I’m as forward-looking as the next guy (whoever that may be), but nonetheless a longing backward gaze never hurt anyone. Right? RIGHT?
I sure hope so, because recent retrospective tendencies are continuing unabated with this: a look at some of the funniest/strangest/most evocative photos to have appeared on this blog during the 2011 season. It’s a feast for the eyes, so lather up those retinas and dive right in to the unparalleled visual extravaganza that is this post.
And we’ll start with one of my favorite recurring topics: Centenarian Ceremonial First Pitches! On April 7, Violet Smith celebrated her 109th birthday with the Great Lakes Loons. 109! I still can’t get over it. This woman was in high school when the U.S. entered WWI, and has lived long enough to see Franz Ferdinand re-incarnated as a British rock group.
Take Me Out…to the Ballgame!
Segueing once again from centenarians to sky-diving bulls, this picture of the Tulsa Drillers’ Hornsby remains my favorite mascot picture of all time.
The month of May provided what was probably the most famous picture to emanate from the Minor League landscape all year. Mark Gormus of the Richmond-Times Dispatch should be commended for this one, a thrilling snapshot of “Supermom” in action at a Flying Squirrels game.
He’s not on the same level of heroism as “Supermom,” but who can forget Michael Restovich’s stint as “Cupman”?
Meanwhile, in Visalia, the Rawhide established themselves as the Cal League’s preeminent practitioners of age-based beauty contests. The winner of their “Belle of the Ballpark” competition was 96 years young, and very happy to have emerged victorious.
The Rawhide’s Cal League cohorts in Lake Elsinore capitalized on the planking craze in memorable fashion. Here, the inimitable Grounds Crew Gorilla lays it all out atop an oven.
I don’t mean to pry, mate, but how’d you get up there?
Similar posture was utilized by David “The Human Cannonball” Smith when he was shot over the outfield fence at a Lowell Spinners game.
While it would be inconceivable for a player to be shot out of a cannon (at least in affiliated ball), sometimes they do find a way to participate in the promotions. One of the most enthusiastic was Frank Pfister of the Bakersfield Blaze, who gamely chugged away after losing a pre-game “Milk-Off” to members of the aforementioned Visalia Rawhide.
But humor can be milked from any situation. After the Boise Hawks misplaced their helmets prior to a late August ballgame, the team’s hitters were forced to borrow from the opposing Spokane Indians.
I’ll close this post with what may very well be the best photo ever taken of me, the world’s
most self-loathing GREATEST Minor League blogger/itinerant solo traveler. Getting pied in the face atop a dugout while Mexican wrestling-enamored interns look on was a definite career highlight. The experience made me glad to be alive; thanks to the Akron Aeros for making it happen.
Minor League Baseball can be a beautiful thing sometimes.
Well hello everybody and how ya been? It’s Ben’s Biz typing on the keyboard again. I’ve got grace, class, style, finesse and debonair. Writing ’bout MiLB promos and hopin’ folks care.
The point of the above Beastie Boy lyric approximation is simply to say that it’s been a while since I was able to kick out a good old-fashioned blog bouillabaisse (and I spelled “bouillabaisse” correctly on the second try, a new record). I’ve still got some odds and ends from my left coast road trip to share, but today will be all about the here and now in addition to what was recently the here and now but is now then.
For starters, TONIGHT is the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ “Tribute to Bacon” featuring an appearance by Kevin Bacon!
This particular Kevin Bacon has never been immortalized in celluloid, however.
Bacon, a Chesterfield County native for more than 35 years, is currently a detective with the Chesterfield County Police Department….He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice.
So that would be just one degree of Kevin Bacon? Perhaps he’ll obtain a Masters one day. Another Flying Squirrels item of note is that this picture of a “superhero Mom” catching a fly ball went viral.
Name a media outlet, and chances are they ran something on this. For background on how it all came to be, check out this Richmond Times-Dispatch story.
The following photos didn’t go viral, but they were sent along to me by the Toledo Mud Hens and are well worth a look. The ol’ “gum on the hat” trick is never not funny. This time around the victim is Michael Restovich of the visiting Charlotte Knights.
Another perennial source of Minor League humor comes in the form of mustaches. One of the most prominent facial follicle initiatives currently taking place is the Delmarva Shorebirds’ “Mustache May.” Members of the team and front office are participating, and fans can donate money toward their favorite.
The current leader is none other than trainer Will Lawhorn.
You’ve got to have good self-esteem to grow a mustache like that, which is something that Hickory Crawdads mascot Conrad is currently lacking.
HICKORY, NC –In response to SI.com writer Peter King’s column on Mon., May 16, in which Conrad the Crawdad’s self-esteem was questioned, the Hickory Crawdads are introducing a brand-new promotion and ticket deal for the rest of the 2011 season – Conrad’s Self-Esteem Wednesdays!
For every Wednesday home game…fans can receive a discounted $4 box seat ticket just by mentioning “Conrad’s self-esteem” at the Ticket Office.
The Crawdads will then donate $2 from every $4 ticket to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare in support of their ongoing mission to provide behavioral health and support services for those in need in the Unifour community.
I’m sure Conrad will rally from the depths of his despair, something that Akron Aeros fans have become quite adept at doing.
And since I always like to end on a high note, how ’bout these Cedar Rapids troubadours?
Contact me with any kernels of info you may have to disseminate. I’ll be here waiting.