Results tagged ‘ Trenton Thunder ’
The baseball season is a grind, even if you’re just writing about it. Here’s some more grist for the mill, so that things don’t come to a grinding halt.
Let’s start with the Lakewood BlueClaws, whose quest to retire Ryan Howard’s number has had more twists and turns than a Chubby Checker concert on Lombard Street.
The team had planned to retire the number of this prominent 2002 alumnus on September
2nd, with Howard himself in attendance. A Phillies make-up game was
added to the schedule on this date, however, rendering the guest of honor unavailable.
But Howard went on the disabled list with a sprained ankle earlier this month, and he’ll be playing in
Lakewood TONIGHT as part of his rehab assignment. So the number
retirement ceremony is now back on, honoring a player who will in fact be in the
And consider this:
Howard previously rehabbed with Lakewood in 2007, knocking in four runs over two games. This gave him 91 RBIs as a BlueClaw, tying him for the all-time franchise record. He’ll have a chance to break the tie on Friday, leading to the following question: Has any player in the history of the game ever broken a prominent franchise record while on a rehab assignment with a team that is also retiring his number?
My guess would be “no.”
And since we’re on the topic of New Jersey Minor League Baseball, I’d like to bring your attention to the extravaganza that occurred in Trenton on Tuesday.
The Thunder staged “Football Kickoff Night”, featuring Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders and team mascot Swoop.
A jewelry-wearing eight-year-old autographing a baseball for a triumvirate of cheerleaders would have made a great Norman Rockwell painting.
Because there’s always something, isn’t there?
Before getting weighed down by the contemplation of such abstract notions, I wanted to share some odds, ends, bits, pieces, and nuggets that I have accumulated in recent days. Oh, there’s some ephemera in here too. Can’t forget the ephemera.
Let’s start off with something visually striking.
The above item, designed by the bobble visionaries at Coyote Promotions, is being given away by the Brooklyn Cyclones on August 2. As you may have noticed, it is upside down. Therefore, it is Ike’s legs that bobble while his head remains stationary.
This object is also unique in that it commemorates a player’s Major League feat (Ike’s dazzling trifecta of foul territory catches) while said player is in a Minor League uniform (the Cyclones, whom Ike played for in 2008). The Cyclones are literally re-writing history, then, putting the events of 2010 within a 2008 context. This bit of space-time continuum trickery results in cognitive disconnect, a common ailment in the world of Minor League Baseball promotions.
For instance, the Binghamton Mets are staging a “Big Lebowski” promo next week. But playing the role of Jesus Quintana is none other than Bingo the Bee.
Deal with it:
Meanwhile, in Lake County, the Captains held their annual star-studded “Cleveland Sports History Night.” As this video shows, the team was actually able to find a sponsor for a re-enactment of one of the worst moments in the city’s long and sad sports history.
I was going to expound further about the above video, but my Google image search for “Art Modell” also turned up naked “art models” and I fear that I will soon be fired as a result of this inadvertent breach of internet usage policy.
Let’s quickly proceed to Trenton then, as last night the Thunder staged “Irish Heritage Night” AND a “Mustache Bash.”
The mustache side:
Incidentally, may I please suggest that teams staging a Mustache promotion utilize THIS SONG?
And, please, don’t forget that an epic milestone will be occurring TONIGHT on the West Coast: the 40,000th game in California League history. As for which game will receive the honor, that’s yet to be determined. Five games will be running concurrently this evening, and it all depends on the finishing times.
But it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. There’s no better proof of that saying than active Minor League home run leader Mike Hessman, who received a call-up yesterday to the New York Mets. The 32-year-old had hit 18 home runs this season to run up his Minor League total to 329; he certainly has nothing left to prove in the International League.
And I, meanwhile, have nothing left to write.
