Tagged: Rally Vinnie

On Fire, Smashed Up, and Totally Full of It

An abundance of blog-worthy items have arrived in my inbox over the past several days, causing my notebook to look like the pen and paper equivalent of a 42-car pile-up.

This, then, is an attempt to clear away the debris so that we may all arrive safely at our respective destinations.

For (fire)starters, I must mention what is scheduled to take place in Savannah on August 14. This:


Photo By: Greg Harriss

The above individual is Ted Batchelor, who holds the world record for “Longest Full-Body Burn Without Supplied Oxygen.” As a prelude to Saturday’s fireworks show, he’ll be set aflame by “one lucky fan” and then circle the bases. Rest assured that I’ll have more on this in the coming days.

Another illustrious figure set to grace a South Atlantic League ballpark with his presence is stand-up comedian Gallagher, performing a post-game show at Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Ballpark on August 18.


Sez the team:

Fans of the outrageous performer are
encouraged to get seats up close to the action as Gallagher and his “Gallagear”
always gets the audience involved in the act. Be a front row fan, but
“BYOP”, Bring Your Own Poncho, because the Master of Melon is sure to have a
messy trick or two up his striped sleeve.

The RiverDogs have actually already staged a “Watermelon Night’ promotion this season, an evening that included this iconic scoreboard image of clubhouse manager “Rally Vinnie”:


The Lake County Captains recently staged a Watermelon Night of their own, resulting in adorable images such as the following:

Lake County_Watermelon.JPG

Fans who participated in between-inning contests received specially-baked watermelon cupcakes, although the opportunity to squash a watermelon is its own reward:

The Captains staged a more ambitious (and gut-wrenching) food-related promo just last night: The Competitive Eating Olympics. Following a format first used by the Williamsport Crosscutters in their annual “Belly Buster” competitions, contestants had to consume one item per inning.

The line-up:


Winner Mark Ogrize celebrates his accomplishment:


A crowd gathers to watch the riveting final round, pitting Ogrize against runner-up George Lianopolous:

Final Round.jpg

If Lianopolous is a single man, then I suggest he make this the main picture on his online dating profile. In this case, “Adidas” stands for “All Day I Dream About Spam”:spam.jpg
Finally, a blow-by-blow account:

This promotion was featured on Deadspin this morning, so congrats to the Captains for the national publicity. But for Minor League teams, Deadspin is like a rich bachelor uncle who sporadically drops in before turning his attention back to more titillating pursuits. I, however, am the doting mother: there for you through thick and thin, easy to take for granted, and prone to insufferable bouts of extended and unnecessary martyrdom.


Have You Seen This Man?

Thumbnail image for Charleston_RallyVinnieBasic.JPGThe individual on your left is Vinnie Colangelo, the veteran clubhouse manager of the Charleston RiverDogs.

Mr. Colangelo came to my attention thanks to an email from RiverDogs play-by-play man Danny Reed, who wrote that “Vinnie has become well known as one of the best clubbies in the Minors, and he has also grown to be quite popular with the fans.”

This spotless reputation motivated the team to create a “Rally Vinnie” alter-ego for Colangelo. Whenever the RiverDogs need some runs in the late innings of a ballgame, “Rally Vinnie” flashes on the scoreboard. There are many permutations of “Rally Vinnie”, many of which are tied into whatever promotional theme night the RiverDogs happen to be staging.

Let’s take a look:



Reached by phone, “Rally Vinnie” was decidedly nonplussed about this late-inning ballpark development.

“The players seem to get a kick out of it, I just wish it would work a little bit more,” he said.Charleston_RallyVinnieShaving.JPG “I’d guess that it’s [inspired a rally] about 50% of the time so far.”

Colangelo went on to say that he is occasionally recognized in Charleston as “Rally Vinnie”, but that the demanding nature of his job has kept him from capitalizing on his unique celebrity status.

“The character’s not that big, and I don’t get to go out much [during the season],” he said modestly, perhaps underestimating the appeal of a rally-starting clubhouse manager.

Charleston_RallyVinnieBeard.JPGBut at the very least, Rally Vinnie has become a source of inspiration for his co-workers.

“They’ve put my face on a lot of different things,” said Colangelo. “The Mario one was pretty good, and I liked the Smurf one, too. I guess they’ll just keep on coming up with stuff they think is funny.”

Come to think of it, this could serve as the motto for the entire industry.

Minor League Baseball: Coming Up With Stuff We Think Is Funny Since 1902.