Results tagged ‘ Lehigh Valley IronPigs ’
This post is being composed during the afternoon of 10/31/11 — what else can I write about but Halloween? This commemoration of the macabre is being celebrated throughout America, so ipso facto its being celebrated throughout the Minors as well.
The usual array of teams (Williamsport, Lake Elsinore, Bowie, et al) have turned their ballparks into haunted houses, but in some cases such an extensive effort isn’t necessary. As the Great Lakes Loons prove with this video, sometimes all you need is a mascot dressed as a ghost, holding an air gun.
But Halloween isn’t just about cheap thrills. In Lehigh Valley, the IronPigs held their fourth annual “Suites and Treats” event for underprivileged and special needs children. This is a cool concept, and to my knowledge the IronPigs are the only ones who do it. From the team’s website:
The event took place on the Club Level with the support of the IronPigs’ suite holders, who took advantage of the opportunity to decorate their suite so the children could go “door-to-door” for a unique “trick-or-treating” experience. In total, all 20 suites along with the outdoor PenTeleData party porches were decorated for Suites-n-Treats.
A few examples, from the team’s Facebook photo gallery:
One of the benefits of staging in-season promotions dedicated to offseason holidays is that said promotion can result in content that can then be used during the holiday in question. Make sense? No?
That’s okay. All I’m really trying to say is that the Fort Wayne TinCaps staged a Halfway to Halloween promotion and aired the following video during the game. And — bonus! — the video is once again fit for public consumption.
Meanwhile, in Trenton, the team’s concern regarding the dangers of trick-or-treating has manifested itself in a somewhat ridiculous public awareness campaign.
These guys have made a video. Click HERE to watch it.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have made a new video as well. It’s not related to Halloween in any way, really, but notable nonetheless. Like life itself, this effort is an interactive game of skill:
Nice work on that one by the T-Rattlers. Similar efforts will help prevent offseason mental atrophy, the effects of which have already begun to be felt.
Yesterday’s post began with a look at the Memphis Redbirds’ highly-touted “Organ Donor” jersey, but it’s important to note that they’re not the only Triple-A club taking an inside-out approach to the theme jersey.
During last week’s “Halloween Night” promotion, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs took the field in these:
That’s manager Ryne Sandberg, who might have had a bone to pick with fans who gave him a good ribbing about his new look.
Ryan Feierabend took the loss, but nonetheless showed a lot of backbone out there on the mound.
Don’t worry, Ryan — to-marrow is a new day!
But we’re here to talk about that greatest era of American history — the exceedingly recent past. For instance, on Wednesday the Jamestown Jammers took the field in these.
Lucille Ball was a native of Jamestown, and this week marks the centennial anniversary of her birth. The town is in the midst of a multi-day “Lucyfest” celebration, with the Jammers’ “Lucy-Desi Night” kicking things off. The Jammers won 6-3; although perhaps it would have been more appropriate if they had been in the midst of a “Lucy” streak. (And taking a look at the box score — it appears tht Brian McConkey had the honor of serving as the team’s “Desi-nated Hitter.”)
The Toledo Mud Hens are another team to have recently honored a hometown hero at the ballpark. On Monday, the team gave away 1000 bobbleheads honoring this man. Guess whose back?
Any idea? Feel feel to argue amongst yourselves, I’m not above taking sides:
Okay — one can discern the surname “Walker” in the first shot and the first name “Moses” in the above.
But there the appellation trail goes cold, for this man has a middle name as well. It’s Fleetwood, mac!
What can I say? I’m a big fan of Walker’s. Not only was he the first black player in MLB history, but he was also an inventor, newspaper publisher, social theorist, and entrepreneur. He also had a thirst for the drink, and in 1891 was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge.
Now that’s a life.
Also, this marked the first time a team sent me six high-quality shots of one bobblehead. I figured I may as well do something with it.
Who’s gonna be the first to send me seven?
My recent post on the Lake Elsinore Storm experience included many photos, including shots of the team kitchen as well as the easily-angered Grounds Crew Gorilla. But never did it occur to me that I’d soon be posting a photo of the Gorilla in the team kitchen.
And yet here we are:
For reasons unknown and perhaps best left unexplained, the Grounds Crew Gorilla has gotten into the international youth fad known as “planking.” The Storm have posted a photo set on Facebook entitled “Gorilla Planks the Diamond.” Here’s a few more:
The word plank brings to mind nautical discipline which brings to mind John Paul Jones, the “father of the American Navy” but also the name of the bass player in Led Zeppelin.
And here we are. Yesterday was the West Michigan Whitecaps’ second annual “Led Zeppelin Night”, Led Zeppelin II as it were.
