Results tagged ‘ Brooklyn Cyclones ’
The Promo Year In Review train is rolling along right on schedule, making a stop today at teeming “Theme Night” station.
It was very difficult for me to narrow this category down to a Top Six, as there were a lot of great contenders. As always, I tried to put a premium on originality, and ample photo and video documentation certainly influenced the decision-making process as well.
Two more finalists will be added to this list based on reader suggestions, so get in touch via email or Twitter regarding YOUR favorite Minor League theme night of the year. Suggestions for all categories will be accepted through 10 a.m. on Monday, September 27.
My six nominees, in sweet, sweet alphabetical order. Click on the Promo name to see how it was originally covered.
Brooklyn Cyclones — Jersey? Sure! Night
Fresno Grizzlies — Twilight Night
Lake County Captains — Please Stay LeBron Night
Reading Phillies — Salute to the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor
Trenton Thunder — World Cup Night (with on-field baby race)
Throughout the season, I wrote over 100 blog posts, 22 “Promotion Preview” columns, and sundry articles commemorating notable promotions taking place across Minor League Baseball.
Now it’s time to make sense of all that madness, and I need your help.
Starting today (Tuesday), and continuing on throughout the remainder of the week, I’ll be providing my top six promotions of the year in each of four categories: Giveaways, Theme Nights, Celebrity Appearances, and Miscellaneous Events.
The point of sharing these lists is not just to reminisce on the season that was, but for YOU to let me know what I’m missing. Yes, YOU. Whether you’re a fan, team employee, or covert operative existing in a shady nether region between the two entities, I want to hear from YOU.
Two promotions will be added to each list based on your input, setting the stage for next week’s series of “Promotion of the Year” polls on MiLB.com. Apathy is tantamount to treason, so rack your brain and get in touch today.
Today we’ll take a brief look at some of the season’s top giveaways, with links to how the items were originally covered in this blog and MiLB.com. My six nominees, in alphabetical order:
Brooklyn Cyclones — Ike Davis Bobble Legs
Charleston RiverDogs — Chia Head of groundskeeper Mike Williams
Iowa Cubs — Player To Be Named Later Bobblehead
Lake County Captains — Skipper Leg Lamp
Orem Owlz — Torii Hunter Bobble Arm
Portland Beavers — Viewmaster (with 10 slides featuring Beavers baseball and local military units)
So what am I missing? Let me know YOUR favorite Minor League Giveaway item of the year. I’ll be soliciting emails, tweets, comments, and telegrams throughout the remainder of the week. Silence is deadly, so speak up.
While I semi-regularly attend these facilities as a fan, I wanted to give them the “On the Road” treatment that I have been able to lavish upon a dozen ballparks thus far this season (with more to come!)
But you know what they say about plans, even those of the best-laid variety: They often go awry. For I went to MCU Park on Tuesday, only to discover that the evening’s game had been rained out. Even more frustratingly, Staten Island played that evening. The situation then reversed itself on Wednesday, with the game on in Brooklyn and canceled in SI (still feeling wary, I stayed in the office and watched Jeopardy! on mute).
So all that I have at this juncture is pictures of a rainy night with no baseball in Coney Island. What follows is my attempt to make some sweet, sweet, lemonade.
One can take the subway to MCU Park, on the D, N, F, or Q lines. Coney Island is the last stop, at which point I was all by my lonesome. I should have taken this as a sign that it wasn’t going to be a good night for baseball:
Upon exiting the station, one is greeted with one of the most iconic sights in New York: The original Nathan’s Hot Dogs:
The stadium light towers are visible in the above picture, ringed with florescent circles. Here’s a somewhat closer look:
To get there, one must resist the lure of equally florescent confections:
“Something is wrong here!,” I muttered into a walkie-talkie that was in fact just my clenched fist. But doggedly I soldiered on.
