Results tagged ‘ Charitable Endeavors ’

The Spirit of the Times

spirit.jpgOne of my favorite things to say about Minor League Baseball promotions is that they “capture the zeitgeist.”

This may sound pretentious, and I always mispronounce “zeitgeist,” but it’s true. The word is German for “the spirit of the times”, and that’s what attention-grabbing theme nights are all about. Some zeitgeist-capturing examples from 2010 include promos dedicated to “Jersey Shore”, the World Cup, LeBron James, and “Twilight.” 

I’m rambling on about this because the almighty Google has recently unveiled its “Zeitgeist 2010″ year-end search round-up. Searchable by country and category, it can serve as a handy tool for promo night brainstorming.

My suggestion? Thanks for asking! How about capitalizing on the year’s “Fastest Rising Dance Move” with Teach Me How To Dougie Night. Promote it with a video featuring the mascot learning the craze, show the players dancing on the videoboard, and stage between-inning on-field demonstrations. All fans named with first name of “Doug” or last name of “Douglas” get in free.

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Please get in touch with your own Zeitgeist 2010-inspired Minor League promo ideas.

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Moving on to an actual good idea, I’d like to highlight the Durham Bulls’ latest fundraising initiative: For every new fan the team receives on Facebook between now and December 25th, the team will donate $1 to the Durham Literacy Center.

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Bulls VP George Habel notes on his blog that “Yes we’re buying our friends…but it’s for a very good cause.” Day one of the promotion netted $150 for the cause, while expanding the team’s already formidable social networking presence.

So if you’re not a fan of the Bulls on Facebook, hustle over there immediately and get to likin’.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Werner Park logo.jpgAnd, finally, it is worth noting that the Omaha Royals Storm Chasers are moving to their new home of Werner Park on Friday. This will, once and for all, end the Rosenblatt Stadium era (although the facility will remain standing for the forseeable future).

The Storm Chasers note in a press release that “Moving vans will arrive at Rosenblatt at approximately 8:30 a.m. to complete a process started by the Storm Chasers staff over the past several months. Historical items such as photos, game programs and team records will be preserved and delivered to Werner Park.”

And as for Werner Park, it “will remain under construction even as the front office staff inhabits its new digs. Nearly 75 percent of the work has been completed, including the entire playing field and seating bowl, with final touches to the concession, restroom, press and suite areas to continue into the first part of 2011.”

And as for me, I’m going to make some final touches to this post and then hit “Publish.” It’s really that simple.

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

Updates Schmupdates

linkers.jpgSo earlier today I engaged in that most time-honored of offseason tasks: updating the Ben’s Biz Blog link list.

And by “updating” I mostly mean “deleting”, since many of the blogs listed had unceremoniously fallen by the wayside like so much virtual detritus. Therefore, I am in search of new additions — if there are any Minor League or sports biz blogs you’d like to see listed, then by all means get in touch.

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

And speaking of “offseason” tasks, Friday’s MiLB.com story on offseason work in Minor League Baseball has gotten a robust response thus far. I appreciate this. Along those lines, the Delmarva Shorebirds are currently running a weekly staff profile series that provides insight into the specific tasks associated with various Minor League jobs. Check it out HERE.

And the Lexington Legends made it known that they are currently producing a bi-weekly video series entitled “What the ‘L’ We Do in the Offseason”. I’ll go ahead and post episode one here, a decision that may or may not have been influenced by the Legends’ prominent use of the Benny Hill theme song.

To move on to a bit of breaking news — it appears that the trio of Connecticut Tigers scarecrows that went missing last week (detailed in Friday’s post) have been returned. The team issued a press release today that reads, in part:

The mystery of the stolen scarecrows taken from the Leffingwell House Museum display last Thursday has been solved; partially. The three missing uniforms numbered 57, 58, and 59 have been returned along with two out of the three pairs of uniform pants. The uniforms were found in a pile outside the Dodd Stadium gates during clean-up of the 1st Annual Connecticut Tigers Octoberfest.

And what of the scarecrows themselves? Are they now naked? Clearly, this incident is far from over.

Much closer to “over” are the fundraising attempts of Richmond Flying Squirrels mascot Nutzy. As you may recall, the fearless rodent is hoping to rappel down the side of a building on behalf of the Special Olympics. But he needs help — with less than a week to go, he is still over $500 short of his $1000 goal. Click HERE to donate.

