Results tagged ‘ Fresno Grizzlies ’
Minor League ballparks are hospitable places, rolling out the red carpet for sitcom stars, sexagenarian wrestlers and eccentric hurlers alike.
Today’s edition of “Promo Year in Review” features my top six celebrity appearances of the year, highlighting a half-dozen bold-faced names who graced the ballpark with their presence. But, as always, I need YOU to tell me who I’ve missed. Get in touch via email or Twitter and let me know, as suggestions for this and previous categories will be accepted through 10 a.m. Monday.
My six nominees, in ever-so-sensible alphabetical order. Click on each individual’s name to see how his ballpark visit was originally covered (and, yes, they are all men. Don’t shoot the messenger).
Fresno Grizzlies — Alfonso “Carlton” Ribiero (as part of “Mad Tight ’90s Night”)
Lakewood BlueClaws — Jeff “Chunk” Cohen (as part of “Goonies Night”)
Oklahoma City RedHawks — Peter Mayhew (aka “Chewbacca”)
Reading Phillies — Dennis “Mr. Belding” Haskins
Round Rock Express — Rojo Johnson (aka Will Ferrell)
Vermont Lake Monsters — Bill “Spaceman” Lee/Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd (on the same night!)
I don’t have a picture from this picture, but here are their respective Wikipedia photos:
Duty compels me to once again mention that I need your input. What celebrities caused a sensation at YOUR Minor League ballpark this year. And — hey! — I know you’re reading. There’s no escape. Get in touch. Are you going to let my complete neglect of sexagenarian wrestlers go uncriticized?
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)
Minor League Baseball promotions are nothing if not timely, and one would be hard-pressed to find one timelier than what’s going down in Fresno tonight.
The Triple-A All-Star Game takes place TONIGHT at Lehigh Valley’s Coca-Cola Park, and the eyes of the baseball world will be fixated on this star-studded exhibition between the Pacific Coast and International Leagues.
The rosters are set and the participants have arrived, so just one thing remains to be determined: Which league has the better dancing grounds crew?
That oft-posited query will finally be answered tonight, as Fresno’s “Drag Kings” and Lehigh Valley’s “Dirt Dudes” are both raking the diamond in separate half-inning breaks.
The Drag Kings are flying in from Fresno for the occasion, and they are ready to assert their supremacy on hostile turf.
“This is a great honor four is and we’re truly appreciative of the opportunity,” said The Kid. “Not only do we get to represent Fresno and the PCL, but we get to show off what makes us the best and most original dancing grounds crew in baseball.”
“It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” added Silkee. “So, we consider ourselves sincerely flattered.”
The Dirt Dudes could not be reached for comment, presumably because they were hard at work on their impeccably choreographed turf-tending routines.
Twilight fever is sweeping Minor League ballparks across the land, as teams from Binghamton to Toledo to St. Lucie to Fresno and beyond salute the 21st-century’s pre-eminent supernatural romance franchise.
The above sentence is not only an example of the sort of hacky ledes I try to stay away from these days. It is also factually inaccurate, as what I really mean to say is this: Twilight fever is sweeping America, and Minor League teams are capitalizing on this melodramatic pandemic by staging theme nights in its honor.
Because Minor League promotions do not create pop culture trends. Rather, they react to them, holding a Fun House mirror up to the zeitgeist. And Twilight is merely the latest phenomenon to get the Minor League treatment, one in an endless line of endlessly exploitable ephemeral diversions. Before long, the industry’s movers and shakers will make like the Foo Fighters and be “done, done, and…on to the next one.”
Alright, that’s enough needless pontificating. I was just trying to justify my existence, because the Fresno Grizzlies have created a video recap of their Twilight promo night that renders me, the blogger, meaningless. Said video provides a thorough and entertaining trip through the evening’s many highlights, leaving me with nothing to explain or contextualize.
I have seen the future, and that is that I no longer have one. Behold a classic in the nascent field of video promo explanation:
And then there’s this, which is just Nuts:
Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to THIS ARTICLE that appeared on MiLB.com yesterday. Jose Canseco will be fighting a 60-year-old man prior to an Arkansas Travelers game.
