One of the only drawbacks of going on the road is that the abundance of “on-location” content leads to the neglect of the usual Minor League news and notes that this blog is known for.
But the plus side of said neglect is that I always have a lot to write about upon my return. So with the Carolina coverage now in the rear view mirror (for now), let’s take a look at what I missed.
Let’s start with a theme jersey that has already garnered significant attention across the blogosphere: On August 13, the Memphis Redbirds will wear these jerseys in conjunction with “Organ Donor Night.”
The purpose of the evening is to encourage fans to sign up to be organ donors — a worthwhile cause if there ever was one. But this being Minor League Baseball, it doesn’t stop there. A local music store has donated a keyboard organ that will be given away, and heart-healthy food packs will be distributed so that fans can keep that particular organ operating at an optimum level.
I would also suggest that THIS gets played during the game.
And staying with the RedBirds for a moment. You may recall that back in February they hired local psychic Rhonda Manning to predict the team’s “Guaranteed Win Night.” Manning chose August 1, and what a choice it was. The Redbirds overcame a six-run deficit over the game’s final two innings, capped by Shane Robinson’s two-out walk-off grand slam!
Clearly, this is a team in touch with the supernatural.
And believe it or not, I have even more news related to the always-rich “walk-off grand slam” sub-genre. Ruben Sierra, Jr. hit a game-winning four-bagger for Spokane on July 27 — on “Grand Slam Giveaway Night.” As a result, a lucky fan won a brand-new Ford F-150.
Keeping within the hospitable confines of Washington state, let’s check out this offering from the so-called “AquaSox Boys,” featuring four footloose and fancy-free members of the Everett ballclub.
The above video is approaching 20,000 views, thanks in no small part to the Backstreet Boys themselves tweeting the link out to their still-formidable fan base.
And since we’re on topic of “aqua,” you might recollect that back in March the Bowie Baysox unveiled an alternate logo that would be worn during Friday home games.
As of last week, this fish has a name: Rocko. (I don’t know about you, but I’ll finally be able to sleep at night, knowing that this important matter has finally been resolved.) And while no one has opted to have Rocko indelibly inked upon their body as part of the Baysox’s recent “Tattoo Night,” 1000 fans did receive temporary “Rocko” tattoos.
And two fans went ahead and got the Baysox logo permanently affixed to their bodies. Here’s one of them:
Baysox staffers, meanwhile, took a less permanent route.
All fans with visible tattoos received half off admission, and several of these fans competed in body art-related between-inning games and contests. Menacing stares abounded.
I hope that no one was hurt.
That’ll be it for today, but there will be more tomorrow because there’s always tomorrow and there’s always more. In the meantime, please check out the latest and therefore greatest edition of “Crooked Numbers.” It is a labor of love, and each month after it comes out I have delusions of grandeur regarding the amount of people who will read it and show it to all their friends.
And, for more timely Minor League news than this blog is able to provide, follow me on Twitter. It’ll be great!
Two blatantly “attention-getting” Minor League promos were announced yesterday, but only one thus far has gotten any real attention (this blog doesn’t count, attention from me is the equivalent of your mother telling you you’re the most handsome guy at school).
First, the Fort Myers Miracle announced that June 6 would be “Rest the Vest Night,” in honor of recently-ousted Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. That it was the Miracle who have planned such a thing should come as no surprise. This is, after all, a team that has previously set its sights on Billy Donovan, Tim Tebow, and Craig Sager (among many other easily-satirized sports world luminaries).
Some pertinent details:
The new coach of the Buckeyes presumably will not wear sweater vests on the sidelines; so it’s time to retire them. Fans are encouraged to bring their sweater vest and place it in the retirement bin near the front gate of Hammond Stadium….The Miracle want everyone to enjoy the “Rest the Vest” Night and even though you might not have a favorite sweater vest, if you have a tattoo then you also benefit.
Just by showing a tattoo, Ohio State or non-related, fans will receive a piece of Miracle memorabilia to keep or sell.
And speaking of tattoos, the Brooklyn Cyclones announced what I believe is the Minors’ first “Hangover”-related promotion. It takes place June 22, and fans interested in attending may wish to purchase the “Wolfpack Ticket Plan.” The evening includes the following innovations:
- In-Game Baby Bjorn Olympics – Contestants will be put through an obstacle course while carrying “Carlos” in a baby carrier.
- Memory Games w/Prizes – If fans can “Remember What Happened Last Night” in the Cyclones’ previous game, prizes will be awarded.
- The Tooth Fairy – Kids get a dollar off their ticket for each tooth they are missing.
- Tattoo You! – Temporary face tattoos will be available on the concourse.
- Beard Bash – Best beard contest in honor of Alan (played by Zach Galifanakis).
And still speaking of tattoos, tonight the Clearwater Threshers are holding their second annual “Tattoo Night” promotion. 30 fans will go under the needle (the team is limiting the number after a nearly unmanageable 54 got inked last season) and receive a Threshers tattoo in return for lifetime admission to the ballpark. Like this guy:
That’s all I’ve got that’s tattoo-related (it wasn’t even my intent to write about tattoos when I started this post), but in an attempt to stay alliterative here’s some toast news from Toledo.
