Results tagged ‘ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers ’
Perhaps this explains why the Altoona Curve have made national headlines today, after a bizarre incident at Blair County Ballpark last night. After sneaking into the stadium via a parking garage, an intoxicated homeless man wandered across the outfield during the bottom of the ninth inning of a contest between the Curve and Akron Aeros.
The man, who lacked identification but gave his name as “Tyrone R. Squires”, was detained by Curve security without incident and then turned over to Altoona police. A detailed write-up of Squires’ misadventures appeared in today’s edition of The Altoona Mirror, and this account served as the basis of an Associated Press article that has been picked up by The New York Times among other outlets.
Curve media relations director Dan Zangrilli said the team was a bit perplexed over the national attention.
“It wasn’t that big a deal, quite honestly. It was just a guy who decided to take a little cruise along the warning track,” he said. “The whole thing was uneventful, and posed no threat to players or fans. That said, we do take this kind of thing seriously. Trespassing is a serious offense, and we turned him over to the authorities.”
But right now the team has bigger issues on its mind: preserved meat products. Tonight’s Wacky Wednesday promotion at Blair County Ballpark is “Livin La Vida Lunch Meat”, a comprehensive salute to all things meaty that received a write-up in the most recent edition of “Promotion Preview.”
“It’s all about the Braunschweiger, baby,” said Zangrilli.
– I hope to continue yesterday’s classification-based post in the near future, but for now I’ll dispense with such formalities in order to share a couple of most-interesting Minor League developments.
The Brooklyn Cyclones have released a sketch of what is sure to be one of 2010′s most-sought after bobbleheads: Mets rookie sensation (and former Cyclone) Ike Davis in the midst of one of his now trademark dugout-tumbling snags:
The giveaway is on August 2, distributed to the first 2500 fans — get your tickets now and arrive early.
In other intriguing bobblehead news, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have announced the finalists for September’s “Fan’s Choice” bobble.
In my mind, the choice that stands out above the rest is “Scooter Vs. the Snowman”, commemorating a particularly memorable moment that occurred during the club’s whitewashed Opening Day.
Finally, I wanted to share this video I received from the Memphis Redbirds, featuring a Baby T-Rex throwing out the first pitch. It’s going to be a long time before I tire of watching this:
The Baby T-Rex is scheduled to make its next appearance in Reading on May 25, once again throwing out the first pitch and then spending the remainder of the game ambling through the stadium. This will allow fans plenty of time to contemplate the genetic links between dinosaurs and the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor’s loyal ostrich:
Ah, Opening Day. A yearly ritual of re-birth and renewal, as the oppressive shackles of winter are cast aside in favor of the comforting rhythms and sun-drenched atmosphere of the professional baseball ballpark.
So, my original plan for today was to feature all of the head shots that were submitted to me over the past two weeks. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click HERE.
But here’s the thing: I’m going to be on vacation all next week, and I have more pressing stuff to write about. So the head shots can wait. In fact, keep sending ‘em. In the meantime, here is enough random info to hold you over until my
demoralizing triumphant return on March 1.
In the interest of not prioritizing one item of information above the other, the following collection of newsworthy items is presented in reverse alphabetical order.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers — If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s ice cream. But if there’s one thing everyone can’t agree on, it’s what ice cream should be named. The Timber Rattlers will be serving a new flavor at the ballpark next season, described as “a mixture of caramel, peanuts, and chocolate”, and they are asking YOU to name it. Well, not YOU specifically. They are asking YOU as well as every other person who uses the internet. Vote HERE.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is giving away The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2010 to the world baseball community. Developed in the spirit of the classic guides published by the Sporting News, Spalding, and Reach, The Emerald Guide
includes all pitching, hitting, and fielding statistics for every
player active in the major and minor leagues during 2009. Other
features include team histories, up-to-date team contact information
and schedules, an extensive Year in Review essay, team day-by-day game
logs, All-Star Game box score and play-by play, post-season box scores
and play-by-play, transactions, debuts, first-year player draft, and
major and minor league necrology.
Yes, that’s right — FREE. Download it HERE, and tell your friends.
Peoria Chiefs – Dudes are gonna like this. On March 27 and April 1, the Chiefs will host fantasy baseball drafts at O’Brien Field. Here’s the deal:
For just $35 per person, your league will get private use of one our
luxury suites, an all-you-can-eat buffet, draft beer, wireless internet
access and a ticket to the Chiefs May 27 game against the Cedar Rapids
The press release does not mention the greatest benefit of such an offer, which is that it enables men to escape from their curler-wearing, rolling pin-carrying wives. Yes, my knowledge of marriage is limited solely to Andy Capp cartoons.
Omaha Royals — The 2009-10 logo unveiling season is rapidly fading into a sepia-tinged memory, but before it goes gently into that good night I have this to report: The Omaha Royals have unveiled a patch which commemorates their final season at venerable Rosenblatt Stadium (full disclosure: I use the word “venerable” whenever I want to refer euphemistically to something that is old).
