Results tagged ‘ South Bend Silver Hawks ’

An Action-Packed Blog for Action-Packed Times

Thumbnail image for mmmmmoooorrrre.jpgCrucial pre-post information! This week’s edition of “Promotion
Preview” is available HERE.

It
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.

But
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
League Baseball.

Starting….NOW!

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:

Thumbnail image for Lake County Cheeseball.JPG
(photo credit: Neil Stein)

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
Lancaster
).

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
this one:

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
remain,

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

A President Without Precedent

Thumbnail image for silver.jpgThe Arizona Diamondbacks youth movement is officially over.

Today, the organization announced the signing of 63-year-old Joe Kernan, an individual who makes Jamie Moyer look like a spring chicken. Kernan, a former South Bend mayor and, later, Indiana governor, currently serves as president of the South Bend Silver Hawks (the Diamondbacks Class A affiliate).

The surprise signing of the slugging sexagenarian was announced during the Silver Hawks’ “Your Town, Your Team” season preview event. As the club was extolling its amped-up community service efforts, a call came in from Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Berger. Coincidentally, the call just happened to occur while Berger was at the podium. I mean, what are the odds?

kernan call.jpg  

I’ll let the Silver Hawks’ press release take over from here:

[Berger] offered a one-day contract for Joe Kernan to once again play for
the Silver Hawks in the exhibition game against Notre Dame.

Joe, who played college baseball for Notre Dame, gladly accepted the
offer.

“I would be honored to suit up again,” Joe said into the phone. “I’m
willing to do anything to help the team.”

The “Silver vs. Gold” exhibition game, in which Kernan will attempt to vanquish his alma mater, is scheduled for April 5. The words “once again” in the press release excerpt may have tipped you off to the fact that this is not the first time that the former Governor has suited up against the Fighting Irish. These pictures from the 2008 “Silver vs. Gold” game show Kernan in action, ready to show those college kids that age ain’t nothing but a number: 

kernanbat.JPG

kernanfield.JPG

Who knows? With two more years of experience under his belt, Kernan may be ready to prove to the D-Backs that his worth is measurable in increments greater than 24 hours. Next year, a multi-day deal may be in order.

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

Going All Out At the Halfway Mark, a Photographic Essay

sbsh.gifAs I’ve remarked many times before, one of the great things about Minor League promotions is that teams can stage just about anything at anytime. The flimsiest of explanations can be used to justify just about anything, and no one bats an eye (insert inflammatory political comment here). 

Case in point — the South Bend Silver Hawks’ recent “1/2 Way to Halloween” promotion, in which fans and staff alike belatedly (prematurely?) celebrated that most beloved of pagan rituals. Where else but the Minor Leagues would this kind of stuff par for the course?

And now, without further ado…pictures!

Here’s a shot of the front office staff, in slightly different attire than usual (thanks to Mall Cop Jeff Scholfield for sending these pics along).

half halloween staff.JPG

During the game, the costumed fans got to strut their stuff on the field:

half halloween on field.JPG

Soon, it became time to meet the finalists:

half halloween winners.JPG 

Which led to the naming of the runners-up — easily the most attractive head-wielding zombie I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot in my day:

half halloween zombie football.JPG

But no one could compete with this dude, the grand champion of the Silver Hawks’ inaugural Halfway to Halloween extravaganza (he should ask that country starlet for a date.They’d make a great match):

half halloween winner.JPG

Normally, I’d spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to come up with a joke, so that the post could end on a high note. But today, there just isn’t the time.

If you want jokes, read this.

Thanks, and goodnight.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Wardrobe Dysfunction in South Bend

sbsh.gifWhere does the time go?

It was one week ago today that the South Bend Silver Hawks held an “Ugly Sweater Night” promotion. How it worked was simple — fans who wore ugly sweaters to the ballpark received free admission, with the owner of the ugliest sweater winning a pair of round-trip tickets courtesy of Allegiant Air.

This all sounds rather subjective. Cliches that apply in this situation include “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “one’s man trash is another man’s treasure”. So what kind of sweater could unite the masses, causing one and all to deem it hideous?

Here’s your answer:

DSC08279.JPG

I’m not sure if the gold chain is somehow part of the sweater. If so, that brings the ugliness quotient into the stratosphere.

On an unrelated note, see that plaque on the far left? I have won a local version of that award every year since 1996, although I am told it has everything to do with my obnoxious disposition and nothing to do with my well-toned posterior.

In closing, here is a blurry shot of Ms. Ugly Sweater and a few of her closest competitors, flaunting their wardrobe atrocities atop the dugout. I like that kid on the far left, posing with his hands in his pockets like this is the kind of thing he does every day:

DSC08278.JPG

If you have any Minor League news, Ugly Sweater-related or otherwise, then you know what to do:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Hirsute Happenings in the Heartland

silver.jpgLast week, I wrote an article on South Bend’s “Josh Collmenter Mustache Awareness Night”. This fine piece of probing investigative journalism ran in conjunction with my weekly “Promotion Preview” column, and was bolstered even further by a meticulously curated photo gallery of prominent Minor League mustaches as well as a fan poll.

I cannot take credit for the latter two features, as putting together such a wide array of mustache-related content was a team effort that involved many of MiLB.com’s greatest minds. But that is neither here nor there. What is “here” is that Josh Collmenter Mustache Night occurred last Wednesday, and I would like to provide a brief recap of this evening of sartorial splendor.

Silver Hawks’ director of sales and marketing Amy Hill reports that the event was “fantastic”, and that there was “perfect weather, a great crowd, and plenty of mustaches.” The promotion drew a reporter from a local television station, who provided the following coverage (scroll down a bit and click on “Watch the Video”)

http://www.wsbt.com/sports/local/25810384.html

A wide array of Silver Hawks players participated in a pre-game “best mustache” contest, and the winner was Derrick Walker. Unfortunately, I do not have an up-to-date photo of the 22-year-old right fielder. I imagine that his mustache has improved somewhat since this MiLB.com file photo was taken:

Thumbnail image for walker.jpg

But D-Walk was far from the only individual with a prominent mustache, as this picture of the South Bend front office makes painfully clear. Some of these ‘staches may be fake, but only God knows for sure:

Mustache-Staff.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers