Lots of flotsam and jetsam has piled up on the shores of Ben’s Biz Blog remote island headquarters, and the only way to deal with such excess detritus is by accumulating it into a tidy pile.
Nice to get a belabored analogy out of the way so early. Let’s go to the info!
First of all, a pair of Pacific Coast League announcers are on the cusp of celebrating significant milestones. Tonight in Des Moines, Deene Ehlis will call his 3000th game for the Iowa Cubs. The broadcast will also be notable in that it’ll include an interview with Indianapolis Colts receiver (and University of Iowa alum) Dallas Clark, who has been immortalized by the I-Cubs in bobblehead form.
Then on Tuesday, Steve Klauke of the Salt Lake Bees call his 2500th contest:
Klauke joins legendary Utah Jazz broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley (2,645) as the only two play-by-play broadcasters to call 2,500 games with one Utah team. He also becomes just the fourth current Pacific Coast League team broadcaster to reach the 2,500 games-called mark with one PCL team. Currently in his 18th season with the Bees, Klauke can be heard live on 1320 KFAN and at slbees.com.
Klauke will be recognized during a pregame presentation on Tuesday, April 26, while audio highlights of his more notable calls will be played throughout the game.
Trivia Question! Who are the other two current PCL broadcasters to have called at least 2500 games? The first person to email me with the correct response will get to contribute 150 words to a future blog post on whatever topic they choose (must be family friendly, of course). firstname.lastname@example.org
Since we’re on the topic of the PCL , it is well worth pointing out that the Fresno Grizzlies are staging a Saturday night tribute to severely (and senselessly) injured San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow.
Fans can purchase a Super View ticket and special Bryan Stow bracelet for $15, with $10 going directly to The Bryan Stow Fund, established to support Bryan and his family. Stow is a paramedic with American Medical Response and works games for the San Francisco’s Single-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants, at Municipal Stadium.
As you’ll recall, the aforementioned San Jose ballclub is dedicating the month of April to Stow.
I might as well stay with the PCL, as yesterday Sacramento and Reno upped the stakes of their rivalry via a bet between each city’s classic car museum. Typical, right?
The annual season series between the Reno Aces and the Sacramento River Cats will take on new significance in 2011, as the two host cities’ auto museums will face off in a high profile wager based on the overall winner of the season series. Reno’s very own National Automobile Museum will put up the 1949 Mercury that James Dean drove in “Rebel Without a Cause,” while Sacramento’s California Auto Museum will put up a 1932 Ford raced by driving legend AJ Foyt.
The RiverCats have owned the Aces as of late. Reno’s win on 4/19 snapped a 12-game losing streak against Sacramento, with their previous victory having come exactly a year previous. (My knowledge truly knows no boundaries, a fact that I’ll tell myself many times over tonight while sitting in an easy chair and drinking whiskey in a darkened living room.)
But anyway, can you believe that I’ve made it this far before featuring a new food item that laughs in the face of death? What follows is the Lancaster JetHawks’ new “Heart-Stopper” a limited time only delicacy consisting of a hot dog on biscuits, smothered in sausage gravy, cheese, and bacon.
I actually think this one looks pretty good! If only concession items could safely and sensibly be sent via the United States post office…
Until that day arrives, I’ll be amusing myself with humorous videos. This one, featuring the clumsy ball-handling skills of Durham Bulls hurler Mike Ekstrom, is a must-see instant classic.
That’s going to close out the week for me. But before I go, may I direct your attention to my latest “Farm’s Almanac” piece on MiLB.com? Professor Joe Price is singing the National Anthem at over 100+ ballparks this summer, and he’s truly a man on a mission. From the story:
“I always love for people to join in, and for the anthem to be sung together regardless of political orientation,” said Price. “This can, potentially, be everyone’s national anthem. And as a result it can bridge the gap between the Tea Party and liberals, between hawks and doves. Because, even though it is a wartime song, it was written as a celebration of freedom. The preservation of our freedoms is what lies at the heart of it.”
One of the things I like best about my job is that it encompasses virtually all aspects of the game of baseball, allowing me to correspond with (and often meet) a wide variety of individuals while promoting their sundry endeavors.
The endeavor I wish to promote today involves a man by the name of Joe Price, who is attempting to sing the National Anthem at as many Minor League Ballparks as possible in 2011. Given the Herculean amount of logistics involved, this will be no easy task.
But Price seems up to the challenge. He has already performed at dozens of ballparks nationwide (click HERE for a video from Cincinnati) and thus far the response to what he has dubbed “The Anthem Project” has been encouraging. 105 clubs have already replied in positive fashion, with short-season teams soon to be contacted.
Price’s Anthem Project ties into a book that he is working on, dealing with what he describes as “the history and performance of the National Anthem at professional baseball games.” The project will take place during a sabbatical from California’s Whittier College, where he teaches religious studies (previous works include “Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America”).
Price is now in the process of “proposing specific dates to various teams”. I encourage these clubs to be as flexible as possible, as this is an interesting project and one that could lead to a nice bit of local media coverage just prior.
And if there’s any industry that should be amenable to ambitious and creative promotional endeavors, it’s Minor League Baseball.
Am I right, or am I right?
That was a rhetorical question, as I am right.
And moving on from “right” to “right now”, I would be remiss in my self-imposed Halloween duties if I did not mention two more mascots who have entered the October 31st fray.
In Reno, Archie of the Aces is now delivering “Pumpkin Grams”.
Sez the team:
For just $50, the Aces’ beloved mascot Archie will personally deliver a $25 Reno Aces Gift Card and a small pumpkin with a three-pack of Reno Aces pumpkin-carving templates to the fan of your choice.
Finally, it makes sense that the Casper Ghosts, of all clubs, would be staging a Halloween promotion. Team mascot Hobart, who is in fact a platypus, will join “one lucky family” in “hitting up local merchants for treats.”
Because he’s a platypus, see? No? Well, listen, at least I tried.