Results tagged ‘ Stockton Ports ’

Tat-Two: Dallas Does Stockton; It's Tecmo Than You Can Handle

I was going to forgo doing a blog post today, but my nationwide network of informants will simply not let me rest. Two pictures have recently landed in my inbox that need to be shared immediately, each of which prominently feature tattoos.

The Stockton Ports held a two-day tribute to hometown hero (and team alumnus) Dallas Braden over the weekend, in order to properly honor his recent perfect game accomplishment. Braden took part in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, during which he proudly lifted his shirt in order to display his undying affinity for Stockton’s area code:

Stockton_Bradentat.JPG
(photo credit: George Steckler/Stockton Ports)

The Ports gave away a commemorative perfect game poster the following afternoon, one which prominently featured “209″ despite Braden’s abdomen remaining concealed beneath several layers of restrictive clothing:

Stockton_Braden_poster.JPG 

A full photo gallery from Braden’s day in Stockton can be viewed HERE, while a video of the pre-game ceremony is HERE

Meanwhile, in Omaha, a fan participating in an on-field contest during a Royals game was discovered to have one of the most deeply ridiculous tattoos of all time:

Tecmo.jpg 
(photo by O-Royals asst. GM Rob Crain, thanks to Seamus Gallivan for the heads-up)

As it turns out, the gentleman featured above runs an exceedingly detailed website: TecmoBowl vs. RBI. The site’s homepage includes the following slogan, one that quite easily serves as a metaphor for life: We don’t reminisce like others do, we just keep playing!

Meanwhile, it seems likely that more tattoo brilliance will be seen in Omaha this week: Thursday’s promotion is “Jersey Shore Night.”

But all of the above ties into a larger theme, which is that tattoos are very much in vogue within Minor League Baseball at the moment. The Lancaster JetHawks held a Tattoo Night promotion this past weekend, and the Richmond Flying Squirrels follow suit on June 1.

I would close by saying, “Tat’s All, Folks”, but believe it or not I’ve already used that line. 

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

Balls to Bring in Beaucoup Bucks

The Stockton Ports announced their “Legends of Baseball Memorabilia Raffle” on Tuesday, a charitable initiative with prizes that are nothing short of spectacular.

The raffle begins on Monday, and continues all the way through August 19. Tickets are expensive at $20 a pop, but this seemingly exorbitant price tag is merely a reflection of the prizes the club is offering.

raffi.JPG

That’s the grand prize right there — a display featuring autographed baseballs from the top 10 home run hitters in Major League history (the photo shows just nine balls, I’m sure the 10th is just resting in a climate-controlled, hermetically sealed vault). Four other prizes are being offered in the raffle, all proud members of the signed ball family. These include a sphere autographed by eight members of the 3000 Hit Club, an orb with the John Hancock of five members of the 500 Home Run Club, a globule inked with the autos of Willie, Mick, and The Duke, and a cowhide pellet inscribed by Joltin Joe D.

Proceeds benefit a range of charities, including the Ports’ Anchor Fund. Furthermore, the team has opened up the raffle to the rest of the California League. Clubs may purchase tickets from the Ports on consignment, with the remainder of the proceeds going to the charitable organization of their choice.

To summarize: Given the quality of the prizes, the length of the raffle, and the league-wide scope, this raffle has the capability to raise a LOT of money. It will interesting to see just how much.

Odds, Ends, Sods, Scraps, Assorted Minutiae

ernie.jpg— The big story in baseball this week has been the passing of legendary announcer Ernie Harwell. He has been eulogized far and wide, and will be missed. The Eugene Emeralds sent out a press release reminding fans of Harwell’s connection to the Ems, which ties into the oft-told anecdote regarding how the broadcaster was once traded in exchange for a catcher.

– Earlier this week, I posted a video in which the West Michigan Whitecaps promoted their “Salute to Sweatpants Night”. Well, the team is at it again. Brandon Inge Bobblehead Night is tomorrow, prompting an elaborate contest amongst staffers to see who is the most Inge-like.

– Finally, I would like to suggest that more Minor League players adopt the look currently sported by Orioles farmhand Ryan Berry. With that combination of mustache, glasses, and hairstyle, it’s going to be tough for him to get through the Minors without a Ryan Berry Look-A-Like Night staged in his honor (I’m looking at you, Bowie Baysox).

berry.JPG
(photo: Tom Priddy/MLB.com)

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

Taking Stock of Quad's Going On

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for curtains.jpg‘Tis the season for promo schedule unveilings, a time of year that ranks very highly in the Ben’s Biz Blog Pantheon of Seasons (an authoritative list I wrote whilst bored during the sleepy winter of 2006).    

