The Memphis Redbirds “Organ Donor” jerseys” got a lot of attention both here and elsewhere, and for good reason — very few professional baseball teams, if any, have ever taken the field while decked out in innards-exposing uniform tops.
It all went down on Saturday, with the Redbirds earning a 5-2 victory over the far more conservatively-dressed Tucson Padres. Prior to the ballgame, backstop Nick Derba modeled these awareness-raising duds in the dugout.
Credit for each of the next six photos: Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds
Whether on the mound, at the plate, in the field, or in the dugout, the Redbirds really showed a lot of heart.
And at the end of the day, everyone learned a valuable lesson. Whether black or white, bald or hirsute, smiling or grimacing, we’re all the same on the inside.
But in another, far more accurate sense, we are not all the same. Some of us are way better dancers than others, as evidenced by this amazing video featuring touring ballpark performer B-Boy McCoy going toe-to-toe with preternaturally gifted Whitecaps hurler Alex Burgos.
And on the topic of artistically precocious Minor League ballplayers, here’s a clip of Charlotte Knights catcher Adam Ricks shredding his way through the National Anthem prior to last Thursday’s ballgame.
But for every triumphant moment in life, there is one of defeat. This sobering lesson was brought home earlier this week, with the news that Mark Hamburger had been knocked out of this this year’s (still-ongoing) Minors Moniker Madness tournament by none other than Shooter Hunt.
And you know what goes well with a large helping of Hamburger? A side of corn on the cob, that’s what. We’ll end today’s blogging (mis)adventures with Cedar Rapids’ unflinching look at the harrowing aftermath of anthropomorphic vegetable bathroom usage.
Ending on a high note, as always.
This is because baseball, quite inconsiderately, doesn’t take a day off. So while I was on the road cranking out articles, blog posts, Promo Preview columns, and frivolous contest introductions, the emails kept coming in alerting me to items that may be worthy of coverage.
Allow me to now present to you, the reader, some of these items. I’ll start with the most narcissistic, a 42-second video commemorating my stint as “The Apprentice…Of the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor.“
With that out of the way, let’s proceed to last night’s promotion in Akron. The Aeros held “Ship Out LeBron Night”, in which fans were asked to donate unwanted LeBron James apparel in exchange for free tickets.
As you can see, quite a few fans took the team up on its offer. As soon as Orbit is done playing around, these items will be donated to an international relief organization.
Another thing you don’t see every day is 3,692 people popping bubble wrap at the same time. It makes a sound quite similar to dessicated locust husks bouncing off the roof of a station wagon.
As part of the promotion, the Spinners rolled out the “Bubblewrap Dance Floor.” To celebrate 50 years of bubblewrap, 50-year-olds were invited onto the field to dance to 50 cent.
An even more Rainman-esque aspect of the promotion was that the 50th fan in attendance would get a year’s supply of popcorn if the 50th out of the game occurred via pop out. It did, and one lucky fan took home a vast collection of kernels (Spinners media relations director Jon Boswell writes that, keeping in the spirit of the promotion, “He’ll have to do the popping himself!”)
Torii Hunter Bobble-Arm in Orem
Skipper Leg Lamp in Lake County
I wish that the above item was being given away as part of a “Salute to Hallucinogenic Fever Dreams” promo, but there’s actually a story behind it. See, the Captains are staging “Christmas In July”, and “A Christmas Story” was filmed in nearby Cleveland. Hence, a giveaway featuring a Minor League twist on one of the movie’s most memorable scenes.
And speaking of the Captains, you may recall that one of the team’s biggest fans comes to nearly every game dressed like Waldo. Recently, this horizontally-striped standout took his act to Cleveland:
Certainly a Waldo this ambitious is worthy of your Facebook fandom. Perhaps I can even score an exclusive interview one of these days.
This year’s contest is shaping up to be the best yet, as teams have mounted homegrown promotional campaigns in support of their players. Here’s one of the best efforts I’ve seen thus far:
Finally, you may have noticed that the Charleston RiverDogs and Hickory Crawdads have recently been the recipients o
f some big-time exposure:
Perhaps I’ll receive some big-time exposure one of these days. Until then, I’ll be staring at a computer screen in search of a clever closing sentence that never comes.
