Results tagged ‘ Richmond Flying Squirrels ’
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!
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.
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:
Zinger isn’t the only new character in the Flying Squirrels pantheon, for the team is also currently staging a “Pig Pickin'” contest:
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:
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.
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.
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:
- 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:
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:
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:
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?
We 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
— 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 email@example.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:
— Lehigh 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:
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
- Posted on October 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm
- No Comments
- Tags: Charitable Endeavors, Connecticut Tigers, Delmarva Shorebirds, Lexington Legends, mascots, Nilsson references, Nutzy, Richmond Flying Squirrels, stolen scarecrows, updates, Who out thre is a Nilsson fan?, you should listen to Nilsson
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”.
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:
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!
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.
Tomorrow, as it’s been said, is only a day away. And tomorrow’s tomorrow, when it becomes the present, presents a bountiful array of enticing presents to fans gracing Minor League ballparks with their presence.
Wishing to continue my reign as a preeminent prescient promotional prognosticator, I now present this truncated list of just what, exactly, is taking place tomorrow. Taken in toto, it serves to illuminate the the voluminous vitality of the Minor League landscape.
I know many of you would like to punch me in the face after reading the above two paragraphs, but you can’t. I’m light years away, and ensconced in bubble wrap.
To the list!
Hank Conger Bobblehead Giveaway (Arkansas Travelers) — In honor of the switch-hitting backstop who suited up for the team in ’08 and ’09.
William Seward Bobblehead Giveaway (Auburn Doubledays) — In honor of New Yorkstate’s 12tgh governor, who suited up for the commonwealth from 1839-1842. He later served as Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln. Now he’s a bobblehead.
Three World Record Attempts (Bowie Baysox) — As detailed in this week’s “Promotion Preview” column, the Baysox are attempting to reach new heights in the categories of “Most People Sitting on a Whoopee Cushion”, “Most People Doing ‘The Twist'”, and “Most People Engaged in Simultaneous Air Guitar.”
Farmer Axle Bobblehead (Bowling Green Hot Rods) — It’s “Agriculture Night” in Bowling Green, hence a giveaway featuring a tractor-driving mascot.
Lumberstock (Clinton LumberKings) — An all-day festival featuring live music, cornhole tournaments, and plenty of food and drink. “Wood”n’t you like to go?
Retro Jersey Giveaway (Corpus Christi Hooks) — An inimitable item mimicking the ’80s incarnation of parent club the Houston Astros.
Ryan Dempster Theme Jersey Auction (Daytona Cubs) — Proceeds benefit the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation.
Buster Posey Bobblehead (Fresno Grizzlies) — If you want one of these then you better Buster move to Chukchansi Park.
Jimmy Hart Appearance (Lexington Legends) — The “Mouth of the South” attempts to devour Applebee’s Park.
Ladies Night w/ Rafe Hernandez (Mahoning Valley Scrappers) — The “Days of Our Lives” star visits Eastman Field, delighting fans with hourglass figures.
Jacoby Ellsbury Bobblehead (Pawtucket Red Sox) — Free to the first 4000 fans age 14 and under. Or at least those, like Ellsbury, who can pass for 14.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Jerry Lawler Appearance (Richmond Flying Squirrels) — Because two legendary grapplers are always better than one, unless they gang up on you.
A few odds and ends before closing up shop:
— A new “Farm’s Almanac” feature is up now, about the Frederick Keys’ “Volt Night” and executive chefs in Minor League Baseball. “Volt Night”, in which Top Chef’s Bryan Voltaggio manned a concession stand, was a huge hit in Frederick (attracting a near-sellout crowd on a Tuesday night). The Baltimore Sun ran an excellent recap and photo gallery of the event.
— For sheer wordplay lunacy, it will be hard to top the Huntsville Stars’ September 6 promotion. The game will be preceded by the “Okra Win-Free Labor Day Marathon”. 103 people will split the duties of running the race (no one will “win”, see?) and okra will be a side dish in the steak dinner following the race. Plus, an invitation has been extended to Oprah Winfrey, who once ran a marathon. The entire event should be soundtracked by THIS.
— Finally, from the “Why Didn’t I Think of That” department, the Lancaster JetHawks have passed along word that they’re planning a “90210 Night” promotion for September 2. Get it? 9/02/10. It’s been right there in front of us, all along.
