Results tagged ‘ Visalia Rawhide ’
I took a vacation day on Friday. It was a vacation that brought me all the way to my kitchen, which I cleaned.
Also on Friday, my latest “Minoring in Business” article appeared on MiLB.com. It was about using a team’s history as a promotional tool, and focused on an in-depth project undertaken by the Visalia Rawhide.
The article was inspired by broadcaster Visalia broadcaster Donny Baarns, who gave a speech at the Winter Meetings entitled “Learning From Orwell: How History Can Enhance Your Club’s Brand.” There are many advantages to a historically-minded marketing approach (read the article!) but one of Baarns’ more unexpected examples was this: re-connecting with old sponsors.
In 1952, Buckman-Mitchell Insurance had their name at the top of the club’s pocket schedules.
At some point along the way, Buckman-Mitchell stopped sponsoring Visalia’s professional baseball team. But upon being shown the schedule seen above, the company is now back on (bill)board.
Visalia’s efforts have been particularly impressive, but historically-minded promotions and displays can be found throughout Minor League Baseball. The Rickwood Classic, in which the Birmingham Barons return to their former home for an afternoon of nostalgia, is a justly-celebrated annual tradition. I was lucky enough to attend in 2010.
Also in 2010, the Mobile BayBears opened the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum. In an unprecedented effort, they moved Hank Aaron’s childhood home to the grounds of the stadium, renovated it, and re-opened it as a museum.
I attended the opening, which was attended by luminaries even more luminous than myself.
And then there are the Delmarva Shorebirds, whose stadium hosts the “Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Finally, last week I took to Twitter in order to ask “In what ways do you promote your team’s history, at the ballpark and otherwise?”
I got a wide range of responses, including the following:
Bowie Baysox: Celebrating 20th anniversary this season. Articles on website recapping past seasons, and several events scheduled during season.
Connecticut Tigers: Pay tribute to Norwich’s previous franchise by staging “Navigator’s Night” promotions with throwback jerseys.
Hagerstown Suns: Put out a “Legends” baseball card set honoring players from throughout the past three decades.
Harrisburg Senators: All time roster on a board, and pictures of the ballpark going back 60 to 70 years.
High Desert Mavericks: Year-by-year Opening Day line-ups displayed on stadium pillars.
Inland Empire 66ers: 66ers celebrated 25 years last season. Had articles on team history, wore throwbacks every Tuesday and did themed giveaways.
The San Jose Giants went ahead a sent a few photos, of the hand-painted murals and timelines located throughout the ballpark.
And on and on it goes. This is the part of the blog where, without the slightest hint of disingenuosness, I ask YOU to get in touch. In what ways is history celebrated and promoted by your favorite Minor League team? What else could be done?
New York-Penn League games are rarely played in the presence of Hall of Famers, but that was the case in Norwich, CT on Monday. None other than Al Kaline visited Dodd Stadium, and he had good reason to do so.
His grandson, Colin, plays second base for the hometown Connecticut Tigers.
Putting a new twist on the term “Al Kaline Battery,” Al threw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch. Colin was on the receiving end.
Prior to this high-arced ceremonial offering (a perfect strike, by all accounts), Al set up shop on the concourse and signed just about everything placed in front of him.
His signature graced the playing field as well, though I don’t think a blue sharpie was the instrument of choice.
In a press release issued yesterday, the C-Tigers reported that the night was a “booming success.” Sez the team:
Al Kaline had the opportunity to watch his grandson reach base twice and score twice as part of the Tigers 10-0 drubbing of the Lowell Spinners. So, by the end of the night, the lucky fans in the building not only had a chance to see a living legend in person, but also got to see a big Tigers win.
That’s all well and good, but I’ve got to take issue with the press release’s use of the word “booming.” When you’re the Tigers, all your successes should be categorized as “roaring.”"Booming” successes are better suited to the Lake Elsinore Storm, Trenton Thunder, and, of course, Nashville Sounds.
Al Kaline Night happened two nights ago, but now I’d like to transition to an “udderly” successful event that was held two months ago: The Visalia Rawhide’s annual pre-game Cow Milking Contest.
From the NYPL to nipples, here we go:
(credit for all cow milking photos: Chris Henstra/Visalia Rawhide)
The team issued an excellent press release synopsis of the event, packed with photos and descriptive detail. (My apologies for taking so long to get around to it. Better late than never, right?) Sez the team:
The cow milking event started out as a normal tag-team contest among Rawhide players: the “Latin Mafia” team (made up of Christian Beltre, Yonata Ortega, Diogenes Rosario, Victor Capellan, and California League All-Star catcher Rossmel Perez) vs. the “Bovine Bombers” (formed by Ryan LaPensee, Brian Budrow, Kevin Munson, Raul Torrez, and California League All-Star outfielder Adam Eaton).
The Bovine Bombers did their homework, and admitted to researching cow milking techniques to prepare for the competition, but they were still no match for the Latin Mafia.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
Upon the conclusion of the Rawhide team’s competition, two Bakersfield Blaze players (Frank Pfister and Curtis Partch) sauntered out of the dugout in old west chaps, and challenged the Latin Mafia to a milk-off.
Thus closed another fine milk-off battle in Wild West Visalia.
And thus closes this, the latest and therefore greatest installment of the never-ending Biz Blog saga. Thanks, as always, for reading. And please — tell a friend.
To that end, today’s post features my 10 favorite photographs from the recently deceased campaign. All of these pictures appeared on this blog at some point during the season, and are presented in the order in which they originally appeared.
Remember — it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Let’s all take a look at once was:
Snowpening Day — Freezing precipitation prevented the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers from playing their first scheduled home game, causing the players to release their start-of-the-season aggression upon hapless snowmen (note the Rattlers’ scoreboard message, a nice example of thinking ahead).
Catatonic Cauliflower — Jerry “The King” Lawler visited Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium, leaving no doubt as to his feelings regarding rampaging vegetables.