Results tagged ‘ Portland Sea Dogs ’

Permanence Amidst the Ephemeral

Last week I took a break from the typical sort of blog content, eschewing the ever-present “now” in favor of planning for the future. And indeed, your input is still very much desired regarding that particular tri-fecta of posts:

Tell me your MiLB road trip suggestions!

Follow me on Twitter, win free stuff, send me more free stuff so that other people can then win it!

– Send me headshots! (Seriously, the response to this thus far has been tepid at best. My writerly ego, so fragile to begin with, is in danger of suffering irreparable damage. Here’s some inspiration for ya:

But that was then, so now it’s time to look at what was then now. Or, rather, was now then. Capiche? Me neither.

First and foremost, we have a late arriving piece of news from the team name/logo field: Next season, the peripatetic Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will be known as the “Empire State Yankees.

The Yankees’ Empire State of Mind is due to the fact that the team will be playing “on ze road” throughout the 2012 season, with the majority of the ballgames being hosted by the Rochester Red Wings (the team is also playing “home” games in the Empire  State locales of Batavia, Buffalo, and Syracuse). This less than ideal situation is because the team’s PNC Field is undergoing an extensive $40 million renovation, rendering the field unplayable.

Or is it? The renovations have yet to begin, as the team’s scheduled sale to Mandalay Baseball has yet to go through. More on all that, as well as the mild controversy behind the Empire State Yankees name, can be found HERE.

And, hey, since we’re on the new logo tip now would be a good time to show the San Jose Giants’ recently unveiled 25th anniversary mark. Your life will never be the same: 

And now for yet another logo, of sorts: The Reno Aces have continued their St. Patty’s day tradition, by releasing an Irish-themed limited edition t-shirt.

On St. Patty’s Day the team should drop the “Ren” from their name and simply go by the name “O’Aces.” Although, come to think of it, that might result in a lawsuit from the Gallagher bros.

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending a lot of my “down” time here at the office in the tedious but worthwhile task of compiling (via spreadsheet) 2012 promos of note. Some interesting stuff pops up sometimes, such as this offering from the Portland Sea Dogs:

April 15:  Tax Day/Headstone Giveaway

Sez the team: There are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. Therefore the Sea Dogs have partnered with Jones, Rich, and Hutchins to giveaway a headstone to one fan.

I like it! We as a society need to spend more time contemplating (and therefore overcoming our fear of) the sheer inevitability of death. While a “Salute to Mortality” theme night is a long way off, the Sea Dogs are at least moving the conversation in the right direction.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

An Anomalous Date Leads to Phenomenal Deals

Maybe it’s an example of my sticktuitiveness, maybe an example of stagnancy. Probably both. But, at any rate, I am able to begin today’s Leap Year post by looking at what I wrote about 2/29 the last time it rolled around.

So let’s leap to it!

San Jose's got the spirit!

The year was 2008. While most Americans were busy listening to the 10th anniversary edition of the Baha Men’s epochal Doong Spank LP, the Lancaster JetHawks made their presence felt by staging a Leap Year promo. Most notably, all fans with a leap year birthday received a box seat season ticket!

Not to be outdone, the Altoona Curve soon announced a season-long “Leip Year” celebration, all in honor of skipper Tim Leiper.

Leiper the Skipper

This one had the Rainmain-like fixation on numbers that is a hallmark of any good Minor League promotion, including the provision that if any Curve player was batting .366 after April 29’s ballgame, he (or she, you never know) would be awarded $366.

Maybe I’m just jaded, but I don’t think we’ve reached that level of inspiration in 2012. But a lot is going on. Here is a thorough (but by no means authoritative) rundown of who’s doing what how. Said rundown is in alphabetical order, but starting with “N” and then continuing back around through “M.”

Portland Sea Dogs

Most notably, the above deal includes a $29 Citgo gas card.

Trenton Thunder

$17 all-you-can-eat seats, to any game. I’m just not sure who would want to eat seats in the first place, though.

