveiled a special fortieth anniversary logo and announced plans to celebrate the milestone throughout the coming season. “We’re gonna have ourselves one season-long party,” Owner Rex Proteus proclaimed. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
A parade of former players was on hand for the kick-off event, including the legendary Balthazar “Babycakes” Gateaux. The Krewe’s all-time home run leader, Gateaux entertained the throng of gathered fans with a wild reenactment of the day in 1983 when he walloped three round-trippers, then wrestled a gator that had crawled into right field.
There are 160 affiliated Minor League teams, only two of which have crossed threshold of 100,000 Facebook likes. Those teams are the Toledo Mud Hens and El Paso Chihuahuas, and now the San Jose Giants are gunning to be the third:
[W]e are hosting a 100,000 Likes Promotion. Share photos with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat showing your favorite memories and orange and black pride, using #SJG100K to enter. One lucky fan will walk away with the biggest prize in the organization’s history[.]
I’m hoping that it is, literally, the biggest prize in the organization’s history. Like, a topiary maze in the shape of the team’s logo or something of that nature.
Last season, I visited the Midland RockHounds home of Security Bank Ballpark. One of the highlights of that visit was seeing the team’s concourse train take laps around the stadium. In 2015, the team is adding another concourse attraction.
— Joe Peters (@ShoelessJoe12) February 19, 2015
Peters later informed me, that, due to “safety reasons,” the concourse train would not drive straight through the fountains. Oh, well. A man can dream.
Speaking of dreams, one of mine has finally come true. Enigmatic Wisconsin Timber Rattlers announcer Chris Mehring has appeared as a guest on the latest episode of “Between Two Berms.” Mehring can out-deadpan anyone, even host Sam Merle.
And that’s all I’ve got. Thank you for your support, be it continued, sporadic, or barely discernible.
Last week’s “Promotion Preview” column included the following, which I have edited somewhat in order to avoid seeing my bad jokes for a second time:
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Midwest League)
Salute to Cows, June 4
Wisconsinites are serious about their docile domesticated land mammals, as evidenced by the extravaganza that is Thursday’s “Salute To Cows.” The night’s on-field contests promise to be exceptionally entertaining, as fans will vie to see who is the best milk chugger, beef eater and moo-er (these sort of things demand to be documented for posterity).
Contest winners receive a year’s supply of cheese curds, which in Wisconsin are worth their weight in gold. A costumed cow is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and all player head shots on the videoboard will feature milk mustaches. In short, this will be “udderly” amazing.
Due to the inexorable passage of time, June 4 has came and went. Fortunately for all involved, the events of that evening have been well-documented by Timber Rattlers announcer and blogger extraordinaire Chris Mehring. What follows is a photo-heavy look at the brilliance that was the Timber Rattlers’ “Salute to Cows.”
One of the premier between-inning events that night was the Milk Chug. I like to call this picture “Goldilocks, the Three Bros, and a Costumed Snake” (I’m not sure who won, but I definitely would have rooted for the guy who took the time to put on a bib).
1. A contestant is blindfolded by our mascot Fang and ready to tip a cow.
2. The cow awaits tipping.
3. The cow is tipped.
He goes on to add “If you live in Wisconsin, you get it. If you don’t live in Wisconsin, you’ll never get it.”
But what I don’t get, Chris, is why the cow isn’t tipped over in the third picture. It looks to me like the tables were turned, and the “tipper” became the “tippee.” Observe:
I will close with what may be my favorite photo thus far this season. I’ll let Mehring set the scene:
“When there’s a year’s supply of cheese curds on the line, one must moooooo from one’s soul. And the gentleman on the left is about to mooooooo like he’s never moooooooed before.”
Meanwhile, in the background, a human dressed as a snake dressed as a cow gives a shoulder rub to a human dressed as a cow. Just another day at the ballpark, in other words.
And — hey you! — do me a favor and get in touch. Be you fan, front office member, or (best case scenario) moneyed media mogul captivated by my mastery of a niche subject, I want to hear from you.
Apologies for being so back-logged on the blog, as well. Thanks to those who have sent me stuff, and are patiently waiting for it to appear on this hallowed sliver of the blogosphere.
In the meantime, read the latest “Promotion Preview.”