- Posted on July 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm
- No Comments
- Tags: Arkansas Travelers, Bowie Baysox, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Corpus Christi Hooks, Daytona Cubs, Frederick Keys, Fresno Grizzlies, Huntsville Stars, Lancaster JetHawks, Lexington Legends, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Pawtucket Red Sox, Richmond Flying Squirrels, tomorrow, you can't get me
Yesterday’s Craig Sager post was linked widely across the internet, once again making me thankful that so many people were forced to gloss over my writing en route to viewing entertaining pictures.
Clearly, it’s a formula that works. So now that this unnecessary prelude is out of the way, let me entertain you all with some beautiful still visuals from last weekend’s Helicopter Candy Drop in Visalia. No doubt inspired by a similar stunt in Quad Cities, the Rawhide had a helicopter coat the field with confections and then allowed the assembled youth to collect as much as they could:
(Photo Credits: Chris Henstra)
We’re entering Norman Rockwell territory with these next two:
Here, P.Nutty does his thing while Nutzy lurks jealously in the background:
P.Nutty and Mr. Nutty participating in the peanut ring toss:
And, of course, Peanuts:
So, to review: The evening featured Nutzy, P.Nutty, Mr. Nutty, and Peanuts. I’ve got nuttin but love for such a commitment to the theme.
Finally, I leave you with two pictures from Hickory, home of the Crawdads. I recently wrote up the team’s “Fan vs. Food” and “Date an Intern” promotions. I’ll leave you to determine which is which:
The answer may surprise you!
In order to create some sort of order from the chaos, I shall organize said material by level of play. Let’s start at the top of the Minor League ladder, and then move down rung-by-rung until, finally, we find ourselves back on solid ground.
This may take a few days, actually…
— The Toledo Mud Hens established a Fifth Third Field attendance record this past Friday, and it wasn’t because of a “National Dance Like A Chicken Day” promotion that came complete with complimentary chicken hat:
No, the primary draw was Crystal Bowersox. My hopes of an exciting new fad in jewel-strewn footwear were quickly dashed when I found out that Crystal is an “American Idol” finalist who hails from Ohio. 13,200 turned out to see the up-and-coming troubador sing the National Anthem; I have yet to confirm if she later led the crowd in a spirited rendition of the Chicken Dance.
— Those same Toledo players who enjoyed the vocal stylings of Ms. Bowersox are not nearly as enamored of opposing mascots, as this item from the latest “International League Notebook” makes clear:
Durham mascot [Wool E. Bull] was pelted by water balloons from the Toledo dugout
when he appeared on the field [May 12], but it wasn’t quite as funny
when the mascot slipped on the wet grass and suffered an apparent knee
“Just what we needed — Wool E. Bull is hurt. The training room is full
already,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo told the Durham Herald-Sun.
frequents a different sponsor’s location (restaurant or bar) after the game and
our fans must track him down! We include hints throughout the week on where he
will be on our e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and website and the first 20
fans to find Parney out at one of our “Where’s Parney” sponsor locations win a t-shirt and get to hang out with the Squrirels VP!
Keep in mind, folks, that this is the man everyone is trying to find:
— Moving from Flying Squirrels to Fisher Cats (as I so often do), New Hampshire’s Eastern League franchise recently welcomed its Two Millionth Fan. Congratulations to 10-year-old Brendan Howard for his well-timed turnstiling.
— Meanwhile, in Tulsa, it appears that another mascot-themed soap opera has entered the fray. I say “another”, because THIS exists in Lehigh Valley. So now we have “Bulled and the Bluetiful” and “As the Bacon Turns”. Anyone want to suggest other potential Minor League parody soap opera titles?
This particular blog post is quite like a soap opera, in fact, in that it shall end with three words that signify the promise of much more to come:
TO BE CONTINUED
- Posted on May 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm
- No Comments
- Tags: Chickens, Crystal Bowersox, International League hotels, International League mascots, ladders, mascots, Mike Cameron, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Pawtucket Red Sox, Richmond Flying Squirrels, soap opera parodies, Syracuse Chiefs, Toledo Mud Hens, Tulsa Drillers, Wool E. Bull