New Jerseys and Connecticut

If you read this blog, then of course you also read all of the articles I write for MiLB.com. It goes without saying. But, nonetheless, I feel compelled to share with you my latest (and therefore greatest) “Minoring in Business” feature, which provides an in-depth look at the theme jersey phenomenon that has swept the Minor League landscape.

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The article begins thusly:

Not long ago, Minor League Baseball theme jerseys were almost exclusively based upon a small array of pre-existing options. Pink, patriotic and camo were the three most common offerings, with pop culture references virtually non-existent. But now?

“Now it’s just a free-for-all.”

That’s how Elaine Gastineau of OT Sports describes Minor League Baseball’s current theme jersey landscape. OT Sports, based in Burlington, North Carolina, is a leading theme jersey manufacturer, and Gastineau is their factory sales representative specializing in Minor League Baseball. Over the last decade she’s done her part to facilitate an industry-wide theme jersey phenomenon, with teams attempting to outdo one another in the ever-competitive category of “Who can be the most outlandish?”

If early returns are any indication, then 2015 will be the most outlandish year yet.

Read the rest HERE.

Of course, the big news story in Minor League Baseball this week was the announcement that Hartford’s baseball team will be known as the Yard Goats. The Yard Goats will make their debut in 2016, after relocating from nearby New Britain (where they are known as the Rock Cats).

yardgoats

I wrote a story about this, of course. A relevant excerpt, which truly illuminates my ability to quote from a press release:

So what is a Yard Goat, and why is it the name of a Minor League Baseball franchise? As the team explained on its HartfordPlaysBall2016 website, Yard Goats “honors Hartford’s rich railroad history.” It is a slang term for “an engine that switches a train to get it ready for another locomotive to take over.”

A press release issued by the Rock Cats on Wednesday afternoon provided further detail.

“A Minor League Baseball player is like that humble Yard Goat,” it reads. “Not a glamorous job but working day in and day out away from the big city lights to assure that the Major League affiliate is kept on track.”

Said story was accompanied by this image, which shows the winner of the “Name the Team” contest attempting to keep a couple of live goats in line.

yard

Rock Cats/Yard Goats general manager Tim Restall seems to think the situation is under control. He’s on the right, probably checking to see what @bensbiz was writing about the team name on Twitter.

Thanks for playing along, Brandon.

My favorite Twitter reaction to the Yard Goats name came from New Britain mayor Erin Stewart.

There is no love lost between the city of New Britain and the Rock Cats/Yard Goats ownership, as negotiations to relocate the team were done in secret. When the news of the proposed move first broke, it was news to New Britain as well. Suffice to say, I do not think Mayor Stewart will be attending any Yard Goats games in 2016.

Finally, I hit a major professional milestone this week, via the issuance of my 20,000th tweet. Here’s how it went down:

Here’s to 20,000 more. I mean, why not?

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

1 Comment

Not long ago, Minor League Baseball theme jerseys were almost exclusively based upon a small array of pre-existing options. Pink, patriotic … jjerseysb.wordpress.com

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