Results tagged ‘ Richmond Flying Squirrels ’

Not On the Road: Self-Esteem, Singing, and Pseudo-Celebs

Well hello everybody and how ya been? It’s Ben’s Biz typing on the keyboard again. I’ve got grace, class, style, finesse and debonair. Writing ’bout MiLB promos and hopin’ folks care.

The point of the above Beastie Boy lyric approximation is simply to say that it’s been a while since I was able to kick out a good old-fashioned blog bouillabaisse (and I spelled “bouillabaisse” correctly on the second try, a new record).  I’ve still got some odds and ends from my left coast road trip to share, but today will be all about the here and now in addition to what was recently the here and now but is now then.

For starters, TONIGHT is the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ “Tribute to Bacon” featuring an appearance by Kevin Bacon!

This particular Kevin Bacon has never been immortalized in celluloid, however.

Bacon, a Chesterfield County native for more than 35 years, is currently a detective with the Chesterfield County Police Department….He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice.

So that would be just one degree of Kevin Bacon? Perhaps he’ll obtain a Masters one day. Another Flying Squirrels item of note is that this picture of a “superhero Mom” catching a fly ball went viral.

Credit: Mark Gormus/Richmond Times-Dispatch

Name a media outlet, and chances are they ran something on this. For background on how it all came to be, check out this Richmond Times-Dispatch story. 

The following photos didn’t go viral, but they were sent along to me by the Toledo Mud Hens and are well worth a look. The ol’ “gum on the hat” trick is never not funny. This time around the victim is Michael Restovich of the visiting Charlotte Knights.

Another perennial source of Minor League humor comes in the form of mustaches. One of the most prominent facial follicle initiatives currently taking place is the Delmarva Shorebirds’ “Mustache May.” Members of the team and front office are participating, and fans can donate money toward their favorite.

The current leader is none other than trainer Will Lawhorn.

Not at all creepy

You’ve got to have good self-esteem to grow a mustache like that, which is something that Hickory Crawdads mascot Conrad is currently lacking.

HICKORY, NC -In response to SI.com writer Peter King’s column on Mon., May 16, in which Conrad the Crawdad’s self-esteem was questioned, the Hickory Crawdads are introducing a brand-new promotion and ticket deal for the rest of the 2011 season – Conrad’s Self-Esteem Wednesdays!

For every Wednesday home game…fans can receive a discounted $4 box seat ticket just by mentioning “Conrad’s self-esteem” at the Ticket Office.

The Crawdads will then donate $2 from every $4 ticket to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare in support of their ongoing mission to provide behavioral health and support services for those in need in the Unifour community.

I’m sure Conrad will rally from the depths of his despair, something that Akron Aeros fans have become quite adept at doing.

And since I always like to end on a high note, how ’bout these Cedar Rapids troubadours?

Contact me with any kernels of info you may have to disseminate. I’ll be here waiting.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

I Blog in the East, I Blog in the West

…And I come to give you more, and I never give you less….Let’s go!

If you “Look At Me Now” you’ll find me in NYC, but at this time tomorrow I’ll be flying the friendly skies, airbound toward the arid. Look for “on location” blog posts, articles, and interviews the rest of this week into next, as I spend time in Tucson, Lancaster, High Desert, Inland Empire, and Lake Elsinore (and maybe more, logistics permitting).

But before all that, a good old-fashioned blog bouillabaisse of relevant Minor League biz-ness news (and, for the record, never have I spelled “bouillabaisse” correctly on the first try).

This week’s “Farm’s Almanac” is on the Minor League response to the Alabama tornadoes, and can be read HERE. Mentioned briefly in the story, and something I’d like to emphasize here, is that the Burlington Bees are raising money for the family of grounds crew intern Cody Wales, whose home was leveled by the tornado.

The team has been raising money at the ballpark, and checks to benefit the Cody Wales Family can be sent to the Bees front office at 2712 Mt. Pleasant Street, P.O. Box 824, Burlington, IA 52601.

