Tagged: Idaho Falls Chukars

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.


A Promotion With A Peel

IFC.jpgIt is a very, very busy time of year, and lately I have found myself utilizing swimming metaphors in an attempt to describe my workplace situation. Often, I feel like I am drowning. Today, at the least, I am treading water. Of course, the ultimate goal is to be doing a competent breaststroke in an Olympic-sized pool. I’m not there yet, but I can dream.

Now that I’ve at least partially sabotaged myself with an unwieldy intro, let me move on to what this post is REALLY about: The extravaganza of spuds that was the Idaho Falls Chukars’ “Potato Night” promotion.

Chukars media relations director John Hadden has provided me with a veritable truckload of Potato Night information, en route to setting a new record in the category of “most pictures sent to Ben’s Biz Blog in regard to a single promotion.”

That record? 17. Therefore, I feel it would be a good idea to switch this post to a different setting. For a text-based description of what went on, click HERE. Otherwise, stick with me as I present a cornucopia of photos from a promotion that was anything but half-baked. In fact, it was over-stuffed (not to mention good in the sack).

Before the gates at Melaleuca Field opened, fans were given the opportunity to have their picture taken with a two-ton potato, courtesy of the Spuds Drive-In:

Idaho Falls -- Two Ton Potato.JPG

Incidentally, the Spud Drive-In Theater looks like an incredible place to see a movie. Check out the website HERE. But speaking of oversized potatoes, check out this gigantic nightmare-inducing inflatable stationed outside of the stadium:

Idaho Falls -- Inflatable Potato.JPG

The first 100 fans in attendance received Spuddy Buddies, which the team describes as “plush potato dolls with arms and legs.”

Idaho Falls - Spuddt Buddy distro.JPG

Those who didn’t arrive early enough to receive a Spuddy Buddy still had the chance to get one later in the evening, when they were tossed into the crowd like so much potato detritus. These shots are classic:

Idaho Falls -- Spuddy Buddies Go Flying.JPG

Idaho Falls -- Spuddy Buddies Go Flying 2.JPG
The evening’s illustrious guests included Junior Miss Blackfoot Paige Pearson (Blackfoot, ID is the potato capital of the world), as well as King and Queen Russet.

Idaho Falls -- Miss Blackfoot.JPG

Idaho Falls -- Potato Mascots.JPG

Meanwhile, a special concession stand option was “Spud Fudge“:

Chukars -- Spud Fudge.JPG

The first pitch was, of course, a potato:

Idaho Falls -- Ivor Hodgson Catches Potato First Pitch.JPG

Moonlighting pitcher Ivor Hodgson apparently decided to stash said potato in his back pocket, perhaps in a bid to later replicate the infamous Bresnahan Potato Incident:

Idaho Falls -- potatoes in back pocket.JPG

Between-inning contests included a mashed-potato eating contest and, of course, a sack race:

Idaho Falls -- Mashed Potato Eating Contest.JPG

Idaho Falls -- Potato Eating Close-Up.JP<br />G
Idaho Falls -- Sack Race.JPGWinners received Potato Trophies:

Idaho Falls -- Gold Potato Trophies.JPG

Unfortunately, no visual evidence exists of one of the evening’s most interesting innovations. Writes Hadden:

We did fire a potato gun at the end of the anthem. It was about eight feet long,  took three interns to operate, and launched a
potato over the right-centerfield wall

If anyone wants to send me a drawing depicting the above description, I would most definitely post it.

Finally, TWO HOURS worth of potato-themed music was played over the PA. Prior to the promotion, I suggested to Hadden that the following song be incorporated. He assured me that it was:

In the offseason I plan on putting together a comprehensive report regarding ways in which the music of Weird Al can be incorporated into promotions. I’m not sure how long I’ll be at this job, but one thing is certain: I will not rest until Weird Al has absolutely inundated the Minor League landscape.