Stockton Ports

More bang for the buck than a bringing an exploding dollar bill along on a deer hunt! $29 gets four tickets to exhibition game vs. Triple-A Sacramento, four ticket vouchers to opening weekend, and two souvenir caps.

Fort MyersMiracle

Interesting twist to this one, in that the $29 ticket packages includes admission to all games falling on the 29th of the month.

Hagerstown Suns


This offer comes with a $29 concession stand credit. Beet eggs included?

Hudson Valley Renegades

Two extra games included with the purchase of a five or 10-game pack!

Huntsville Stars

A $95 savings!

Inland Empire 66ers

Buy a six or 12-game ticket pack, get an additional game free.

Lake Elsinore Storm

Self-explanatory.

This concludes THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE RECAP OF MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL LEAP DAY PROMOTIONS EVER ASSEMBLED. And yet I still don’t have my own Wikipedia page.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Rodents, Rallying, and the Combination Thereof

I ended yesterday’s post with some Quick Hits. In order to hold the attention of an increasingly ADD-addled populace I’ll continue on that front today.

Let’s start with this video out of Portland, ME, featuring an unusual inter-species friendship that has developed out in the Hadlock Field bullpen.

But those in attendance at yesterday’s Sea Dogs game wouldn’t have been able to witness such a serene display of sunflower consumption. Let’s just say that the visibility wasn’t optimal:

But Minor League rodents come in many forms, as evidenced by the recent debut of the Stockton Ports’ “Rally Rat.” The team explains that this critter, originally a sewer dweller, “found himself under the lights of Banner Island Ballpark, surrounded by the roar of Stockton Ports baseball fans, who were hoping to see their team take the win for the night. In his excitement, the rat scurried onto the field and joined in with the cheering. Little did he know, his presence on the field that night would bring a wave of good luck over the team that would help them defeat their opponents.”

An even more mysterious offense igniter is the Delmarva Shorebirds’ “Rally Banana,” credited with spurring a pair of comebacks in the team’s extra-inning win over Savannah on April 26. The time is ripe for this fruitful fellow, whose bid for mass a-peel includes his own Facebook page.

Chiquita him out:


A more comprehensive view of the Minor League experience is currently being provided by the Fort Myers Miracle, who just released episode two of their excellently-produced “Miracle Insider Show.”

And, finally, you may have heard that the city of Altoona is temporarily changing its name to “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, PA” (in conjunction with the release of Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary on corporate product placement). Does this mean that the hometown team will soon become “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Curve”?

No, it doesn’t. Declares the team:

[W]e won’t be changing our name at this point because of the obvious logistical issues involved.  I don’t even know if we could fit that many letters on to a jersey.  We will be participating in [Wednesday]’s City Council proclamation with our main mascot, Steamer, and are pleased that this effort…will benefit the Altoona City Police Department.”

Looks like the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will be able to retain their “longest team name in the Minor Leagues” title. But for how long?

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Free Publicity and Foregone Conclusions

I had a blog post all ready to go this morning, but then a “big” “news story” came across my “desk”:

Last night, the Akron Aeros got a prominent shoutout on “The Daily Show.” The team’s recent “Nice 2 Meat You” burger caused the perpetually apoplectic Lewis Black to wax enthusiastic. Watch it HERE (the Aeros come in at the 2:25 mark).

And here’s the picture, first seen on this blog, that appeared on the show.

Thumbnail image for Nice2side.JPG

Touting the “Nice 2 Meat You” as a much-needed antidote to the beef-skimping Taco Bells of the world, Black held aloft a pair of ducats and claimed that he would be at the Akron Aeros home opener.

black.jpg“Look for me on the Jumbotron,” he yelled. “I’ll be the one having a heart attack.”

Talk about going out in style. Hey Lewis, you might as well have a “Three Dog Night” while you’re at it. And then, if still living, go on a road trip that includes Charleston and West Michigan.

I caught up with Aeros food and beverage director Jason Kerton this morning, and he says that he had no idea that his creation was going to get a mention during Black’s latest broadside.