—-

It’s Tuesday, meaning a new “Promotion Preview” column is up on MiLB.com. It was an admittedly slow week for promos, and I am heartened by the fact that next week’s column gives me more than twice as much notable stuff to choose from. I  once again implore you to keep in touch, with info on upcoming promos as well as recaps of those past. I cannot stress this enough! The current soporific state of my inbox leaves much to be desired.

Highlighted in a previous column was the Richmond Flying Squirrels “High Five World Record Attempt,” in which mascot Nutzy attempted to set a new standard for “most high fives by an individual in an hour.” And indeed he did (though yet to be verified by Guinness), slapping palms with 1620 fans.

Featured in last week’s column — and happening TONIGHT — is the Memphis Redbirds’ 30th Anniversary Salute to Charlie Lea’s No-Hitter (Lea now works as a color commentator for the club). The Redbirds are pulling out all the stops with this one, going so far as to tweak an immensely popular viral video.

An event that should have been included, but was instead egregiously overlooked, was the Durham Bulls’ return to iconic Durham Athletic Park yesterday. This video sums up the evening very well:

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor wasn’t overlooked, but perhaps should have been. As this video points out, the use of the word “vendor” in his job title is blatantly misleading.

But in the end, Minor League Baseball is more about the overall experience than any specific promotion. The Fort Myers Miracle have put together an ad campaign that emphasizes this point very well. My embedding capabilities are lacking in this case, but they can be viewed HERE. And while you’re at it, check out this local newspaper story about the Miracle Bullpen and its trusty Justin Beiber backpack.

And, yes, the story features a photo of Bruce Pugh heading to the bullpen while wearing the backpack — a triumvirate of BPs, and possibly a foursome if he happened to be heading there after batting practice.

I’m now less than 24 hours from saying goodbye to the East Coast.  The next time you’ll hear from me I’ll be writing in an agitated late-night state from some hotel room, binging on Mello Yello and wondering what’s it all for.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Regional Cuisine, Sweet and Extreme

Now that the relentless onslaught of season-opening news has finally subsided, I can dedicate a post to the topic most near and dear to the hearts of Minor League fans everywhere.

Food.

But instead of leading with yet another heart-stopping meat-strosity, today’s post will begin by highlighting a food and beverage innovation that deserves to catch on throughout the land. The Richmond Flying Squirrels are offering a “Tastes of the Eastern League” special this season, in which they offer a concession item inspired by the home city of their opponent.

Here’s the list, with my only complaint being the absence of “Spiedies” when the Binghamton Mets are in town:

Akron, Ohio: Galley Boy – Two cheese burgers topped with a slice of onion and BBQ sauce

An approximation of "The Pittsburgher"

Altoona, Pennsylvania: The Pittsburgher – Roast beef, slaw, cheese, and fries on a hamburger bun

Binghamton, New York: Meatball sub

Bowie, Maryland: Crab cake Sandwich

Erie, Pennsylvania: Pierogies

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwich

New Britain, Connecticut: Funnel Cake with marinara sauce

Manchester, New Hampshire: Fried Fish sandwich

Portland, Maine: Lobster Cake Sandwich

Reading, Pennsylvania: Philly Cheese Steak sub

Trenton, New Jersey: Taylor Pork roll sandwich

Blogger-ly intuition tells me that the Flying Squirrels aren’t the only team promoting league-wide culinary adventures. Are you?

Of course, the Flying Squirrels are offering suitably obscene “Extreme” menu items as well. This is Minor League Baseball we’re talking about, after all.

From left to right we have the Giant Burger (two 6 oz. Certified Black Angus patties topped with a mound of Squirrelly fries covered in BBQ sauce, drenched in cheese, served on a Crustini bun), Trolley Dog (giant hot dog covered with chili and cheese, nestled on top of two fried pickles), and the Golden Gate Burger (Two 6 oz. Certified Black Angus patties topped with a mound of Squirrelly fries covered in BBQ sauce, drenched in cheese, served on a Crustini bun). Thanks to Richmond director of broadcasting Jon Laaser for the copious food info.