Well, now the Lowell Spinners are getting in on the act. The team announced today (via Twitter) that TWO bobbling politicos will be featured on the 2010 promotional calendar: Massachusetts senior Senator John Kerry and junior Senator Scott Brown. Photos of these sure-to-be coveted items have not yet been released, but if you close your eyes and think real hard I’m sure you can conjure up a fairly accurate image in your mind.
Democrat vs. Republican often feels like a choice between Vampire vs. Werewolf, which conveniently leads me to my next item:
Fans can now VOTE (via Facebook) on which of the above jerseys they’d like to see the Fresno Grizzlies wear on Twilight Night, which will be taking place on June 26th. The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity after the game, with proceeds benefiting the Central California Blood Center.
Right now Team Jacob is enjoying a 30-vote lead, but this thing is far from over. My guess is that Edward comes out on top, simply because anything involving a “count” naturally favors vampires.
Sorry that it’s been a while since I dropped some bizness knowledge on ya. All I can do at this juncture is to rip a page out of the MTA playbook and “apologize for the unavoidable delay.”
NYC public transit references translate nationwide, right? I sure hope so; otherwise I’ve alienated my audience even faster than usual.
Well, I’ll get you all back in my good graces by once again going over some recently unveiled 2010 promotional schedules.
The Fresno Grizzlies are one of those teams that routinely seek out the national spotlight, staging innovative promotions that often catch on throughout the industry. The club was the first to book the increasingly ubiquitous Mr. Belding (as part of their “Mad Tight 90s Night), and their “As Seen on TV Night” (featuring a Snuggie giveaway) has inspired several teams follow suit.
As for 2010, one of the Grizzlies’ biggest highlights will occur on June 26: Twilight Night.
I’ll refer you now to the expert on this schedule, an individual by the name of “Press Release“:
The Grizzlies will celebrate a pop culture phenomenon by hosting “Twilight
Night” on the evening of a lunar eclipse. At the core of the
Twilight craze is one of the most hotly debated topics in recent memory,
which can be summed up succinctly in one question: Team Edward or Team
Jacob? In advance of the highly anticipated third installment of the
movie series, fans will be able to decide the outcome of that debate by
voting on the team’s Facebook Fan Page between a customized vampire
(Team Edward) or werewolf (Team Jacob) jersey. The winning jersey will
be worn by the Grizzlies during Twilight Night, with proceeds of a
jersey auction aptly benefiting the Central California Blood Center.
Another Grizzlies highlight is “Mad Tight 90s Night: The Remix” on May 20. This year’s special guest is none other than Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”:
And here’s hoping that the Grizzlies resident front office rappers record their own version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.
Other nights to circle on the nationwide Minor League promo calendar that I assume hangs prominently in your home office: “You Sing the National Anthem” (July 5), “Man Night” (July 29), and “Mascot Wrestling” (August 14).
Let’s move north, past the California border into Oregon, because the Portland Beavers have released their promo schedule. Traditionally, the team stages one premier bobble giveaway each season (with 2006′s Rodney McCray bobblefence and ’07′s “Bob L. Head” being especially notable), so speculation was rampant over who would get the nod in 2010.
Speculate no more. This year, the prestigious recipients of Beaver bobble fame are these guys:
Lewis and Clark, the most estimable battery of the 19th century, will be rendered in bobble form and distributed to the Portland masses on May 22. The following month, the Beavers will pay tribute to a group of equally accomplished explorers: “Goonies Never Say Die Night” is June 11, and will feature a post-game screening of the 1980s kids classic.
I’ll leave you with this, which will surely stand out as one of 2010′s premier giveaway items. On May 31, the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be distributing skateboard decks to the first 1000 fans in attendance (age 17 and under).
If you actually see a photo underneath this sentence, then it will represent my triumph over one of the greatest blogging adversities I have ever faced. If not, then I have failed. But rest assured, I will not give up. Not now, or ever.