And when it came to theme jerseys, the song remained the same. Once again, the team took the field in these:
The Whitecaps have also done “Pink Floyd Night”, and other bands that have been celebrated in such a fashion around the Minors include the Grateful Dead, Beatles, and Rolling Stones.
This leads me to make the following demand, which like all my demands will be aggressively ignored.
Nonetheless: Do a Creedence Clearwater Revival Night! CCR are easily one of the greatest rock bands of all time and deserve Minor League Ballpark immortalization.
Abbreviations such as “CCR” are prevalent on Twitter, a mode of communication that encourages extreme brevity. And as part of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs “Social Media Night”, the team will be wearing the first Twitter-themed jerseys in Minor League Baseball history.
As part of the promotion, the team is asking fans to change their Twitter and/or Facebook profile pics to the following image:
Those who do so will be eligible to win game tickets and an autographed Ryne Sandberg baseball.
Let me close with a final demand — Read Crooked Numbers!!!
It would mean a lot to me if you did so. I spend way too much time on that column, but it’s a labor of love.
Check out MiLB.com’s new and improved “Fans” page! Those looking to connect with Minor League Baseball in a more comprehensive and meaningful way will find the tools to do so, most notably via a pair of excellently-curated lists:
Individuals with the motivation to “Friend” and “Follow” every Minor League team out there will find themselves immediately privy to much of the information that I later disseminate via this blog. And you know what that means — I am hastening my own demise, making my obsolescence even more imminent. Oh well, we’ve all got to shuffle off this virtual coil sooner or later.
Until then, I’ll entertain you in the only way I know how: Parody and/or food pictures.
Remember in my previous post, when I asked for for teams to submit theme songs? Well, the Akron Aeros have (finally!) become the first team to hop on the “Black and Yellow” bandwagon. This is “Akron Aeros” by Wiz Orbit-Fa:
“Akron Aeros” fits perfectly into the song’s chorus, perhaps better than any other team in the Minors. The only other ones even close are Asheville Tourists, Beloit Snappers, Bowie Baysox, Brooklyn Cyclones, Charlotte Stone Crabs, Dayton Dragons, Erie SeaWolves, Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Fresno Grizzlies, Jackson Generals, Jamestown Jammers, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lansing Lugnuts, Lynchburg Hillcats, Memphis Redbirds, Midland RockHounds, Mobile BayBears, Orem Owlz, Palm Beach Cardinals, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Phillies, Reno Aces, Salem Red Sox, Springfield Cardinals, Tampa Yankees, Trenton Thunder, Tucson Padres, and Tulsa Drillers.
Moving from four syllables to four comestibles, remember earlier this week when I wrote about the Lehigh Valley IronPigs “Pig Out Menu Items“?
Well, now I have pictures of the four items. Fans, which one would YOU most like to see on a concession menu?
The “Three Little Pigs” Sandwich
Remember — remembering what not to do is just as important as remembering what to do.
The previous post on this blog featured the following photo from the Trenton Thunder’s “NFL Kickoff Night.” It is quite possibly my favorite pic to emanate from a Minor League stadium this year:
So what, exactly, was going on here? Thunder director of public relations Bill Cook explains:
The kid signing for the cheerleaders was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year. The cheerleaders threw out first pitches and then went over to the wall to sign for fans. After a couple of minutes that kid came down and said “Hey ladies, how’d ya like my autograph?”. The girls laughed and didn’t really know what to say, but since they were still holding the balls from their pitches the kid reached over, took one, and started signing it. As he handed it back, he said, “So, can I have your number?” The girls were speechless.
Truly, this kid is a role model. He carries himself with confidence and humor, and from here on out I will do my best to emulate his carefree approach to unorthodox social situations.
Also taking a carefree approach to unorthodox social situations are Peoria Chiefs players, who have recently been included in a remarkable trifecta of videos. First came the “Chiefstreet Boys”, then a rollicking Motown homage, and now this:
And it just keeps getting more ridiculous, as I just stumbled upon this:
Clearly, these guys are up for just about anything. Also up for anything are the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, who seem to specialize in unique ballpark innovations. The team is currently staging the “Battlefield Challenge” at Coca-Cola Park, a game-within-the-game that presents the tantalizing possibility of discounted concession stand items.
Sez the team:
The field at Coca-Cola Park has been divided into six battle zones that each team will attempt to
gain control of in an effort to conquer the entire playing surface.
Each team will have the opportunity to gain control of any
battle zone while they are at-bat. A base hit into any zone will give
the hitting team control of that zone until a base hit from the opposing
team lands in that zone.