Last week, I dedicated a post to the third annual “Minors Moniker Madness” competition. The goal of this ridiculous endeavor is to determine who has the greatest name in all of Minor League Baseball (and, by the way, don’t forget to VOTE! Just 16 names remain…)
Minors Moniker Madness is far from an anomalous event, however, as several other baseball-related entities are staging March Madness
rip-offs tributes of their very own. Among them:
The Toledo Mud Hens — Jamie Farr’s favorite Minor League team is currently in the midst of its “Eat 16” tournament, in which fans are asked to vote for their favorite concession stand items. My prediction is that Nachos, a #14 seed, emerges as the Cinderella story of this competition. Vote HERE.
The Omaha Royals — Warren Buffet’s favorite Minor League team sent shockwaves through the blogosphere after dropping this bombshell of a press release. In lieu of a tedious summarization of said press release, please allow me to quote liberally:
OMAHA, NE – He’s the President of the Omaha Royals, but Alan Stein is a
native Kentuckian and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. No
surprise then that he has made a friendly wager that the Wildcats will
emerge victorious when they become one of the marquee basketball names
to visit Qwest Center Omaha next Monday night in the second round of
the National Invitation Tournament.
Stein was hoping to make the
wager with Creighton University Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen.
However, Rasmussen is not allowed to do that by NCAA rules. In stepped
Jill Rasmussen, Bruce’s wife, to carry the flag for the Bluejays.
If the 21-13 Wildcats win, Mrs. Rasmussen will be sending a box of
Omaha Steaks to Stein. If the 27-7 Bluejays pick up the victory on
their home court, Stein will be shipping Mrs. Rasmussen a basket of
Kentucky Proud products, which will include a bottle of the
world-famous Maker’s Mark bourbon.
“I am absolutely confident that the blue-and-white will prevail on
Monday night,” Stein quipped, as both teams wear those colors. “I can’t
wait to attend the game.”
“Bring it on,” Mrs. Rasmussen simply said.
UPDATE: Mrs. Rasmussen has since trademarked the phrase “Bring it On.” I had to pay over $800 just to include those three words in this post. It was worth it.
Baseballposts.com — This one gets points for thoroughness, as baseballposts.com has assembled a tournament that seeks to determine nothing less than the the most popular team in all of Minor League Baseball. 223 teams are featured, divided into eight regions, and voting will continue until April 15.
This is a herculean and somewhat quixotic endeavor, akin to the the famous scene in Fitzcarraldo in which a 360-ton boat is dragged up and over a hilltop.
Which reminds me — when is a Minor League team going to step up and stage a “Salute to Werner Herzog” promotional night? Existentialist between-innings games and contests, Klaus Kinski look-a-alike contests, and Popul Vuh over the loudspeakers — it would be a night of family fun!
Okay, the crickets have arrived in force. That’s my cue to get out of here while the gettin is still good…
But, today, I am asking my vast readership to do just this. Take a deep breath, ignore all outside distractions, and please give your undivided attention to this most worthy of causes:
Now in its third year, Minors Moniker Madness seeks to determine the best name in all of Minor League Baseball. Any questions you may have about this bracket-style tournament can be found in my introductory article, which is located RIGHT HERE.
When you’re ready to make your voice heard, then please head over to the polls. They are located RIGHT HERE. If you click a player’s name, then a picture, additional biographical information, and a short, ostensibly comedic blurb will pop up.
I would like it be known that I wrote all 64 of these blurbs, and it was no easy task. I was muttering, loosening my tie, and gesticulating wildly throughout the entire process, feeling like a Catskills comedian soldiering through c-list material in front of a bored after-dinner crowd. This despite the fact that I was alone in front of a computer (my usual state of being, as it were).
And, for the record, my eight favorite names in the contest (in no particular order):
Feel free to let me know your favorites. Leave a comment, send me an email, hire a skywriter, or just yell really loud. Its the thought that counts.