Results tagged ‘ flash mobs ’

Passing the Time in the Absence of Our Pastime

Yesterday’s post served as this year’s Halloween content clearinghouse, but as usual a few things slipped through the cracks. And when something falls through the cracks, it’s best to save it from such a nefarious fate by belatedly bringing it back into the light.

That’s a convoluted way of saying that I stumbled across a ridiculous photo I wanted to share. It was taken at the State College Spikes Spookfest and features mascot Ike the Spike idly observing a werewolf being wheeled on a stretcher by a witch who appears to have Frankenstein in a headlock.

Just another day in the Minor Leagues.

Further PA-based Halloween content has emerged from Reading, as the R-Phils have announced the winners of this year’s pumpkin carving contest. This is a seriously impressive triumvirate of illuminated gourds:

But would you expect anything less from the Reading faithful? This is a fan base that has proven carving abilities.

At any rate, November is probably the slowest month when it comes to Minor League Baseball news. (December has the Winter Meetings, at least, and once the new year hits there is an abundance of info related to the upcoming season.) But we all get through it together, and there are many productive ways to pass the time.

For starters, Visalia Rawhide broadcaster Donny Baarns has launched a new podcast called “Candid Voices,” in which he “chats with the best sports broadcasters about their careers, their stories, and anything else they feel like talking about.” The first episode’s guest is Mariners broadcaster/veteran TV writer Ken Levine, and can be heard HERE.

Meanwhile, the always exemplary Great Lakes Loons blog “From the Nest” has a post called “25 Ways to Keep Baseball In-Season This Offseason.”


Lots of great stuff is contained therein, and the post follows a template that can (and should) be copied by other Minor League teams. Check it out.

A more “inside baseball” (so to speak) offseason perspective can be found over at gameops.com, as always astute industry veteran Scott Carter’s has filed a column featuring a veritable treasure trove of ways that teams can engage with fans when there are no games being played. This is required reading for those seeking to understand how and why teams need to function as interactive year-round entities.

And then, of course, there are videos. Always, there are videos. Some of them have malevolent undertones….

while others mine humor out of mascot misfortune.

And finally there’s our old pal Ike the Spike, who apparently snapped out of his werewolf-observing reverie long enough to lead a “Thriller” flash mob. Check it out HERE.

As always, thanks for checking this blog out. Your patronage helps to validate my professional existence.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Cougars Stage Excessive Celebration Successfully

Anyone who’s attended a Minor League Baseball game is aware of just how much entertainment is packed into any given evening — from pre-game concerts to between-inning contests to the time-honored post-game trifecta of launch-a-ball, fireworks, and run the bases.

And on and on and on it goes. But even by these already overstuffed standards, the extravaganza staged last Thursday by the Kane County Cougars deserves special attention. Cue reverb-drenched baritone announcer voice: The Night of 100 Promotions!

It was what it’s name implied — 100 promotions packed into a single night (the State College Spikes originated this concept, if I’m not mistaken). Fans entering the ballpark received a complete list, which included everything from “Hopscotch” to “Hula Hoop Contest” to the very meta “List of 100 Promotions.”

But number one on the list was “Mike Veeck Appearance.” Veeck, the son of legendary baseball owner and innovator Bill Veeck, has carried on the family legacy through his involvement with the Goldklang Group’s stable of teams (Charleston, Fort Myers, and Hudson Valley among them).

Veeck was one of three Chicago baseball icons on hand for the occasion. Rounding out the triumvirate were legendary executive Roland Hemond (promotion #8) and White Sox organist Nancy Faust (promotion #9).

And just because I know I’m going to get emails about it otherwise, let me note for the record that “on-field mascot defecation” was emphatically NOT one of the special promotions. That’s a tail.

But many of the scheduled promotions did make a nod toward the Veeck family’s promotional legacy. An on-field “Record Tossing” contest paid homage to the White Sox’s infamous “Disco Demolition Night,” and the “ballpark shower” was in honor of one that Bill Veeck had installed in the Comiskey Park bleachers.

On a personal level, one of my favorite promotions was #39 — Mr. Kaboom, Jr. One lucky fan got to visit Mr. Kaboom in his outfield lair and help launch off some fireworks, something I had the opportunity to do when I visited Kane County last season.

I've since gotten a haircut

But enough about me. Here’s a smorgasbord of snapshots featuring last Thursday’s many-tiered promotion.

#32 -- Honorary PA announcer

#31 Drag Crew in Drag

#48 -- Facebook Fan in the Broadcast Booth

The evening’s surprise highlight was #98 — listed cryptically as “Rock This” on the list of promotions. What it turned out to be was a flash mob, one that the club had spent nearly two months preparing for.

It was clearly a night to remember in Kane County, and a possible 2011 MiLB.com “Promotion of the Year” contender as well. Perhaps the team might consider belatedly adding a 101st promotion: send friendly blogger complimentary case of Leinenkugel.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

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