Results tagged ‘ National Anthem ’

Events of a Largely Unprecedented Nature

The unveiling of 2012 promotions has not yet reached a deluge, but it has far surpassed a trickle. And within this intermediate zone in which we currently reside, one of the most exciting (and sure-to-be-copied) new promotions is this:

But the above photo, while helpful, doesn’t really do the promotion justice. Per the team: 

The River Bandits are proud to announce, for the first time ever in professional sports in the U.S., a photo jersey auction to benefit local cancer organizations. Small squares in the Bandits players’ numbers are available for purchase, $25 each, to feature a photograph of yourself or a loved one who has been affected by cancer. The jerseys, which will be worn during the game on Friday, August 10th, will be auctioned off during the game. 

I’m sure I’ll be covering this one as it develops, but for now let’s stick with the “Quad” theme and check in on a most distressing development in Lake Elsinore.

Thunder, the mascot for the Lake Elsinore Storm, had his trusty quad stolen from a stadium storage shed! This sounds like it could be a joke, save for the legitimacy bestowed upon the situation by a local ABC news team.

The video is well worth viewing — check it out HERE.

My extensive reporting on the above topic led me to the Storm website, where I discovered the existence of the “Thunder Across Time” web series. How had I not known? This may turn out to be one of the greatest MiLB team video series of all time!

More creative use of video from the West Coast comes courtesy of the Fresno Grizzlies, who are conducting their annual National Anthem auditions in a most unique fashion.

Says the team:

If you think you have what it takes to sing in front of the best fans in Minor League Baseball at a 2012 Grizzlies home game, then upload your audition video to the Youtube between Wednesday, February 8th and Wednesday, March 14th. Winners will be chosen by the Grizzlies front office with the input of the number of video likes on YouTube.

We’re still a ways away from  having a mascot sing the National Anthem, but boy oh boy can they ever dance. The latest (and therefore greatest) example of mascot rump shaking comes courtesy of Tulsa’s Hornsby. Or, as I like to call him, “Bull-yonce.”

Funny that the video is called “All the Single Hornsbys,” as in actuality there appear to be duplicates. But at least Hornsby is a known commodity. Up there in Michigan, the Great Lakes Loons are dealing with an extremely mysterious situation.

So who really does know what’s in the box? It could be anything. Or, maybe, there’s nothing at all. There would be some precedent for that, you know.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Everything Old Is New Again

It Is Happening Again.

Those words, spoken so hauntingly by the Twin Peaks Giant (click the link!), have been echoing through my mind recently. Several seemingly unique events that have taken place this week that in fact have precedent in the not-too-distant past. Let’s take a look:

A rather amusing story came out of Toledo today, involving the almost-but-not-quite theft of one of the bronze statues located behind the Fifth Third Field scoreboard. Here are the statues in question, photographed during my trip to Toledo this past June.

But, as the Toledo Blade reports, on Sunday night the girl in pigtails on the far left was reported stolen:

Mud Hens employee Ken Westenkirchner called the police and filed a theft report. The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, which manages the city’s public art, prepared for a media blitz to publicize the heist and bring the perpetrators to justice….

What Mud Hens officials and the arts commission did not know, however, was that the little girl in pigtails was safely stowed in a police property room. In the early morning hours of Saturday, two Toledo police officers discovered the statue about 20 yards from its original location. They booked it into a property room for safekeeping, according to their report…..

Apparently, nobody bothered to tell the Mud Hens or the art commission. 

Later in the article, Toledo police speculate why the statue was removed in the first place.

Detective Tonya Rider said the bolts that anchored the statue to the sidewalk had been damaged. “I don’t know if it was a prank, if it got too heavy to carry,” she said. “I don’t know what the circumstances were. Maybe it was a case of buyer’s remorse.”

This saga comes on the heels of the near-tragedy that befell the Greensboro Grasshoppers last month, when the statue of iconic dog mascot Miss Babe Ruth went missing. Here’s a picture of the statue, in happier times.

Three days after the theft, Greensboro police caught the culprit and returned the statue (damaged paws and all) to NewBridge Bank Park.  Seeking to make lemonade out of this thoroughly sour situation, the team then auctioned off the returned statue on eBay. The winning bid was $1025, with the proceeds donated to the Greensboro Police Department’s Canine Unit.

Moving on the inanimate to that which is imbued with life, it is also worth noting that this has been a fertile week for player performances of the National Anthem. A YouTube of Charlotte catcher Adam Ricks playing the anthem on his guitar was featured in Tuesday’s post, and yesterday Altoona pitcher Phil Irwin belted it out at at Blair County Ballpark. Check it out on the team’s Facebook page.

Mr. Irwin

A more random and unexpected instance of history repeating itself can be found in State College, which recently had its second comical base-stealing managerial ejection in as many years. It would be near impossible to top the original, when Spikes manager Gary Robinson autographed first base and awarded it to a young fan.

