Minor League ballparks are hospitable places, rolling out the red carpet for sitcom stars, sexagenarian wrestlers and eccentric hurlers alike.
Today’s edition of “Promo Year in Review” features my top six celebrity appearances of the year, highlighting a half-dozen bold-faced names who graced the ballpark with their presence. But, as always, I need YOU to tell me who I’ve missed. Get in touch via email or Twitter and let me know, as suggestions for this and previous categories will be accepted through 10 a.m. Monday.
My six nominees, in ever-so-sensible alphabetical order. Click on each individual’s name to see how his ballpark visit was originally covered (and, yes, they are all men. Don’t shoot the messenger).
Fresno Grizzlies — Alfonso “Carlton” Ribiero (as part of “Mad Tight ’90s Night”)
Lakewood BlueClaws — Jeff “Chunk” Cohen (as part of “Goonies Night”)
Oklahoma City RedHawks — Peter Mayhew (aka “Chewbacca”)
Reading Phillies — Dennis “Mr. Belding” Haskins
Round Rock Express — Rojo Johnson (aka Will Ferrell)
Vermont Lake Monsters — Bill “Spaceman” Lee/Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd (on the same night!)
I don’t have a picture from this picture, but here are their respective Wikipedia photos:
Duty compels me to once again mention that I need your input. What celebrities caused a sensation at YOUR Minor League ballpark this year. And — hey! — I know you’re reading. There’s no escape. Get in touch. Are you going to let my complete neglect of sexagenarian wrestlers go uncriticized?
Dennis “Mr. Belding” Haskins was the guest of honor at last year’s “Mad Tight ’90s” promotion in Fresno, and ever since he’s been leaving a jovial trail of destruction across the Minor League landscape.
The “Saved By the Bell” principal’s most recent stop was Reading, PA, where he did just about everything a celebrity guest can possibly do. In addition to the obligatory autograph signing, picture posing, and ceremonial first pitch throwing, he also went ahead and sang the seventh-inning stretch, made impromptu appearances in nose-breaking post-game player interviews, and enthusiastically praised the state of Pennsylvania before delivering his “What Is Going On Here?” catchphrase.
And, of course, there was the karaoke. Haskins is a karaoke professional of sorts, having released a sing-a-long cd last year. Let’s go to the pictures.
I’m not sure who the bigger Screwball is here:
The grand finale, in which Mr. Belding rides a carrot:
And speaking of Carrot Top…
Somebody get me a crown and a two-wheeled scooter, because I am the king of segues.