Results tagged ‘ Tulsa Drillers ’

Skating Through To St. Patty's

To start things off, I would like to post this picture of the skateboard deck that the Bowling Green Hot Rods will be giving away on May 31. I meant to post this yesterday, but ran into inexplicable technical difficulties that ended up ballooning into an anxiety-ridden existential crisis that left me questioning the concrete reality of everything I take for granted on a day-to-day basis. So here goes nothing:

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Oh, man. I feel so much better now, and can get on with my life. That’s a great giveaway, right? So far as I know, the Hot Rods are the second team to give away a skateboard. The Lancaster JetHawks did so in 2008, resulting in a pre-game line of fans that wrapped around the stadium.

Now that that’s out of the way, I suppose I should mention that today is St. Patrick’s Day and then dutifully provide some suitably Irish content. Consider it done.

I am aware of two teams that have released St. Patty’s apparel: The Orem Owlz and Savannah Sand Gnats (feel free to send me indignant emails that point out other clubs I have omitted, as my goal of total omniscience has not yet been attained).

The O’Orem O’Owlz:
oremstpatty.jpg 

A Gnatty St. Patty:

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Update: Here’s another one, courtesy of the South Bend Silver Hawks. As you may recall, the Silver Hawks play an annual exhibition game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

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And since I’m on the much-beloved topic of “apparel”, now is as good a time as any to point out that the Tulsa Drillers unveiled their new uniforms earlier this week. Not too drastic a change, but it should be noted that a “rich, royal blue” will now be the primary color:

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I’ve got a pair of apparel items for you, as it “terns” out. The Great Lake Loons unveiled a new alternate logo, which will be worn on Sundays. In my mind, this looks like a futuristic hover car, with the driver represented as the two circles within the Loons’ red eye. 

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Birds reign supreme in other markets as well, such as Missoula:

It is worth noting that the Osprey front office works out of this house during the offseason:

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Either that’s a really wide window or a really narrow door.

To continue on with both the “video” and “bird” theme, the Memphis RedBirds have released a pair of videos that highlight their constant state of baseball readiness.

With all due respect to Three Dog Night’s take on “One”, I would like to suggest that in the future teams opt for the Harry Nilsson version (Incidentally, if any club stages a “Nilsson Night” at the ballpark then I will travel to cover it on my own dime).

But back to the ‘Birds, who have more up their sleeve when it comes to delusional backstops:
 

That’ll do it for me today. I hope everyone enjoys their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, even if said celebration is simply drinking Mickey’s while watching Leprechaun in the Hood.

(And if that is indeed what you are doing, then I hope you are getting as much out of college as I did).

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

Blogging Bouillabaisse

Thumbnail image for patchwork.jpgWhat should I write about today?

I’ve spilled way too much virtual ink about Valentine’s Day already, and not too much is shaking on the 2010 promotional front. So my only option is this: to systematically exhaust my supply of topics that for some reason or another my moderately-addled mind has deemed “blogworthy.” Topics such as these:

– In Bowie, communications manager Tom Sedlacek dove into a kiddie-pool filled with frigid water. There was a reason for this. Click HERE if you are interested in what motivated such a ridiculous action. Otherwise, just watch:

In Tulsa, the Drillers are having some fun with their brand-new high-powered t-shirt cannon:

The 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game marks the first time that
league-specific uniforms will be worn by respective All-Stars in either
Triple-A or the Major Leagues.

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– Finally, the Bowling Green Hot Rods’ website currently features an interview with me. As in Benjamin Hill, the guy typing this sentence right now. Check it out HERE.

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

Expressions of Grief, Longing, and Expectation

Thumbnail image for mbpelicans.jpgA lot of great Valentine’s Day promotions have been coming down the pike as of late, and I am tempted to put together a post on the subject.

But then I remind myself that it is not yet February, and that Valentine’s Day can wait. But what cannot wait are the following objects of interest, all of which must be dealt with in an expedient manner.

So let the ruthless efficiency begin.

The Minor League Baseball world was rocked (or at least gently nudged) by last week’s news that Myrtle Beach Pelicans GM North Johnson had been hired by the Gwinnett Braves. The Pelicans will not let North go gently into that good night, however, as evidenced by the farewell video that they put together in his honor. This is some serious staff loyalty: 

My favorite part of the video occurs at 2:03, as that has to be the least convincing pantomimed phone conversation that I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot.

