Results tagged ‘ Toledo Mud Hens ’

Bone-In Pork Ribs and Other Delights

Yesterday’s post began with a look at the Memphis Redbirds’ highly-touted “Organ Donor” jersey, but it’s important to note that they’re not the only Triple-A club taking an inside-out approach to the theme jersey.

During last week’s “Halloween Night” promotion, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs took the field in these:

That’s manager Ryne Sandberg, who might have had a bone to pick with fans who gave him a good ribbing about his new look.

Ryan Feierabend took the loss, but nonetheless showed a lot of backbone out there on the mound.

Don’t worry, Ryan — to-marrow is a new day!

But we’re here to talk about that greatest era of American history — the exceedingly recent past. For instance, on Wednesday the Jamestown Jammers took the field in these.

Lucille Ball was a native of Jamestown, and this week marks the centennial anniversary of her birth. The town is in the midst of a multi-day “Lucyfest” celebration, with the Jammers’ “Lucy-Desi Night” kicking things off. The Jammers won 6-3; although perhaps it would have been more appropriate if they had been in the midst of a “Lucy” streak. (And taking a look at the box score — it appears tht Brian McConkey had the honor of serving as the team’s “Desi-nated Hitter.”)

The Toledo Mud Hens are another team to have recently honored a hometown hero at the ballpark. On Monday, the team gave away 1000 bobbleheads honoring this man. Guess whose back?

Any idea? Feel feel to argue amongst yourselves, I’m not above taking sides:

Okay — one can discern the surname “Walker” in the first shot and the first name “Moses” in the above.

But there the appellation trail goes cold, for this man has a middle name as well. It’s Fleetwood, mac!

Face:

the facts:

What can I say? I’m a big fan of Walker’s. Not only was he the first black player in MLB history, but he was also an inventor, newspaper publisher, social theorist, and entrepreneur. He also had a thirst for the drink, and in 1891 was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge.

Now that’s a life.

Also, this marked the first time a team sent me six high-quality shots of one bobblehead. I figured I may as well do something with it.

Who’s gonna be the first to send me seven?

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Happenings in the 209, 301, and 419

My latest (and therefore greatest) Minor League road trip begins tomorrow — cue the anxiety attack! It goes without saying, then, that the blog will be dominated by “on-location” content for quite some time.  But not yet! Today, let’s take our customary look at noteworthy happenings from around the Minors.

We’ll start in Stockton, as the Ports’ held-their much anticipated “Dallas Braden Bobblebelly” giveaway on Saturday. As you’ll recall, the item features the A’s pitcher (and Stockton native) simultaneously expressing his hometown pride and exposing his abdomen.

Needless to say, Ports fans were psyched about this one-of-a-kind giveaway — especially since Braden himself was in attendance.  The line to get into the stadium started forming four hours before game time, quickly growing to epic proportions.

The man himself spent the evening signing the bobblebelly and schmoozing with the fans.

There are still seven weeks left in the season, but the Ports believe that their Bobblebelly giveaway should be MiLB.com’s “Promo of the Year”, and have even launched a #promooftheyear hashtag campaign on Twitter. I’m sure there are plenty of other teams who are going to have something to say about that…

But let’s save that sort of pontificating for later, and instead move across the country to Bowie, MD. The Baysox recently celebrated Festivus, an off-beat December holiday first popularized by an episode of Seinfeld. Communications manager Tom Sedlacek writes that Our Festivus celebration included Festivus poles, Feats of Stregth and the Airing of the Grievances, as well as posters describing the origin of the holiday and its role in pop culture.  The Feats of Strength included arm wrestling with an intern and sumo wrestling, and some Grievances were read over the stadium speakers during the game.

Feats of Strength

Grievances included “You still haven’t ordered my silverware!”  “Stop snoring so loudly.”  “You never hang out with me, you only play Xbox.”

I guess there was a lot of gray area when it came to what constitutes a grievance.


Finally, it’s time for me to feature something that has been sorely lacking on this blog in recent months: centenarians! Last Friday, 101-year-old Freda Sacket joined a local choir in singing the national anthem prior to the evening’s Toledo Mud Hens game.

101!