Meanwhile, out west, the Lancaster JetHawks are making waves with their “Sweet Po-Tater Tots” (with a side of syrup). Now this is how teams should photographically depict premier concession items! Take note:

The Sweet Po-Taters recently caught the eye of CNBC sports biz reporter Darren Rovell, who tweeted the above pic to his legions of followers. This, in turn, inspired the JetHawks to put out a press release bragging about said Tweet. If only I were influential enough to inspire photo-shopped images such as this:

Remaining in the California League, you may recall this recent picture of the Lake Elsinore Storm’s “Filthy McNasty,” a two-pound burger stuffed with two hot dogs, bacon and cheese….smothered in chili and topped with crispy onion straws.

Well, there’s more where that came from. In a distressingly (or perhaps mercifully) photo-free press release, the team also relays the following info:

Another attraction is the “Home Wrecker”….three half-pound chili dogs topped with one-and-a- half pounds of French Fries, two pounds of chili and three-quarters-of-a-pound of cheese and diced onions….If one person can finish this monster dog in less than 20 minutes, it’s free!

Other new items added to the 2011 Diamond Club menu include: a one-and-a-half pound baked pretzel with dipping sauces named the “Belly Twister”, cheeseburger sliders with soft pretzel buns called “Pretzel Sliders”, a bleu cheese stuffed cheeseburger aptly named the “Juicy Bleusy”, a jalapeno stuffed cheeseburger called the “Cajun Lucy”, a burrito filled with shrimp, fries, guacamole, pico de gallo and cheese named “The Pipeline” and a make-your-own burrito called the “Cardiac Roll.”

Update! Here are up-close-and-personal pics of the “Homewrecker” and “Pretzel Sliders”:

And here’s the Filthy McNasty, about to be devoured:

The Toledo Mud Hens aren’t lacking for pictures either, as the team recently released a captivating online menu featuring their new concession items.

Highlights include Deep-Fried Pickle Spears as well as the “Texas Twist” a 24-oz soft pretzel, measuring one full square foot! Served with honey dijon, spicy & fancy yellow mustards.

Knot bad!

Sorry, that’s going to have to do. Knot bad. They can’t all be weiners.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

New Dimensions, Old Obsessions

See that new profile pic over there to your right? Like with most things in life, there’s a story behind it.

Last week the Fort Wayne TinCaps announced that their Opening Day entertainment would include 3D videoboard elements. This was an original idea, so I wrote a story about it. The team, in turn, sent me some TinCaps-branded glasses and 3D photos so that I could experience the phenomenon for myself. And I, in turn, posted a profile picture featuring myself wearing said glasses.

What I’m getting to (outside of another unintentional example of deeply-ingrained sycophancy) is that this has all spurred an idea. If you want your promo to be featured as part of the Ben’s Biz profile pic,  then simply send along something that represents said promo to my NYC headquarters (address available upon request). If enough teams respond to this idea, then the profile pic can serve as an ever-changing representation of the latest in Minor League ridiculousness.  The zeitgeist, if you will.

And the more ridiculous, the better. I’ll pose with just about anything.

To return to more typical content, there are two new prominent food items to share with ya’ll — dinner and dessert, weighing a combined 10.5 pounds. In the former category is the Tacoma Rainiers “Cheney 2×4 Burger”, which could give the legendary Fifth Third a run for its money:

According to the team, the above consists of:  Four 1/2 pound patties stacked double high, eight slices of cheese, eight slices of bacon, eight slices of tomato, and a healthy serving of blue cheese coleslaw on top…all served on a one pound ciabatta loaf.

And for dessert? For that, we’ll return to the team that makes no concession concessions: the Akron Aeros. Today the team unveiled “The Screamer,” which is  built on a one-pound chocolate brownie and includes 21 scoops of hand-dipped ice cream, four bananas, and covered with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and sprinkles, served in a full-size souvenir Aeros replica batting helmet.

