As of this exact moment in time, I am being on followed on Twitter by 1652 hardy souls (and the occasional hardy spambot). I am grateful for each and every one of these individuals — especially the ones that possess sentience — but more are wanted and needed.
After all, I’m doing my best to document the best and brightest (not to mention the surrealest and strangest) that Minor League Baseball has to offer. This meticulous chronicling of a nationwide network of 160 distinct sporting entities is of interest to more than 1652 people. Of this I am sure.
Here’s one way to increase the ranks: give away Minor League memorabilia! As a result of my extensive travels (and more are coming soon!), I am awash in the stuff:
And now it’s time to give it away! Over the next month,@MinorLeagues (the official Twitter account of Minor League Baseball) and @BensBiz (yours truly) will be distributing this accumulated souvenir bounty to our loyal followers. It will start next Friday (March 16th), and run each Friday thereafter. Here’s how it will work.
1. Follow @MinorLeagues and @BensBiz on Twitter
2. Look for the following tweet, which will be posted each day of the contest at 2 p.m. ET: “It’s MiLB giveaway time! Must be following @MinorLeagues and @BensBiz to win! Click here for official rules.”
3. This tweet will be followed by another tweet, posing a question along the lines of the following: “What is your favorite Minor League logo and why? Respond to @BensBiz and @MinorLeagues to be eligible to win a prize.”
4. Those who respond to the question posed in the tweet (and are following both accounts) will be then entered into a drawing to win that day’s prize. As to what that could be — well, who knows? An Inland Empire 66ers Snuggie? An Iowa Cubs t-shirt? A Charleston RiverDogs knit cap? These are the sort of things that most people only dream of owning, and we are here to make your dreams come true.
So that’s the gist of it — a simple way to systematically distribute Minor League swag across the land, while gaining followers at the same time. What’s not to like?
And, teams — going forward @BenzBiz and @MinorLeagues would be delighted to promote your unique giveaway items and merchandise. Simply send a sample to MiLB.com HQ (address provided upon request). I’ll take pictures of it (maybe even make it my Twitter avatar pic for a few days), and then we’ll give it away in an manner similar to the one outlined above.
And while all of this is going on, I’ll be busy plotting my 2012 Minor League road trips. Rest assured that these travels will quickly replenish my MiLB souvenir supply, so that the entire process can begin again.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Those with memories exceeding that of a pigeon will recall that two weeks ago the Peoria Chiefs generated a firestorm of national media attention with their “LeBron James Replica Championship Ring Giveaway.”
The joke, of course, was that fans would receive nothing at all.
But giving away “Nothing” is harder than it looks, an endeavor that opens a jumbo-sized philosophical can of worms. The Chiefs dealt with the issue by setting up a display on the concourse and asking fans to imagine what could have been.
Following three photos: Dennis Sievers, Peoria Chiefs
As you can imagine, such a detailed promotion requires the full teamwork of the entire staff. Congrats, guys, for making something out of nothing.
The Chiefs’ promo (chronicled HERE by a local news station) was the harshest attack on LBJ since the 1964 presidential campaign, so let us now lighten the mood and let love in.
On June 17, the Richmond Flying Squirrels took the now familiar “Diamond Dig” promotion to the next level. Director of community relations and promotions Christina Shisler writes:
We hid four rings, three single-knot 14 karat white, yellow and rose gold promise rings showcasing two petite diamonds each, retailing at $451….And then our big prize was a petite estate diamond ring – half a carat, in a beautiful 18 karat yellow gold setting, retailing at $1,895!
The Diamond Ring was the third one found and when the lady found it, her then boyfriend (and a minute later fiancé!) ran onto the field, got down on one knee and proposed right there on the spot that she found the ring in the dirt.
This is the most adorable in-stadium proposal since Broccoli got down on one knee in Reading last season.
And speaking of Reading, earlier this month thousands of fans arrived at the ballpark early…
in order to receive this:
But the splendor of the Cole Hamels Garden Gnome pales in comparison to the R-Phils’ latest dessert offering:
Very few things are as quintessentially American as eating 24 scoops of Sour Patch Kids-bedecked ice cream out of a full-size batting helmet at a Minor League Baseball game. Except, you know, actually becoming an American at a Minor League Baseball game. I covered the Toledo Mud Hens’ Naturalization Ceremony on my most recent road trip, and was quickly reminded that the Hens aren’t the only team that have staged such an event.
The Memphis Redbirds hosted a Naturalization Ceremony last July 4th, and are planning on doing so this year as well.
May your children, and your children’s children, enjoy a life of miniature garden gnomes, buried diamonds within diamonds, and satirical celebrations of professional basketball failure.
Throughout the season, I wrote over 100 blog posts, 22 “Promotion Preview” columns, and sundry articles commemorating notable promotions taking place across Minor League Baseball.
Now it’s time to make sense of all that madness, and I need your help.
Starting today (Tuesday), and continuing on throughout the remainder of the week, I’ll be providing my top six promotions of the year in each of four categories: Giveaways, Theme Nights, Celebrity Appearances, and Miscellaneous Events.
The point of sharing these lists is not just to reminisce on the season that was, but for YOU to let me know what I’m missing. Yes, YOU. Whether you’re a fan, team employee, or covert operative existing in a shady nether region between the two entities, I want to hear from YOU.
Two promotions will be added to each list based on your input, setting the stage for next week’s series of “Promotion of the Year” polls on MiLB.com. Apathy is tantamount to treason, so rack your brain and get in touch today.
Today we’ll take a brief look at some of the season’s top giveaways, with links to how the items were originally covered in this blog and MiLB.com. My six nominees, in alphabetical order:
Brooklyn Cyclones — Ike Davis Bobble Legs
Charleston RiverDogs — Chia Head of groundskeeper Mike Williams
Iowa Cubs — Player To Be Named Later Bobblehead
Lake County Captains — Skipper Leg Lamp
Orem Owlz — Torii Hunter Bobble Arm
Portland Beavers — Viewmaster (with 10 slides featuring Beavers baseball and local military units)
So what am I missing? Let me know YOUR favorite Minor League Giveaway item of the year. I’ll be soliciting emails, tweets, comments, and telegrams throughout the remainder of the week. Silence is deadly, so speak up.