Following North’s lead, let us now move in a southwesterly direction. Our destination is Tulsa, where the Drillers continue to woo Conan O’Brien. Yesterday, hard-hat wearing team president Chuck Lamson got in on the act. Check it out HERE.

I made reference to Conan’s farewell speech at the end of yesterday’s post, namely the following line: Please do not be cynical…Nobody in life gets exactly what they
thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re
kind, amazing things will happen. 

This attitude is personified by Julio Osegueda, the young Floridian who attained celebrity as ajuliogame.jpg result of his enthusiastic questioning of President Obama at a town hall meeting last February. This led the Fort Myers Miracle to offer him a broadcasting gig, a development I covered HERE and HERE. I spoke with Julio before I wrote both articles, and was struck by his positivity and earnestness. That’s why I was glad to see THIS, in which Julio reflects on Obama’s first year in office as well as the changes in his own life.

One thing that Julio and his fellow Fort Myersinians don’t need to worry about is wintry weather, which the Iowa Cubs have experienced in abundance this month. You may recall last week’s pictures of Principal Park covered in ice. Well, now the club has made a commercial that juxtaposes winter woes with springtime bliss:
 

In conclusion, let me point out that the Richmond Flying Squirrels released their 2010 giveaway schedule today. It is highlighted by a Flying Squirrel Cape, so that you too may look like this.

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

I'm Right Here Waiting For You

tulsa_drillers.pngI am writing this on Friday evening, well aware that most of you won’t be reading it until Monday morning.

So, how was your weekend? Those football games were awesome, weren’t they? A Saints-Jets Colts Super Bowl is really something to look forward to! And how about Conan’s last show? I thought the funniest best part was when Neil Young did a song parody called “The Network and the Damage Done” his farewell speech.

And speaking of Conan, in yesterday’s (I mean, Thursday’s) post I gave credit to the Round Rock Express for being the first Minor League team to offer Conan a job. Well, the Tulsa Drillers made an offer of their own:

“[The Drillers] will make Conan O’Brien our official MC for every
Drillers game for as long as
labamba.jpg he and you all live. The Tonight Show
Band? They can play every game — even LaBamba. Andy Richter, Pierre
Bernard, Preparation H Raymond, The [self-pleasuring] Bear, and PimpBot 5000
can all join our full-time staff. Bring them all.

We are fully prepared to offer you all your very own suite at ONEOK
Field to enjoy each Drillers game. Come on, guys, “The CoCo Cabana”.
Seriously. we can make it happen.”

The full letter can be read HERE, in all its resplendent red-haired glory.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for profriverdogs.jpgSpeaking of resplendent glory, the city of Charleston, SC is positively aglow with the news that a male Statue of Liberty may be erected in the city. Of course, the RiverDogs can not let news of such magnitude go by unnoticed. Behold, the “Be Your Own Statue” contest:

As part of their new Be Your Own Fan
marketing initiative, the RiverDogs are asking all fans to help determine the
face, shape and size of the new statue. The Be Your Own Statue promotion
invites fans to submit a drawing, photograph or video letting the club know who
should be the face of this new national monument.

The winner will be revealed as part of the All
Things Male promotional night, set for Saturday, July 17, when
Charleston hosts the Augusta GreenJackets for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

“All Things Male” promotional night? I hope that’s better than last year’s “All Things Mail” Night, which didn’t deliver despite my stamp of approval.

And speaking of approval, the Trenton Thunder get mine for a new Twitter contest (ortwitter2010.jpg “Twitest”) announced today: Project 2010 in 2010. Here’s the scoop:

The Thunder’s goal is to have 2,010
Twitter followers by Opening Night (April 8, 2010). When we reach that
number, the Thunder will conduct a random drawing among their Twitter
followers, and give away a Grand Prize to one lucky fan. All of our
followers will also be winners because we’ll release an exclusive
ticket special just for them.

Grand prize is a jersey signed by
the 2010 team.

And speaking of 2010, that’s what year it is. But right now it’s winter, and therefore cold, and therefore our nation’s baseball stadiums are not exactly in optimal condition. Check out these pictures of Principal Park I received today from the Iowa Cubs, who stole the joke I would inevitably have made by writing “Ice Cubs” in the subject line:

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But if thoughts of Spring are more your thing, then take solace in this: The Reading Phillies announced today that their first “Gluttony Night” of the season will be held on April 9. They also announced that the evening will double as “Crazy About Reading Night” and I was like “Duh guys, every team is crazy about themselves.”