In front of the ticket window was a queue of fans. Utilizing the fine reportorial skill of “eavesdropping”, I learned that the game had in fact been canceled. These individuals were exchanging their ducats, hoping to come again on a less precipitous evening:
The front entrance, filled with aimlessly wandering fans attempting to salvage their evening plans:
This woman was sporting the t-shirt given away as part of the team’s “Jersey? Sure!” extravaganza. She looks to be explaining the concept of a rainout to that dog, who was no doubt dismayed that he would not be able to participate in that evening’s scheduled “Bark in the Park” festivities:
Brooklyn baseball legends Pee-Wee and Jackie, their countenances unchanged despite the foul weather:
Also immortalized are those who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11:
A bit further down, one could find the team bus of the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades. The rainout afforded an early exit from Brooklyn, and the players were piling in with pizza in hand:
The “back” of the stadium (ie, the outfield) juts up against the Coney boardwalk. Here’s the view through a hole in a locked fence (who else provides this kind of access?):
I kept havi
ng to remind myself it was still August, as Coney Island on this particular evening had a thoroughly autumnal vibe, melancholy and somnambulant.
The Parachute Jump ride, which hasn’t been in operation since 1968:
Tumbleweed not pictured:
The only areas that seemed to possess any life at all were the business located alongside the stadium:
And, of course, Nathan’s.
All told, I actually enjoyed my unsuccessful trip to MCU Park. Visiting Coney Island is always memorable, no matter what the circumstances, and the long subway rides provide plenty of time to read (the theological musings of C.S. Lewis, in this particular case).
So, yeah, I’ll be back.
It just might be a while:
Because there’s always something, isn’t there?
Before getting weighed down by the contemplation of such abstract notions, I wanted to share some odds, ends, bits, pieces, and nuggets that I have accumulated in recent days. Oh, there’s some ephemera in here too. Can’t forget the ephemera.
Let’s start off with something visually striking.
The above item, designed by the bobble visionaries at Coyote Promotions, is being given away by the Brooklyn Cyclones on August 2. As you may have noticed, it is upside down. Therefore, it is Ike’s legs that bobble while his head remains stationary.
This object is also unique in that it commemorates a player’s Major League feat (Ike’s dazzling trifecta of foul territory catches) while said player is in a Minor League uniform (the Cyclones, whom Ike played for in 2008). The Cyclones are literally re-writing history, then, putting the events of 2010 within a 2008 context. This bit of space-time continuum trickery results in cognitive disconnect, a common ailment in the world of Minor League Baseball promotions.
For instance, the Binghamton Mets are staging a “Big Lebowski” promo next week. But playing the role of Jesus Quintana is none other than Bingo the Bee.
Deal with it:
Meanwhile, in Lake County, the Captains held their annual star-studded “Cleveland Sports History Night.” As this video shows, the team was actually able to find a sponsor for a re-enactment of one of the worst moments in the city’s long and sad sports history.
I was going to expound further about the above video, but my Google image search for “Art Modell” also turned up naked “art models” and I fear that I will soon be fired as a result of this inadvertent breach of internet usage policy.
Let’s quickly proceed to Trenton then, as last night the Thunder staged “Irish Heritage Night” AND a “Mustache Bash.”
The mustache side:
Incidentally, may I please suggest that teams staging a Mustache promotion utilize THIS SONG?
And, please, don’t forget that an epic milestone will be occurring TONIGHT on the West Coast: the 40,000th game in California League history. As for which game will receive the honor, that’s yet to be determined. Five games will be running concurrently this evening, and it all depends on the finishing times.
But it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. There’s no better proof of that saying than active Minor League home run leader Mike Hessman, who received a call-up yesterday to the New York Mets. The 32-year-old had hit 18 home runs this season to run up his Minor League total to 329; he certainly has nothing left to prove in the International League.
And I, meanwhile, have nothing left to write.
Perhaps this explains why the Altoona Curve have made national headlines today, after a bizarre incident at Blair County Ballpark last night. After sneaking into the stadium via a parking garage, an intoxicated homeless man wandered across the outfield during the bottom of the ninth inning of a contest between the Curve and Akron Aeros.