Similar to Wednesday’s post, I am going to spend today’s allotted blogging time on a powerful 1-2 punch of Minor League news.
First up are the Lake Elsinore Storm, who are capitalizing on the Tiger Woods saga by offering up details on a similar, albeit far-more-literal scandal. It seems that the team’s female mascot, Thunderella, has been cheating on her boyfriend, Thunder — with a tiger from the woods.
Let’s go to the press release:
Lake Elsinore Storm female mascot Thunderella admits to allegations of an affair with a famous tiger in the woods. Montecore, an exotic white tiger owned by Siegfried and Roy, met Thunderella earlier in 2009 when the two attended a performance workshop in Los Angeles.
“Tiger has been very troubled
since his attack on Roy,”
says a representative for
Thunderella. “My client reached out to him as a friend
but it soon became more than that. She is sorry for any emotional distress she
has caused Thunder.”
Thunderella has been dating
official Storm mascot Thunder off-and-on for the last nine years. With other
tiger allegations being released, she felt she had to come clean about this
affair. Tiger has been texting and calling Thunderella while Thunder is out on
his many appearances in the Inland Empire.
Longtime friend of Thunder and
Storm Director of Mascot Operations Patrick Gardenier feels terrible for the
big green dog. “I introduced her to Thunder,” said Gardenier. “To find out she
has been unfaithful truly breaks my heart.”
Sources say Thunder confronted
her about the situation last night and she attempted to flee. He chased the car
with his plastic baseball bat but thankfully did no damage to the Ice Cream
No charges have been filed
against Thunderella and her reps say that this situation will be handled
The best part of the press release, however, is this picture. It’s nuts:
At any rate, I offer my customary kudos to the Storm for once again pushing the envelope. This has to be the first case of mascot infidelity on record, and if I am wrong about this then PLEASE get in touch because I really need to know about these things.
My next item involves the Fresno Grizzlies and their “I Hate the Offseason” video series. I feel compelled to post the latest episode for two reasons. One, I am name-dropped in it. But far more important is the fact that it is a parody of NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton”, in which a quartet of front office “rappers” assert the Grizzlies’ creative dominance in a cocksure style.
Behold, the first Minor League diss track:
I sincerely hope that other clubs feel compelled to respond, as it could result in a feud of Jay-Z vs. Nas proportions. Or at least Jay-Z vs. Noel Gallagher.
The next time I post on this blog, I will be writing from my penthouse suite at an undisclosed Indianapolis hotel. If you are going to be at the Winter Meetings, then I look forward to meeting you.
This is the third and final Friday the 13th of 2009, and as (bad) luck would have it none fell during the baseball season. This deprived teams of the chance to stage superstition-themed promos, with ladders on the concourse, broken mirrors in the bathrooms, and black cats darting across the outfield. Or something like that. All of this is to say that the next in-season Friday the 13th will be 8/13/2010, and I fully expect for there to be an abundance of interesting promotions on this day. If YOU, whoever YOU may be, have any Friday the 13th Minor League promo suggestions then please get in touch (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., all listed below).
Moving on…The Fresno Grizzlies released a “very special” episode of their “I Hate the Offseason” video series today. The episode is entitled “The Swedelot”, so named because it is a “Swede” — a summarized re-creation of a favorite movie (in this case, “The Sandlot”). The Grizzlies entered “The Swedelot” into the “Fresno Swede Fest“, winning awards for both “Best Actor” (thanks to Parker the mascot’s powerhouse performance) and “Best Original Screenplay”.
I know that was a lot to digest, but do your best. Also, watch the episode HERE.
Meanwhile, the upstart O-Royals continue to move in the opposite direction with their “My Offseason Life Is Average” series. The latest episode, minus the opening and closing credits, is about five seconds long.
If I may make an analogy — if these two video series were 1970s English rock bands, “I Hate the Offseason” would be Queen and “My Offseason Life is Average” would be the Sex Pistols. Discuss.
Finally, the blog “A Penny’s Worth” recently featured an interview with Lakeland Flying Tigers general manager Zach Burek. Check it out HERE.