I’ve got lots of Minor League news items to share with the masses, and like a fair-minded mother I love each item equally. Nonetheless, I can’t help but lead with THIS:
The West Michigan Whitecaps are soliciting original ideas for new food items to be
served at Fifth Third Ballpark this season. Starting Wednesday, January
20, fans can submit their ideas and thoughts online regarding what new
food items they would like to see served at Fifth Third Ballpark this
Some of the more unique concessions items served in the past include
Deep-Fried Twinkies, Caesar Salads, Deep-Fried Pepsi, Apple Cider
Floats and the Fifth Third Burger, which garnered international
attention with its debut last season and will remain on the menu in
And who could forget the Fifth Third Burger, that meaty monstrosity that just last March helped turn yours truly from an obscure blogger to a slightly less obscure blogger?
If YOU would like to submit a concession idea to the Whitecaps, then read on:
Ideas for new items will be taken through February 8 and
submissions can be made through the Whitecaps facebook page
(facebook.com/wmwhitecaps), the Whitecaps Twitter page
(twitter.com/wmwhitecaps) or via e-mail at
email@example.com. All submissions should be accompanied
with a description and a picture, if possible.
Starting February 9 fans will be able to vote for their choice on the
new 2010 concessions items. Voting will take place on the Whitecaps
website, whitecapsbaseball.com, and will end February 23.
I came up with an idea of my own, and if I can reconcile it with the laws of physics as well as societal mores then I will definitely submit it.
“Pants on the Ground” has become a certifiable cultural phenomenon, to the point where even Brett Favre is doing deeply unfunny renditions of it. And when a cultural phenomenon occurs, you best believe Minor League teams are going to jump on board. Kudos, then, to the Greensboro Grasshoppers for being the first team to create a video that references General Larry Platt’s masterpiece.
for the 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The winner recieves an All-Star Prize Pack as well as “a lifetime of bragging rights.” More details can be found HERE.
Proceeding Into the Abyss From Which There Is No Return — MLBlogs released its 2009 rankings today, and yours truly (me, in other words) finished 21st in the “Pro” category. This represents a significant step up from 2008’s #49 ranking, so thank you very much for reading. It is my ultimate goal to become #1 overall, not just within MLBlogs but the entire internet.
Beyond Forever — A little known fact is that I regularly churn out articles for MiLB.com. Recent offerings include pieces on Gwinnett County’s new GM, Haiti relief efforts, and a new edition of “Roadtrip“. Thanks, again, for reading.
Oh, and one last thing — Over the past several weeks, many clubs have posted pictures of their ballparks covered in snow. That was so early January, however, and teams that are “in-the-know” have moved on to the next trend: candid shots of fog enshroudment. Behold Trenton’s Waterfront Park:
And with that, I bid you farewell.
Readers of this blog may recall that, prior to the World Series, the Yankee-affiliated Trenton Thunder and Phillie-affiliated Lakewood BlueClaws staged a “Choose Your Champ” contest. The premise was simple: fans had to submit their World Series predictions, including winner, number of games, and eventual MVP. The fan with the winning entry was to receive an all-expenses paid trip to Opening Day 2010, at the expense of the team affiliated with the World Series loser.
For those of you may be unaware (newborns and the Amish, essentially), the Yankees won the World Series in six games and Hideki Matsui was MVP. But despite the fact that over a thousand people entered the ‘Choose Your Champ’ contest, no one picked all three of these occurrences. So, the Trenton Thunder resorted to Plan B: a mascot-abetted random drawing. Just try to contain your excitement while watching this Hitchcockian masterpiece of sustained suspense:
Congratulations to Princeton paralegal Marc Rosenthal, whose ability to have his name drawn out of a batting helmet remains unparalleled. The BlueClaws blog caught up with Rosenthal this morning, as befits a journalistic entity of uncommon tenacity. Click HERE to read Rosenthal’s thoughts on emerging victorious in this hotly-contested duel of World Series prognosticators.
And click HERE to become my follower on Twitter.
“How are New Jersey’s Minor League teams going to capitalize on this match-up?”
Within 24 hours, that question was answered. And thank goodness, because I had been losing sleep over the matter.
The Trenton Thunder and Lakewood BlueClaws are jointly staging a “Choose Your Champ“ contest, in which they are asking fans to submit World Series predictions (including winner, the number of games, and series MVP). Whomever makes the most accurate prediction will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the 2010 home opener of this year’s champion.