The man, who lacked identification but gave his name as “Tyrone R. Squires”, was detained by Curve security without incident and then turned over to Altoona police. A detailed write-up of Squires’ misadventures appeared in today’s edition of The Altoona Mirror, and this account served as the basis of an Associated Press article that has been picked up by The New York Times among other outlets.
Curve media relations director Dan Zangrilli said the team was a bit perplexed over the national attention.
“It wasn’t that big a deal, quite honestly. It was just a guy who decided to take a little cruise along the warning track,” he said. “The whole thing was uneventful, and posed no threat to players or fans. That said, we do take this kind of thing seriously. Trespassing is a serious offense, and we turned him over to the authorities.”
But right now the team has bigger issues on its mind: preserved meat products. Tonight’s Wacky Wednesday promotion at Blair County Ballpark is “Livin La Vida Lunch Meat”, a comprehensive salute to all things meaty that received a write-up in the most recent edition of “Promotion Preview.”
“It’s all about the Braunschweiger, baby,” said Zangrilli.
— I hope to continue yesterday’s classification-based post in the near future, but for now I’ll dispense with such formalities in order to share a couple of most-interesting Minor League developments.
The Brooklyn Cyclones have released a sketch of what is sure to be one of 2010’s most-sought after bobbleheads: Mets rookie sensation (and former Cyclone) Ike Davis in the midst of one of his now trademark dugout-tumbling snags:
The giveaway is on August 2, distributed to the first 2500 fans — get your tickets now and arrive early.
In other intriguing bobblehead news, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have announced the finalists for September’s “Fan’s Choice” bobble.
In my mind, the choice that stands out above the rest is “Scooter Vs. the Snowman”, commemorating a particularly memorable moment that occurred during the club’s whitewashed Opening Day.
Finally, I wanted to share this video I received from the Memphis Redbirds, featuring a Baby T-Rex throwing out the first pitch. It’s going to be a long time before I tire of watching this:
The Baby T-Rex is scheduled to make its next appearance in Reading on May 25, once again throwing out the first pitch and then spending the remainder of the game ambling through the stadium. This will allow fans plenty of time to contemplate the genetic links between dinosaurs and the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor’s loyal ostrich:
But one of Auburn’s most recent claims to fame is a distinct negative, an ignominious anti-accomplishment that the city hopes to shed faster than a moulting snake on steroids: in its list of America’s best sports cities, the Sporting News ranked Auburn #399 out of a possible #399.
The New York-Penn League’s Auburn Doubledays aren’t going to take this lack of respect lying down. They’ve stood tall to their nationally distributed oppressor by announcing an essay contest, asking fans to explain (in 500 words or less) why Auburn deserves a higher ranking. The winner of this contest will receive general admission season tickets as well as official recognition during the “399 Classic”.
“What’s the 399 Classic?” I just heard a voice behind me whisper. Well, my reliable companion Press Release has the answer to that:
The Doubledays will face off against Tri City (representing Troy, NY
which was rated #398 on the same list) in a three game series from July
14 – 16 which the Doubledays have dubbed The 399 Classic!
Events surrounding The 399 Classic include a special reward to the 399th
fan through the gates every night, a surprise giveaway of the 399th
best possible giveaway item and a contest to win a “Mad About You:Season
4” DVD set (399th on Amazon.com’s most popular DVD list).
Anyone have any other ideas how the number “399” could be celebrated? I’m thinking Al Kaline has to be a part of it somehow, seeing as how he retired with 399 home runs. Or how about inviting members of Local 399: the International Union of Operating Engineers? Finally, why not celebrate the works of Chinese poet and historian Yuan Shansong, who died in the year 399 while defending Hudu during the rebellion of Sun En?
— Minor League Baseball has announced that the 2010 Promotional Seminar will be held in Las Vegas from September 28-October 1. This means that I get to make a return trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame! Who’s going with me? We can ride the bus together.