Photographic evidence of this behemoth is currently scant, but here’s Aeros food and beverage director Jason Kerton posing with his latest creation. Memories await, indeed!

The shadow knows...

Those who regularly eat such items will soon find themselves needing a bypass, and fortunately Minor League Baseball offers that as well. Both the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Richmond Flying Squirrels have recently announced that they will be offering Bypass Lane technology at the ballpark.

Here’s how it works, courtesy of the all-knowing entity that is the press release:

Through Bypass, fans are given the opportunity to view full food and drink menus of select concessions stands in the vicinity of their seats and are able to place orders by paying with a credit card using Bypass’ secure payment platform.  When the order is ready for pickup, a text message is sent to the fan from the nearest Bypass Lane.  Fans can then avoid the line by using the exclusive Bypass Lane at the designated pick-up areas located at the concession stands.

But that is just one of many innovations on offer. I don’t have the time to expand upon them now, but suffice to say I believe that Lehigh Valley is the first team to add whimsical pigtails to their parking spaces:

More like a porking space!

Please get in touch, readers. It’s the only thing that saves me from myself.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Better Times Are Coming

Despite the season’s increasing imminence, last week was an extremely slow one in the world of Minor League news. But such periods of lethargy are to be expected, and flush times will be here soon enough.

Lately, the greatest boom time harbingers have come courtesy of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Here, in an image akin to a wolf introducing a lamb, Nutzy the Squirrel helps to unveil new mascot Zinger the Acorn:

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Zinger isn’t the only new character in the Flying Squirrels pantheon, for the team is also currently staging a “Pig Pickin'” contest:

pigs.jpeg

The team issued the following declaration:

The Flying Squirrels have announced a Pig Pickin’ Contest where fans are encouraged to vote for one of four piglets to become the team’s new Rally Pig. Voting begins today and will run through Thursday, March 3rd, on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website…The winning piglet will be unveiled at the Flying Squirrels’ Fan Fest on Saturday, March 5th.

And as for that FanFest? It’s a two-day extravaganza:

parneysleep.jpg

The evening includes a “Ballpark Bonfire” complete with live music and subsequent on-field sleepover. The fans who do spend the night will have first crack at buying tickets the next morning, and additional festivities that a.m. include the unveiling of the aforementioned “Rally Pig” as well as an “Extreme Eating Contest” (I greatly hope those two events are not related).

Todd “Parney” Parnell, seen above dressed like a cow (for reasons known only to him), is a veteran of staging such extravaganzas thanks to his time spent as general manager of the Altoona Curve. That organization is humming along nicely in his absence, however, and on Monday they unveiled their 2011 giveaway calendar.

The highlight would have to be the “Rudy Owens Perm Hat”, in honor of the wonderfully-coiffed southpaw who suited up for the team last season.

owens.jpg
owensreal.jpg

Perhaps even more strangely, the team is staging a series of Tom Cruise-related giveaways as part of their “Summer Cruise Series.”

The four giveaway nights will be themed with some of Cruise’s most electrifying and Oscar-worthy work as an actor and will begin onThursday, June 16 vs. New Britain with an Aviator Sunglasses Giveaway presented by Bud Light….The three other Cruise nights will be the Thursday, July 7 Tighty Whitey Giveaway…the Thursday, July 21 Shot Glass Giveaway…and a Thursday, August 4 Foam Football Giveaway

Fans who collect all four giveaway items can bring them to September 4’s contest, in order to be entered into a drawing to win a cruise. Curve GM Rob Egan attempts to make sense of it all via the following quote:

We came up with the idea for the Summer Cruise series while pulling tarp last season, about as far away from Hollywood or the Caribbean as you can get,” said Egan. “We think it will be a lot of fun for our adult fans to remember some of Mr. Cruise’s earlier films with some different giveaways – plus have a chance to win a cruise.”

Hey, if that explanation is good enough for you then it’s good enough for me. But to return to the extremely important issue of “camping out at the ballpark” — in Inland Empire, even Bernie the mascot isn’t guaranteed admittance to 2011’s slate of games.