Northwest Arkansas Naturals — Remember all the way back in May when I wrote about how the reality show “18 Kids and Counting” would be visiting a Northwest Arkansas Naturals game? That’s okay, I don’t either.
Regardless, video of the episode is now available, and the Naturals must be very pleased with how they are portrayed. The mammoth Duggar family genuinely seemed to have a good time, and there were highlights aplenty (including the most chaotic first pitch since THIS). But my favorite moment occurred when one young Duggar said the following to mascot Strike:
“Take off your head, and let me see your smaller head.”
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Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs — You mean to tell me that the team is now offering free downloadable ring tones? Why yes. Yes I do.
Lexington Legends — Another fantasy fulfilled: a video of a video featuring a mustachioed mascot doing “the John Wall Dance.”
Iowa Cubs — The I-Cubs are now offering a “Promotion Pass” to season ticket holders, entitling them to every giveaway item on the 2010 schedule. Those who purchase said pass will never again be thwarted by age restrictions and limited quantities, those twin demons of the season ticket holder existence.
Gwinnett Braves — As you may have heard, the G-Braves announced Wednesday that Gwinnett Stadium will henceforth be known as Coolray Field. I am allegedly a business reporter, but my most pressing concern has nothing to do with the conditions of the team’s agreement with the excellently-named heating and cooling company. All I want to know is how Chopper the mascot spent his time leading up to the announcement. And thanks to this, I do:
Durham Bulls — All active duty military personnel receive FREE admission to every 2010 Bulls game.
That’s the sort of deal that speaks for itself.
As for me, I’m done speaking for myself. I’ll be off the internet until next month, but in the interim feel free to bombard my inbox with messages regarding matters consequential and otherwise. And, just like Tupac, new material will continue to emerge even in my absence. Four of my articles will appear on MiLB.com next week, so please remain vigilant.
Update — Here are five more worthy inclusions, once again listed in reverse alphabetical order. Why not, right? It’s not like I have anything better to do on a Friday night in NYC. This town is boring. But these towns are not:
Syracuse Chiefs — Hey hey, my my. Logo news will never die. The Chiefs have unveiled a new home uniform for 2010:
Read all about it HERE.
Gwinnett Braves (again): Maybe it’s the presence of new GM North Johnson, or maybe it’s because the team has some confidence after successfully navigating its 2009 inaugural season, or maybe it’s a combination of the two. Either way, things are getting downright goofy down there in Gwinnett County. Goofy and paranoid, in this case, which is generally a very entertaining combination.
A zebra got loose in downtown Atlanta, see, and that can apparently only mean one thing: said Zebra was attempting to travel to a nearby Triple-A team in order to steal the job of a groundhog mascot. I’ll let the team explain things from here on in. CLICK THIS.
Daytona Cubs — In what just might be the most impressive feat of endurance ever accomplished by a Minor League gm, Daytona’s Brady Ballard ran over 40(!) miles during the course of a one-man, 12-hour charity run. More information can be found HERE, and a local news report on Ballard’s run can be seen HERE.
Charleston RiverDogs — Well, here’s something you don’t see any day: bidding for the opportunity to appear in an advertisement for a Minor League Baseball team.
I like the thinking here. Why pay someone to star in a commercial when there are people out there who will pay you? Along those lines, please send me $175 if you would like to see your writing featured on Ben’s Biz Blog.
Altoona Curve — The Curve were among many teams to be buried in snow earlier this month, and they decided to use that as the motivation for a ticket deal. In order to promote said deal, they made a video that is fast-paced, funny, and more than a bit ridiculous:
I much prefer this alternate ending, in which a gruesome and unprovoked mascot attack is juxtaposed with the Benny Hill theme song:
And speaking of Benny Hill — that’s me! And I’m out of here!
For real this time.
But this is not the case at all. I am working on new editions of Road Trip and Path of the Pros, in addition to a news piece about an upcoming logo and team name unveiling. Plus, I’ve got a backlog of blog topics to write about, not to mention lots more to share from the Baseball Winter Meetings.
And on top of all that, the ol’ inbox is getting lit up worse than AJ Burnett on three days rest. Jeez, if I had known that this little niche of mine required actual work I would have stuck to temp jobs and organ donation.
But this blog requires new and exciting content no matter what, and insufferable soliloquies on the state of my professional life just don’t cut it. That’s why I am pleased to present you with a new offseason video series!
Let us all give a hearty welcome to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who recently debuted an “Office” parody entitled “The Offseason”. Take it away, embedded video:
It’s tough to pull off the deadpan pseudo-documentary style of “The Office”, but the Timber Rattlers are off to a good start. And because I appear to be the only person who keeps track of such things, I would like to note that this marks the second time in a week that an offseason video series has featured a scene in which an unfortunate Minor League front office member has attempted to use the bathroom immediately after the mascot (click HERE for the other instance of this emerging trend).
Oh, you want more, do you? Well, all I can provide right now are these pictures of the inimitable Boomer stopping traffic on the streets of Williamsport in order to raise money for the United Way.
In closing, don’t listen to my complaining about how much work I have to do. Send me an email. I will respond.