— Finally, I wanted to note that the Kannapolis Intimidators are offering free admission to all active-duty military personnel throughout the 2010 campaign. As the press release notes:
“Anyone that shows any form of Military ID, active, retired or a family
member ID at the Intimidators Will Call Window will receive two free
tickets to the game. This offer is valid for all 70 home games in the
Way back on February 1, the Brooklyn Cyclones announced that they would be staging a “YOUniform Contest”. In the highly unlikely event that the details slipped your mind, here’s a brief summary:
“The Brooklyn Cyclones are inviting young fans to participate in a
unique art contest, with the winning jersey design to be worn by the
team as a special, limited-edition YOUniform, and
auctioned off after the game to support Camp Brooklyn.”
Well, today the Cyclones announced the five finalists in the contest. Check them out HERE, and vote for your favorite. In my mind, two stand above the rest. This one reminds me of something a Caribbean soccer team might wear, and would also work very well if the team ever staged a “Bi-Polar Disorder Awareness Night”:
As for this one, what’s not to like about the boldly-designed jersey, three-tiered pants, and no-nonsense artist’s note?
— And, hey, remember when I wrote about the Omaha Royals’ “Mike and Mike Fan Mic”? I hope so, because it was all of three days ago. Well, the team got an effusive shout out on the Mike and Mike show this morning, in which they were repeatedly praised for their efforts. Click HERE, and then scroll down to “Show in Review” and click on “Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic discuss their new favorite team”. That team would be — you guessed it — the Omaha Royals. Their new favorites.
— Mike and Mike ended the aforementioned segment by mentioned that the O-Royals were “ahead of the curve.” Well, I wonder what the team in Altoona would have to say about that. After all, they ARE the Curve. And one of their latest innovations is something that I’ve never seen before — a twice-weekly comic strip that is running in the local Altoona Mirror. Here’s the most recent installment:
Is it just me, or is that lawn mover in possession of a face (and therefore, quite possibly, sentient thought)? It’s got a gas cap eye, snout nose, blade mouth, and wheel ears. Coincidentally, all of the above body part descriptions are also public domain country music song titles. It is an amazing world in which we live. A truly amazing world.
I stand before you today in order to deliver Minor League mascot Valentine’s Day photos.
The public has demanded them, and I am certainly not one to ignore the pleas of the populace. Therefore, that is precisely what this post shall be dedicated to. But first, a quick request…
Inspired by the copious snow that has been deposited all over the country as of late, I have decided to do a story on extreme weather and the groundskeeping challenges it presents. In addition to teams that have recently been hit with snow, I’d be interested in speaking with anyone who has had to deal with drought, flooding, hurricanes, and, of course, locust plagues. I’ll most likely have to contact teams individually today and tomorrow, but that’s a hit-or-miss proposition. Consider this post an invitation to get in touch — email@example.com
Okay, we now return to regularly-scheduled programming: Minor League mascot Valentine’s Day photos.
Because, as you surely know, there was a lot going on. And how can I lead off with anyone but Boomer, who is surely the suavest mascot in Minor Leage Baseball? Here, Boomer spreads some joy to the youth of Williamsport:
Boomer’s not the only mascot named Boomer. There’s also Boomer of the Trenton Thunder, who is not at all terrifying, not the least little bit:
In Lowell, the Spinners sent out a star-studded caravan to a local elementary school, where Valentine’s Day cards were made. These cards were then delivered to a VA hospital (apparently, Canaligator and crew got hungry along the way):
Buster “rose” to the occasion in Lakewood:
But how could I close anywhere other than in Reading? As usual, Screwball did his thing:
Now if that wasn’t romantic, then I don’t know what is. I mean, seriously, I don’t. Can anyone help me out here?
I am a big fan of late night TV in general and Conan O’Brien in particular, and as this Tonight Show imbroglio has steamrolled into a bigger and bigger story one thought kept lodging itself into my brain: When is a Minor League team going to offer Conan a job?