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

On the Road: Feasting Before the First Pitch in Toledo

This is part 1 of 2 posts from Toledo. Check the blog and MiLB.com throughout the week for a wide array of “On the Road” content.

Call it what you will — Midwest Meanderings? Ohioan Oscillations? Buckeye Bandying About? — but my latest road trip has officially begun. It all kicked off Monday at Toledo’s Fifth Third Field, although I must admit I considered working remotely as this was the view from my hotel room.

But my last vestiges of professionalism soon got the best of me, and I dutifully went exploring. Fifth Third Field, home of International League stalwarts the Toledo Mud Hens, is a downtown ballpark that is completely incorporated into its downtown surroundings.

Moses Fleetwood Walker Square, named in honor of the first black player in Major League history (and a guy with a seriously fascinating life story).

Outfield sculpture paying homage to the halcyon days of yore.

A branch of the iconic Tony Packo’s is located across from the stadium. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit before departing.

But going to a hot dog joint prior to the ballgame would have been seriously redundant, especially considering what the Mud Hens had in store for me inside.

Food fit for a ballpark-visiting king! From left to right, that’s Greek Nachos (gyro meat and pita chips), Pulled Pork Nachos, and Bases Loaded Fries.

This triumvirate was soon joined by the Muddy Dog (topped with chili, cheese, and onions).

And Bloomin’ Bacon Burger! (1/3 lb. grilled Black Angus beef burger topped with crispy strips of bacon, deep fried onion rings, American cheese, and bistro sauce on a fresh Kaiser bun).

This array was presided over by concessions manager Corey Pleasant, Fifth Third’s food guru since 2002.

This was enough food for a party of five, so I felt a bit ridiculous sitting in front of this feast by my lonesome. I did my best.

You definitely can’t go wrong with any of the above items. I’d say that the pulled pork nachos were my favorite simply because they were pulled pork nachos. I mean, c’mon — Pulled Pork Nachos!

The copious leftovers from my feast were summarily fed to the press box wolves (in greater number on this particular evening due to a Japanese contingent tracking the every move of rehabbing Rochester Red Wing Tsuyoshi Nishioka). To those planning a Toledo baseball pilgrimage of their own, the above items are available throughout the stadium at locations such as this.

The Mud Hens do a great job promoting their concessions on the team web page, a full ballpark map can be found HERE.  But I unfortunately wasn’t able to partake in a leisurely meal. The team’s pre-game festivities were starting in earnest downstairs, including the requisite array of ceremonial first pitches.

This was to be followed by an event not seen often enough at your local professional ballpark — a Naturalization Ceremony! Look for an article about that on MiLB.com; it will certainly be covered in a follow-up blog post as well.

Much more to come from Toledo, in other words, but for now I’ve got to shut down, check out, grab lunch at Tony Packo’s, and get over to Fort Wayne. A sure-to-be-ridiculous evening with the TinCaps awaits.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Taking A Vested Interest in Tattoos and Toast

Two blatantly “attention-getting” Minor League promos were announced yesterday, but only one thus far has gotten any real attention (this blog doesn’t count, attention from me is the equivalent of your mother telling you you’re the most handsome guy at school).

First, the Fort Myers Miracle announced that June 6 would be “Rest the Vest Night,” in honor of recently-ousted Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. That it was the Miracle who have planned such a thing should come as no surprise. This is, after all, a team that has previously set its sights on Billy Donovan, Tim Tebow, and Craig Sager (among many other easily-satirized sports world luminaries).

Some pertinent details:

The new coach of the Buckeyes presumably will not wear sweater vests on the sidelines; so it’s time to retire them. Fans are encouraged to bring their sweater vest and place it in the retirement bin near the front gate of Hammond Stadium….The Miracle want everyone to enjoy the “Rest the Vest” Night and even though you might not have a favorite sweater vest, if you have a tattoo then you also benefit.

Just by showing a tattoo, Ohio State or non-related, fans will receive a piece of Miracle memorabilia to keep or sell.

