The reasons that I write this blog are multifaceted, and hopefully you read it for multifaceted reasons as well. But, since the beginning, one of the primary reasons for its existence has been to highlight new ideas within the world of Minor League Baseball. Therefore, I’d like to share a very cool new idea with you:
The Stockton Ports have a new page on their website that allows fans to browse through an assortment of game day programs and scorecards from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Currently 12 such historical documents have been uploaded, using a digital publishing platform called Issuu. Click on the above link for access to all 12 documents; what follows is my attempt to embed a game day program from 1969. Wish me luck!
I am now operating under the assumption that the above embed was successful. (I won’t know for sure until I hit “publish.”) Regardless, please know that page eight of the game day program which you may or may not see above contains a picture of Ron Shelton when he was a member of the Ports. Shelton has gone on to a successful career as a movie director, and, surely, his time in Stockton must have had some influence on his 1988 classic Bull Durham.
And surely, the Ports’ decision to share historic team publications in an easy-to-access manner will have a wide influence on the world of Minor League Baseball. Those things are really fun to look at, and the ads alone are worth the price of admission.
Note: I am now aware that my embed attempt was unsuccessful. Please know that I tried, and please click on the above link.
My segue game is weak today, but here goes: while the above Ports’ initiative involves that which occurred a long time ago, the below photo involves something THAT NEVER HAPPENED AT ALL.
— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) February 19, 2014
Mr. Freedman, a long-time contributor to my criminally overlooked “Crooked Numbers” column, tweeted the above picture because the Toledo Mud Hens were in fact the losers of the 2006 Championship Showdown. (As all sports fans know, the Tucson Sidewinders beat Toledo by a score of 4-2.) This makes that t-shirt the Minor League Baseball equivalent of Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI Champions apparel, which is almost certainly being worn somewhere in Africa as I type this.
My segue game is now non-existent. In fact:
Finally, here’s a link to an interview I did recently. I never say no to interview requests, so get in touch if you’re into that sort of thing.
It is of course not something that I can control, but I’ve received several complaints this offseason regarding the relative paucity of new logo unveilings.
And, indeed, times have been tough (especially when compared to a particularly fertile 2010-11). This year’s crop has been limited to the Daytona Cubs, new franchises in Pensacola and Grand Junction, and two Blue Jays affiliates (Dunedin and Bluefield) who responded to changes made by the parent club. The rest have been anniversary marks, All Star Games logos, and various subtle tweaks.
But if it’s logos you want and logos you demand, I’ll do my best. For example, the Billings Mustangs recently unveiled a logo celebrating 60 seasons of professional baseball.
In honor of the club’s 60th Season, the Mustangs, in association with Studio Simon, have developed a 60th Season commemorative logo, which will be featured on multiple applications and platforms throughout the season. The logo will serve as a sleeve patch for both the home and road jerseys, and it will also be available on team merchandise and souvenirs.
Keep in mind that there have been a few small gaps in Billings’ baseball history, which is probably why the words “Since 1948” don’t appear on the logo. That would be confusing, as would the slogan “Celebrating 60 Mostly Consecutive Years of Baseball Since 1948.”
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes will be sporting new uniforms in 2012, and it’s easy to find “fault” with them. The logo remains the same, but the team is emphasizing its affiliation with the (relatively) nearby Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arguably the most noticeable change will take place on the numbers in the uniform, as the 2012 uniforms will feature the Quakes’ customary “fault line” running through the middle of each digit, giving it a unique and truly “Quake” look.
An addition to the 2012 uniform will feature a red number on the lower left-half on the front of the jersey, which is also a popular feature of the current Dodgers’ uniform.
Quakes’ jerseys will have sleeves in 2012, a change from the sleeveless style worn in years past. The jersey will no doubt be “Dodgerized”, as the left sleeve will feature the traditional “LA” logo.
Missing from the pants this year will be any piping down the sides, as the new pants will be solid white, also emulating that of the Dodgers’ home pants.
I’ve put my weekly Twitter Round-Up on ice for a bit, as I’m not sure if people were getting/enjoying the concept. But I remain committed to that form of social media, and hope that @BensBiz slow march to 1500 followers transitions into a tidal wave to 10 million. I mean, let’s be honest here, I’m worthy of far more followers than I have.
One new Twitter account that should be of interest to readers of this blog is @milbstaffprblms — a compendium of, you guessed it, Minor League staff problems. A few samples:
the shoes under your desk covered in orange clay and the mildewy smell that accompanies them
I would like to note that I am not the one running this account, despite my (subtle) presence in the @milbstaffprblms avatar.
Update! And, wouldn’t you know it, @broadcastrprobs has now emerged. Follow that one too!
