Results tagged ‘ Reno Aces ’

Keys, Kino, Bambino, Reno

At this time of year I feel like I’m manning the laser cannon in Space Invaders, blasting away  at the relentless Minor League news stories falling methodically from the sky like so much alien detritus. No matter how adept my aim, however, I am always destroyed in the end.

But enough with the life metaphors, as Opening Day is approaching and there is simply no room for existentialist fatalism. There’s a new mascot to write about!

The costumed character in question is a relative rarity on the Minor League scene, as he is based on a Key historical figure, one whose martial maritime (mis)adventures inspired our National Anthem. Meet Frank Key of the Frederick Keys, based on Francis Scott Key and sponsored by the Tourism Council of Frederick County:

Frank Key, who joins long-time mascot Keyote at Harry Grove Stadium, will have his own adult fan club. Those who join “Frank Key’s Army” receive perks such as discounted merchandise and concessions, exclusive Q and A’s with staff and players, and the always enticing prospect of “unique fan experiences.”

In other mascot news, Tucson’s recently-unveiled Friar character now has a name: The Kino Bambino.

The team explains this Ruthian character thusly:

The long lost brother of the San Diego Padres’ Swinging Friar roamed the desert and arrived in Tucson for the March 25th Spring Training game. He dazzled the 11,000 fans that day, dancing and waving to screaming fans. The Tucson Padres front office marveled at their luck – the brother of the Swinging Friar showing up just weeks before the season!

Then the only question was – what to call him? After sorting through the hundreds of suggested names, one stood above the rest, the Kino Bambino. His name has a strong connection to the Tucson region, while also honoring the most famous baseball player of all time. The Kino Bambino, and Kino Stadium, are named after Father Eusebio Kino, the man who established 24 missions in the southwestern United States in the late 1600’s.

Quite fitting that a mascot with a religious background would come to the team after wandering in the desert. Kino Bambino is both on and from a mission.

From Keys to Kino to…uniforms? Sure, why not?

The Asheville Tourists unveiled their lunar-based logo some time ago, but it wasn’t until last week that the world got a look at the unis.

Click HERE for more pics, but I’ve got no time for such finger-activated endeavors. For the Reno Aces have unveiled some new gear, time to switch to ALL-CAPS:

Team-issued explanation:

For all road games, Reno will wear a gray and navy cap, which includes a new logo that features the Reno “R.” The team will debut this new cap during the April 5 exhibition game against the University of Nevada at Aces Ballpark.

Also, the Aces will wear an alternate white cap for select home games this season.

But before you can talk about logos, you have to have a name. Pensacola’s Southern League entry will begin play in 2012 (having re-located from Zebulon, NC), and the team is now accepting submissions in a “Name the Team” contest.

The only thing I can come up with is the “Pensacola Wars” and that’s not even funny. But what else is new?


Shamrocks and Shenanigans

What a momentous week — yesterday was Pi Day, today is the Ides of March, Wednesday is National Artichoke Hearts Day and Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day.

Minor League Baseball’s involvement with the first three of these annual milestones is minimal at best, but for St. Patrick’s Day teams are going green in a way that has nothing to do with waterless urinals, concourse recycling bins, and LEED certification.

The Savannah Sand Gnats are offering this St. Patty’s day tee, which makes it clear that insects can be Irish too:


Indianapolis is putting its own spin on the theme, as this green cap celebrates the “Luck O the Indians.”


And out in Reno, the Aces are offering hats as well as gender specific t-shirts. Female denizens of the Biggest Little City in the World can’t go wrong with this:

And speaking of the Aces, the team is currently offering what I believe is the best season-ticket package in all of Minor League Baseball. Full-time students can purchase a general admission pass for $72 — that’s $1 a game!


But even cheaper than $1 a game is free, and in Fort Wayne the TinCaps are currently offering fans a unique way to score complimentary Opening Day ducats.