Hope you’re having a “rappel” of a time this offseason, doing whatever it is you’ve been doing.

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

Prominent Prospects, Postseason Prosthetics

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End-of-the-season existential anxiety can wait until next week, as today I am pleased to provide some info on a charitable initiative happening in the here and now.

Limbs For Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing amputees with prosthetic limbs, has announced a Triple-A jersey auction to benefit its Dominican Outreach Program. A septet of autographed jerseys are now up for bid, and the following players are featured:

Tanner Scheppers(Oklahoma City RedHawks)

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Cameron Maybin (New Orleans Zepyhrs)

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Ryan Kalish (Pawtucket Red Sox)

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Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Buffalo Bisons, also the hardest name to spell in all of the Minors)

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Tyler Flowers (Charlotte Knights)

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Jesus Montero (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees)

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Jay Jackson (Iowa Cubs)

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The auction ends at 11 p.m. on September 21, in conjunction with the end of the Minor League Baseball postseason. The annual Bricktown Showdown will be played that evening, pitting the winners of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues against one another in a battle for Triple-A supremacy.

Limbs For Life has been developing a presence within Minor League Baseball as of late, having previously staged similar auctions in partnership with the Iowa Cubs, Tacoma Rainiers, and Oklahoma City RedHawks. Limbs For Life PR director Ryan McGhee writes that We feel there’s a natural connection between baseball and the Dominican Republic, and this is a good way for professional baseball to give back to the country.”

Agreed! And, if nothing else, you’ve got to give Limbs For Life credit for having an excellent motto: “We’re Not Asking For Much…Just An Arm and a Leg!”

Bid HERE, and enjoy this final weekend of Minor League postseason action.

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

After Drinking Beer On the Mound, Rojo Gets Carded

rojo1.jpgOutside of the ascendance of Stephen Strasburg, no bigger story has emerged out of the Minor Leagues this season than what transpired in Texas on May 6.

As you’ll no doubt recall, a mustachoied, jewlery-wearing, beer-swilling pitcher by the name of Biilly Ray “Rojo” Johnson took the mound for the Round Rock Express. This mysterious individual precipitated a brawl with just one pitch, and then vanished from the scene just as quickly as he came.

Rojo, of course, was Will Ferrell. 

The comedian’s memorable foray into the Minors has been commemorated with what is destined to be one of the most sought-after cards of 2010. Behold:

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The card is part of the Pacific Coast League’s “Top Prospects” set, which, in addition to Rojo, includes 35 of the circuit’s most promising players. 3892 of these cardboard beauties were produced; here’s the breakdown:

-         
2892 complete
sets belonging to the 16 PCL teams/league office

-         
500 individual
cards belonging to the Cancer for College charity

-         
170 uncut press
sheets belonging to the 16 PCL teams/league office

The sets belonging to PCL clubs are currently available for sale at their respective team stores. Meanwhile,Thumbnail image for rojo2.jpg Cancer for College will be making available their 500 Rojo cards at a later date. 100 of these cards will be signed and numbered by Ferrell, and can only be obtained via a donation to the organization.

Who knows what will become of the cards belonging to Mr. Ferrell? Like the hair residing above Rojo’s upper lip, that’s his personal stash.

This has been Ben’s Biz Blog post #500. Thank you for your continued patronage.

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

A Return to Fertile Soil

tippingpoint.jpgThere are 160 teams in the world of affiliated Minor League Baseball, and I do my best to cover them in as fair and equitable a manner as possible. But, inevitably, some teams receive more coverage than others.

I’ll let others be the judge of why this may be so (east coast bias? bribery? laziness? the randomness inherent in all aspects of existence?). My reason for bringing this topic up in the first place is simply because, yet again, I am going to devote a blog post to the Lakewood BlueClaws and Trenton Thunder. Regular readers are aware, of course, that these two teams have recently gotten more than their share of coveted Ben’s Biz Blog publicity.

Well, here’s some more.

Let’s start with the BlueClaws, who announced today that they will be sponsoring a bowling league. I am a huge proponent of the sport (which, nouveau Brooklynites take note, should be enjoyed unironically), and therefore eager to see this idea catch on throughout the Minors.

As befits such an occasion, the BlueClaws launched into a series of bowling-related puns as a way to promote this endeavor. From a post today on the BlueClaws blog:

“Have some spare time? Want a great way to split up the work week? Then don’t strike out.bowl.gif Join the new BlueClaws Bowling League!”