According to my calculations, 72 of the 120 full-season affiliated clubs have released their promo schedules, with more being added to the list every day. A few heavy promotional hitters have weighed in over the last 24 hours, whom we shall now pay more attention to:

Stockton PortsLike West Michigan before them, the Ports have jumped into the world of rock ‘n roll theme jerseys. On May 29th, the club will honor a mostly-forgotten act from across the pond who called themselves “The Beatles”. Other highlights include promotional appearances from Brady Bunch-er Christopher Knight (May 21) and legendary hurler Vida Blue (June 14), but what stood out for me the most was this: A Grant Desme bobblehead giveaway on “Faith Night” (as you probably know, Desme announced his retirement in order to join the priesthood. This despite a stellar 2009 campaign in which he was named the Ports Player of the Year).

My first impression was that the bobblehead might feature Desme in a priestly get-up, but Ports media relations manager Kristin Pratt quickly set me straight:

“Grant’s in his home Ports uniform…We had his bobblehead night originally scheduled on July 30th as a stand-alone promotion. However, things got shuffled around, he landed on Faith Night, and we think it’s pretty fitting.”

desme.JPG

Quad Cities River BanditsThis promo schedule goes on for a long time, as close to eternity as one can get without becoming infinite…Salutes to Grilled Cheese, Conspiracy Theories and the ’85 Chicago Bears…Stan Musial and Bert Blyleven Bobbleheads…The return of Tattoo Night and the Mega-Candy Drop…etc, etc, ad nauseam.

But I have to give a special shout out to the “Circle of Life” long weekend, which the team describes accordingly:

For one long weekend, the Bandits will celebrate a quartet of momentous
life occasions…On
oldmanbaby.jpg Friday, May 7th, the River Bandits will
host “Maternity Night”, with all expectant mothers being welcomed with a
free lamaze class, craving stations on the concourse, and a grand prize
of a maternity package, including baby furniture and accessories. On
Saturday, the River Bandits, along with the Quad-City Times and the
Lucier Family, will award the inaugural Keith Lucier Memorial
Scholarship and award one deserving student a free year’s tuition at the
University of Iowa. On Sunday, the team will give away a Bandit
Wedding, with the winner announced on May 9th and the ceremony to be
held at the ballpark on August 20, and on Monday, the River Bandits will
complete the Circle of Life by giving away a free all-expense-paid
funeral!

All of the above promotions have been done before, in one form or another, but this marks the first time I have seen a club make a journey from the cradle to the tomb over the course of four consecutive home games. Bravo, and hopefully an addition to next year’s schedule will be “Mid-Life Crisis Night.” All fans sporting a ponytail and/or driving a convertible get in free, and the individual with the largest age discrepancy between himself and his girlfriend/wife gets to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” while backed up by a Jimmy Buffet cover band (it goes without saying the night would be sponsored by a company within the pharmaceutical industry).

rosenblatt.jpgOmaha Royals2010 will mark the O-Royals 42nd and final season at Rosenblatt Stadium, and their promo schedule is anchored by three significant giveaways that commemorate this bittersweet event. Observe:

– Johnny Rosenblatt Bobblehead, honoring the former Omaha mayor for whom the facility is named (first 1,500 fans, May 22).

– Rosenblatt Stadium Canvas Painting (first 1500 fans, June 13)

– Final Game featuring Replica Wooden Seat Giveaway (first 2,500 fans, September 2). 

I’ve got more. Boy do I ever got more. But more is something I want to leave them wanting, so the words are going to stop now.

Just like that.

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

Mega-Mix Monday

seatbelt.jpgHello, and welcome to what I’ve been told is a “new” week. In order to celebrate this milestone, I will finally cease my coverage of the 2009 Baseball Winter Meetings.

Instead, I will focus on that which I neglected while I was suffering from Indianapolis overload. So (metaphorically) buckle your (metaphorical) seat belts, because it’s going to be a slightly bumpy ride.

New Logo! – I wrote a story about this on MiLB.com last week, but the new Florida State League franchise in Bradenton announced its name and logo.

Behold, the Bradenton Marauders!

marauders.jpg

As soon as you are done beholding, feel free to move on the next item of interest…

Holiday Photos! — Teams all over the country have been engaging in seasonal activities as of late. Teams such as the Lexington Legends, who sent out the following ragtag crew to spread some yuletide cheer:

Lexington -- Xmas Caroling 2009.JPG
(An Alternate Reality ‘Scooby Doo’?)

