Results tagged ‘ Uniforms and Apparel ’

Some Shuck, No Jive

Last month’s Florida road trip was, all in all, an overwhelmingly positive experience. But one of the minor disappointments was the relative dearth of local seafood options at the ballparks — for whatever reason, the crab shacks and grouper sandwich spots that were prevalent in the area didn’t cross over into the stadium experience.

So kudos to the Daytona Cubs for taking a step toward rectifying this situation. On select nights through the remainder of the season, employees from nearby Riptides Bar and Grill will be shucking and serving oysters on the half shell!

This past Thursday was the debut of the D-Cubs oyster bar, and as you can tell from the pictures the weather was ominous and therefore the crowds sparse. But he introduction of oysters to the Minor League concession scene is a very positive development, in my opinion, and I am hoping that this idea is a success in Daytona and then spreads to all applicable markets with considerable haste!

I’m not sure of the proper way to dispose of oyster shells, but if this was in Durham I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls found a way to recycle them into t-shirt material. The team recently partnered with local collegiate clothing company Spring House to create a line of “Bull City” t-shirts made from 100% recyclable materials (including water bottles, plastic beer bottles and x-ray film).

From the press release:

The entire line is manufactured in Durham’s one and only garment factory, less than three miles away from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. School House, which designed and manufactured the line, sees  the Bull City collection as an example of the power of “Made in USA” products and local manufacturing.

At this point you’ve all surely thoroughly dissected my most recent Promotion Preview column over at MiLB.com, which leads with approximately 400 words on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers “Salute to Cows” (yes, I’m just the only person these days who manages to consistently write about Wisconsin in an apolitical context).

The team sent along some photos to run with the piece, and I’d like to share a couple of them here. These are just fantastic, these images, especially because they remind me of a VHS video produced by a Wisconsin-based band that I watched approximately 1500 times in college.

And, finally, I draw your attention to THIS. It’s the State College Spikes’ take on the “Call Me Maybe” video, and they totally nail it. Watch it, definitely.

benjamin.hill@mlb

twitter.com/bensbiz

The AquaSox Throwback to the Future

I’ve really got to hand it to short-season teams, who keep finding their way into the news despite the close proximity of an Opening Day which does not apply to them.

The latest such club to penetrate the public consciousness is the Everett AquaSox, who have just announced a “brand extension.” This might not be quite as radical as a “complete identity overhaul”, but it is a most significant development nonetheless.

So, how does a brand extend one’s self? Let’s find out by taking a look at the team’s new and improved starting line-up of logos.

everett1.jpg 

As before, Webbly the frog remains the centerpiece of the team’s primary logo.

everett2.jpg 

The big change here is the stylized letter “E”, which is a direct reference to the Seattle Mariners’ “Trident M” logo of the 70s. As the press release points out, this makes the AquaSox “the first Minor League Baseball team to build their identity based on
their affiliate’s throwback logos.”

In fact, the Trident “E” will now be featured on the team’s away caps:

everett3.jpg
 

Also of note is a new mark that depicts a literal pair of Aqua Socks. This will be used as a home shoulder patch on the home uniform, as well as an alternate cap:

everett4.jpg

The “brand extension” is the work of Plan B Branding, a creative ideas and storytelling company whose recent work has resulted in more aggressive bears, moose, and crustaceans.

I’d like to think that this will be it when it comes to new 2010 logos, but I’ve learned not to assume anything. Just when you think that there won’t be any more — BAM! — another one comes from out of nowhere and flattens you on the sidewalk like a sack of bricks falling from an improperly constructed scaffold. 

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

On A Clear Day They Can See 398th Place

doubledays.gifAuburn, NY has many claims to fame, from the Harriet Tubman Home to the Case Research Lab Museum to the fact that America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh was born there.

But one of Auburn’s most recent claims to fame is a distinct negative, an ignominious anti-accomplishment that the city hopes to shed faster than a moulting snake on steroids: in its list of America’s best sports cities, the Sporting News ranked Auburn #399 out of a possible #399.

Dead last.

The New York-Penn League’s Auburn Doubledays aren’t going to take this lack of respect lying down. They’ve stood tall to their nationally distributed oppressor by announcing an essay contest, asking fans to explain (in 500 words or less) why Auburn deserves a higher ranking. The winner of this contest will receive general admission season tickets as well as official recognition during the “399 Classic”.

