Results tagged ‘ Quad City River Bandits ’

A Review of the Previewed

It’s Tuesday, which means that a new “Promo Preview” column is live and ready for your reading enjoyment over on MiLB.com.

I hope that folks are reading the column, and digging the new format. The amount of feedback I’ve gotten thus far has been humbling — and not in a “humblebrag” sort of way, just humbling. I haven’t heard a single word, good or bad, about it.

But on it shall go, and on this post shall go. You may recall that in the season’s first Promo Preview column I wrote about supercentenarian first pitch tosser Shelby Harris, who kicked off the River Bandits’ season with a ceremonial offering. After the ballgame, I received the following photo and recap from River Bandits’ director of promotions Shane Huff.

Not only did [Shelby] participate in a pregame interview on the field with our media relations manager, Marco LaNave, but he overhand threw the ceremonial first pitch in front of a standing ovation of 4,783! Shelby talked about his love of baseball and his favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, in the interview, throwing in a comedic crack about the chilliness of the evening. He then followed that up with a very successful ceremonial first pitch. He stayed until the third inning – there we a combined 15 runs in a very lengthy second inning – and watched the game from a suite down the third base line.

Shelby, after delivering the pitch

[A]s the on-field emcee I introduced a lot of ceremonial first pitches last season, and none we as rousing and anticipated as tonight’s when Shelby took the mound. Between the media and the standing fans, it was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had since working in Minor League Baseball.

Another Home Opener of note occurred in Huntsville, as the Stars paid tribute to native son and distinguished baseball jack-of-all trades Don Mincher in a pre-game ceremony.

The Mincher family:

Oh, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Memphis Redbirds now have the largest scoreboard in all of Minor League Baseball.


And Rockey the Belly Bouncer is ready to welcome this 60×60 behemoth with open arms.

And, finally, here is the latest (and therefore greatest) addition to my slowly expanding roster of Ben’s Biz headshots. It was sent by a Florida-based operative, and comes with it’s own track listing (!)

  1. Rolling in Deep Left
  2. Southpaw Has It
  3. Turning Doubles
  4. Don’t You Remember that Rundown
  5. Set Fire to the Rain Tarp
  6. He Won’t Go Home
  7. Take It to the Alley
  8. I’ll Be Waiting in the Dugout
  9. One on Deck
  10. Late Inning LoveSong
  11. Someone Like Hak-Ju (Lee)

Keep ‘em coming, folks. Keep ‘em coming.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

A Clean, Crisp, and Concise Cornucopia

bg.jpgMany apologies for my sporadic posting of late. What it comes down to is that I have no idea how to structure my life. But enough about me!

In order to, how you say, “get up to speed”, I’m going to rip a page out of my “Promotion Preview” playbook and write about a number of topics. But, here’s the catch — each of these topics will receive no less than 75 and no more than 125 words.

Go!

Wear This and You’ll Have a Ball, Girl — Anybody out there need a last-minute Halloween costume? Then head with a quickness to fresnogrizzlies.com, as the team is offering fans the opportunity to dress as the infamous “ballgirl” who was all the rage last season. You know, the one who made a spectacular leaping grab in Chukchansi Park, completely unaided by any sort of stunt cables or special effects. The costume, which costs $60, includes a Grizzlies cap and home jersey. For maximum realism, call up Jake Wald (the hapless left fielder featured in the clip) and ask him to accompany you to your Halloween party.

