Results tagged ‘ Minor League Baseball ’

The Harlem Shake: A Minor Overview

Introductory paragraphs within this blog forum can sometimes be needlessly circuitous, steeped as they are in obscure references and acute self-consciousness. But not today. Today, we cut to the chase:

What follows is a comprehensive round-up of Harlem Shake videos produced by Minor League teams. 

Yes, you’re probably sick of the Harlem Shake at this point. I am too. But let’s take the long view, as historians with an interest in baseball history, viral fads and the intersection of the two will no doubt delight in stumbling upon this post at some at some unknown moment in the distant future. I am doing this for you, future historians! I always am. For it is you who will ensure my legacy.

Plus, you’ve gotta admit — Minor League teams, with their easy access to supply closets full of banana suits and inflatable ponies, make better Harlem Shake videos than most. So here we go! In no particular order, here are two dozen Harlem Shake videos produced by professional baseball teams in possession of a formal affiliation with a Major League club.

Frederick Keys – Apparently a big-headed reincarnation of Francis Scott Key regularly sits in on front office meetings:

Columbus Clippers – Warning! Includes bear-on-frankfurter violence that may be unsettling to younger viewers:

Bowie Baysox – A toothbrush can’t dance? I bristle at such a notion:

Lexington Legends – Mister would you please stop punching that pony? WATCH ON FACEBOOK.

Vancouver Canadians – As if any proof was needed that this was an international phenomenon:

Fort Wayne Tincaps – A solitary pothead gives way to a banana who loves the queen of hearts.

Lake Elsinore Storm – Yes that is an upside-down squirrel hanging from the dugout, and yes he is happy to see you:

Corpus Christi Hooks – Can’t a man bike through the office in peace? WATCH ON MILB.COM

Tulsa Drillers – Hey, no dogs in the swimming pool!

Gwinnett Braves – Team store? More like surreal fever dream store!

New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Fungo and friends “rose” to the occasion:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Give peas a chance. WATCH ON MILB.COM

Buffalo Bisons – Vest-wearing gentleman on the right is my favorite individual to appear in any Harlem Shake video:

Charlotte Stone Crabs – What’s to stop the Incredible Hulk from wearing a sombrero?

Fresno Grizzlies – Forget this faddish viral bastardization. Parker knows how to do the REAL Harlem Shake. WATCH ON VINE. 

Louisville Bats – This takes place in multiple dimensions simultaneously. It will blow your mind.

Bowling Green Hot Rods – I guess you could say that Axle rose to the occasion.

Delmarva Shorebirds – The Shake so nice they did it twice.

Springfield Cardinals – You know what? This is probably the  best one out of all of ‘em.

Round Rock Express – All bobblehead version!

Connecticut Tigers – Shout it from the rooftop!

And, finally, there are the State College Spikes. The first Minor League team to post a Harlem Shake video, and the last to be featured in this post:

EDIT! 

Two latecomers have entered the fray!

Orem Owlz – Holly, the Owlz pregnant mascot, wisely sat this one out.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans – Fans of multi-colored crustacean triumvirates rejoice!

And that’s all she wrote, folks. “She” being me, of course. I am a man. A 34-year-old man. A man who is perhaps too old to be providing you with diversions such as the above. But yet I do, and yet I did.

Do not forsake me, future historians! I do not want to believe that this has all been in vain.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Return to the Road: Caps, Cards, and Code at MiLB HQ

As promised/threatened, I have quite a bit more Florida road trip content to share. So after yesterday’s brief respite, it’s time to hit the reset button and do it all again.

We’ll start with a blog-centric exploration of something I already wrote about for MiLB.com: Minor League Baseball’s St. Petersburg, FL headquarters. This was the absolute first stop of my trip, as it was the proverbial hop, skip and a jump away from the Tampa airport. I arrived at HQ in a most disheveled state — I hadn’t eaten anything all day, my contact lenses were giving me major problems, my GPS wasn’t picking up a signal, and my general cluelessness regarding 21st-century automobiles resulted in an inability to turn on the air conditioning.

But I made it! Minor League Baseball HQ! Located in an off-the-beaten-path office park, with swampland for a backyard; this is where the magic happens.

Immediately to the right, upon walking in the doors, one comes across this tidy display featuring an official ball from each league.

But that’s a mere prelude. I embarked upon a tour of the facility with Minor League Baseball’s director of communications Steve Densa, and we soon visited the “theater” room (used for meetings and the “Minor League University” staged twice yearly for executives new to the industry).

And, yes, that display encompassing the room’s back wall is exactly what it appears to be: caps of every affiliated Minor League team, arranged in alphabetical order. I tweeted photos of the “Hat Wall” a few weeks back, and it almost immediately set a personal record for re-tweets. People just love this thing; for a certain subset of fans it’s akin to communing with the divine.

But personally, I was more intrigued by the historical treasures to be found. This fire-proof, cinder-block encased room houses informational index cards for virtually every professional player from the turn-of-the-century through the early ’90s. A very unique and thoroughly irreplaceable reservoir of record-keeping!

Lou Pinella’s player card, with confidential info thumbed out:

There are all sorts of notable names contained in these filing cabinets, from Hall of Famers to those went on to fame in other endeavors (like actor Kurt Russell). But the silent majority are comprised of players such as Ernest Agnew, about whom little else is known these days:

More items of historical import can be found in the nearby library, a modestly appointed room comprised of all manner of books, programs, videos, and league correspondence.

But the star of the show, in my mind, was this absolutely fascinating document:

The code book! Following the instructions contained therein allowed teams to engage in surreptitious correspondence via the telegraph wires. Read on:

Here’s some representative code:

Click to enlarge

Anyone in the market for a Nazare Nascent?

(Incidentally, this book would be a great way to choose a band name. Think up a baseball term, then see what the applicable code name would be and — voila! — indie stardom is only a coquettish grin and harmoniously-strummed ukulele away).

But there’s no need to keep secrets these days at MiLB HQ — unless you’re worried that the neighbors lurking about have nefarious intentions.

 Why I otter…

And that’ll be it for me from Burning. I attended a game that night in Buckboard, and the next day made my way to Buffetted. The next post “On the Road” post will contain odds and ends from my time there.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

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