Tagged: Hootz

2009: The Year in Photos

cam.jpgI am ready to embrace the offseason. I really and truly am. But if I come up with a blog post idea that will let me re-visit a time when Minor League Baseball was actually played every day, then you best believe I’m gonna do it.

And today, that idea is this: to present my favorite photos that appeared on this blog during the 2009 season. I did not apply any specific criteria when making these selections, other than to ask myself “Does this photo make my inner-most being cry out in rapturous wonderment?.” If the answer was in the affirmative, then you will see it listed below. Hopefully, your innermost being will respond similarly.   

What follows are my top 10 pics of the year, listed in the order in which they appeared on this blog.

Master Yogi Berra Lets LooseOn April 21, Greensboro Grasshoppers canine mascot Master Yogi Berra had a bit of an on-field accident. The following is one of two pictures I obtained of the incident (the “clean version”, if you will):

yogi (2).jpg  
(Photo credit: Dano Keeney)

Ceremonial CentenarianOn April 24, Round Rock Express season-ticket holder Chris Nocera threw out the first pitch. She is 102 years old — and very determined:

Thumbnail image for 102 pitch 1.JPG

Cream Stick Gets CreamedThe Akron Aeros nightly “Cream Stick Race” was, by all accounts, a chaotic free-for-all. Here, Vanilla feigns innocence immediately after pushing Maple to the ground:

creamstick 1.JPG

Ready, Set, SwallowSword swallower extraordinaire Dan Meyer prepares to ply his trade in Huntsville. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this, a post-rainout performance for an audience of 15.

dan ready to perform.JPG

A Moo-ving ImageA key component of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ “Salute to Cows” was a mooing contest. The following picture depicts the eventual champion as he readied himself for the moo of his life:

timber rattlers moo contest.JPG 

Presidential Self-Love The Brookyln Cyclones gave away Obama bobbleheads as part of “Barack-lyn Cyclones” night, and the commander-in-chief went out of his way to let the crowd know that he approved:

brooklyn baracklyn bobble.JPG

(photo credit: George Napolitano/Brooklyn Cyclones)

An A-peel-ing Photo —  As part of the Idaho Falls Chukars’ “Potato Night”, so-called “Spuddy Buddies” were thrown into the crowd. It was a thing of beauty:

Idaho Falls -- Spuddy Buddies Go Flying 2.JPG

Mascot MassageIn Birmingham, even costumed characters need the occasional rubdown:

Birmingham -- Mascot Massage 2.JPG

Belly Quickly BustedThis guy couldn’t even make it out of the first round in the Williamsport Crosscutters’ annual “Belly Buster” contest:

Thumbnail image for Williamsport -- Belly Buster, hot dog loser.JPG

Owlz Well That Ends Well Hootz and Holly tied the knot in a dramatic post-game ceremony in Orem, resulting in a surreal and oddly touching spectacle:

Thumbnail image for Orem Mascot Wedding Hootz sez I do.jpg

If you have any photos from this past se
ason that you think are worthy of inclusion in this blog, then by all means get in touch. I’ll be waiting patiently for your correspondence.


The Greatest Love of All

orem.jpgIn all honesty, I’m not feeling too well today. A headache and general fatigue has resulted in a sluggish pace here at the office, and a sluggish pace can simply not be tolerated during this, the season’s homestretch.

There’s only one thing that could possibly make me feel better, and that one thing is this: mascot love. So get ready to see some mascot love. 

The mascots in question are Hootz and Holly of the Orem Owlz. Astute readers may recall a recent blog post in which I mentioned the fact that these two literal lovebirds would be getting married. Owlz media relations director Matt Gittins speculated that this would be a Minor League first, but this assertion has since been debunked by readers more knowledgable than I (mascot weddings have already taken place in Lowell and Hudson Valley, among others).

But no matter. The most important thing is that Hootz and Holly have been united in holy matrimony. Reports Gittins, the pastor:

Throughout the night we played all kinds of wedding themed promotional
games, such as a Couples Cake Eating/Feeding Competition, Flower Bouquet Toss, and a Wedding Dance Off.

The mascots in the ceremony are the Flash Fox from the NBA D-League's Utah
Flash and the dog is Charlie the Angel Dog from the old Provo Angels.

The two guys in red are actually just random fans who had dressed up on
their own for the night.  We thought they fit the part so we threw them
into the ceremony.

The two girls are the promotion girls Jillian and Alicia


Please observe:

Orem Mascot Wedding -- waiting for bride.JPG

Orem Mascot Wedding Here Comes the Bride.jpg

Orem Mascot Wedding -- long view.JPG

Orem Mascot Wedding -- ceremony.JPG

Thumbnail image for Orem Mascot Wedding Hootz sez I do.jpg

Orem Mascot Wedding -- you may now kiss.jpg

Orem Mascot Wedding -- Just Married.jpg

Orem Mascot Wedding -- victory lap.JPG

More from Gittins:

Here are the vows from the ceremony asked to each mascot:

Do you Hootz/Holly promise to take Holly/Hootz in wins and losses, rain or
shine, strikeouts and homeruns?

By the power invested in me by Minor League Baseball and by Mascot Nation
I pronounce you Man and Wife....You may kiss the bride.

Fireworks then exploded over the outfield fence as they rode off the field
in the Utah National Guard Hummer Golf Cart.

We then took the happy couple to the local sports bar for a Wedding
Reception with all the fans and players. I gave the toast at the wedding
saying that we may see some little Owlets in the future.

I wish Hootz and Holly all the best in their new life together, and hope that “Owlets” do indeed result from their state-recognized relationship. Mascot procreation is just as legitimate as any other form of procreation, and it’s high time that American society accepted this fact.

I’d be more than happy to feature other instances of mascot love on this blog, so please get in touch if you are able to provide me with such.

But in the meantime, please check out my final “Promotion Preview” column of the year.