Let’s end the week, as we often do, with a video. This one hails from Tennessee, land of the Smokies, and is to be lauded for its commitment to absurdity. (Another Update! Episode Two of the McGinty and Cunningham series is out, and can be viewed HERE.
Commitment to absurdity: a Ben’s Biz Blog guiding principle since 2007. Thanks for reading.
This post, the 748th in the the history of this blog, will be the last you ever hear from me…
But, of course, I will be back. For if there is someone out there who can resist the siren call of writing about the same subject in perpetuity at levels of increasing stagnation, that person is not I. With that being the case, let’s end the year on a high note….
It’s time for the second edition of the Ben’s Biz Twitter Top Ten! The purpose of such an endeavor is to provide a compendium of the most intriguing @BensBiz tweets and re-tweets of the past week (or three weeks, in this case). The tweets, as they appeared on Twitter, are italicized. Let’s get to it!
10. Please re-frame in the form of a question
Here’s how it went down:
9. You be the judge
8. Just sayin’ is all
Mike Cameron signs w/
@Nationals, but he’s no stranger to the area. Spent ’94 w/Prince William Cannons, where 17 of 116 hits were triples!
If he had maintained that triples rate in his Major League career, he’d currently have amassed 250 (good enough for fourth all time, just two behind Honus Wagner).
7. I really would frame this
6. This was in response to the question of “What MiLB theme nights would you like to see?”
Lehigh Valley IronWarPigs! RT
@andyshal: Black Sabbath night in Allentown! Bill Ward as home plate ump. Ozzy on PA. Concert after the game.
“IronManPigs” would also be acceptable.
5. Another One
Rides Waits For the Bus
Great idea: seats from Indianapolis’ Bush Stadium installed at city bus stops: http://indy.st/selEY9
4. Someone out there needs to stage “Free Eye Pad” night, advertising it heavily on the radio.
3. Use your doppel radar
Well, do you?
2. What does it mean?
1. Effect and Cause
I hope you enjoyed this most recent edition of the @BensBiz Twitter Top 10. I’m almost out of 2011 material, but not quite yet….
For what better way would there be to end the year than with a video of a mascot tackling a Christmas tree?
Actually, there’s one better way. For nothing says “holiday season” like a team-produced “Twas the Night Before Christmas” parody.
And that, as they say, will be that. Thanks for sticking with me throughout a (generally) action-packed 2011, and here’s to an ennui-free 2012!
Therefore, it is my duty to highlight the Minor League entertainment options that these respective regions are offering on Saturday.
“On Saturday, the Quakes will tap into our country’s alleged Gladiator-mania by
paying tribute to the show all evening long. The club will take the
field in special “American Gladiator”-themed jerseys, and all of the
between-inning contests will be modeled after events from the show
(including a post-game “Eliminator” round). Best of all, Zap will be in
attendance. One of the show’s original Gladiators, Zap will be on hand
to pose for pictures, sign autographs and terrorize her adversaries
with a tennis-ball gun.”
In regards to the “between-inning contests that will be modeled after events from the show”, well, let’s take a deeper look at some details from the press release:
In this twist on the classic game, our Gladiators Tremor and Aftershock (the club’s mascots)
will each defend, while our two contestants will try and fill up their
respective bins with as many balls as they can.
One Gladiator, One Contestant, Two Jousting Sticks, a lot of fun. Each Contestant will try and
knock off Tremor and Aftershock from the pedestal before Tremor and
Aftershock can knock them off.
We adapt this original Gladiator event to go along with our popular
Islands’ Restaurant Island Find on-field promotion. Now both
contestants will race each other and go against both of our Gladiators
in a battle of who can capture the Island first. Post-Game Eliminator: The
battle will come down to the final event as the champion will be
crowned and the loser ELIMINATED. We will hold our Eliminator in the
outfield immediately following the game. Our contestants will test their
agility, balance, courage and heart, as they face the most grueling
event ever held on a baseball field.
If that’s all a bit too intense for you, then head over to Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities River Bandits. Tomorrow, the club will be staging the first edition of their Summer Movie Series, which will take place during every Saturday that the River Bandits are on the road.
This is a great idea, and the team is doing it up right. For a $5 admission fee (which goes toward charitable causes), fans will be able to take in a baseball flick while lounging on the outfield grass.
The Summer Movie Series kicks off with Saturday’s screening of The Sandlot. Here’s the rest of the series. Plan accordingly:
May 24th – Rookie of the Year
June 21st – Angels in the Outfield
June 28th – Little Big League
July 12th – The Rookie
July 26th – Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
August 23rd – Field of Dreams
Yes, plan accordingly. And, also, have a great weekend.