“What’s the 399 Classic?” I just heard a voice behind me whisper. Well, my reliable companion Press Release has the answer to that:

madseason4.jpg

The Doubledays will face off against Tri City (representing Troy, NY
which was rated #398 on the same list) in a three game series from July
14 – 16 which the Doubledays have dubbed The 399 Classic!

Events surrounding The 399 Classic include a special reward to the 399th
fan through the gates every night, a surprise giveaway of the 399th
best possible giveaway item and a contest to win a “Mad About You:Season
4″ DVD set (399th on Amazon.com’s most popular DVD list).

Anyone have any other ideas how the number “399” could be celebrated? I’m thinking Al Kaline has to be a part of it somehow, seeing as how he retired with 399 home runs. Or how about inviting members of Local 399: the International Union of Operating Engineers? Finally, why not celebrate the works of Chinese poet and historian Yuan Shansong, who died in the year 399 while defending Hudu during the rebellion of Sun En?

– In other news, the Cyclones have announced the winner of their “YOUniform Contest“. Click HERE to check it out.

Minor League Baseball has announced that the 2010 Promotional Seminar will be held in Las Vegas from September 28-October 1. This means that I get to make a return trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame! Who’s going with me? We can ride the bus together.

Thumbnail image for Kannapolis_Intimidators.PNG– Finally, I wanted to note that the Kannapolis Intimidators are offering free admission to all active-duty military personnel throughout the 2010 campaign. As the press release notes:

“Anyone that shows any form of Military ID, active, retired or a family
member ID at the Intimidators Will Call Window will receive two free
tickets to the game. This offer is valid for all 70 home games in the
2010 season.”

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

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:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bored.PNG

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:

gnatty st. patty.jpg
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.

sbstpatty.JPG 

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:

drilleruni.jpg

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. 

loon.jpg 

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:

ospreyfrontoffice.jpg

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

(Not A) Permanent Vacation

Aerosmith_-_Rocks.JPGCue up the Aerosmith, because I’m Back in the Saddle Again!

And then keep playing the Aerosmith, because I’m a Dude Looks Like A Lady as a result of nine months without a haircut. But enough about me, let’s Keep This Train A Rolling by returning to The Same Old Song and Dance.

Minor League “Business” News!

I sure picked a good week to take off, because not all that much happened in this lil corner of the world. I was expecting to be inundated with material but was instead merely nudged.Still, I have enough to comprise yet another “omnibus” post, although this particular vehicle is of the single-decker variety.

– The Bradenton Marauders unveiled their logo several months ago, but last week they took the next step by showing off their team uniforms at a pep rally. The press release is HERE, and the uniforms can be viewed HERE.

In other late-breaking logo news, the Syracuse Chiefs are commemorating 50 years of community ownership in 2010. This is the only logo I have ever seen that features a number wearing a headdress (usually numbers wear berets or visors):

headdress.jpg 
– Hey, have you ever wanted to see a giant gliding rodent affixed to the top of a scoreboard? Me neither! Yet, duty compels me to post this latest image out of Richmond, if only because I am now aware that there are Wawas in Virginia:

scoreboard.jpg

– The Spokane Indians won’t be powered by gliding rodents next season, but they will be fueled by just about everything else. The club announced yesterday that they will be using renewable energy in 2010, including but not limited to wind, geothermal, and biomass. Read all about it HERE. In addition to being good for the environment, this news is a godsend for environmentally conscious hecklers who can now sarcastically thank batters every time there is a swing and miss (because that’s wind power, see?)

– Team promo schedules are being announced at a fast and furious rate, and today’s highlight is a bobblehead that details the growing relationship between Timber Rattlers mascot Fang and Brewers mascot Bernie. Last season, the costumed characters came together as a result of the affiliation agreement between the two clubs:

Thumbnail image for fangbernie.jpg 

In the ensuing year, these two unlikely comrades apparently developed a comfortable rapport. Witness the Timber Rattlers 2010 Opening Day bobblehead, which commemorates the new beach seating area at the Rattlers’ Time Warner Cable Field:

berniefangbeachbuds.jpg

Yes, Fang is a snake, and, yes, he possesses arms and legs. Far be it for me to reconcile this cognitive disconnect.

