Have You Seen This Man?

Thumbnail image for Charleston_RallyVinnieBasic.JPGThe individual on your left is Vinnie Colangelo, the veteran clubhouse manager of the Charleston RiverDogs.

Mr. Colangelo came to my attention thanks to an email from RiverDogs play-by-play man Danny Reed, who wrote that “Vinnie has become well known as one of the best clubbies in the Minors, and he has also grown to be quite popular with the fans.”

This spotless reputation motivated the team to create a “Rally Vinnie” alter-ego for Colangelo. Whenever the RiverDogs need some runs in the late innings of a ballgame, “Rally Vinnie” flashes on the scoreboard. There are many permutations of “Rally Vinnie”, many of which are tied into whatever promotional theme night the RiverDogs happen to be staging.

Let’s take a look:

Charleston_RallyVinnieMario.JPGCharleston_RallyVinnieWildWest.JPG 

Charleston_RallyVinnieWatermelon.JPG
Charleston_RallyVinnieYosemite.JPG

Reached by phone, “Rally Vinnie” was decidedly nonplussed about this late-inning ballpark development.

“The players seem to get a kick out of it, I just wish it would work a little bit more,” he said.Charleston_RallyVinnieShaving.JPG “I’d guess that it’s [inspired a rally] about 50% of the time so far.”

Colangelo went on to say that he is occasionally recognized in Charleston as “Rally Vinnie”, but that the demanding nature of his job has kept him from capitalizing on his unique celebrity status.

“The character’s not that big, and I don’t get to go out much [during the season],” he said modestly, perhaps underestimating the appeal of a rally-starting clubhouse manager.

Charleston_RallyVinnieBeard.JPGBut at the very least, Rally Vinnie has become a source of inspiration for his co-workers.

“They’ve put my face on a lot of different things,” said Colangelo. “The Mario one was pretty good, and I liked the Smurf one, too. I guess they’ll just keep on coming up with stuff they think is funny.”

Come to think of it, this could serve as the motto for the entire industry.

Minor League Baseball: Coming Up With Stuff We Think Is Funny Since 1902.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

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