Guest Post: I Wanna be Cupdated

As you may be aware, I embark upon yet another Minor League road trip this Friday. While on the road I strive to have a set of established routines, so that my content remains consistent from location to location. Blog posts, stories, photo galleries, hotel room reviews, player interviews and Designated Eater Vine videos will be provided this next time around, but for one reader that’s not enough. This reader, he wants more.

And what does this reader want, specifically?

Cupdates —  as in, information regarding the specifics of each team’s collectible plastic drinkwear accompanied by corresponding visuals.

This cup-besotted reader is Peter Golkin, last seen on this blog advocating for the “Universal Rain Check” (a guest post that resulted in a series of very thoughtful comments, though “the powers that be” didn’t see fit to respond). This time Golkin’s agitating is directed at me specifically, however, and I may accede to his demands if it is demonstrated that they do not occur in a vacuum. I now give this virtual floor over to Golkin, so that he may make his case.


With the new season well under way and Minor League Baseball still heatedly debating the concept of a transformational, good-at-any-park Universal Raincheck (OK, that idea was completely ignored), attention now shifts downward–under the seats amid the soggy post-game detritus.

What Minor League Baseball fans want to know is: Which teams will bring forth the great stadium soda cups of 2013?

Besides the potential jackpot from a killer cap, ballclubs have no more alluring canvas on which to paint their identities than the 16- or 24-ounce plastic vessel now given by architects its own seatside suspension system.

Beer cups tend to be clear and generic for the benefit of security. But an illustrated soda cup begs for a collectable’s afterlife. Perhaps a spot next to the backyard hammock or snug in the minivan’s console. Even as a dipper’s cuspidor, the ballpark cup suggests longevity like few souvenirs can.

So what is the state of the MiLB soda cup in 2013?

Are teams going with thin, delicate models with high centers of gravity and pastel logos like those from Churchill Container Co.? Or are they opting for the thick and litho-friendly Dynamic Drinkware tumbler, like Greensboro did last year with its memorable “Grasshopper Gone Big Time” series? (Yes, they still called Giancarlo Stanton “Mike” but that’s what his superimposed signature reads and the cup was a keeper nonetheless.)

And unlike with official team headwear, money does not have to be a factor in the preservation and study of stadium soda cups. All that’s needed are patience and a willingness to touch someone else’s moist refuse. That’s why ballparks have bathroom sinks and free napkins.

As Rougned Odor continues to make his way toward Arlington and Eastern League clubs keep adding rival logos to urinal strainers, let us also pay close attention to those graspable plastic works of sports art and history.

And who can give us regular “cupdates” while on his pixie-like travels across America? Ben Hill, with perhaps some crowdsourced assistance from his much-intelligent and much-attractive readership.

We want pictures and we want stats (capacity, price of cup with drink, manufacturer, ads/no ads, dishwasher-friendly? etc.) Perhaps this is why Twitter was invented.

Regardless of the ultimate format, a regular MiLB Cupdate is long overdue in this, our unprecedented Information Age.I’ll drink to that and to memories of the man once known as Mike Stanton, Big Grasshopper.

So what say YOU? Should “cupdates” become a regular part of my road trip coverage? If the people speak, I shall listen.


Yes Ben! This is very important information and I would look forward to it. By the way, I have noticed a dearth of souvenir cups at California League games this spring. While you are at it, as an ice cream helmet collector, I wouldn’t mind some information on them as well.

Yes, Cupdates would be awesome.

I love it! Bring forth the cups and let the Coke flow like wine!!!

YES. Cupdates are the way to go. Especially if you feature awesome cups from the Greensboro Grasshoppers, like are pictured above. Of course, I might be slightly biased….


My cupboards are filled with game cups from Iowa to Maine to North Carolina. The kids love them, and it’s always good to be reminded of the games. So…yes. Cupdates would be a good thing.

Safe travels, pixie-like Ben. And yes, cupdates plus an exploration into the relationship between stadium cups and ice cream helmet bowls.

Give me more Cupdates! I have two cabinets full of them, and am on a current bender to acquire more! Safe travels.

As a diligent beer drinker & father of healthy water drinking children, this isn’t something I frequently notice. I have been to Lynchburg, Hickory, Charlotte & Kannapolis this year so far. Beverage notes I noted:
Lynchburg – drank only beer served in plain clear 12ish oz cups. They did offer one of my favorite ballpark amenities: the beer pitcher! I took the family to Kinston late in their final season & my awesome bride got them to give her a Bud Light Kinston pitcher gratis (and empty) – I’ve been in love since. Lynchburg’s have the standard Hillcat logo on them. Being that I was only accompanied by a toddler I did not indulge in the large portions.
Hickory – Bought the family four pack, sodas included. Opaque white 16 oz plastic cups with Jack in the Box & Crawdads logos.
Charlotte – home field #2, beer only
Kannapolis – Home field, beer only. Comes in huge 22ish oz cups with Intimidators logo & remaining Sally team logos in a smaller band around the cup. They’ve used them for years. In fact, Lake County & Bowling Green may still be on there.

I will report from Burlington (NC), Rome, Gwinnett & Danville later in the summer. You can see pictures of a variety of cups in Durham from last year’s AAA Championship in my picture here:

Not horrible, not too memorable. Kind of like having a ballpark in a parking lot across from a Target.

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