Don’t Know Where We’re Going, But Blog Knows Where We’ve Been

I usually wouldn’t put up a new post on a Friday, but this is no ordinary Friday.

For starters, I am writing to you live and direct from Myrtle Beach, SC, home of the 2011 Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar. Here’s the view from the hotel room, just so you know where I’m coming from:

I took this photo about 10 minutes ago, as a means to express how limited one’s view of a city can be if you only experience it from a hotel room. But this pessimistic take on the situation was immediately superseded, as I noticed that there was an honest-to-God rainbow amidst the dreary late September afternoon (it’s there, I swear).

So now all that I want to express is that there’s beauty everywhere, even (and especially) if you’re not looking for it.

In a nutshell, the Promotional Seminar is an annual industry gathering dedicated to — drumroll, please — promotions. One of the great things about this business is that affiliated teams do not compete directly against one another; they all have their own designated geographical area in which to operate. Therefore, everyone is more than willing to share their best ideas and practices — what’s good for one is good for all! The seminar is a good occasion for everyone to congregate, collaborate, and start laying the groundwork for the season to follow.

Trust me, it is NEVER too early to start thinking about next season.

But, right now, my mind is on the season that just transpired. Just a few short hours ago, the annual “MiLBY Award” ballots went live on MiLB.com.

There are a plethora of categories, but of course what I would like to highlight is my annual promotion round-up.  I have divided the year’s promotional endeavors into four categories — giveaways, theme nights, celebrity appearances and the unfortunately-named but eminently worthwhile “miscellaneous” — and chosen 10 nominees for each category. The voting runs all the way through October 13 (vote early and vote often), at which point the four winners will vie for “Promotion of the Year.”

I hope this all makes sense, feel free to email me if you need clarification or have comments, complaints, commendations or concerns.

MiLB.com’s “Promotion of the Year” has a long and illustrious history, one that dates all the way back to those halcyon days of 2007. The winner’s circle is as follows:

2010: Birmingham Barons — “Rickwood Classic.”

An annual contest played at America's oldest professional ballpark

2009: Bowling Green Hot Rods — “What Could’ve Been Night.”

What if the Hot Rods had instead been known as the "Bowling Green Cave Shrimp"?

2008: Fresno Grizzlies — “Mascot Showdown”

An evening-long battle between Parker and visiting superstar the Phillie Phanatic

2007: Fort Myers Miracle — “Billy Donovan Night”

What I like most about the above four promotions is that they have absolutely nothing in common with one another, thereby demonstrating Minor League Baseball’s ability to do just about anything and to do it well. What’s next?

 benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

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