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.
Sorry that it’s been a while since I dropped some bizness knowledge on ya. All I can do at this juncture is to rip a page out of the MTA playbook and “apologize for the unavoidable delay.”
NYC public transit references translate nationwide, right? I sure hope so; otherwise I’ve alienated my audience even faster than usual.
Well, I’ll get you all back in my good graces by once again going over some recently unveiled 2010 promotional schedules.
The Fresno Grizzlies are one of those teams that routinely seek out the national spotlight, staging innovative promotions that often catch on throughout the industry. The club was the first to book the increasingly ubiquitous Mr. Belding (as part of their “Mad Tight 90s Night), and their “As Seen on TV Night” (featuring a Snuggie giveaway) has inspired several teams follow suit.
As for 2010, one of the Grizzlies’ biggest highlights will occur on June 26: Twilight Night.
I’ll refer you now to the expert on this schedule, an individual by the name of “Press Release“:
The Grizzlies will celebrate a pop culture phenomenon by hosting “Twilight
Night” on the evening of a lunar eclipse. At the core of the
Twilight craze is one of the most hotly debated topics in recent memory,
which can be summed up succinctly in one question: Team Edward or Team
Jacob? In advance of the highly anticipated third installment of the
movie series, fans will be able to decide the outcome of that debate by
voting on the team’s Facebook Fan Page between a customized vampire
(Team Edward) or werewolf (Team Jacob) jersey. The winning jersey will
be worn by the Grizzlies during Twilight Night, with proceeds of a
jersey auction aptly benefiting the Central California Blood Center.
Another Grizzlies highlight is “Mad Tight 90s Night: The Remix” on May 20. This year’s special guest is none other than Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”:
And here’s hoping that the Grizzlies resident front office rappers record their own version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.
Other nights to circle on the nationwide Minor League promo calendar that I assume hangs prominently in your home office: “You Sing the National Anthem” (July 5), “Man Night” (July 29), and “Mascot Wrestling” (August 14).
Let’s move north, past the California border into Oregon, because the Portland Beavers have released their promo schedule. Traditionally, the team stages one premier bobble giveaway each season (with 2006’s Rodney McCray bobblefence and ’07’s “Bob L. Head” being especially notable), so speculation was rampant over who would get the nod in 2010.
Speculate no more. This year, the prestigious recipients of Beaver bobble fame are these guys:
Lewis and Clark, the most estimable battery of the 19th century, will be rendered in bobble form and distributed to the Portland masses on May 22. The following month, the Beavers will pay tribute to a group of equally accomplished explorers: “Goonies Never Say Die Night” is June 11, and will feature a post-game screening of the 1980s kids classic.
I’ll leave you with this, which will surely stand out as one of 2010’s premier giveaway items. On May 31, the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be distributing skateboard decks to the first 1000 fans in attendance (age 17 and under).
If you actually see a photo underneath this sentence, then it will represent my triumph over one of the greatest blogging adversities I have ever faced. If not, then I have failed. But rest assured, I will not give up. Not now, or ever.
Apologies for the lack of blog posts as of late. Not surprisingly, my benevolent overseers kept me busy with a wide array of Opening Day content. Some of this content was perfunctory and forgettable, while some was near and dear to my heart.
But now I can return to my one true love —
internet dating blogging. Today, let us travel to the Pacific Northwest, so that I can highlight one of the most intriguing promotions of the ’09 season: the Portland Beavers‘ “Bark in the Park” night on August 1.
For those who are unaware, “Bark in the Park” has become a popular Minor (and, occasionally, Major) League promotion over the past several seasons. The premise is simple: fans are allowed to bring their dogs to the stadium on these special evenings, resulting in nine innings of canine-related merriment. But the Beavers’ “Bark in the Park” features two unique innovations that are well-worth commenting on.
2. In a pre-game ceremony, the Beavers will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for Largest Dog Wedding.
Over the last three seasons, the Beavers have generated national attention with their Rodney McCray Bobblefence (2006), Bob L. Head bobblehead (2007), and Jerry Mathers bobblehead (2008). Now, they’re going to the dogs.
“Every year, we like to have a signature bobblehead, and this is the one that rose to the top,” said Chris Metz, the Beavers vice president of operations and communications. “Everybody loves their dogs, and Portland is no different in that respect. We’re already accepting submissions from people who want their dog to be immortalized.”
Those who want their dog to be considered for this honor should click here. Simply send a photo of your dog along with a 200-word essay on why he or she should be considered. The deadline is June 1.
Now, as for the dog marriage world record…the existing mark is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records thusly:
“On February 12, 2006, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, 27 pairs of dogs were married in a ceremony organized by Nestle Purina PetCare Nederland B.V. The dogs had all met during a speed-dating session prior to the mass wedding and were issued certificates to celebrate the happy day.”
Metz says that the Beavers “feel very strongly” that they will be able to shatter the existing record. Even if they forgo the process of pre-nuptial speed-dating.
“I imagine that these will all be pre-existing dog relationships,” he remarked. “Ours is a family product.”