This is all explained in more detail HERE, so the only thing that I will add at this juncture is to submit your prediction to firstname.lastname@example.org
So now on to the most important matter at hand: MY prediction.
The World Series MVP will be Cliff Lee, who will allow one run over 17 innings en route to two victories over CC Sabathia (suggested headlines: “Simp-Lee Magnificent”, “Lee Stings”, “MV-Lee”, “Lee Sends Message to Yankee Hitters, CCs it to Sabbathia”).
I am done prognosticating, because I am an unabashed Philadelphia fan and it is therefore very Clifficult for me to do this objective-Lee. But I will close with the three most pressing items on the comprehensive “World Series Wish List” that I drafted yesterday evening while in an insomniacal stupor:
1. That fans of BOTH teams dial it down in regards to the angry tone of the trash talk. There seems to be no distinction anymore between passion and boorishness, and I have become disgusted at the level of obscenity that is tolerated (and, for the most part, encouraged) in the stands. Won’t somebody think of the children?
2.But speaking of trash talk, here’s hoping that the New York Post continues to engage in nonsensical front-page Philly-bashing. Rumor has it that they are going to follow up yesterday’s image of Victorino in a cheerleader’s outfit with a picture of Ryan Howard in a tutu.
3. Finally, and most importantly, I hope that this whole “World Series in November” thing never happens again. I often wake up sweating, out of breath and out of sorts, after dreaming that Game 7 of the World Series was played on November 5 in a 30-degree freezing rain. This is followed by the chilling realization that this disturbing vision could easily come true, and I spend the rest of the night pacing back and forth while singing the chorus of “Glory Glory Hallelujah” to calm myself down.
Here’s to a memorable World Series, one that we will be telling our grandkids about
due to the fact that they had to go to bed well before the games were over. And Go Phillies!
More often than not, “More is More” is a superior promotional philosophy. That was certainly the angle taken by the Trenton Thunder during last month’s “Weird Contest Week”, as the club staged off-kilter competitions over three consecutive ballgames and marketed it as a 72-hour exercise in absurdity.
Tuesday, August 18 was “Mustache Night”, featuring free admission for those with upper lip hair. The facial hair of prominent New York Yankees was celebrated throughout the ballgame, and a “best mustache” contest was staged as well.
The winner of what must have been a heated competition was Mr. Andy Aupperle, who sported an angular look of style and precision:
Is it just me, or does Aupperle look like a better-groomed version of Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton?
It’s okay…you can say it’s just me.
Meanwhile, other fans extended the definition of mustache to include both “pasted-on words” and “discarded dreadlock”. And by “other fans” I mean “this particular family”:
The Thunder have 44 photos from this evening posted on their webpage. While this one doesn’t have anything to do with mustaches, I still feel compelled to share it:
I believe that the top and bottom layers of that sandwich contain pork roll. I am a fan of pork roll, on levels both edible and anthropomorphic.
At any rate, the above fan would have been more at home during part II of “Weird Contest Week”, as the team staged a hot-dog eating contest. Observe this well-crafted short film:
Congratulations to winner Chad Heidel, who is employed by the team as a group sales account representative. As one can see from the video, Heidel’s victory resulted in instant celebrity status. Currently, “Chad Heidel” is surpassed only by “Kanye West”, “Patrick Swayze”, and “Tom Brady Sux” when it comes to the most common internet search engine queries.
Meanwhile, I find the nonchalance of this hot dog disturbing. He is overseeing the massacre of his own kind:
The third and final “Weird Contest” was August 20th’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors” competition.
It was the gentleman above who emerged triumphant, a gentleman who goes by the name of Tim Ukaj (I’m going to go ahead and assume that his theme song is “We Will ‘Rock’ You”). Here, Mr. Ukaj basks in the glow of victory:
That trophy doesn’t appear to have anything to do with “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, but there may be some subtle details that my all-too-human eyes are unable to discern.
Either way, I like that the Thunder took three common Minor League promos and bundled them together in order to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully other teams will build on this concept, so that one day we may be blessed with “Weird Contest Month”, “Weird Contest Year”, and, finally, “Weird Contest Entirety of Existence.”
More is more.