We are careening toward what is sure to be an eminently enjoyable Holiday Weekend, and strenuous acts like “reading things on the internet” don’t hold much appeal at the present moment. So allow me to take you on out of the work week with a cavalcade of recent video masterworks to emanate from the Minor League landscape.
Let’s start with the one Minor League team that will NOT be celebrating July 4th: the Vancouver Canadians. Our neighbors to the North produced a Major League-spoofing commercial that is rapidly attaining viral status.
If that somehow hasn’t satiated your desire to see Minor League productions of Major League, then check out this recent “One-Minute Movie” put together by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Staying within the always rich topic of “Ohio-based Minor League parody”, the Akron Aeros are promoting an upcoming appearance by soap star Patrick Drake by putting words into his mouth.
The next day the Aeros’ are trying to appeal to a younger segment of the female fan demographic with their “Princess Tea Party.” Mascot Orbit is doing his best to learn the proper etiquette.
The Aeros’ Eastern League compatriots Trenton Thunder don’t need to worry about selling tickets to this weekend’s slate of games, thanks to the presence of rehabbing superstar Derek Jeter. But not even Hall of Fame-bound Bronx icons possess the charisma of the team’s endlessly effervescent Bobby Baseball.
Also in possession of copious charisma if Montgomery Biscuits pitcher Chris Archer. Thursday is “Ladies Night” in Montgomery, and one lucky lady will win a date with the dashing right-hander:
Not as desirable to the ladies is new Frederick Keys’ mascot “Frank Key.” The freakishly large cranium might have something to do with that.
But the true indicator of any Minor League video’s success is how it plays in Peoria. And this one, from the hometown Chiefs, has been viewed plenty of times within the fine Illinois metropolis.
I’d say that the above definitively proves that rhythm is not a prerequisite of professional baseball success. Also not a prerequisite of professional baseball success: being human.
It’s not just a lazy stereotype, it’s the capital T Truth: Anatomically incorrect snakes take their celebrity airport pick-ups very seriously.
And that’s gonna conclude the blogging week. Enjoy the Holiday, and I’ll see you right back here at this very URL on July 5.
After two weeks of sustained internet hype, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have finally unveiled their new logos to an eager and waiting fan base. Or should I say uncoiled their new logos:
“We were looking to freshen up our look as well as bring in new elements,” said Rob Zerjav, Timber Rattlers team president. “The jersey logo is a little edgier than the past logo and we now have an alternate logo that does not incorporate the snake, which gives us some additional branding opportunities. We are also pleased to keep our very familiar ‘W with the snake wrap’ logo as this logo is what Timber Rattlers fans identify with and it continues to be one
of the most popular logos in all of Minor League Baseball.”
While the aforementioned alternate logo doesn’t incorporate Fang the snake, it is rather fang-like. I’d like to think that Teddy Roosevelt would have chosen this logo to adorn his cuff links:
Continues the press release: The new Timber Rattlers home jerseys will feature a silver ‘TIMBER’ placed on top of a maroon ‘RATTLERS’. The outer stems of the ‘A’ and the second ‘R’ in RATTLERS have been extended and curved to resemble the fangs of a snake.
Visual representation of the above text, featuring uniforms worn by eye-less, four-armed robo-men.
And, lest we forget, these new duds would make great Christmas gifts for all the reptile-loving Minor League Baseball aficionados in your household.
The Rattlers’ updated look was designed by Studio Simon, who seem to be one of only two logo design companies that Minor League teams will work with.
It’s certainly been a big week for logo news, and I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t share the following link. Dave Levy over at SportsGrid blog thinks he may have discovered the motivation for the Asheville Tourists’ ribs-eating moon logo.
Writes Levy: I’ve watched the SNL Best of Will Ferrell more times in my life than I can count, so there is only one possible thing in the world I think this could be a tip of the cap toward: Ferrell’s brilliant Harry Caray impression. As he asks, “It’s a simple question, doctor, would you eat the moon if it were made of ribs?
Plan B Branding designed the logo, and I emailed co-founder Jason Klein for comment on this most important issue. He played it coy, however, writing that he could “neither confirm or deny” Levy’s speculation.
Jeez, I’m exhausted after so much investigative reporting. Time to go take a nap.
The “Southern Swing” yielded plenty of blog content, but one unfortunate side effect of the traveling life is not being able to keep up with the overall Minor League scene at the level to which you’ve been accustomed.
So consider this entry an attempt to get partially up to speed. Playing “ketchup”, if you will.
Let’s begin with what is undoubtedly baseball’s biggest story at the moment, a young Washington Nationals pitching phenom who goes by the name of Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ gain is the Minors’ loss, as Strasburg’s starts resulted in sell-out crowds no matter where he took the mound. A pair of artifacts from one such start is now available on the MiLB auction site — an autographed camo hat and autographed camo jersey from May 22’s “Armed Forces Celebration” in Syracuse. With four days left in the auction, the former is going for $326 and the latter for $755.01.
A more affordable (read “free”) piece of Strasburg memorabilia was given away at Blair County Ballpark yesterday — a poster commemorating his first professional start (which took place at Altoona’s Blair County Ballpark as a member of the visiting Harrisburg Senators). This highly collectible item sparked a debate on the Curve’s Facebook page, as some fans took issue with a giveaway honoring a member of the opposing team. I’d be curious to hear opinions on this — did the circumstances warrant such a giveaway, or is it always “wrong” to commemorate the “enemy”?
Of course, I have more to talk about than Mr. Strasburg. Plenty of chattering craniums are already engaged at this task, and it is generally my goal to be zigging while the others are zagging and to then zag in reaction to the zig.
So how about a couple of videos?
Readers may remember that I wrote up the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ “Tribute to the Marshmallow” in a recent edition of “Promotion Preview.” One of the between-inning contests was the “S’More Relay”, which is to be commended for its creativity and commitment to the theme:
Another example of above-and-beyond promo commitment can be found in Binghamton, as the Mets put together a video promoting their upcoming “Twilight Night.” Never has the line “You have baseball bat antlers” been uttered with more sincerity:
Moving from antlered mammals to poisonous reptiles, I’d like to note that on Monday the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be giving away a figurine featuring mascot Fang driving a NAPA race car.
Sorry to be a broken record when it comes to Fang and his unorthodox snake anatomy, but I just can’t get over it. Putting aside the feasibility of a reptile being granted a driver’s license, how is it possible that a snake possess both hands and feet and can use them with enough dexterity to both steer a wheel and operate pedals?
I’ll have more “ketchup” material tomorrow, unless someone out there provides me with some totally must-see, can’t-wait blog items.
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.”