Finally, MiLB.com has a brand-new message board feature. If someone could take it upon his or herself to start a thread on how Benjamin Hill is the greatest and most overlooked writer in the entire world I’d really appreciate it. I’m too modest to do it myself, you see.

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

Raise A Toast to Tulsa

300.GIFWhen I tell people what it is that I do professionally, the most common follow-up question I receive is “So, is your eventual goal to write about the Major Leagues?”

To that query, the answer is a most emphatic “NO!”. If I was writing about the Major Leagues, then I’d be required to be today’s 4,872nd talking head to weigh in about Manny Ramirez. I’d have to have an opinion on pitch-tipping. And, most depressingly, I’d be just one more dude in a locker room of (mostly) dudes, decked out in business casual attire and getting cliche responses to my cliche questions. No thanks! If I wanted to have the joy sucked out of something I love, I’d just get married (again).

It’s a Minor League life for me. I’m glad to be writing this stuff, and happy to have my niche. The occupational hazards, as many as there have been, have thus far been worth it (but for how long? NYC’s not cheap!).

I’m not sure what prompted the above soliloquy. Perhaps I’m feeling a little introspective upon realizing that this is Ben’s Biz Blog post #300. At any rate, I am, as usual, feeling the need for a drink. For that, let’s take a trip to Texas.

The Tulsa Drillers have announced something that, so far as I know, is one of a kind: The $1tdrill.GIF Beer Bullpen Ticket Plan. Take it away, press release:

The ticket package gives you a discounted ticket to all 10 Thirsty Thursdays during the 2009 season. For $45 you get 10 general admission tickets (a $60 value) and membership in the $1 Beer Bullpen! That’s right — $1 off every ticket and your own VIP drink line! You’ll never have to wait in line again!

I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me feel like more like a VIP than not waiting in line for a plastic cup of domestic draft beer (I’m not being sarcastic). And that’s a pretty phenomenal deal — $4.50 a ticket, and cheap, speedy beer all evening long.

The Drillers’ first “Thirsty Thursday” of the season was a week ago today. Let’s go to the visual evidence (thanks to Drillers promotions manager Michael Taranto for the pictures):

First, a shot that conveys the general atmosphere in the Beer Bullpen (I wonder if they call it that because there are so many people in there who need to relieve themselves):

thirsty drillers 1.JPG

The gentleman in the middle of the following shot apparently feels it is necessary to carry around 15 cups at a time. What is he, an equipment manager?

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I wish there was a blonde woman in this next photo, because then I could title it “Goldilocks and the Three Bros”:

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At any rate, this is the closest I can get to enjoying a drink at work, so thanks to the Drillers for that.

If you have any info for me, domestic draft-related or otherwise, then you know the drill:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Minors Mustache Epidemic Spreads to Tulsa

Moustache Night 049.jpgBetween an article, blog post, and an MiLB.com poll, the South Bend Silver HawksJosh Collmenter Mustache Awareness Night received a hefty amount of coverage from yours truly.

But the Silver Hawks’ promotion was merely representative of a larger trend, as mustache celebrations were all the rage in the Minor Leagues this season. And, like mustaches themselves, each of these promotions was unique in its own way.

On August 22nd, the Tulsa Drillers held their own Mustache Awareness Night, and it was a doozy. There was a lot of build-up prior to this extravaganza. The entire front office staff grew mustaches, and the club conducted a poll on its web site, asking fans to vote on the best celebrity mustache of all time.

And then the big day arrived. Drillers promotions assistant Michael Taranto (who also provided the following pictures) reports that “this night coincided with Margaritaville Weekend, so as you can imagine it was funny to see people’s faces as they came to the game and received a fake mustache along with a Hawaiian lei.”

Of course, any mustache promotion worth its salt gets the players involved. Here’s an exclusive dugout shot of some uberstylish Drillers:

Moustache Night 050.jpg

But these guys have nothing on the front office staff.

Moustache Night 042.jpg

But the greatest ‘stache in all of Tulsa belongs to Drillers superfan Richard Kiersey. Here he is on the dugout (alongside Drillers promotions manager Tom Jones) basking in the adulation of his adoring supporters.

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Quite honestly, this is one of my favorite photos of the year. Which reminds me…

Keep the photos coming! Send pictures from Minor League promotions to benjamin.hill@mlb.com.

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