Trade News From the Winter Meetings

The annual Baseball Trade Show is one of the highlights of the Winter Meetings, featuring a sprawling cavalcade of vendors selling a veritable cornucopia of baseball related goods. The show is accessible via this entrance, leading to an escalator that brings one into the depths of National Pastime consumerism.

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And once one gets down there, there is a LOT to take in. My guess is that the Trade Show encompasses 3.2 billion square feet.

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And once you start wandering, it’s easy to get disoriented. The images just fly by in an kaleidoscopic whir (these next two shots courtesy of MiLB.com photo prodigy D. Wild).

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Guns!

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Junk Balls!

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And check out these “Player’s Packs”, shaped like ball caps and available in backpack or cooler form:

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Stormy, one of the new mascots of the Omaha Storm Chasers, was on hand.

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No one complimented me on my earlier reference to Stormy being “anemometer-ically correct”, but yet I still find the inner strength and self-confidence to pose in front of giant jerseys.

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The above was a non sequitur in a post filled with them, the perhaps inevitable result of writing after an extremely long day of huffing and puffing through the vast confines of the Orlando Swan and Dolphin Resort (it doesn’t help that this internet connection is slower than Kevin Slowey pitching in a slow-pitch softball league in Penn-slow-vania).

So let me make it clear that I have much more content to share in the near future, including a variety of Flip Cam interviews that I am (tentatively) quite pleased with. One of my interview subjects is none other than Ted Batchelor, the stuntman who ran around the bases on fire in Savannah last summer. He and his wife Debby were manning a booth at the trade show, attempting to convince teams to add him to their 2011 promo calendars (in conjunction with his goal of being lit on fire in all 50 states).

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My suggestion to all teams is to wholeheartedly embrace this imminently worthwhile and distinctly American endeavor.

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

3 Comments

Fun and interesting post Ben. I have always remembered the write-up you did on Ted Batchelor. Hope the internet speed improves. Thanks for the stories. And that Mickey Mouse video!

So what is the basis behind the winter meetings? is it more like a large business conference than actual “meetings”? I’ve always thought of them as where MLB teams get together to talk trades, rules, teams, and contracts.

But it seems like an awesome party that I need to hit up in 2011…

There’s a lot going on at the Winter Meetings…Plenty of actual meetings, but also business seminars, the trade show, industry dinners and parties, the Rule 5 draft, Job Fair, and, of course, trades and free agent signings.

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