Results tagged ‘ interlopers ’

Showcasing Al, Then Having A Cow

New York-Penn League games are rarely played in the presence of Hall of Famers, but that was the case in Norwich, CT on Monday. None other than Al Kaline visited Dodd Stadium, and he had good reason to do so.

His grandson, Colin, plays second base for the hometown Connecticut Tigers.

Putting a new twist on the term “Al Kaline Battery,” Al threw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch. Colin was on the receiving end.

Prior to this high-arced ceremonial offering (a perfect strike, by all accounts), Al set up shop on the concourse and signed just about everything placed in front of him.

His signature graced the playing field as well, though I don’t think a blue sharpie was the instrument of choice.

In a press release issued yesterday, the C-Tigers reported that the night was a “booming success.” Sez the team:

Al Kaline had the opportunity to watch his grandson reach base twice and score twice as part of the Tigers 10-0 drubbing of the Lowell Spinners. So, by the end of the night, the lucky fans in the building not only had a chance to see a living legend in person, but also got to see a big Tigers win.

That’s all well and good, but I’ve got to take issue with the press release’s use of the word “booming.” When you’re the Tigers, all your successes should be categorized as “roaring.””Booming” successes are better suited to the Lake Elsinore Storm, Trenton Thunder, and, of course, Nashville Sounds.

Al Kaline Night happened two nights ago, but now I’d like to transition to an “udderly” successful event that was held two months ago: The Visalia Rawhide’s annual pre-game Cow Milking Contest.

From the NYPL to nipples, here we go:

(credit for all cow milking photos: Chris Henstra/Visalia Rawhide)

Adam Eaton of the Bovine Bombers executes a squeeze play

The team issued an excellent press release synopsis of the event, packed with photos and descriptive detail. (My apologies for taking so long to get around to it. Better late than never, right?) Sez the team:

The cow milking event started out as a normal tag-team contest among Rawhide players: the “Latin Mafia” team (made up of Christian Beltre, Yonata Ortega, Diogenes Rosario, Victor Capellan, and California League All-Star catcher Rossmel Perez) vs. the “Bovine Bombers” (formed by Ryan LaPensee, Brian Budrow, Kevin Munson, Raul Torrez, and California League All-Star outfielder Adam Eaton).

The Bovine Bombers did their homework, and admitted to researching cow milking techniques to prepare for the competition, but they were still no match for the Latin Mafia.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Upon the conclusion of the Rawhide team’s competition, two Bakersfield Blaze players (Frank Pfister and Curtis Partch) sauntered out of the dugout in old west chaps, and challenged the Latin Mafia to a milk-off.

Frank Pfister and Curtis Partch, two old chaps


It was a good showdown, but again the Latin Mafia prevailed, forcing their challengers to drink the warm milk only minutes before game time.

Credit for this, and all, cow milking photos: Chris Henstra/Visalia Rawhide

Thus closed another fine milk-off battle in Wild West Visalia.

And thus closes this, the latest and therefore greatest installment of the never-ending Biz Blog saga. Thanks, as always, for reading. And please — tell a friend.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Deep Fried Cornmeal Enters the Mix in Richmond

Hushpuppies.jpgOn Tuesday, I blogged about Richmond’s “Name the Team” contest. Satisfied with my work, I then took the following day off.

But, as the saying goes: “You snooze, you looze.” And I have lost. For while I was convalescing with Country Joe records and The Roald Dahl Omnibus, a crucial development occurred in Richmond’s contest.

A “wild card” entrant has been added to the list of contenders, courtesy of CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell. What happened was this: between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, fans were asked to submit their “wild card” name suggestions to Rovell. He recieved over 9000 responses, and chose the following (Drum Roll, please):

Hush Puppies

This is an unorthodox pick, to say the least. Today, Rovell posted on his blog that “The most common names suggested included references to American history
and the local James River. Hundreds of people wrote in for the River
Rapids or River Cats. Others picked names like the Revolution, Generals
and Cannonballs.”

Just one fan, meanwhile, suggested “Hush Puppies.” Despite the lack of anything resembling a common consensus, it captured Rovell’s attention for these reasons:

It has that deep-rooted Southern heritage
It’s different from what has been out there
It’s kid friendly

It has great mascot possibilities

It has an automatic concession tie-in

There is some precedent for “Hush Puppies”, since there is already a Double-A team namedMontgomeryBiscuitsCap.png after a staple Southern food (the Montgomery Biscuits, natch). For the record, I did not submit any “Wild Card” suggestions. But if I had, I would have gone all meta and suggested “Wild Cards”.

At any rate, fans can cast their vote for “Hush Puppies” (or any of the other five suggestions) at the website of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. If the comments section of the Times-Dispatch is an accurate indicator of public opinion, then the local reaction to the half-dozen names on the ballot could charitably be described as “mixed”. This is understandable, given the across-the-board frivolity of the team’s choices. My guess, however, is that fans will come around to the team name (whatever it may be) once a logo is unveiled and an overall marketing game plan established.

iron.gifIt is worth noting that Chuck Domino, chief executive of Richmond Baseball, previously presided over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. That club has enjoyed two spectacularly successful seasons thus far, and the off-kilter name has played a huge role in how the club brands and markets itself. So, there is reason to believe that the same feat can be achieved in the Richmond market as well.

Promo of the Year Update: As of this writing (2:37 p.m. EST), Bowling Green’s “What Could’ve Been Night” maintains a slight (124 vote) lead over Fresno’s “As Seen on TV Night.” Voting doesn’t end until October 12, so this one is far from over. Vote HERE.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Also, I’m back on Twitter. For real this time: twitter.com/bensbiz

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