Kudos, as always, for the use of the “Benny Hill” theme song.
benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

You Can Get With This, Or You Can Get With That

The greatest hit in Black Sheep’s catalog has been on my mind lately, because it seems that everywhere I turn a Minor League team is saying “The Choice Is Yours.”

Want some examples? I’ve got three of ‘em, allowing me to gratuitously use the word “triumvirate.” First up are PA’s premier iron-toed ungulates, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The team is asking fans to choose 2011’s “Pig Out Menu Item.” The options are as follows:

pigout.gif

  • The “Three Little Pigs” Sandwich – Feast on this: Three different types of meat featuring four strips of
    mouth-watering bacon, over two inches of thick ham and four ounces of succulent pulled pork.  A rich barbeque sauce compliments the meat that is served on a fresh Kaiser bun. 
  • Diggity Dog – The hot dog has been reinvented with Black Angus beef, two slices of hot-off-the-grill bacon and melted American cheese on a hearty steak roll.  Savor the taste with ultimate array of toppings including fried onion straws and barbeque sauce.
  • Double Blast Burger – Imagine the double cheese-burger flipped on its head!  Two, half-pound beef patties, two slices of American cheese, French fries and coleslaw on a fresh Kaiser bun.
  • Loaded Fries – French fries crammed with cheese, pulled pork barbeque, chopped bacon, sour cream, chopped tomato and heart-pounding spicy jalapeno peppers.  Don’t forget to grab some napkins!

Fans can vote on the team’s website, with the winner announced on Valentine’s Day. And since I’m on the topic of the IronPigs, I’d like to note that each individual staff profile on the team’s website contains a smiling or winking animation of said individual. As an example, here’s general manager Kurt Landes:

smilingkurt.gif

It’s hard to move on from that, but move on we must. For in Richmond, the Flying Squirrels are asking fans to “Name the Nut.” The team is adding a “fun-loving” acorn mascot to its roster of ballpark characters, and this festive hard-shelled fruit will go by one of the following five designations:

Cappy/Chippy/Corny/Oakley/Zinger

nutty.jpg

I highly question the wisdom of pairing a squirrel and acorn mascot together. Isn’t that the equivalent of teaming up a wolf with a lamb? A raccoon with a fetid dumpster? A humpback whale with its own fat reserves?

But these are questions for another day. Information of a more pressing nature has just emerged from a team which incorporates a triumvirate of states into its name, as the Delmarva Shorebirds have released their promo schedule into the vastness of the internet:

shorebirdspromos.jpg

The first-ever Manny Machado bobblehead will probably get the most attention, but in keeping with my already-established “The Choice Is Yours Theme” I’d like to highlight September 2’s “NFL Night” giveaway:

The Shorebirds will let the first 1,000 fans choose between a Shorebirds hat in Redskins, Ravens or Eagles colors. Fans are encouraged to choose the colored hat of their favorite team.  

I like the Shorebird’s creativity on this one, but perhaps a more relevant NFL-themed promo would simply be to lock the players out of the stadium?

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

Stone Cold Hot Stove Speculation

tuxtee.jpgWe are in the midst of “Hot Stove Dinner” season, that time of year when teams stage gala banquets featuring distinguished celebrity speakers, memorabilia auctions, and awkward jokes from suit-wearing media relations directors pressed into MC duty.

I’ve already written about these dinners in the past, and an exhaustive rundown of that which has or will take place would exhaust the reader while making me feel run down. But in the interest of stirring up what passes for debate these days, I’d like to remark that the Richmond Flying Squirrels have put together what I believe is this year’s best Hot Stove Dinner line-up:

– Darryl Strawberry
richmond_stove.jpg– Billy Wagner
– Tommy John
– Javier Lopez (San Francisco Giants reliever)
– Eddie Kasko (Played for the International League’s Richmond Virginians, 1954-56)
– The entire Flying Squirrels 2011 field staff
– Pat O’Conner, president of Minor League Baseball

