Results tagged ‘ Auctions ’

Opening Day Harbingers

Could there possibly be a better way to get psyched for the season than by watching a commercial produced by a Double-A team that features a fast-talking, alliteratively-named pitchman?

The answer, my friends, is yes. But I’m going to lead with this anyway:

I’m not sure I like the thought of getting rained on by 22-ounce sodas and “cheeseburgers without cheese”, but I nonetheless must give this commercial an enthusiastic thumbs-up (although THIS remains my favorite food-related Eastern League ad). Two days of free ballpark food really is a tremendous deal, and Bobby conveys his message with a zeal bordering on the messianic.

And since a mention of the Trenton Thunder inevitably makes fellow Jersey-ites the Lakewoodlakewood new.jpg BlueClaws jealous, I’ll soothe fragile egos by mentioning this:

The BlueClaws are auctioning off the opportunity to raise the 2009 South Atlantic League championship flag prior to April 16′s game at FirstEnergy Park. Bidding starts at $200, with proceeds benefiting the team’s charitable foundation. This is an excellent idea, though I’d like to see Phillies organizational stalwart (and current BlueClaws hitting coach) Greg Legg do the honors.  

gbraves.jpgAnother good idea worth pointing out as we steamroll toward Opening Day comes from down south, as the Gwinnett Braves are asking fans to change their Facebook, Twitter and MySpace profile pictures to shots
of their favorite G-Braves memories
. From shots at Coolray Field to
pictures with Chopper in the community, the team wants fans to show
their G-Braves pride.”

Many of these photos will be utilized as part of an Opening Night slideshow, a multi-media presentation which, in my own mind, will be set to Billy Joel’s “The Time to Remember”. Either that or the Chicken Dance. 

It is now time for this post to conclude, and with it the month of March. Opening Day is now so close I can smell it, an aroma best described as a mix of domestic beer and magnetic schedule paint fumes.

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

Everything Had To Go, So Everything Went

gavel_auction.gifYankee Stadium was a historic and beautiful ballpark, so it is understandable that many people are interested in acquiring souvenirs from the iconic “House That Ruth Built.”

Of course, the Yankees are seeking to capitalize on their fans’ emotional attachment to the 85-year-old facility by selling every possible stadium relic that they possibly can, for as much money as they possibly can. This predatory approach may be a fine example of cold-blooded capitalism, but it shows a blatant disregard for the average fan who can’t afford to pay $1000+ for a pair of seats.

Fortunately, as is so often the case, the Minor Leagues offer a comforting counterpoint to thisernie.jpg sort of lunacy. 2008 marked the Winston-Salem Warthogs‘ last season at Ernie Shore Field, and last weekend the club held an “everything must go” auction of stadium supplies and memorabilia. Since Ernie Shore Field is the future home of Wake Forest Baseball, the “everything” that went didn’t include the stadium fixtures. But it included just about everything else.

From the press release:

“Among the numerous items available for auction
include: all turf equipment (John Deere Gator and John Deere mower),
picnic tables, tents, cubicle systems, desks and file cabinets.  All
components of three fully furnished restaurants including walk in
freezer, grills, warmers, fryers, refrigerator units and ice machines
will also be auctioned off. 

All stadium
signage including the entrance marquis and thousands of other
collectibles such as souvenirs and gift shop items will also be
available.”

3600gun.jpg

Journalist Kim Underwood wrote an article for the “Winston-Salem Journal” that details many of the deals that were to be had last weekend. Many of the bargain hunters were there for purely practical purposes, while others were more interested in preserving ballpark memories. Absurdity abounds, due to the fact that many of the items were sold as package deals. So, the man who bought the team’s radar gun ended up with a giant inflatable helmet as well, while a picnic table also included a miniature golf putting green. Hey, why not?

The lesson here is that it is much more cost-effective to establish an emotional connection to a Minor League ballpark than a Major League one. Nostalgia is increasingly seen as a marketable commodity these days, so buyers may as well align themselves with the entities that are going to give them the most bang for the buck.

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