And speaking of tattoos, the Brooklyn Cyclones announced what I believe is the Minors’ first “Hangover”-related promotion. It takes place June 22, and fans interested in attending may wish to purchase the “Wolfpack Ticket Plan.” The evening includes the following innovations:

  • In-Game Baby Bjorn Olympics – Contestants will be put through an obstacle course while carrying “Carlos” in a baby carrier.
  • Memory Games w/Prizes – If fans can “Remember What Happened Last Night” in the Cyclones’ previous game, prizes will be awarded.
  • The Tooth Fairy – Kids get a dollar off their ticket for each tooth they are missing. 
  • Tattoo You! – Temporary face tattoos will be available on the concourse.
  • Beard Bash – Best beard contest in honor of Alan (played by Zach Galifanakis).

And still speaking of tattoos, tonight the Clearwater Threshers are holding their second annual “Tattoo Night” promotion. 30 fans will go under the needle (the team is limiting the number after a nearly unmanageable 54 got inked last season) and receive a Threshers tattoo in return for lifetime admission to the ballpark. Like this guy:

That’s all I’ve got that’s tattoo-related (it wasn’t even my intent to write about tattoos when I started this post), but in an attempt to stay alliterative here’s some toast news from Toledo.

As you may be able to discern from the above photo, that’s some Mud Hen logo toast. And it can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home with the purchase of the following toaster:

Are any other teams selling one of these? I’ve seen them at the Major League level, but not within the Minors.

But for those seeking heartier dining options, I’d suggest checking out the new website postgamespread.com It’s bare-bones in terms of design, but excellent in content: a fully searchable database of dining options in all Minor League markets that includes directions from the ballpark as well as team hotel. I might use it myself during my next road trip — details on that coming soon, I hope.

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

Innovations, Incendiary and Otherwise

sugenight.jpgFireworks displays are a tried and true Minor League Baseball entertainment staple and an absolutely crucial component of most promotional schedules. Nonetheless, I don’t write about them often because there quite simply isn’t much to say.

Still, I have to note the following: The Toledo Mud Hens will be staging 31 (!!!) fireworks shows this season — Starting May 6, the team will launch pyrotechnics after every weekend night game as well as a midweek display on June 22.

Can any team top this total? The runner-up, so far as I can tell, is the Reading Phillies with 29 shows. 

Keeping with the topic of fireworks, the Kane County Cougars (employers of “Mr. Kaboom”) recently unveiled theircougars.gif Fireworks Theme Night Music for the entire 2011 season. In addition to generic entries such as “patriotic” and “popular”, the team will also be staging explosive tributes to Star Trek, Harry Potter, Wilco, Coldplay, and Star Wars. But my favorite fireworks theme night that I’ve come across hails all the way from Jupiter, as the Hammerheads will be cranking out the AC/DC on July 2. If any other teams have released such info then make sure to send it my way. 

And speaking of fire, I’d like to note that stuntman Ted Batchelor will be taking his act to Myrtle Beach on April 9. As you’ll no doubt recall, Batchelor is the peerless individual who ran the bases while on fire in Savannah last season. I have it on good authority that Myrtle Beach won’t be the only ballpark in which he appears this season, but don’t want to steal the thunder from any teams who have yet to announce an imminent Batchelor appearance.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Savannah_Fire_third.jpg 

Myrtle Beach has a few other noteworthy promos on the schedule — notably the first-ever “Eastbound and Down” theme night as well as a “Salute to Rec Specs” celebration. Hopefully this image will make its way on to the scoreboard that evening:

sabo.jpg 
 
But those who enjoy more narcissistic promotional endeavors will thrill to what the Fresno Grizzlies are giving away on April 9 — the Self-Bobblehead T-Shirt. Put it on and get to noddin':

selfbobble.JPG 

It goes without saying that posts such as today’s are the result of long hours perusing team’s promo schedules, a task that sometimes yields unexpected hilarity. Case in point: On July 30, a team that will remain anonymous is staging “Tribute to Michael Jackson” along with a “Boy Scout Sleepover.”

Oops…

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

So That You May Now Know the Newest News

tucson.jpgThose who work for Minor League Baseball teams have no say whatsoever when it comes to trades, free agency, and player development. Nonetheless, the flame of the industry’s hot stove is just as scorching as that which emanates from the Majors. It’s just heating up a different pot is all. 