The blog also provides a link to “funny team bowling names“, which is something I can definitely get behind. Here’s a my own list of baseball-inspired bowling league names:

The Hook-y Leagues
The Liberal Strike Zones
Hall of Framers
Bowl Durham
Slow Rollers
The Split-chell Report

Man, that was harder than I thought it would be. I didn’t do a very good job at all. All that I can do is offer my customary “kudos” to the team in question and move on….

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for trenton_logo.GIFTo the Trenton Thunder, who are staging a unique and very worthwhile memorabilia auction. Throughout the season, clubby Tom “Tonto” Cackley collected memorabilia from a wide array of Thunder players (including rehabbing big leaguers) as well as special ballpark guests. Now, he’s auctioning all of these items on eBay, with proceeds benefiting the Domestic Violence Project. 

There are 87 (!) items available. Listing them would be rather redundant; simply click HERE and see for yourself.

Finally, I’ll be writing up a new offseason edition of “Promotion Preview” tomorrow, covering the next two weeks. Please get in touch with information on any and all Minor League events that are taking place during this time.

Thank you in advance for getting in touch. And thank you retroactively for reading. 

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

Getting Snippy in Myrtle Beach

Thumbnail image for mbpelicans.jpgThe Minor League offseason has nearly completed its second month, so by now it would be logical to assume that my supply of 2009 Minor League promotion photos has been exhausted.

But logic has never been a part of this operation, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Therefore, let me regale you on this late October afternoon with pictures of a promotion that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans staged back in mid-August: Locks of Love Night.

Locks of Love is an organization that provides hairpieces to children who have lost their hair due to a medical condition.Their mission statement reads as follows: to return a sense of self,
confidence and normalcy to children suffering
from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails
to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics
to financially disadvantaged children.

Throughout the season, the Pelicans encouraged fans to grow out their hair so that they could eventually donate to this imminently worthy cause. On Locks of Love Night, five volunteers donated a combined 70 inches of hair. Additionally, a barber shop was set up on the concourse, offering haircuts in exchange for charitable donations to the organization.

Now let us proceed to the ample photographic evidence, starting with the “before” shot of what must have been the evening’s hair donation champion:

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The Moment of Truth:

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Captured!

Myrtle Beach -- Locks -- Blonde Hair Captured.JPG

And then it was on to the next one:

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This stoic youngster got in on the act:

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As did team employees (Pelicans director of promotions Maggie Neil)

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This guy may not have had enough locks to donate, but he did his part by paying for a haircut:

Myrtle Beach -- Locks -- Boring Dude.JPG 

Bagged, Tagged, and Ready to Go!

Myrtle Beach -- Locks -- Bagged and Tagged.JPG

Okay, I’m now fairly certain that my supply of ’09 promotional pictures has been exhausted. Or has it? Only time will tell…

Thanks for reading, as always. I’ll be back on Monday, ready to embrace the month of November head-on. Or at least that’s the plan.

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

A Great Reason to Hit the Links

coolbaugh.jpgOne of the greatest tragedies to ever occur on a baseball diamond took place on July 22, 2007, when Mike Coolbaugh was struck and killed by a foul ball while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers. 

This incident has been well-documented on MiLB.com as well as a wide variety of other outlets; those seeking additional info and perspective should click HERE. (S.L. Price’s “Heart of the Game”, which came out earlier this year, is worth reading as well).

The Coolbaugh Memorial Golf Tournament, established in the wake of the tragedy, serves several purposes. It gives people a chance to celebrate the person that Mike was while raising money for the family he left behind as well as a variety of other causes.

This year’s tournament is scheduled for November 7 at Tapatio Springs Golf in Boerne, TX, cooliegolflogo.jpgand more information can be found HERE. It costs $125 to sign up, which includes lunch, dinner, and, of course, a round of golf.  A charity auction will take place that evening, with a wide array of prizes (baseball-themed and otherwise).

So, if you (and/or your Minor League team) is in relatively close proximity to the tournament, why not sign up? And even those who cannot attend can get involved by donating auction items and/or acting as a sponsor (for more info on that, send an email to coolytourny@yahoo.com).

I’ll be back soon enough with my usual anxiety-laden absurdisms, but I wanted to take a break from that schtick long enough to give the Coolbaugh Memorial Tournament a sincere plug. Thanks for reading.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

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