It’s Tuesday, which means that a new “Promo Preview” column is live and ready for your reading enjoyment over on MiLB.com.
I hope that folks are reading the column, and digging the new format. The amount of feedback I’ve gotten thus far has been humbling — and not in a “humblebrag” sort of way, just humbling. I haven’t heard a single word, good or bad, about it.
But on it shall go, and on this post shall go. You may recall that in the season’s first Promo Preview column I wrote about supercentenarian first pitch tosser Shelby Harris, who kicked off the River Bandits’ season with a ceremonial offering. After the ballgame, I received the following photo and recap from River Bandits’ director of promotions Shane Huff.
Not only did [Shelby] participate in a pregame interview on the field with our media relations manager, Marco LaNave, but he overhand threw the ceremonial first pitch in front of a standing ovation of 4,783! Shelby talked about his love of baseball and his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, in the interview, throwing in a comedic crack about the chilliness of the evening. He then followed that up with a very successful ceremonial first pitch. He stayed until the third inning – there we a combined 15 runs in a very lengthy second inning – and watched the game from a suite down the third base line.
[A]s the on-field emcee I introduced a lot of ceremonial first pitches last season, and none we as rousing and anticipated as tonight’s when Shelby took the mound. Between the media and the standing fans, it was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had since working in Minor League Baseball.
Another Home Opener of note occurred in Huntsville, as the Stars paid tribute to native son and distinguished baseball jack-of-all trades Don Mincher in a pre-game ceremony.
The Mincher family:
Oh, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Memphis Redbirds now have the largest scoreboard in all of Minor League Baseball.
And, finally, here is the latest (and therefore greatest) addition to my slowly expanding roster of Ben’s Biz headshots. It was sent by a Florida-based operative, and comes with it’s own track listing (!)
- Rolling in Deep Left
- Southpaw Has It
- Turning Doubles
- Don’t You Remember that Rundown
- Set Fire to the Rain Tarp
- He Won’t Go Home
- Take It to the Alley
- I’ll Be Waiting in the Dugout
- One on Deck
- Late Inning LoveSong
- Someone Like Hak-Ju (Lee)
Keep ’em coming, folks. Keep ’em coming.
One of 2011’s most intriguing promotions is planned for TONIGHT — the so-called “Human Home Run” in Lowell, MA. Between games of the doubleheader, human cannonball David Smith, Sr. will be shot out of a cannon behind second base and land over the wall in right field.
This stunt is taking place just one week after a similarly unique (yet completely different) initiative. On June 29, 3014 fans engaged in simultaneous dental flossing, a quixotic endeavor on par with last year’s “Salute to Bubble Wrap.”
While using one long piece of floss would have been hilarious, the Spinners went a far more hygienic route by distributing Glide floss picks. In the middle of the fourth inning, it was synchronized flossin’ time.
The players, upstanding role models that they are, got in the act as well.
Flossing would be an especially apropos activity after witnessing the Memphis Redbirds’ new between-inning competition: The Rendezvous Rib Race.
Participants include BBQ Sauce, Rib, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Rendezvous Dry Rub Seasoning.
This column is a labor of love (my attempt to be the Jayson Stark of Minor League Baseball, basically), and I’d greatly appreciate if those who enjoy it pass it along to like-minded friends. I’ll close with my favorite nugget of info from this month’s column, an item brought to my attention by uber-alert Lancaster JetHawks broadcaster Jeff Lasky:
The more things change…: The Lancaster JetHawks suffered through their worst inning in franchise history June 29, allowing visiting High Desert to plate 13 runs in the second. This nightmarish frame broke the old franchise record of 12 runs allowed in an inning, which had been achieved by Lake Elsinore on May 20, 2007. Lake Elsinore’s Yordany Ramirez hit for the cycle in that ballgame, completing the feat with a triple in the record-setting 12-run eighth inning. Amazingly, Ramirez also appeared in the June 29 ballgame — as a member of the JetHawks’ pitching staff! Ramirez, in his first full season as a pitcher after nine as an outfielder, tossed two scoreless innings long after the damage had been done.
This kind of stuff is catnip for baseball nerds, right? I sure hope so.