On the evening of April 21, mere hours after Prince’s passing, Columbia, South Carolina newspaper The State published an article detailing his legacy in the city. His longtime drummer, John Blackwell, grew up in Columbia. In 2011 this connection led to Prince donating $250,000 to local children’s charity Eau Clair Promise Zone shortly after playing a show in the city.
The Columbia Fireflies, currently playing their inaugural season, are further cementing this connection with June 9’s “Purple Game, Purple Game” promotion. On this Thursday evening, the team will take the field at Spirit Communications Park while wearing these jerseys:
The promotion, which occurs two days after what would have been Prince’s 58th birthday, features myriad in-game elements inspired by the purple-clad polyamorous pop legend. From the press release:
Activities at Spirit Communications Park to honor Prince will include a pregame Prince tribute band, Prince music throughout the night and a pancake-eating contest. After the game, there will be a purple-themed fireworks display.
The pancake-eating contest is inspired by a Chappelle Show sketch, which in turn inspired this Prince song featuring Chappelle as Prince in the cover art. Very meta:
Any fans driving little red Corvettes will receive free parking in the permitted parking lots adjacent to Spirit Communications Park.
All fans born in 1999 will receive a free purple glow necklace at Guest Services with proper proof of age.
For the lovebirds in the crowd, we’ll have a special Prince edition of the Northpoint Heating and Air Kiss Cam, featuring fans wearing purple shirts, blouses with ruffles or raspberry berets.
We will also host a Ping Pong Tournament … with the winner receiving a CD of Prince’s Greatest Hits. In addition, frozen “Purple Rain” adult beverages will be on the bar menu.
Not to nitpick, but wouldn’t a “frozen ‘Purple Rain'” beverage more accurately be known as “Purple Ice”? Nevermind, here’s another image of the jerseys.
Proceeds from a jersey auction will benefit the Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter.
“We are so excited to recognize the legacy of Prince with the Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, as quoted in the press release. “Prince’s contributions to the arts and to the causes of children and education in the City of Columbia will never be forgotten.”
If you would like to know more about the Fireflies and their new home of Spirit Communications Park, then please check out my article recapping my visit there earlier this month. It’s a nice place to see a ballgame.