One big piece of news was made official yesterday, with the announcement that the franchise formerly known as the Portland Beavers will be playing in Tucson in 2011 (and, perhaps, beyond). More on that can be found HERE, and rest assured I’ll be providing updates on that situation as it progresses.

And as an aside — when I first started this blog a man by the name of Benny Hill wouldbenny.jpg periodically email me his thoughts on the Tucson Sidewinders. You still out there, Benny? Your name is my name too, and I’d like to hear what you think about yesterday’s announcement. 

Far more prevalent than franchise re-location are identity overhauls, featuring new logos and, in some cases, new team names. The Lake County Captains released their new marks on Wednesday, and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers continue to churn out numerically-obsessed promotional videos in anticipation of November 12’s grand unveiling.

On an even greater scale is the Omaha Royals, who will be announcing the results of their “Name the Team” contest on November 15.

I will say once again that my choice is “Omahogs.”

As for that which has already happened, the newly re-christened Jackson Generals have unveiled the logo for the 2011 Southern League All-Star Game. As with the Lake Captains logo, this is a Studio Simon effort: 

jaxgen.jpg

Moving from logos to stadium renovations, the South Bend Silver Hawks have announced that Coveleski Stadium will be getting a $10 million facelift. 

covel.jpg

There will be improvements galore, but my favorite is this: “Huge fire pit for those cold days in April and May.”

Speaking of improvements, the Toledo Mud Hens are making available a customized Firefox add-on browser.

browse.jpg

Sez the team: The add-on is complete with a scrolling Hens’ news ticker, video and image updates, Hens’ downloads, and much, much more!

Are any other teams doing this? The Mud Hens are the first I’ve seen.

Finally, while I do my best to ignore Christmas-related endeavors until after Thanksgiving, the first item of the Williamsport Crosscutters’ “Eight Weeks of Cutters” gift guide caught my eye (and you know how painful that can be).

It’s the Boomer plush doll!

plush.gif 

And — hey! — I almost forgot: It’s Gratuitous Video Friday! Today’s selection is an old promo for “Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!”, one of the most funny, subversive, and ahead of its time TV shows ever made.

Hey Sony! Release more “Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!” on DVD!

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

New For 2011 — Efficient Pigs, Generous Bugs, and Hard Working Hens

We’re in the homestretch now.

The four finalists in MiLB.com’s “Promo of the Year” voting have been determined. They are:

promoyr.jpg

 

Best Giveaway: Lancaster JetHawks — Robert “Hoot” Gibson bobblehead
Best Celebrity Appearance: Arkansas Travelers — Jose Canseco (vs. Gary Hogan in pre-game boxing match)
Best “Miscellaneous” Promotion: Birmingham Barons — Rickwood Classic
Best Theme Night: Fresno Grizzlies — Twilight Night

ballot.jpg

Congratulations to the above quartet – you are all winners. But the ultimate winner is yet to be determined! Vote HERE to decide the be-all, end-all Minor League Promotion of the Year. Voting runs through 10 am ET on Wednesday, October 12.

And that’ll be it — promise!

But that won’t be it for this blog post. I’ve got content, and I hope you’ll be content with it.

– First things first, the entity currently known as the Omaha Royals have announced the nine

omahog.jpg

finalists in their “Name the Team” contest. Those who like names that evoke weather and/or cattle and/or Star Wars will be well pleased, as the choices are Cattlemen, Commanders, Force, Hailstorm, Omahogs, Royals, Sodbusters, Stormchasers, and  Windwalkers.

I have gone on the record before on this topic, and will do so again: My favorite is “Omahogs.” Not only is this moniker an efficient combination of nickname and place, but it also a nod to Omaha’s past. Between 1885-1901, the city intermittently fielded a Western League club called “The Omahogs.” The 1885 club went 4-24 before folding, replaced in the circuit by a Keokuk Hawkeyes team that included Bud Fowler (one of my all-time baseball heroes).

– Another recent announcement of note emanates from Greensboro, who announced their “Guarantee to Give” playoff pledge. If the team makes it to the postseason in 2011, then $100,000 (!) will be distributed among 20 charities. More info can be found HERE.