While We’re On the Topic of All Hallow’s Eve — Who knew? Halloween is indeedpumpkin.JPG celebrated in Canada. I know this is so because the Vancouver Canadians are staging a pumpkin decorating contest. But hurry, the deadline to submit a tricked-out gourd is today. So don’t delay, and send photographic evidence of your pumpkin prowess to aseymour@canadiansbaseball.com…In other Halloween news, Slugger the Portland Sea Dogs mascot was looking for Trick-or-Treat partners — and he found some. Congratulations to the Wareham family of Goreham, ME, who will be accompanied in their candy-pilfering rounds by Portland’s most beloved costumed character.

ports.gifThe Bands, They Are A Battlin’ — Also occurring over Halloween weekend is the Stockton Ports’ first-ever Battle of the Bands. 18 aspiring music combos will take the stage at Banner Island Ballpark over the two-day extravaganza in order to showcase their kinetic musical chops and electromagnetic stage presence. In addition, each evening features a headling band as well. The Righteous and the Wicked (a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band) is scheduled to play on Friday, while groove rockers Minor Dischord close it out on Saturday. Hey guys, you should be more specific and bill yourselves as “Class A Advanced Dischord.” Anyhoo, the winner of this “Battle of the Bands” will be showered with a vast array of musical industry goods and services.

Hank’s Mobile Home Enjoys Brief Stint as a Mobile Home — Regular readers of this blog (ie those not drawn here by a picture of Lucille Ball) will remember this post, in which I detailed the Mobile BayBears’ plans to bring Hank Aaron’s childhood home to the grounds of Hank Aaron Stadium. Well, the club did just that this past week, subjecting the humble residence to an arduous seven-hour journey. I’d say that the whole thing went off without a hitch, except for the fact that a hitch was used in order to transport the house. Regardless, Hank’s old home is now scheduled to receive a six-month restoration, after which it will serve as a museum.

Pick the Improvement Picked — Oh, regular readers, I must defer to you once again. Because surely you remember this post, in which I detailed the Quad City River Bandits’ “Pick the Improvement” contest. As part of this innovative procedure, fans were given the chance to vote on a new upgrade to the River Bandits’ Modern Woodmen Park. Well, the results are in, and the improvement to be made is…drumroll please…the addition of backs to the bleacher seats. Cue the Sir-Mix-A-Lot!

Snap These Up! — Collectors of Minor League memorabilia will be pleased to know that theThumbnail image for catesmil.jpg Beloit Snappers are offering up a plethora of game-used jerseys. Of particular note is the fact that items worn by Chris Cates and Loek Van Mil are available. Regular readers (take a bow, you guys!) will remember this post, which highlighted the fact that these teammates were the shortest and tallest players in all of professional baseball last season. My suggestion? Buy each players’ jersey, and use it as the centerpiece of a homemade exhibit that seeks to highlight the vast diversity that exists within the human race.

Wanted: An Affable Toothy Whistlepig — A previous post on this blog (which may or may not have been read by those who visit regularly) detailed the fact that the Gwinnett Braves had unveiled their new mascot. Well, that was all well and good, but now the club needs a brave and talented soul to step up and inhabit this intriguing character on a nightly basis. In order to do this, the G-Braves are holding mascot auditions on Nov. 18 at a local high school. All aspiring costumed groundhogs are invited to
attend.

Clean Sweep, the Sequel — This past March, the Huntsville Stars staged “Operation Cleanhd.jpg Sweep”, in which fans were asked to do volunteer beautification work at Joe Davis Stadium in exchange for free tickets. The event, believe it or not, was a huge success, so the team is doing it again. Clean Sweep 2 will be held on November 1, and will give fans the chance to fullfill their lifelong dreams of doing “light cleaning, light landscaping, and painting” at a Double-A stadium. But that, of course, is not all — from the press release: “Fans will be able to taste-test an assortment of different hotdogs and
vote to decide which one will become the official hotdog of Joe Davis
Stadium for the 2009 season.” But remember — with great power comes great responsibility!

My goodness, this has been one of the longest posts in the history of this esteemed blog. I did it for you, regular readers, I did it for you. As always, get in touch with tips, questions, comments, and criticisms:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Tats For Tickets

rb.pngWhen we last checked in with the re-vamped Quad City River Bandits, it was to highlight their vast array of unorthodox seating options. This time, it’s to highlight a surprisingly successful promotion that was held last Thursday — Tattoo Night.

