Results tagged ‘ Richmond Flying Squirrels ’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Crucial pre-post information! This week’s edition of “Promotion
Preview” is available HERE.
is officially crazy season, that time of year in which I spend my day
poring through innumerable emails, Tweets, Facebook updates, news
articles, phone calls and psychic transmissions all related to the world
of Minor League Baseball. Sometimes I even write blog posts and
articles, as if this was part of my job description or something.
this rambling prelude really only exists in order to convey the
following: I’ve got a blog backlog, and the only cure is rapid-fire
information conveyance. So pour yourself a stiff drink, put on some
Vivaldi, and spend a little quality time with the lighter side of Minor
National Cheeseball Day
was April 17, a sacred holiday that was observed throughout the land.
The Lake County Captains got in the spirit by distributing cheese and
crackers to the bundled-up fans in attendance:
The Captains also held a contest in which fans had to guess the number of
cheesepuffs in a bulk container, with the most accurate guesser
receiving said bulk container.
And, of course, there was the
cheeseball eating contest. For the uninitiated, whenever a Minor League
team salutes a food product then it is a GUARANTEE they will stage an
eating contest involving the product (examples
this upcoming week include grilled cheese in Quad Cities and tacos in
This particular eating contest features two of
the most reluctant participants you are ever likely to see
Following a Cheeseball Eating Contest is an unenviable task, as it would
seem that all else pales in comparison. But does it? Not if you’re the South Bend Silver
Hawks, who have kicked off their “Your Town Your Team” marketing
campaign with an immaculately produced video that details the city’s
rich baseball history.
We’re entering Ken Burns territory with
Another Midwest League franchise sporting impeccable production values
is the Fort
Wayne Tincaps, who have applied their audiovisual mastery toward a
dramatic “Behind the Music”-style video detailing the trials and
tribulations of the legendary Bad Apple Dancers:
Having already surpassed my monthly quota for Midwest League YouTube
videos, I must now proceed to the Florida State League. The Charlotte Stone
Crabs staged a “Golfer’s Appreciation” promo last week, an evening
that included a “Closest to the Pin” contest featuring manager Jim
Morrison and three local pros.
The skipper acquitted himself
very, very well, as this video proves:
But if it’s sci-fi that floats your proverbial boat, you may want to
take a look at how the Pawtucket Red Sox have chosen to promote their
upcoming “Star Wars” night. Behold, “Paws the Jedi”:
Finally — the Flying Squirrels era in Richmond has officially begun!
For those who weren’t able to visit the Diamond live and in person, the
following video put together by
Bus Leagues Baseball will have to suffice:
Believe it or not, there is FAR more where this came from. I’ll resume
my Sisyphean metaphorical ditch-digging efforts tomorrow. Until then, I
- Posted on April 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm
- 3 Comments
- Tags: Cheeseballs, Chralotte Stone Crabs, dancing grounds crews, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake County Captains, Megablogopolis Supreme, no not that Jim Morrison, Pawtucket Red Sox, promos, Richmond Flying Squirrels, South Bend Silver Hawks, stiff drinks and Vivaldi
And then keep playing the Aerosmith, because I’m a Dude Looks Like A Lady as a result of nine months without a haircut. But enough about me, let’s Keep This Train A Rolling by returning to The Same Old Song and Dance.
Minor League “Business” News!
I sure picked a good week to take off, because not all that much happened in this lil corner of the world. I was expecting to be inundated with material but was instead merely nudged.Still, I have enough to comprise yet another “omnibus” post, although this particular vehicle is of the single-decker variety.
— The Bradenton Marauders unveiled their logo several months ago, but last week they took the next step by showing off their team uniforms at a pep rally. The press release is HERE, and the uniforms can be viewed HERE.