And should the IronPigs gain control of all six zones, discounts will go into effect at the concession stands throughout the remainder of the ballgame.
Also, in what I believe is a Minor League first, the IronPigs are offering a week-long fan cruise this off season:
The package includes a souvenir IronPigs gift and exclusive
events (including an autograph session!) with IronPigs All-Star and
2008 World Series Champion Andy Tracy, IronPigs broadcaster Matt
Provence, IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes along with popular
mascots FeRROUS and FeFe!
This seven-night cruise to the Bahamas and Florida
aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel leaves New York City on
November 14 and includes trips to Port Canaveral, Florida, Great Stirrup
Cay (Bahamas) and Nassau (Bahamas). While aboard the ship, enjoy all
included meals and entertainment!
Wow. This is way better than the Ben’s Biz Blog offseason cruise, which consists of ’70s rock singalongs on a leaky dinghy imbued with the scent of rotting seagull.
Finally, I am happy to report that the Orem Owlz recently staged a “Weird Al Night”promotion. The master satirist was recognized in the following ways (thanks to Owlz assistant gm Brett Crane for the report):
Middle of the 3rd: Videoboard Weird Al Lyrics (Fill-in-the-Blank)
[The contestant's] goals was to fill-in-the-blank for three well-known Weird Al songs: “Like a Surgeon”, “Amish Paradise”, and “Eat It”.
Middle of the 4th and 5th: Weird T’Al’ents Contest
Middle of the 6th – “Eat It” Chocolate Pudding ContestThis was the messiest eating contest of the night and for
the season by far. Two contestants were chosen to compete against each other in
a timed eating contest. Each contestant was given three mini graham cracker
pies filled with chocolate pudding. Whoever finished their set of three first
won the designated prize from one of our sponsors. Of course, not all of
the pies were fully eaten and chocolate was everywhere. (“Eat It” was played
during this promotion).
This is a step in the right direction, but of course the ultimate goal is for all Minor League teams to stage at least one Weird Al promo every season. Please, everyone:
But the National Pastime never rests. The Triple-A All-Star Game confidently lept into the void, in the process becoming the day’s premier baseball event. The contest, which pits the International and Pacific Coast Leagues against one another, was held at Coca-Cola Park in Lehigh Valley.
Unwilling to settle for the MLB Network telecast, I hopped into “my” car and drove a heroic distance (upwards of 35 miles) in order to witness the event live and in person.
Everything looked copacetic when I got there. Just another day at the ballpark:
Like a baseball that needs to go on a diet, Coca-Cola Park was bursting at the seams:
If Coca-Cola Park was an NYC subway line, on Wednesday it would have been the 6 train at 42nd St. at 8:15 a.m. on a weekday.
But being a baseball writer, I only travel by gilded carriage, yacht, or rickshaw. Eager to partake in the aristocratic indulgences that befit one of this standing, I beat a retreat to my private suite in order to enjoy soul-affirming dessert fondue.
(by “private suite” I of course mean “league gathering that I wasn’t technically invited to.”)
While upstairs, I watched American Idol contestant Tyler Grady sing an exceedingly histrionic rendition of the National Anthem.
Grady later signed autographs on the concourse, as did Philadelphia Eagles legend Chuck Bednarik (who had thrown out the first pitch). These two should team up and hit the road together, singing and tackling their away across the American landscape:
For maximum Coca-Cola Park Pleasure, one should grab an ear of corn at Aw Shucks:
A turkey leg at the Jaindl Smoke House:
And then enjoy a some double-fisted food action while lazing on the berm:
Those with a propensity for pig puns are in hog heaven at Coca-Cola Park, as the club has done a swine job of coming up with double-bacon entendres. Here are two of many such signs that can be seen around the ballpark:
While the home team “Dirt Dudes” did a clothes-shedding performance of “I’m Too Sexy.”
Of a more avant-garde nature was this spaghetti-eating contest:
And the “Whack An Intern” game:
The scoreboard was put to its best use with this, the “Can You Match This Face” contest:
But soon these face-contorting scoreboard exhibitionists gave way to the resumption of baseball action. And soon after that, the International League pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Pacific Coast League.
The crowd, most of which can be seen here, were happy with the outcome. The place was pulsating with positive vibes:
But the inexorable passage of time, combined with the completion of the post-game pyrotechnics, resulted in a rapid-emptying of the jam-packed park. Soon, I was left alone with onlythe lingering scent of spent fireworks and my thoughts to accompany me.
The only thing more spent than those fireworks is me. I’ve got to be at a mascot camp in five hours.
That’s the first time I’ve ever written that sentence.