Moving on from holiday photos to holiday video, check out the West Virginia Power’s latest offering. It stars velvety-voiced Andy “Bull” Barch, who recently announced that he will not be returning to the club in 2010. This will leave a void not only in the broadcast booth, but also in the crucial area of holiday-themed parody videos.   

And since we’re on the topic of “West Virginia Power” and “videos”, now is as good a time as any to share the following. I mean, why not, right?

Finally, I am going to indulge a common reader request and share a series of photos that, in their entirety, depict a mascot somersault. The mascot in question is Splash of the Stockton Ports.

Somer1.jpg

somer2.jpg

somer3.jpg

somer4.jpg
somer5.jpg
somer6.jpg
somer7.jpg
somer8.jpg
And that’ll do it for this edition of “Mega-Mix Monday”. According to my calculations, there will be just two more blog posts to come in 2009. Savor them.

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

Friday Mailbag, Vol. 1

Ports Network With Sports Network

ports.gifSeptember 2009 may conjure images of flying cars, robot maids, and meals in capsule form — it does to me, at least — but that hasn’t stopped the Stockton Ports from announcing a big-time promotion that will occur during this yet-to-actually-happen era of American history.

September 7th, 2009 marks, to the day, the 30th anniversary of the launch of ESPN. The Ports will commemorate this epochal moment in cable broadcasting by staging a game-long anniversary celebration. From the press release:

“The night looks to promote ESPN’s rich history as the “worldwide leader
in sports” and their support of baseball. The event will feature
between-innings games and skits themed around popular ESPN shows and
personalities. Throughout the game fans can enjoy memorable sports
highlights and participate in ESPN trivia to win merchandise and
prizes.”

Kudos to the Ports for announcing this promotion so early. Now, no other Minor League team30.jpg will have the ability to usurp their glory by staging a competing “ESPN” promotion. As for what some of the between-innings games and skits could be…well, I’ll refrain from making any prognostications. Every I time I do that I turn out to be horribly wrong.

And, could it be possible that the Ports hope to gain some national coverage from this promotion? You, know, from ESPN itself? From the Ports’ perspective, ESPN may as well stand for “Extremely Shameless Promotion of a Network”.

There’s nothing wrong with that. As a wise man once (either Jesus, Horatio Alger, or Bo Diddly, can’t remember which): You’ve got to give a little to get a little.

A Clean, Crisp, and Concise Cornucopia

bg.jpgMany apologies for my sporadic posting of late. What it comes down to is that I have no idea how to structure my life. But enough about me!

In order to, how you say, “get up to speed”, I’m going to rip a page out of my “Promotion Preview” playbook and write about a number of topics. But, here’s the catch — each of these topics will receive no less than 75 and no more than 125 words.

Go!

Wear This and You’ll Have a Ball, Girl — Anybody out there need a last-minute Halloween costume? Then head with a quickness to fresnogrizzlies.com, as the team is offering fans the opportunity to dress as the infamous “ballgirl” who was all the rage last season. You know, the one who made a spectacular leaping grab in Chukchansi Park, completely unaided by any sort of stunt cables or special effects. The costume, which costs $60, includes a Grizzlies cap and home jersey. For maximum realism, call up Jake Wald (the hapless left fielder featured in the clip) and ask him to accompany you to your Halloween party.

While We’re On the Topic of All Hallow’s Eve — Who knew? Halloween is indeedpumpkin.JPG celebrated in Canada. I know this is so because the Vancouver Canadians are staging a pumpkin decorating contest. But hurry, the deadline to submit a tricked-out gourd is today. So don’t delay, and send photographic evidence of your pumpkin prowess to aseymour@canadiansbaseball.com…In other Halloween news, Slugger the Portland Sea Dogs mascot was looking for Trick-or-Treat partners — and he found some. Congratulations to the Wareham family of Goreham, ME, who will be accompanied in their candy-pilfering rounds by Portland’s most beloved costumed character.

ports.gifThe Bands, They Are A Battlin’ — Also occurring over Halloween weekend is the Stockton Ports’ first-ever Battle of the Bands. 18 aspiring music combos will take the stage at Banner Island Ballpark over the two-day extravaganza in order to showcase their kinetic musical chops and electromagnetic stage presence. In addition, each evening features a headling band as well. The Righteous and the Wicked (a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band) is scheduled to play on Friday, while groove rockers Minor Dischord close it out on Saturday. Hey guys, you should be more specific and bill yourselves as “Class A Advanced Dischord.” Anyhoo, the winner of this “Battle of the Bands” will be showered with a vast array of musical industry goods and services.

