Mark Your Calendars, Pt. 1
Due to the swift and inexorable passage of time, the 2008 season will be soon be upon us. Don’t get caught off-guard! The Minor Leagues will once again be teeming with brilliant promotional giveaways and theme nights, and we all need to be prepared in order to best reap the benefits of this distinctly American form of benevolent bribery.
While most teams will not release their promotional schedules until after the new year, a few fast-acting franchises have already done so. So, without further ado, here are some 2008 promotions to keep an eye out for.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League)
Commemorative Opening Day Ticket and Special Frame
Friday, April 11
The IronPigs are one of two Minor League teams playing their first season in 2008 (the Texas League’s Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the other). On April 11, to commemorate their very first game as a franchise, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate will be distributing special Opening Day tickets as well as a frame in which to immaculately preserve them.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League)
All-15 Year Team Card Set
April 14, June 23, June 30, July 28
The defending champion Thunder will be celebrating their 15th season as a franchise in 2008, and have a wide array of promotions planned to commemorate this crystal anniversary. One of the most intriguing is this 15th Anniversary Card Set, which will be distributed incrementally over the course of the season. Considering that the likes of Nomar Garciaparra, David Eckstein and Robinson Cano are all alumni of the team, this set is sure to include some notable individuals.
Birmingham Barons (Southern League)
Saturday, June 28
Rickwood Field served as the home of the Barons from 1910 through 1987, and during that time
hosted a wide array of emerging superstars. Since 1996, the Barons have returned to their old haunt in order to play the Rickwood Classic. This annual event gives the park the distinction of being the oldest stadium in the country that is still used for professional events. (Fun fact: a late-inning sacrifice fly by Thomas Collaro has given the Barons a 3-2 victory in each of the past two Rickwood Classics).
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League)
Salute to Bread Night
Monday, July 7th
Will this be a salute to a food staple, a 70s soft rock band, a slang term for money, or something else entirely? I’m fairly certain that the Fisher Cats will not be paying tribute to the acronym for Browse Read Edit Add Delete, but I’ve been wrong in the past. Your best bet is to come to beautifully named MerchantsAuto.com stadium and find out.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League)
Dave Rozema Karate Kick Bobble-leg
Wednesday, July 9
In 1982, Detroit Tigers pitcher Dave Rozema earned himself a permanent place in the team’s history when he tore eight ligaments in his knee while attempting to karate kick the Minnesota Twins’ John Castino during a bench-clearing brawl. On July 9th, the Whitecaps will be giving away a Dave Rozema Karate Kick Bobble-leg to commemorate this wonderful moment. My prediction is that this one is going to be huge, folks. When Dave Rozema bobble-leg references start to permeate the snark-infested waters of the blogosphere in a few months, remember that you heard it here first at good ol’ Ben’s Biz Blog.