Fast forward nearly one year later — to yesterday. This time the ejected manager was Leo Gomez of the visiting Aberdeen IronBirds, who uprooted third base and walked across the diamond with it before unceremoniously tossing it aside. Spikes first baseman Alex Dickerson then played groundskeeper, jovially returning the base to its intended location. Check it out HERE.

Finally, there’s Jerry “The King” Lawler, a wrestling icon who has become a regular on the Minor League Baseball appearance circuit. When he last appeared on this blog he was knocking out a cauliflower, but his current adversary seems to be anyone with the gall to steal a crown from a perpetually smiling fast food mascot. This one comes courtesy of the Frederick Keys:

Thank goodness for conveniently placed concourse folding chairs. I don’t know what Jerry would do without them.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

An Inspiring Display of Heart

The Memphis Redbirds “Organ Donor” jerseys” got a lot of attention both here and elsewhere, and for good reason — very few professional baseball teams, if any, have ever taken the field while decked out in innards-exposing uniform tops.

It all went down on Saturday, with the Redbirds earning a 5-2 victory over the far more conservatively-dressed Tucson Padres. Prior to the ballgame, backstop Nick Derba modeled these awareness-raising duds in the dugout.

Credit for each of the next six photos: Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds

Whether on the mound, at the plate, in the field, or in the dugout, the Redbirds really showed a lot of heart.

 

And at the end of the day, everyone learned a valuable lesson. Whether black or white, bald or hirsute, smiling or grimacing, we’re all the same on the inside.

Credit for all organ jersey photos: Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds

But in another, far more accurate sense, we are not all the same. Some of us are way better dancers than others, as evidenced by this amazing video featuring touring ballpark performer B-Boy McCoy going toe-to-toe with preternaturally gifted Whitecaps hurler Alex Burgos.

And on the topic of artistically precocious Minor League ballplayers, here’s a clip of Charlotte Knights catcher Adam Ricks shredding his way through the National Anthem prior to last Thursday’s ballgame.

But for every triumphant moment in life, there is one of defeat. This sobering lesson was brought home earlier this week, with the news that Mark Hamburger had been knocked out of this this year’s (still-ongoing) Minors Moniker Madness tournament by none other than Shooter Hunt.

This despite the fact that Hamburger and his Round Rock Express cronies had put together some truly excellent campaign videos. Click HERE for one. And HERE for another. And then watch one more below.

And you know what goes well with a large helping of Hamburger? A side of corn on the cob, that’s what. We’ll end today’s blogging (mis)adventures with Cedar Rapids’ unflinching look at the harrowing aftermath of anthropomorphic vegetable bathroom usage.

Ending on a high note, as always.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Have Voice, Will Travel

banner.jpgOne of the things I like best about my job is that it encompasses virtually all aspects of the game of baseball, allowing me to correspond with (and often meet) a wide variety of individuals while promoting their sundry endeavors.

The endeavor I wish to promote today involves a man by the name of Joe Price, who is attempting to sing the National Anthem at as many Minor League Ballparks as possible in 2011. Given the Herculean amount of logistics involved, this will be no easy task.

But Price seems up to the challenge. He has already performed at dozens of ballparks nationwide (click HERE for a video from Cincinnati) and thus far the response to what he has dubbed “The Anthem Project” has been encouraging. 105 clubs have already replied in positive fashion, with short-season teams soon to be contacted.

Price’s Anthem Project ties into a book that he is working on, dealing with what he describes as “the history and performance of the National Anthem at professional baseball games.” The project will take place during a sabbatical from California’s Whittier College, where he teaches religious studies (previous works include “Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America”).

Price is now in the process of “proposing specific dates to various teams”. I encourage theseflagball.jpg clubs to be as flexible as possible, as this is an interesting project and one that could lead to a nice bit of local media coverage just prior.

And if there’s any industry that should be amenable to ambitious and creative promotional endeavors, it’s Minor League Baseball.

Am I right, or am I right?

That was a rhetorical question, as I am right.

And moving on from “right” to “right now”, I would be remiss in my self-imposed Halloween duties if I did not mention two more mascots who have entered the October 31st fray.

In Reno, Archie of the Aces is now delivering “Pumpkin Grams”.


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Sez the team:

For just $50, the Aces’ beloved mascot Archie will personally deliver a $25 Reno Aces Gift Card and a small pumpkin with a three-pack of Reno Aces pumpkin-carving templates to the fan of your choice.

cghosts.jpgNow that’s a great idea! I vow that in 2011 I will offer Ben’s Biz Blog pumpkin-carving templates to all who desire them. Now don’t all raise your hands at once.

Finally, it makes sense that the Casper Ghosts, of all clubs, would be staging a Halloween promotion. Team mascot Hobart, who is in fact a platypus, will join “one lucky family” in “hitting up local merchants for treats.”

And if any of the local merchants object, Hobart will have a ready retort: “Bill me!”

Because he’s a platypus, see? No? Well, listen, at least I tried.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

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