The “Southern Swing” yielded plenty of blog content, but one unfortunate side effect of the traveling life is not being able to keep up with the overall Minor League scene at the level to which you’ve been accustomed.
So consider this entry an attempt to get partially up to speed. Playing “ketchup”, if you will.
Let’s begin with what is undoubtedly baseball’s biggest story at the moment, a young Washington Nationals pitching phenom who goes by the name of Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ gain is the Minors’ loss, as Strasburg’s starts resulted in sell-out crowds no matter where he took the mound. A pair of artifacts from one such start is now available on the MiLB auction site — an autographed camo hat and autographed camo jersey from May 22’s “Armed Forces Celebration” in Syracuse. With four days left in the auction, the former is going for $326 and the latter for $755.01.
A more affordable (read “free”) piece of Strasburg memorabilia was given away at Blair County Ballpark yesterday — a poster commemorating his first professional start (which took place at Altoona’s Blair County Ballpark as a member of the visiting Harrisburg Senators). This highly collectible item sparked a debate on the Curve’s Facebook page, as some fans took issue with a giveaway honoring a member of the opposing team. I’d be curious to hear opinions on this — did the circumstances warrant such a giveaway, or is it always “wrong” to commemorate the “enemy”?
Of course, I have more to talk about than Mr. Strasburg. Plenty of chattering craniums are already engaged at this task, and it is generally my goal to be zigging while the others are zagging and to then zag in reaction to the zig.
So how about a couple of videos?
Readers may remember that I wrote up the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ “Tribute to the Marshmallow” in a recent edition of “Promotion Preview.” One of the between-inning contests was the “S’More Relay”, which is to be commended for its creativity and commitment to the theme:
Another example of above-and-beyond promo commitment can be found in Binghamton, as the Mets put together a video promoting their upcoming “Twilight Night.” Never has the line “You have baseball bat antlers” been uttered with more sincerity:
Moving from antlered mammals to poisonous reptiles, I’d like to note that on Monday the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be giving away a figurine featuring mascot Fang driving a NAPA race car.
Sorry to be a broken record when it comes to Fang and his unorthodox snake anatomy, but I just can’t get over it. Putting aside the feasibility of a reptile being granted a driver’s license, how is it possible that a snake possess both hands and feet and can use them with enough dexterity to both steer a wheel and operate pedals?
I’ll have more “ketchup” material tomorrow, unless someone out there provides me with some totally must-see, can’t-wait blog items.
Well, now the Lowell Spinners are getting in on the act. The team announced today (via Twitter) that TWO bobbling politicos will be featured on the 2010 promotional calendar: Massachusetts senior Senator John Kerry and junior Senator Scott Brown. Photos of these sure-to-be coveted items have not yet been released, but if you close your eyes and think real hard I’m sure you can conjure up a fairly accurate image in your mind.
Democrat vs. Republican often feels like a choice between Vampire vs. Werewolf, which conveniently leads me to my next item:
Fans can now VOTE (via Facebook) on which of the above jerseys they’d like to see the Fresno Grizzlies wear on Twilight Night, which will be taking place on June 26th. The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity after the game, with proceeds benefiting the Central California Blood Center.
Right now Team Jacob is enjoying a 30-vote lead, but this thing is far from over. My guess is that Edward comes out on top, simply because anything involving a “count” naturally favors vampires.
Sorry that it’s been a while since I dropped some bizness knowledge on ya. All I can do at this juncture is to rip a page out of the MTA playbook and “apologize for the unavoidable delay.”
NYC public transit references translate nationwide, right? I sure hope so; otherwise I’ve alienated my audience even faster than usual.
Well, I’ll get you all back in my good graces by once again going over some recently unveiled 2010 promotional schedules.
The Fresno Grizzlies are one of those teams that routinely seek out the national spotlight, staging innovative promotions that often catch on throughout the industry. The club was the first to book the increasingly ubiquitous Mr. Belding (as part of their “Mad Tight 90s Night), and their “As Seen on TV Night” (featuring a Snuggie giveaway) has inspired several teams follow suit.
As for 2010, one of the Grizzlies’ biggest highlights will occur on June 26: Twilight Night.
I’ll refer you now to the expert on this schedule, an individual by the name of “Press Release“:
The Grizzlies will celebrate a pop culture phenomenon by hosting “Twilight
Night” on the evening of a lunar eclipse. At the core of the
Twilight craze is one of the most hotly debated topics in recent memory,
which can be summed up succinctly in one question: Team Edward or Team
Jacob? In advance of the highly anticipated third installment of the
movie series, fans will be able to decide the outcome of that debate by
voting on the team’s Facebook Fan Page between a customized vampire
(Team Edward) or werewolf (Team Jacob) jersey. The winning jersey will
be worn by the Grizzlies during Twilight Night, with proceeds of a
jersey auction aptly benefiting the Central California Blood Center.
Another Grizzlies highlight is “Mad Tight 90s Night: The Remix” on May 20. This year’s special guest is none other than Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”:
And here’s hoping that the Grizzlies resident front office rappers record their own version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.
Other nights to circle on the nationwide Minor League promo calendar that I assume hangs prominently in your home office: “You Sing the National Anthem” (July 5), “Man Night” (July 29), and “Mascot Wrestling” (August 14).
Let’s move north, past the California border into Oregon, because the Portland Beavers have released their promo schedule. Traditionally, the team stages one premier bobble giveaway each season (with 2006’s Rodney McCray bobblefence and ’07’s “Bob L. Head” being especially notable), so speculation was rampant over who would get the nod in 2010.
Speculate no more. This year, the prestigious recipients of Beaver bobble fame are these guys:
Lewis and Clark, the most estimable battery of the 19th century, will be rendered in bobble form and distributed to the Portland masses on May 22. The following month, the Beavers will pay tribute to a group of equally accomplished explorers: “Goonies Never Say Die Night” is June 11, and will feature a post-game screening of the 1980s kids classic.
I’ll leave you with this, which will surely stand out as one of 2010’s premier giveaway items. On May 31, the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be distributing skateboard decks to the first 1000 fans in attendance (age 17 and under).
If you actually see a photo underneath this sentence, then it will represent my triumph over one of the greatest blogging adversities I have ever faced. If not, then I have failed. But rest assured, I will not give up. Not now, or ever.