Hank’s Mobile Home Enjoys Brief Stint as a Mobile Home — Regular readers of this blog (ie those not drawn here by a picture of Lucille Ball) will remember this post, in which I detailed the Mobile BayBears’ plans to bring Hank Aaron’s childhood home to the grounds of Hank Aaron Stadium. Well, the club did just that this past week, subjecting the humble residence to an arduous seven-hour journey. I’d say that the whole thing went off without a hitch, except for the fact that a hitch was used in order to transport the house. Regardless, Hank’s old home is now scheduled to receive a six-month restoration, after which it will serve as a museum.

Pick the Improvement Picked — Oh, regular readers, I must defer to you once again. Because surely you remember this post, in which I detailed the Quad City River Bandits’ “Pick the Improvement” contest. As part of this innovative procedure, fans were given the chance to vote on a new upgrade to the River Bandits’ Modern Woodmen Park. Well, the results are in, and the improvement to be made is…drumroll please…the addition of backs to the bleacher seats. Cue the Sir-Mix-A-Lot!

Snap These Up! — Collectors of Minor League memorabilia will be pleased to know that theThumbnail image for catesmil.jpg Beloit Snappers are offering up a plethora of game-used jerseys. Of particular note is the fact that items worn by Chris Cates and Loek Van Mil are available. Regular readers (take a bow, you guys!) will remember this post, which highlighted the fact that these teammates were the shortest and tallest players in all of professional baseball last season. My suggestion? Buy each players’ jersey, and use it as the centerpiece of a homemade exhibit that seeks to highlight the vast diversity that exists within the human race.

Wanted: An Affable Toothy Whistlepig — A previous post on this blog (which may or may not have been read by those who visit regularly) detailed the fact that the Gwinnett Braves had unveiled their new mascot. Well, that was all well and good, but now the club needs a brave and talented soul to step up and inhabit this intriguing character on a nightly basis. In order to do this, the G-Braves are holding mascot auditions on Nov. 18 at a local high school. All aspiring costumed groundhogs are invited to
attend.

Clean Sweep, the Sequel — This past March, the Huntsville Stars staged “Operation Cleanhd.jpg Sweep”, in which fans were asked to do volunteer beautification work at Joe Davis Stadium in exchange for free tickets. The event, believe it or not, was a huge success, so the team is doing it again. Clean Sweep 2 will be held on November 1, and will give fans the chance to fullfill their lifelong dreams of doing “light cleaning, light landscaping, and painting” at a Double-A stadium. But that, of course, is not all — from the press release: “Fans will be able to taste-test an assortment of different hotdogs and
vote to decide which one will become the official hotdog of Joe Davis
Stadium for the 2009 season.” But remember — with great power comes great responsibility!

My goodness, this has been one of the longest posts in the history of this esteemed blog. I did it for you, regular readers, I did it for you. As always, get in touch with tips, questions, comments, and criticisms:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

JOJO Risin'

Thumbnail image for ports.gifThe Stockton Ports staged “Canadian Tuxedo Night” last Thursday, a game-long celebration of the questionable fashion sense of our neighbors to the north.

So just what is a Canadian Tuxedo, you ask? Instead of answering that reasonable query, I defer to the ace news team at Sacramento’s ABC television affiliate: click here.

Yes, folks — this celebration of the “Jean on Jean Offense” received coverage on the local news. Thanks to Ports’ Assistant Manager Luke Reiff for sending along the video clip, as well as the following photo:

Canadian Tuxedo 016.jpg

Reiff also provided this handy bullet-point rundown of just what this memorable evening entailed:

-Photo ops on denim couch (Previously owned by the
team)
-Denim baseball giveaway (Inventory unable to be sold by
team)
-Best dressed competition
-Air guitar contest
-80s & Canadian themed music
-Super Troopers & Billy Madison video clips (Canadian
tuxedo references)
-Celebrity Canadian Tuxedo sightings (Springsteen, Leno,
McCain, Matt Damon, etc.)

So now you know, folks — a Canadian Tuxedo is an all-denim outfit which provides plenty of fodder for a tongue-in-cheek Minor League promotion. It also provides warmth and comfort to Jay Leno:

Jay_Leno_by_Shahram_Shiva4.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 390 other followers