Tagged: Stress-Free Night

2009: The Year in Photos

cam.jpgI am ready to embrace the offseason. I really and truly am. But if I come up with a blog post idea that will let me re-visit a time when Minor League Baseball was actually played every day, then you best believe I’m gonna do it.

And today, that idea is this: to present my favorite photos that appeared on this blog during the 2009 season. I did not apply any specific criteria when making these selections, other than to ask myself “Does this photo make my inner-most being cry out in rapturous wonderment?.” If the answer was in the affirmative, then you will see it listed below. Hopefully, your innermost being will respond similarly.   

What follows are my top 10 pics of the year, listed in the order in which they appeared on this blog.

Master Yogi Berra Lets LooseOn April 21, Greensboro Grasshoppers canine mascot Master Yogi Berra had a bit of an on-field accident. The following is one of two pictures I obtained of the incident (the “clean version”, if you will):

yogi (2).jpg  
(Photo credit: Dano Keeney)

Ceremonial CentenarianOn April 24, Round Rock Express season-ticket holder Chris Nocera threw out the first pitch. She is 102 years old — and very determined:

Thumbnail image for 102 pitch 1.JPG

Cream Stick Gets CreamedThe Akron Aeros nightly “Cream Stick Race” was, by all accounts, a chaotic free-for-all. Here, Vanilla feigns innocence immediately after pushing Maple to the ground:

creamstick 1.JPG

Ready, Set, SwallowSword swallower extraordinaire Dan Meyer prepares to ply his trade in Huntsville. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this, a post-rainout performance for an audience of 15.

dan ready to perform.JPG

A Moo-ving ImageA key component of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ “Salute to Cows” was a mooing contest. The following picture depicts the eventual champion as he readied himself for the moo of his life:

timber rattlers moo contest.JPG 

Presidential Self-Love The Brookyln Cyclones gave away Obama bobbleheads as part of “Barack-lyn Cyclones” night, and the commander-in-chief went out of his way to let the crowd know that he approved:

brooklyn baracklyn bobble.JPG

(photo credit: George Napolitano/Brooklyn Cyclones)

An A-peel-ing Photo —  As part of the Idaho Falls Chukars’ “Potato Night”, so-called “Spuddy Buddies” were thrown into the crowd. It was a thing of beauty:

Idaho Falls -- Spuddy Buddies Go Flying 2.JPG

Mascot MassageIn Birmingham, even costumed characters need the occasional rubdown:

Birmingham -- Mascot Massage 2.JPG

Belly Quickly BustedThis guy couldn’t even make it out of the first round in the Williamsport Crosscutters’ annual “Belly Buster” contest:

Thumbnail image for Williamsport -- Belly Buster, hot dog loser.JPG

Owlz Well That Ends Well Hootz and Holly tied the knot in a dramatic post-game ceremony in Orem, resulting in a surreal and oddly touching spectacle:

Thumbnail image for Orem Mascot Wedding Hootz sez I do.jpg

If you have any photos from this past se
ason that you think are worthy of inclusion in this blog, then by all means get in touch. I’ll be waiting patiently for your correspondence.


Stress-Free Blogging

birmbar.gifOne of my biggest tasks on Mondays during the season is to put off writing my “Promotion Preview”  column for as long as possible. So, I might as well write a blog post. That will delay the inevitable for at least a little while longer.

So…anyway…last month I included the following promotion in the column:

Birmingham Barons
Stress-Free Night, July 22
The Barons recently hosted the Southern League All-Star Game, a
grueling and high-anxiety task. The club is now in its first homestand
since that overwhelming event, so to recuperate they’re staging
“Stress-Free Night.” Students from nearby Virginia College will be on
hand to give massages [and] “Nature Scape” and
“Pure Mood” sounds will be played over the PA…Rumor has it that an Epsom Salt giveaway is also in
the works, but as of press time this crucial nugget of information
could not be confirmed with 100 percent certainty.

So, was “Stress-Free Night” really and truly stress-free? Not exactly, according to Barons director of group ticket sales Brad Hudson:

Rain was in the area and we pulled tarp several times; we had a new PA announcer, our first pitcher showed up 20 minutes late and our mic died IMMEDIATELY before the anthem. All that said, we still played ball and had a wonderful time! The entire stadium sounded like a Crystal Light commercial and people really embraced it. 

I’m not sure if this is the Crystal Light commercial the ballpark sounded like, but I’m going to post it anyway because conceptually it is quite brilliant:

But back to the matter at hand — Epsom Salts were indeed given away at the stadium, and for proof I direct you to a photo which includes both a team employee and a bag of epsom salts:

epsom rotate.JPG

Not enough proof? Well, how about a photo of four guys holding bags of epsom salts?

Birmingham -- Stress Free Epsom Salt 2.JPG

Now that that’s settled, let’s move on to something even more visually interesting. Mascot massage!

Birmingham -- Mascot Massage 1.JPG

A photo of the year contender right here, folks:

Birmingham -- Mascot Massage 2.JPG

Send me photos of YOUR Minor League Baseball experiences and promotions. If this blog was a car then reader-submitted photos would be the gasoline. Of this I am reasonably certain.