“I was falling asleep on the couch last night, and my phone started beeping left and right,” said Kerton. “I was getting a lot of texts from friends telling me that [Nice 2 Meat You] was on TV.”

And while no one wants Black to go into cardiac arrest while enjoying an Aeros game, the team would love to see him make an appearance at Canal Park this season.

“We’d give him the burger, a Three Dog Night, and anything else he wanted,” said Kerton. “But I’m still in shock that we were on the Daily Show. It was funny that we were on it, and even more funny that no one knew it was going to happen.”

We now return to regularly scheduled programming…

Happy Groundhog’s Day!Groundhog_of_Lenoir,_NC,_USA.jpg

Most teams ignore this special day of rodent weather prognostication, instead focusing their energies on Valentine’s Day. But in Norfolk, the Tides have put together a promotion with an extremely easy-to-predict result:

[We're not] taking any chances that a groundhog in Punxsutawney sees his shadow and curses everyone to six more weeks of winter.

Instead, the Tides have employed the weather-prognosticating services of Rip Tide, and they have even offered a bribe to the furry mascot. If Rip Tide doesn’t see his shadow – or just blatantly ignore his shadow all together – then the Tides will give 25 lucky fans a pair of tickets to the Tides game on Sunday, April 17.

And the stunning result? Rip Tide didn’t see his shadow, winter will soon be over, and fans may now enter into a drawing for free tickets. And, for maximum publicity, this all went down on a local morning news program. Good work, Rip Tide.

riptide.jpg

Meanwhile, the Portland Sea Dogs didn’t even make a pretense of pretending that a Punxsutawney prognostication had any meaning to them.

portlandgroundhog.jpg

The team’s “Groundhog Day Special” is as cut-and-dry as a Saharan bodybuilder.

Regardless of whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow today, there are only 9 weeks before the Sea Dogs open the 2011 Season! Therefore the Sea Dogs have a special $9 ticket package offer for fans, good today only!

A different sort of mascot intrigue is going on over in Lancaster, as JetHawks mascot KaBoom is intimating that he may leave the real world for a virtual one.

angry.png

As we inch our way closer to the 2011 season it seems as if JetHawks fans are all asking the same question; Is it true that KaBoom will join the next generation of Angry Birds?

Lancaster JetHawks Director of Promotions Jeremy Castillo addressed the issue early Monday morning, “At this point I can neither confirm nor deny the rumors. KaBoom and I have had a few closed door meetings, and he has expressed some interest in the game. That’s really all I can say at this time.”

If KaBoom does indeed join the next generation of Angry Birds, it would make him the first Minor League mascot video game character of all time. Let’s all salute this avian innovator:

KaBoom.JPG
Or, as I like to call him, an “innavianator.”

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

Running on Fumes

mt.jpgI’m not content with the level of content I have to work with right now. It’s dangerously close to nil and that’s a harrowing thought.

Without content, I cease to exist.
But, hey, here’s an idea: Throughout the years, a substantial number of Minor League Hockey employees have gotten touch to say they read this blog and are inspired by the creativity of their baseball brethren. Well, let’s start a mutual appreciation society. If you work in hockey and are staging creative promotions applicable to the world of Minor League Baseball, then get in touch. And, as always, photos and video go a long way.
Of course, I still have some news to share. I always do. Continuing with yesterday’s theme, it should be noted that Ferrous of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is auctioning off his trick-or-treating services.
ferrous.gif
The bidding has started, and currently sits, at $100. Encourage this costumed pig’s brazen capitalistic impulses by bidding HERE.
Meanwhile, in Delmarva, the Shorebirds have begun their Google Earth-utilizing “Around the  World” contest. Sez the club:

delma.jpg

During the offseason, the Delmarva Shorebirds want to see how far the Delmarva Shorebirds brand extends. Send in pictures of youself, your family, your friends and others in Shorebirds gear.

Just two photos have been submitted thus far, one taken at the Shorebirds’ own stadium. But great things rise from the humblest of origins, and the global (or at least bi-coastal) reach of Shorebird nation shall soon be made evident.