[T]he TinCaps are looking for eagle-eyed deputies to enforce a new staff dress code. Any fan who catches a full-time TinCaps staffer without a TinCaps logo visible on their person wins two tickets to Opening Day…Staff members must wear a visible TinCaps logo at all times for the entire month leading up to Opening Day, whether or not they are on the job. Anything from a TinCaps fake tattoo sleeve to a lapel pin is sufficient.

For truly committed fans, this shouldn’t be a problem. Just pick a staff member and engage in round-the-clock surveillance. They’re sure to slip up sooner or later.

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”.


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.

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

Flightless Birds, Bobbling Rehabbers, Bargains, and YOU

famous.jpgThanksgiving is barreling toward us like a 16-wheeler with defective brakes, so it is understandable that most people have turkey on the brain right now.

Most, but not all.

The Altoona Curve are currently preoccupied with chickens, as a result of having booked the most famous chicken of them all: The Famous Chicken, who is making his first-ever appearance at Blair County Ballpark on April 9. To celebrate the impending arrival of this well-known costumed fowl, who is famous, the team announced that they will be selling the “Chicken Ticket Plan.” Read all about it HERE.

— And since I am on the always-riveting topic of ticket plans, I may as well take this opportunity to mention the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ latest offer — Fans who purchase an eight pack of ticket vouchers get to choose one of the following four bobbleheads (all of which are part of the club’s “Rehab” series). This is the type of decision that can lead to mental paralysis:

Timber Rattlers -- Rehab Bobble.JPG 

I’d choose Dave Bush. It is always my goal to live as simply as possible, and his name has the least letters.

Finally, I’d like to note that the Reno Aces are getting a jump on the Holiday shopping season by offering a “doorbuster” sale in the early morning hours of so-called “Black Friday.” Fans who show up between the unorthodox shopping hours of 12-2 am will be privy to a variety of exclusive deals, ones that will not be made available to those who opt to sleep. This brings to mind a little saying I heard once — “You snooze, you lose.” I think Ben Franklin said that. It was either him, Herodotus, or Ted Nugent.

Double Identity

refi_clock_ticking.jpgI have not forsaken you, dear readers. I’ve been busy is all.

But, tardy or not, information will be conveyed. I am merely the conduit through whom the information flows, and my lollygagging is no match for the power of Minor League news. So let’s see what streams forth from that eternal wellspring…

In time for the 2009 campaign, the Minor Leagues will feature brand new teams in both Reno and Bowling Green. Let’s take a look at how these markets have chosen to identify themselves.

Cave Shrimp Lose — Regular readers will recall this post, in which I detailed Bowling Green’s “Name the Team” contest. Unfortunately, “Cave Shrimp” was not chosen. Instead, the club will be calling themselves the “Hot Rods”. Here’s the rationale for the club’s name:

are very excited to develop the Hot Rods brand, which connects the
spirit and heritage of this region’s automotive industry with a
creative name and logo associated with the fun of minor league

And here’s the logo, which was designed by the all-powerful Plan B Branding

BowlingGreenHotRods.jpgThis logo is like a Rorschach test, as everytime I look at it it momentarily assumes a different form. I swear, the last time I looked at it I saw an angry dog face. The dog’s tongue was sticking out the side of his mouth.

Moving On…

Also new on the scene for ’09 are the Reno Aces (formerly the Tucson Sidewinders). The name is on one level a reference to Nevada’s thriving gaming industry. But, as always, there is more. Take it away, press release:

“In addition to the name’s Nevada ties, it also has meaning in baseball
lingo– a team’s “ace” is its best pitcher. Reno’s affiliation with
Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks should mean that Reno fans
will see many ace pitchers in the coming years as Diamondbacks pitchers
have won five of the last nine National League Cy Young Awards.”

Okay, press release. Bring it back. Here’s the Aces’ primary logo, which, to my eyes, is not nearly as amorphous as the Hot Rods:

ace.jpgStill…The diamond situated in the midst of the “A” is a nice touch, as is the reference to a baseball “club”. Reading way too much into it, the “c” looks vaguely like a spade. As of post time, however, I still cannot find a heart. Me and the tin man both.