Remarkable, no? Would anyone care to dispute my assertion that this is the year’s best Hot Stove line-up? If so, put your disputation into email form and send to benjamin.hill@mlb.com

But let’s face it, Hot Stove Dinners are little more than a way to pass the time during the interminable offseason void. One indication that said void is on its way out is that teams have begun releasing 2011 promotional schedules. Observe:

sheik.jpgLehigh Valley Iron Pigs (favorite promo: Harry Kalas bobblehead, May 16)
Lakewood BlueClaws (favorite promo: appearance by tag-team tandem of Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, June 11 )
Inland Empire 66ers (favorite promo: Lucha Libre Mask Giveaway, July 22)

Also, in the “weekly promo” category, the Lake Elsinore Storm have announced the alliterative beauty that is “Wacky Weenie Wednesday.” All fans receive free hot dogs through the seventh inning.

There will be plenty more where all this came from, but like an opponent of the Iron Sheik or an empty beer keg I’m all tapped out for now. Well, except for this. It’s a video featuring Conrad the easily-distracted costumed crustacean:

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

Taking It To The Next Level

Thumbnail image for TinCaps-Apple-Logo.jpgI’ve been so immersed in the world of logo design these past few weeks that there is a slight possibility I may have neglected other notable Minor League happenings.

Did I just write “slight possibility?” I meant “absolute guarantee.”

For instance, did you know that that Fort Wayne’ Tincaps will be hosting a four-game Pacific Coast League series? Earlier this week, the Tincaps and parent club the San Diego Padres announced that the Padres’ Triple-A Tucson affiliate will play the Las Vegas 51s at Parkview Field from July 14-17. 

This rare, if not unprecedented arrangement, came about because the Padres are in the process of buying the Triple-A club (formerly the Portland Beavers). Their long-term intent is to  move them to nearby Escondido, CA, but until the specifics of that are straightened out the team will play in Tucson. 

Except, of course, when they are playing a four-game series in Fort Wayne. Maybe some press release quotes can help ease the confusion you may now be experiencing:

“Our fans can get a taste of Triple-A baseball right here at Parkview Field,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “These players are on the cusp of the Major Leagues and several have already reached that level. The opportunity to bring these games to Fort Wayne is a testament to our great relationship with the Padres and their appreciation for all of the support from the team and fans here. It is also another example of the incredible things we can do at Parkview Field.”

And from the Padre perspective:
parkview.jpg

“The TinCaps are a great organization and Parkview Field is one of the finest facilities in Minor League Baseball – at any level.” Padres Director of Player Development Randy Smith said. “We are happy that we are able to provide TinCaps fans this one-of-a-kind opportunity by bringing Triple-A baseball to Fort Wayne.”

Regardless of the admittedly confusing circumstances that led to this arrangement, the bottom line is that this is great for the Tincaps. It gives them the opportunity to showcase a higher level of baseball at Parkview Field, featuring players who very well may have previously logged time in Fort Wayne in 2009 and/or ’10. 

Such an opportunity is worth the logistical hassles, an issue I’ll explore at a later date. For now, satiate your desire for more info by clicking THIS LINK.

In other, more rodent-based news, the Richmond Flying Squirrels have announced two comic-themed images of Nutzy which will be featured across all of the club’s marketing and branding for the 2011 season.”

Here are the images, which show that Nutzy’s powers (and pectorals) continue to grow. 
power stance.jpg

 in flight.jpg


That is a seriously determined squirrel, one clearly able to overcome enemies such as greased bird feeders and bb gun-toting teens. 

And as for myself, I’m about to overcome the enemy known as “the five-day work week.” Have a great Thanksgiving, and please know that I am truly grateful for everyone who reads this blog.  

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

Updates Schmupdates

linkers.jpgSo earlier today I engaged in that most time-honored of offseason tasks: updating the Ben’s Biz Blog link list.

And by “updating” I mostly mean “deleting”, since many of the blogs listed had unceremoniously fallen by the wayside like so much virtual detritus. Therefore, I am in search of new additions — if there are any Minor League or sports biz blogs you’d like to see listed, then by all means get in touch.