– But right now, the 2011 postseason seems so far away. Somewhat closer is Opening Day, which will be especially notable in Toledo. The Mud Hens have announced that their April 14 opener at Fifth Third Field will be a doubleheader, consisting of a pair of seven-inning contests. What an excellent way to say “hello” to the new season, and all the promise contained therein.

dh.jpg

I hope the above information met or exceeded your desire and capacity for Minor League news on a Wednesday afternoon in early October. Please let me know either way.

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

Tilling the Fertile Soil

“So many blog topics, so little time” is shaping up to be a pretty good tombstone epitaph for yours truly. But as long as I’m residing in the land of the living, Sisyphean struggles to mitigate the content glut will continue unabated. So here ya go: a random array of Minor League pictures and videos.

Let’s start with the scene in Reading this past Tuesday. Despite a bit of controversy, the R-Phils’ fan base proffered a heartily enthusiastic response to the evening’s “Ryan Howard Garden Gnome” giveaway.

gnome.jpg

The line outside of FirstEnergy Stadium, before the gates opened.

Reading_Gnome3.JPG

The gnomes, awaiting distribution:

Reading_Gnome2.JPG

What’s Up With Hat?

Reading_Gnome4.JPG

Moving on from beards to the mustache, the Everett Aquasox pitching staff recently dedicated themselves to the fervent cultivation of upper lip hair. The results, in extreme close-up:

Another recent event of note in the Pacific Northwest was the pitcher’s mound wedding of hurler Corey Davisson. Read all about it HERE. (warning:adorable photos contained therein).

Less adorable, but more hilarious, are Class A baseball players dancing with surprising sincerity to the Clinton era’s pre-eminent boy band. This masterpiece was the highlight of the Peoria Chiefs’ recent “90s Night” promotion:

While this was the lowlight:

A pop culture celebration of more recent vintage recently occurred in Lexington, as the Legends staged a “Jersey Shore Night” promotion. The beat got beat up:

But after the beat-up comes the beatdown. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan visited Hickory recently, where he did all he could to make sure that Conrad didn’t win the mascot race. A truly brilliant snapshot, this is:

Hacksaw_stoppingmascot.JPG

But even Hacksaw wouldn’t be able to stop the menagerie of characters that grace the cover of the Toledo Mud Hens upcoming comic book giveaway (scheduled for August 12). This is, truly, a work of art:

Toledo_Comic Book.JPG

Of special interest in the above image is the presence of Jamie Farrmadillo, Kitty Holmes, and Jim Flealand. There is no finer racing triumvirate in all of Minor League Baseball.

Or is there?

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

Moving On Down

Thumbnail image for lad.jpgI find myself with much random material that I would like to share with you, an individual who I presume possesses at least a passing interest in Minor League Baseball game operations and promotions.

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…

Triple-A

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:

chicken.JPG
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
wooly.jpg 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
sprain.

“Just what we needed — Wool E. Bull is hurt. The training room is full
already,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo told the
Durham Herald-Sun.


– The last time I wrote about mascot injuries, the costumed character in question was “Pops” from the Syracuse Chiefs.     Fortunately, Pops seems to be okay these days, as the only thing I have to report from Syracuse is that the team’s blog is currently featuring an amusing rundown of International League hotels.  The latest such establishment to be featured is Pawtucket’s Comfort Inn. 

– Which brings me to my next item, as the excellent blog of Pawtucket broadcaster Dan Hoard recently featured a post on Mike Cameron’s over-the-top generosity during his recent rehab stint with the club. An excerpt:

Cameron took the notion of being a big-leaguer to new heights on Thursday when he purchased a luxury box for Game 6 of the Celtics/Cavs playoff series and invited the PawSox players and coaches to join him. 

Double-A

I mentioned this in this week’s “Promotion Preview” column,but the Richmond Flying Squirrels have launched an interesting weekly promotion in this, their inaugural season: “Where’s Parney”. Writes director of promotions Christina Shisler:   

Every Friday our VP and COO, Todd “Parney” Parnell
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:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Richmond -- Parny Unitard beleaguered.JPG 

– 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 theThumbnail image for hornsby.jpg 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

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

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