In other late-breaking logo news, the Syracuse Chiefs are commemorating 50 years of community ownership in 2010. This is the only logo I have ever seen that features a number wearing a headdress (usually numbers wear berets or visors):
— Hey, have you ever wanted to see a giant gliding rodent affixed to the top of a scoreboard? Me neither! Yet, duty compels me to post this latest image out of Richmond, if only because I am now aware that there are Wawas in Virginia:
— The Spokane Indians won’t be powered by gliding rodents next season, but they will be fueled by just about everything else. The club announced yesterday that they will be using renewable energy in 2010, including but not limited to wind, geothermal, and biomass. Read all about it HERE. In addition to being good for the environment, this news is a godsend for environmentally conscious hecklers who can now sarcastically thank batters every time there is a swing and miss (because that’s wind power, see?)
— Team promo schedules are being announced at a fast and furious rate, and today’s highlight is a bobblehead that details the growing relationship between Timber Rattlers mascot Fang and Brewers mascot Bernie. Last season, the costumed characters came together as a result of the affiliation agreement between the two clubs:
In the ensuing year, these two unlikely comrades apparently developed a comfortable rapport. Witness the Timber Rattlers 2010 Opening Day bobblehead, which commemorates the new beach seating area at the Rattlers’ Time Warner Cable Field:
— Meanwhile, the Reading Phillies will be hearing from my lawyer. Today the team put out a press release listing their “Top 10 Promotions for 2010“, apparently unaware that the words “top”, “10”, or “promotions” cannot appear in the same sentence without the express written consent of Ben’s Biz Enterprises (a subsidiary of Monsanto, fyi).
But I’ll let my legal team handle that breach of protocol, and simply report that one of the aforementioned “Top 10″ is a Tribute to the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor! Behold:
The first 2,000 kids who enter the ballpark
for the 6:05 p.m. game will receive a Crazy Hot Dog Vendor look-a-like
t-shirt. Think “tuxedo t-shirt”, but instead each child that wears it
will look just like the beloved Crazy Hot Dog Vendor. In addition, all
Redner’s R-Phils Kids Club members will have the chance to perform on
the field with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor during a special pre-game
celebration. And to top the tribute off, R-Phils players will actually
wear Crazy Hot Dog Vendor look-a-like team jerseys when they take the
field against the Harrisburg Senators for the game (ed note: !!!!!!!!)
The next “Ed” note I receive will most likely be from Mr. Begley, in protest of my ill-informed take on renewable energy. Look, man, I’m doing my best.
A little-known fact is that mascots are delivered via prehistoric stork, who gingerly deposit the fledgling costumed characters on the pitcher’s mound before returning to their molten subterranean lairs. In the last 24 hours, TWO such deliveries occurred.
In Eugene, the Emeralds unveiled Sluggo. Say hello to the world, Sluggo:
The Emeralds put out a press release that details Slugger’s origins, and I wish I had read it before writing a bunch of stuff about prehistoric storks. Here’s how it begins:
Once upon a time, in the thick trees of Spencer Butte, a furry creature
was born. After finding an abandoned pair of binoculars, the little
ball of fur found himself intrigued by something happening in the city
sprawled below him-baseball.
But not just any baseball-Emeralds Baseball.
Click HERE to read the rest (spoiler alert: it ends happily).
Meanwhile, down in Richmond, another mascot came into existence. This guy:
Here’s how it went down:
The Flying Squirrels introduced Nutzy to Richmond during a dramatic
curtain-raising, complete with fog and light effects. The boisterous
mascot then raced into the crowd and began entertaining the audience
after being showered in confetti.
Meanwhile, in business news of a more straightforward variety: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have hired Scott Brown as their new GM. Brown, who had served as Binghamton Mets GM since 2005, replaces North Johnson.
As you may recall, Johnson is now the GM of the Gwinnett Braves. Replacing Brown in Binghamton is Jim Weed, who spent the last five seasons as assistant GM.
Got all that? There will be a test tomorrow. And by “test” I of course mean “no mention at all whatsoever”.