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

And speaking of “offseason” tasks, Friday’s MiLB.com story on offseason work in Minor League Baseball has gotten a robust response thus far. I appreciate this. Along those lines, the Delmarva Shorebirds are currently running a weekly staff profile series that provides insight into the specific tasks associated with various Minor League jobs. Check it out HERE.

And the Lexington Legends made it known that they are currently producing a bi-weekly video series entitled “What the ‘L’ We Do in the Offseason”. I’ll go ahead and post episode one here, a decision that may or may not have been influenced by the Legends’ prominent use of the Benny Hill theme song.

To move on to a bit of breaking news — it appears that the trio of Connecticut Tigers scarecrows that went missing last week (detailed in Friday’s post) have been returned. The team issued a press release today that reads, in part:

The mystery of the stolen scarecrows taken from the Leffingwell House Museum display last Thursday has been solved; partially. The three missing uniforms numbered 57, 58, and 59 have been returned along with two out of the three pairs of uniform pants. The uniforms were found in a pile outside the Dodd Stadium gates during clean-up of the 1st Annual Connecticut Tigers Octoberfest.

And what of the scarecrows themselves? Are they now naked? Clearly, this incident is far from over.

Much closer to “over” are the fundraising attempts of Richmond Flying Squirrels mascot Nutzy. As you may recall, the fearless rodent is hoping to rappel down the side of a building on behalf of the Special Olympics. But he needs help — with less than a week to go, he is still over $500 short of his $1000 goal. Click HERE to donate.

Hope you’re having a “rappel” of a time this offseason, doing whatever it is you’ve been doing.

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

Almonds Play In the Cantina While Ex-Presidents Inflate and Rodents Rappel

As part of my increasingly desperate attempts to provide content from when Minor League Baseball was still being played on a daily basis across the country, please enjoy this triumvirate of pictures from the Modesto Nuts’ “Star Wars Night”.

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The club promoted the evening with this video, which if nothing else shows how easily a pair of anthropomorphic nuts would fit into the cantina band line-up:

And I’ll be honest here: the last time I featured a “Star Wars Night” on this blog I ended up with about 4.2 billion hits. Plenty of people were kind enough to link to it, often with remarks like “check out these hilarious pictures!”

That’s something I’ve learned over the years — pictures are key. Writing, not so much. That’s why I would never waste upwards of one hour each day agonizing over pun construction. Of course not. That would be stupid.

But what certainly isn’t stupid is a giant inflatable mascot created in honor of a former team president. Behold inflatable Chuck Domino, unveiled during the Reading Phillies’ Hall of Fame Night on August 31:

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But the Reading Phillies, like almost everyone else, have moved on to offseason concerns. The team is currently providing a series of video progress reports as FirstEnergy Stadium undergoes a $10 million renovation project. Here’s Chapter 1:

Domino, meanwhile, is now Chief Executive Manager of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Today, the Squirrels announced that Nutzy the mascot plans to rappel down a 25-story building next month.

For charity, of course. Sez Nutzy:

Help send me Over the Edge and for Special Olympics Virginia. That’s right…I’m hoping to rappel off a 25-story building in downtown Richmond this October! In order to take on this challenge and join other fearless Special Olympics fans on the roof, I must first reach my fundraising goal. With your help I’ll be dangling from 400 feet up in no time!

Richmond -- Nutzy actual front.JPG

The thought occurs to me that Nutzy should be kept far away from Modesto, as he would probably attempt to store that team’s pair of anthropomorphic Nut mascots within the confines of his cheeks.

But such abstract concerns can wait — the playoffs are still going on! Get pumped, Northwest Arkansas fans. Get pumped.

No matter how where you are in your particular baseball journey — postseason, offseason, or otherwise — I thank you for your continued patronage of this blog. You keep looking at the pictures, and I’ll keep writing. It’s a nice little symbiotic relationship we have going here.

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

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