Let us now travel northward to Portland, as the Sea Dogs have announced a new twist on the standard “Kids Club” ticket package: The Crib Club.

crib.jpg

Targeting fans who have not yet reached the stage of self-awareness, the Crib Club offers the following perks:
(perks lost to the vagaries of WordPress)
All of the above can be attained for a mere $20, which even an infant can recognize as an unbeatable deal. And all this begs the question: What team is going to take this a step further and start an “In Utero” fan club?

Team Logo Ultrasounds!

Finally, after giving it about 12 seconds of thought, I’ve decided I’m going to start an offseason feature on this blog. It’s called “Gratuitous Video Friday”, and is exactly what its name implies. 

Today’s inaugural selection features an immortal song sung by an immortal man. The length of this pride-inducing composition is quite immense, but eminently justifiable and well worth the time investment. If I heard this played at a Minor League ballpark during July 4th fireworks I’d bust out crying for sure. 
benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

Determining the Best Before Heading West

seminar.jpgIn a matter of hours I will be flying into the modern-day Gomorrah that is Las Vegas, with the express purpose of attending the Minor League Baseball Promo Seminar.

The bad news is that, unlike last year, I was not asked to speak at the seminar. Therefore, I won’t have the opportunity to share my (alleged) expertise with a large audience. But the good news is that, unlike last year, I was not asked to speak at the seminar. Therefore, I will not be eaten alive by anxiousness and self-doubt while preparing for an inevitably anti-climactic speech to my peers.

I’ll file a number of stories from Vegas regardless, and if time allows I’ll keep on keeping on with the blog as well. And if you’re going to be there I of course want to meet/re-connect whilst getting the latest scoop on your promotional wheelings and dealings.

And, not coincidentally, the start of the Promo Seminar coincides with my comprehensive “Promo Year in Review”article on MiLB.com. Please check it out, and if so inclined link and re-tweet widely. 

That would mean a lot.But I know that, at the end of the day, you are reading this blog for the pictures. I’ll oblige.

I recently received a small stash of photos from the always-reliable Lowell Spinners, who are pioneers in the genre of “Having a bobblehead honoree pose in front of an army of his or her bobbleheads.”

It is a very worthwhile genre.

NESN’s Heidi Watney:

Lowell_Heidi.jpg

Mike Eruzione (Captain of 1980 U.S. Olympic team)

Lowell_Eurizone.jpg
Senator Scott Brown (an army of one)

Lowell_Scott.jpg
And since I’m already featuring a Red Sox affiliate, I’ll close with this truly a-maize-ing shot of a corn labyrinth incorporating Portland Sea Dogs mascot Slugger:
seagods2.jpg
Before shuffling off to Vegas, let me reiterate: Vote for your favorite promotions of the year!
And now it’s time to head to Sin City.
benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

Mascot Love We Deliver

I stand before you today in order to deliver Minor League mascot Valentine’s Day photos.

The public has demanded them, and I am certainly not one to ignore the pleas of the populace. Therefore, that is precisely what this post shall be dedicated to. But first, a quick request…

Thumbnail image for please-stand-by.jpg

Inspired by the copious snow that has been deposited all over the country as of late, I have decided to do a story on extreme weather and the groundskeeping challenges it presents. In addition to teams that have recently been hit with snow, I’d be interested in speaking with anyone who has had to deal with drought, flooding, hurricanes, and, of course, locust plagues. I’ll most likely have to contact teams individually today and tomorrow, but that’s a hit-or-miss proposition. Consider this post an invitation to get in touch — benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Okay, we now return to regularly-scheduled programming: Minor League mascot Valentine’s Day photos.