This sort of publicity stunt is certainly not without precedent. In recent years the Huntsville Stars courted Roger Clemens, the Augusta GreenJackets went after Brett Favre, and the Toledo Mud Hens set their sights on A-Rod. Granted, Conan is not from the world of sports, but on multiple occasions he has mentioned the tongue-in-cheek job offers he has received. On national TV! Look! If a morning radio show in Fargo, ND could get a mention, then why not a Minor League team?
Well, I am glad to report that the Round Rock Express have come through. In a video posted on their website and Facebook page, the team tries to convince Conan that he would excel at a wide variety of game-day positions. Here’s hoping it catches on.
In other news, the slow but steady release of 2010 promotional schedules has been a most heartening development. The Bowling Green Hot Rods announced theirs yesterday, eager to defend their 2009 MiLB.com Promotion of the Year title. I am happy to report that What Could’ve Been Night will return, and this year’s version includes a Cave Shrimp bobbletail giveaway. Check it out.
Likewise, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled their promo slate. As has become the club’s habit, the press release features a ridiculous, pun-heavy quote from GM Kurt Landes.
“We’re the IronPigs — and no team exhibits more zeal to make their fans squeal,” he said.
This quote is excellent, and I’d encourage more GMs to talk in such a manner. Am I naive in assuming that all quotes had to have actually been spoken aloud in order to make it into a press release?
I’d also like to mention an excellent contest being staged by the indomitable Brooklyn Cyclones — The “You”niform. Here’s a summary:
“The Brooklyn Cyclones are inviting young fans to participate in a
unique art contest, with the winning jersey design to be worn by the
team as a special, limited-edition YOUniform, and auctioned off after the game to support Camp Brooklyn.”
Finally, how can a week go by without a mention of the Lakewood BlueClaws? Answer, it can’t. Today, the team announced that seven types of hot dogs have been added to the concession menu, each one named after a Hall of Famer.
This leads to a fun comedy-writing exercise: what hot dogs would YOU like to see named after a Hall of Famer, and why?
Also, you would have watched the “Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!” that aired last night on Fox. In said special, there was a brief shot of Isotopes Park, home of the PCL’s Albuquerque Isotopes. The team’s name is inspired by The Simpsons, in particular the episode in which Homer stages a hunger strike in order to protest the Springfield Isotopes’ re-location to Albuquerque.
In my mind, this is the best team name backstory in all of Minor League Baseball. It also provides tremendous fodder for a documentary whose purpose is to explore the cultural impact of The Simpsons. But, alas, all viewers were treated to was one external shot of the stadium. This was disappointing, considering the fact that director Morgan Spurlock and his crew spent an entire August day at the ballpark interviewing fans and players. But that’s just the way these things go. Hopefully the club will get the recognition it deserves in 2020’s 30th Anniversary special.
In the interest of keeping things random, I’ll now move on to an entirely new topic: The Brooklyn Cyclones. The club will be celebrating its 10th season in 2010, and has just released a new logo commemorating this milestone. Observe, if you’re into that sort of thing:
The Cyclones’ always excellent blog has an interesting write-up on the logo, along with an exclusive look at those which did not make the final cut.
And speaking of logo design, I’d like to draw your attention to the just-launched Studo Simon blog. The Kentucky-based brand-identity firm has solidified itself as one of the top logo designers in all of Minor League Baseball, churning out crowd-pleasers such as THIS on a regular basis.
I shall close with yet one more nugget of random information: Chuck Smith has just been sworn in as mayor of Woodmere, Ohio. Smith pitched in the Minor Leagues for 15 seasons, and in 2008 served as pitching coach for the Lancaster JetHawks (he also spent time with the Florida Marlins in 2000 and 2001). Smith joins Yakima’s Dave Edler as the only mayor I can think of off the top of my head who had previously played professional baseball.
Who am I forgetting?