The very first post on this fine blog was entitled "There Is No Offseason", and that is something that I truly cannot stress enough. Running a team is a year-round operation, and many clubs go out of their way to bring fans into the mix during the long, cold fall and winter months.
In fact, this weekend there are a wide variety of events taking place at ballparks around the land. To wit:
Get Your Piece of Whataburger Field — Okay, maybe this isn’t an "event", per se, but it is a reason to head to the ballbark. This week, the Corpus Christi Hooks are giving away what they call "little chunks of baseball history", in the form of grass cut-outs of the playing surface of Whataburger Field. 225 of these 18" by 24" sod rectangles will be distributed (season ticket holders get first priority), marking perhaps the only opportunity you will have in your lifetime to obtain turf that has been trod upon by the likes of Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell, Phil Neikro, and, of course, Rusty Hook the mascot.
Statehood Fireworks Spectacular at Bricktown Ballpark — On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union (formed from Indian territory, Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian phrase "Okla Humma", which translates to "red people"). On Friday, the RedHawks will play a key role in their state’s Centennial Celebration. First, the club will simulcast the sold-out Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular Concert on their videoboard, and then host an on-field concert of their own. Finally, at 10:30 p.m., the Statehood Fireworks Spectacular will begin from center field.
Altoona Curve’s Fall Open House — On Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Curve will throw open the gates of Blair County Ballpark to their loyal fans. Admission is free with the donation of a canned food item, and includes a ballpark tour, the opportunity to take some cuts in the batting cages, zany mascot antics, kids activities, door prizes, and more. Then, to commemorate the final Penn State football game of the season, a pig roast luncheon will take place (with the proceeds benefiting a local soup kitchen).
Chili Bowl Cook-Off at Grayson Stadium — The Savannah Sand Gnats are holding a mouth-watering
event on Saturday, as hungry locals are invited to stop by Grayson Stadium for the second-annual Chili Bowl Cook-Off. Hordes of area chefs will be in hand to dish out their chili, and one will be awarded $500 for possessing the best recipe. Admission is $5 in advance ($7 at the gate), and a portion of the proceeds will go toward a local food bank.
Toys For Tots at FirstEnergy Stadium — The Reading Phillies’ 10th annual Toys For Tots event, which takes place on Sunday, is
bigger and better than ever. Fans are encouraged to come to the stadium with new toy donations, which will be collected by local marines and distributed to charity. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance, complimentary food and drinks will be available, the R-Phils’ arsenal of wacky mascots (five in all) will be on hand, a motorcycle and Jeep convoy is scheduled to take place, and much more. And, don’t forget, merchandise bearing the R-Phils NEW logo (to be unveiled today!) will be available for purchase.
Well, that will be all for me today. If you have a tip regarding any Minor League off-season events, then please send me an email.