As you may be able to discern from the above photo, that’s some Mud Hen logo toast. And it can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home with the purchase of the following toaster:
Are any other teams selling one of these? I’ve seen them at the Major League level, but not within the Minors.
But for those seeking heartier dining options, I’d suggest checking out the new website postgamespread.com It’s bare-bones in terms of design, but excellent in content: a fully searchable database of dining options in all Minor League markets that includes directions from the ballpark as well as team hotel. I might use it myself during my next road trip — details on that coming soon, I hope.
I was going to forgo doing a blog post today, but my nationwide network of informants will simply not let me rest. Two pictures have recently landed in my inbox that need to be shared immediately, each of which prominently feature tattoos.
The Stockton Ports held a two-day tribute to hometown hero (and team alumnus) Dallas Braden over the weekend, in order to properly honor his recent perfect game accomplishment. Braden took part in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, during which he proudly lifted his shirt in order to display his undying affinity for Stockton’s area code:
(photo credit: George Steckler/Stockton Ports)
The Ports gave away a commemorative perfect game poster the following afternoon, one which prominently featured “209” despite Braden’s abdomen remaining concealed beneath several layers of restrictive clothing:
Meanwhile, in Omaha, a fan participating in an on-field contest during a Royals game was discovered to have one of the most deeply ridiculous tattoos of all time:
(photo by O-Royals asst. GM Rob Crain, thanks to Seamus Gallivan for the heads-up)
As it turns out, the gentleman featured above runs an exceedingly detailed website: TecmoBowl vs. RBI. The site’s homepage includes the following slogan, one that quite easily serves as a metaphor for life: We don’t reminisce like others do, we just keep playing!
Meanwhile, it seems likely that more tattoo brilliance will be seen in Omaha this week: Thursday’s promotion is “Jersey Shore Night.”
I would close by saying, “Tat’s All, Folks”, but believe it or not I’ve already used that line.
The Quad Cities River Bandits held their first-ever Tattoo Night promotion in 2008, in which they somehow convinced 28 fans to get team logo tattoos in exchange for ’09 berm season tickets.
A full write-up of that promotion can be found HERE. I found it truly remarkable that so many people got tattoos, and ended up choosing the promotion as one of the year’s 10 best.
But the River Bandits have shown themselves to be a team that does not rest on past successes. In 2009 they staged another “Tattoo Night”, and this time enticed 42 fans to go under the needle (an increase of 50% over the previous season).
According to my calculations, in which I added one number to another number, that makes 70 residents of the Quad Cities who now sport team logo tattoos. If the club continues to stage this promotion while enjoying an annual growth rate of 50%, then approximately 720 fans will receive tattoos in 2016. Within another decade, the number of fans desiring tattoos will exceed ballpark capacity.
Like humanity itself, this promotion is unsustainable from a long-term perspective. But I’ve learned that very few people care about long-term perspectives. What they do care about are pictures, and I’ve got a couple to share.
A tattoo of a criminally-minded nocturnal woods creature on one’s forearm symbolizes a cunning nature:
Yesterday, the Lake County Captains followed suit with a “Tattoo Night” of their own. Artists from a local tattoo studio set up shop at the ballpark, and five fans ended up making the decision to indelibly brand themselves with the Captains’ logo. Jonathan Levey, the Captains’ promotion manager, was kind enough to send along the following photo of one such fan:
If any other teams have been able to implore their fanbase to get a team logo tattoo, then by all means send along some pictures (email@example.com).
Meanwhile, I will simply implore my vast cadre of loyal readers to have a great weekend. Things are getting busy here at MiLB.com headquarters, but rest assured I shall find the time to make a few posts next week. There are a few things sitting in my inbox that just cannot be ignored.
When we last checked in with the re-vamped Quad City River Bandits, it was to highlight their vast array of unorthodox seating options. This time, it’s to highlight a surprisingly successful promotion that was held last Thursday — Tattoo Night.
The premise was simple: The team offered fans the opportunity to come to ballpark and get a River Bandits tattoo. Those who did so were rewarded with a 2009 berm season ticket. While this is not the the first time this type of promotion has occurred in the Minor Leagues (the Daytona Cubs made a similar offer a few years back, and others have followed suit), the River Bandits’ version was remarkably well-received.
General Manager Kirk Goodman reports that 28 (!) people got a River Bandits tattoo, and that the team’s makeshift tattoo parlor was busy from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Time for some photographic evidence:
You know this guy was psyched for this promotion from the very moment he heard about it:
Here’s a shot of one of the tattoo artists hard at work.
Tat’s All, Folks!
Addendum! Tat’s Not All! Since we’re on the subject of the Quad City River Bandits, I will provide a link to this most amusing dizzy bat race:
Bat’s all, folks!