The premise was simple: The team offered fans the opportunity to come to ballpark and get a River Bandits tattoo. Those who did so were rewarded with a 2009 berm season ticket. While this is not the the first time this type of promotion has occurred in the Minor Leagues (the Daytona Cubs made a similar offer a few years back, and others have followed suit), the River Bandits’ version was remarkably well-received.

General Manager Kirk Goodman reports that 28 (!) people got a River Bandits tattoo, and that the team’s makeshift tattoo parlor was busy from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Time for some photographic evidence:

You know this guy was psyched for this promotion from the very moment he heard about it:

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Here’s a shot of one of the tattoo artists hard at work.

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And, finally, some of the finished products (there’s 26 more where these came from):

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Tat’s All, Folks!

Addendum! Tat’s Not All! Since we’re on the subject of the Quad City River Bandits, I will provide a link to this most amusing dizzy bat race:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVOjByhZFuE

Bat’s all, folks!

From the Ballpark to the Bar to the Hot Tub to the Bed

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Midwest League’s Quad Cities franchise has instituted a relentless barrage of changes and improvements since the end of the 2007 campaign (for more info, read this article).

We are now two months into the season, and the club’s newfound mania for self-improvement has continued unabated. Witness Modern Woodmen Park’s brand-new Tiki Village:

tiki village.jpg

Located in right field, this emerging metropolis features many of the hallmarks of an enlightened urban area. First, there is the Tiki Bar, which serves up Pina Coladas, Mississippi Mai Tais, and “Tiki Bombs.” Fans can enjoy these drinks (as well as food from the nearby BBQ pit) in comfort and style. And, if this photo is to be believed, there are four girls for every guy:

tiki bar.jpg

Groups of 10-30 people also have the option of renting out the Hot Tub Deck. This is the sort of sports viewing experience that had previously only been available to old-money dowagers and Saudi princes:

hot tub.jpg

But the very best place of all to watch the game is the Tiki Bed. Designed for “cozy” groups of six or less, this king-sized bed comes equipped with comfortable pillows and a private wait staff. A “couples package” is also available, featuring champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a candlelight dinner. Enjoy, guys!

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Ben's Biz Blog — Now "In Season"

play ball.jpgThere’s no going back now.

Approximately one hour ago, Syracuse’s David Purcey threw the first official pitch of the Minor League season. And with that, the floodgates opened. For the next five months, there will be a virtually nonstop cavalcade of games throughout the 14 affiliated Minor Leagues.

Fortunately, this dramatic change in the Minor League landscape provides this already overloaded blog with even more subject fodder! If there’s one thing I love here at Ben’s Biz Blog, it’s fodder!

Promotion of the Day: This is already mentioned in my Promotion Preview column, but I’m going to have to go with the Altoona Curve. Not only will co-owner (and future NFL Hall-of-Famer) Jerome Bettis be throwing out the first pitch, but the club will also be giving away a kitchen sink during the contest. This symbolic gesture is meant to imply to the fans that the Curve will be “throwing the sink” at them in 2008.

Also tonight: Victory Bell Giveaway (Columbus Clippers), Replica Statue giveaway (Corpus Christi Hooks), Schedule T-Shirt Giveaway (Huntsville Stars), Jake Peavy Appearance and # Retirement Ceremony (Lake Elsinore Storm), Bruce Sutter First Pitch (Rome Braves).

Rascal It Is: The Quad City River Bandits have announced the name of their new raccoon rascal.jpgmascot, and it is Rascal. This mischievous moniker beat out the likes of Rocky, Roscoe, Smokey, and Woody in a “Name the Mascot” popular vote, which is what was predicted all along by Ben’s Biz Blog commenter “Andre_b_28″ back on March 22nd. Rascal made his public debut on Tuesday at –where else? — a local Flooring Outlet. This was apparently to symbolize the fact that the Quad Cities community will soon be “floored” by River Bandits baseball.

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