– Meanwhile, the Reading Phillies will be hearing from my lawyer. Today the team put out a press release listing their “Top 10 Promotions for 2010“, apparently unaware that the words “top”, “10”, or “promotions” cannot appear in the same sentence without the express written consent of Ben’s Biz Enterprises (a subsidiary of Monsanto, fyi).

But I’ll let my legal team handle that breach of protocol, and simply report that one of the aforementioned “Top 10″ is a Tribute to the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor! Behold:

Thumbnail image for reading 3.jpgThe first 2,000 kids who enter the ballpark
for the 6:05 p.m. game will receive a Crazy Hot Dog Vendor look-a-like
t-shirt. Think “tuxedo t-shirt”, but instead each child that wears it
will look just like the beloved Crazy Hot Dog Vendor. In addition, all
Redner’s R-Phils Kids Club members will have the chance to perform on
the field with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor during a special pre-game
celebration. And to top the tribute off, R-Phils players will actually
wear Crazy Hot Dog Vendor look-a-like team jerseys when they take the
field against the Harrisburg Senators for the game
(ed note: !!!!!!!!)

The next “Ed” note I receive will most likely be from Mr. Begley, in protest of my ill-informed take on renewable energy. Look, man, I’m doing my best.

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

Birth Announcements

A little-known fact is that mascots are delivered via prehistoric stork, who gingerly deposit the fledgling costumed characters on the pitcher’s mound before returning to their molten subterranean lairs. In the last 24 hours, TWO such deliveries occurred.

In Eugene, the Emeralds unveiled Sluggo. Say hello to the world, Sluggo:

sluggo.jpg

The Emeralds put out a press release that details Slugger’s origins, and I wish I had read it before writing a bunch of stuff about prehistoric storks. Here’s how it begins:

Once upon a time, in the thick trees of Spencer Butte, a furry creature
was born. After finding an abandoned pair of binoculars, the little
ball of fur found himself intrigued by something happening in the city
sprawled below him-baseball.

But not just any baseball-Emeralds Baseball.

Click HERE to read the rest (spoiler alert: it ends happily).

Meanwhile, down in Richmond, another mascot came into existence. This guy:

Richmond -- Nutzy actual front.JPG

Richmond -- Nutzy front.JPG

Here’s how it went down:

The Flying Squirrels introduced Nutzy to Richmond during a dramatic
curtain-raising, complete with fog and light effects. The boisterous
mascot then raced into the crowd and began entertaining the audience
after being showered in confetti.

Here are a few photos I hi-jacked from the team’s Facebook page. As you can see, the event also featured the unveiling of the team’s 2010 uniforms. 

nutzy.jpg

squirrels uni.jpg

Meanwhile, in business news of a more straightforward variety: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have hired Scott Brown as their new GM. Brown, who had served as Binghamton Mets GM since 2005, replaces North Johnson.

As you may recall, Johnson is now the GM of the Gwinnett Braves. Replacing Brown in Binghamton is Jim Weed, who spent the last five seasons as assistant GM.

Got all that? There will be a test tomorrow. And by “test” I of course mean “no mention at all whatsoever”.

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.

2010ASG.gif

– 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 

Broken News: Grown Man Wears Unitard, Squirrel Mask at Logo Unveiling Press Conference

The Richmond Flying Squirrels unveiled their new logo(s) today. Observe:
 
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Details on the unveiling can be read in an article I wrote. THIS ARTICLE, to be exact. This journalistic masterwork mentions the fact that Flying Squirrels vice-president Todd Parnell wore a unitard and squirrel mask at the press conference, in order to promote the team’s upcoming “Name the Mascot” contest.

That’s right, a middle-aged baseball executive willingly donned a mask and form-fitting suit in a room full of photographers. And here, in what may or may not be an exclusive, is the photographic evidence:

Richmond -- Parny Unitard Tongue.JPG

Richmond -- Parny Unitard beleaguered.JPG

Richmond -- Parny Unitard Flying.JPG

Richmond -- Parney Unitard Flex.JPG

It is on days like this that I am awakened to the fact that my work here on this Earth is imbued with deep meaning and divine insight. I am merely a vessel through which such information flows.

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

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