Because, as you surely know, there was a lot going on. And how can I lead off with anyone but Boomer, who is surely the suavest mascot in Minor Leage Baseball? Here, Boomer spreads some joy to the youth of Williamsport:

Williamsport -- Boomer V-Day.jpg

Boomer’s not the only mascot named Boomer. There’s also Boomer of the Trenton Thunder, who is not at all terrifying, not the least little bit:

trentonboomer.jpg

In Lowell, the Spinners sent out a star-studded caravan to a local elementary school, where Valentine’s Day cards were made. These cards were then delivered to a VA hospital (apparently, Canaligator and crew got hungry along the way):

canalvday.jpg 

 
lowellvday2.jpg

In Portland (ME), Slugger made the rounds on behalf of the Sea Dogs:

portvday.jpg

The Gwinnett Braves sent out the ever-seductive Chopper, who never fails to impress the ladies:

Gwinnett -- ChopperVDay3.JPG

Buster “rose” to the occasion in Lakewood:

Thumbnail image for bustervday.jpg
 
Sandy the Seagull swooped into a Brooklyn elementary school:

bklyncycvday.jpg

A very endearing video of Sandy’s delivery can be viewed HERE.

But how could I close anywhere other than in Reading? As usual, Screwball did his thing:

ValentinesScrewball.jpg

But this year, fans had options. For the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor was also pressed into service. Here’s how it went down:
 

Now if that wasn’t romantic, then I don’t know what is. I mean, seriously, I don’t. Can anyone help me out here?

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

Special Delivery

vday.pngIt was just yesterday that I wrote “Valentine’s Day can wait.” But that was yesterday, when men were men, women were beautiful, and blogging material was plentiful.

But today? Today I got nothin’. Therefore, it’s time for my first installment of Ben’s Biz Blog Valentine’s Day coverage. Thus far, I am aware of 10 teams that are offering mascot delivery services on Valentine’s Day. But, as we know, not all mascots are created equal.

What follows are snapshots of the costumed characters that will be personally delivering Valentine’s Day gifts. And for you, the reader, I have a simple question: Which of these mascots do you think is the most romantic, the one most likely to jump-start a truly memorable Valentine’s Day? Please let me know via email, Twitter, Facebook, or, of course, the perpetually neglected comments section. I’ll compile the results and post it on the blog come Monday. Here are the candidates:

Chopper (Gwinnett Braves)

Gwinnett Chopper.jpg 

Hickory Crawdads — Candy or Conrad (Your Choice)

Hickory -- ConradCandy.jpg
 
Lake County Captains — Skipper

Lake County Skipper.jpg

Triple Scoop

triplescoop.jpgAs part of my ongoing effort to “go with the flow” in all aspects of
existence, I will now attempt to combine a triumvirate of seemingly
disparate topics into a cohesive whole. Wish me luck.

– The Lakewood BlueClaws
announced yesterday that they will be hosting three “Nine Innings of
Networking” events in 2009. Geared toward those in the local business
community, these promotional nights feature a pre-game buffet, business
card raffles, guest speakers, and, of course, the opportunity for some
schmoozing. The BlueClaws commitment to the idea is evident, as the
team has already set up a separate “Nine Innings of Networking” web page and Twittter account

And speaking of committing to an idea…Last season, the Bowie Baysox generated publicity for themselves by staging the “Search for the Golden Wieters”.
What happened was this: the team hid a special edition bobblehead of
super-prospect Matt Wieters somewhere in the community, and challenged
fans to find it through a series of website clues (spoiler alert: it
was in the library).

The “Search for the Golden Wieters” was,
quite obviously, a good idea. A good idea that was destined to be utililzed by
another club. And the club that is utilizing the ideas, as of right now, is the Lowell Spinners. On Monday,
the Lo-Spins (only I call them that) announced their “Find the Canaligator”
contest. Clues will be left on the website every Monday and Thursday,
and the sleuth who locates the hidden Canaligator bobblehead recieves a
massive 2010 Spinners prize pack.

And speaking of Boston Red Sox affiliates…Yesterday
the Portland Sea Dogs announced that they are selling what they
proclaim to be “The Ultimate Baseball Gift”. What could such a gift be?
Click HERE to find out. Hah, no, just kidding. Click HERE.     

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

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