Most, but not all.
The Altoona Curve are currently preoccupied with chickens, as a result of having booked the most famous chicken of them all: The Famous Chicken, who is making his first-ever appearance at Blair County Ballpark on April 9. To celebrate the impending arrival of this well-known costumed fowl, who is famous, the team announced that they will be selling the “Chicken Ticket Plan.” Read all about it HERE.
– And since I am on the always-riveting topic of ticket plans, I may as well take this opportunity to mention the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ latest offer — Fans who purchase an eight pack of ticket vouchers get to choose one of the following four bobbleheads (all of which are part of the club’s “Rehab” series). This is the type of decision that can lead to mental paralysis:
I’d choose Dave Bush. It is always my goal to live as simply as possible, and his name has the least letters.
Finally, I’d like to note that the Reno Aces are getting a jump on the Holiday shopping season by offering a “doorbuster” sale in the early morning hours of so-called “Black Friday.” Fans who show up between the unorthodox shopping hours of 12-2 am will be privy to a variety of exclusive deals, ones that will not be made available to those who opt to sleep. This brings to mind a little saying I heard once — “You snooze, you lose.” I think Ben Franklin said that. It was either him, Herodotus, or Ted Nugent.
It’s a relatively slow time of year, and therefore my supply of blog-worthy material is at preternaturally low levels. But even in these times of famine I can still piece together a post, in much the same way my forefathers were able to piece together artisanal barrels out of tree bark, dried lily pads, and sap.
First and foremost, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that today is Veteran’s Day. Many teams have made a note of this fact via Twitter, Facebook, and website acknowledgments, but in particular I would like to highlight THIS COLUMN written by Wisconsin Timber Rattlers broadcaster Chris Mehring. Using Gary Bedingfield’s ‘Baseball in Wartime‘ website as a guide, Chris provides a interesting primer on the those who have suited up within both professional baseball and the armed forces. The column also includes a mention of Moe Berg, whose story is fascinating and always worth re-visiting.
– Moving on to the world of logos, the Midland RockHounds unveiled their 2010 Texas League All-Star Game insignia. Behold this most quintessentially American piece of pop art:
– Moving on, I would like to point out that the Buffalo Bisons are prominently featured in a new AT&T commercial. I am unable to embed this masterwork of persuasion into this blog, but check it out HERE on the team’s Facebook page.
I am ready to embrace the offseason. I really and truly am. But if I come up with a blog post idea that will let me re-visit a time when Minor League Baseball was actually played every day, then you best believe I’m gonna do it.
And today, that idea is this: to present my favorite photos that appeared on this blog during the 2009 season. I did not apply any specific criteria when making these selections, other than to ask myself “Does this photo make my inner-most being cry out in rapturous wonderment?.” If the answer was in the affirmative, then you will see it listed below. Hopefully, your innermost being will respond similarly.
What follows are my top 10 pics of the year, listed in the order in which they appeared on this blog.
Master Yogi Berra Lets Loose — On April 21, Greensboro Grasshoppers canine mascot Master Yogi Berra had a bit of an on-field accident. The following is one of two pictures I obtained of the incident (the “clean version”, if you will):
Ceremonial Centenarian — On April 24, Round Rock Express season-ticket holder Chris Nocera threw out the first pitch. She is 102 years old — and very determined:
Cream Stick Gets Creamed — The Akron Aeros nightly “Cream Stick Race” was, by all accounts, a chaotic free-for-all. Here, Vanilla feigns innocence immediately after pushing Maple to the ground:
A Moo-ving Image — A key component of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ “Salute to Cows” was a mooing contest. The following picture depicts the eventual champion as he readied himself for the moo of his life:
An A-peel-ing Photo – As part of the Idaho Falls Chukars’ “Potato Night”, so-called “Spuddy Buddies” were thrown into the crowd. It was a thing of beauty:
Belly Quickly Busted — This guy couldn’t even make it out of the first round in the Williamsport Crosscutters’ annual “Belly Buster” contest:
If you have any photos from this past se
ason that you think are worthy of inclusion in this blog, then by all means get in touch. I’ll be waiting patiently for your correspondence.
Last week’s “Promotion Preview” column included the following, which I have edited somewhat in order to avoid seeing my bad jokes for a second time:
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Midwest League)
Salute to Cows, June 4
Wisconsinites are serious about their docile domesticated land mammals, as evidenced by the extravaganza that is Thursday’s “Salute To Cows.” The night’s on-field contests promise to be exceptionally entertaining, as fans will vie to see who is the best milk chugger, beef eater and moo-er (these sort of things demand to be documented for posterity).
Contest winners receive a year’s supply of cheese curds, which in Wisconsin are worth their weight in gold. A costumed cow is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and all player head shots on the videoboard will feature milk mustaches. In short, this will be “udderly” amazing.
Due to the inexorable passage of time, June 4 has came and went. Fortunately for all involved, the events of that evening have been well-documented by Timber Rattlers announcer and blogger extraordinaire Chris Mehring. What follows is a photo-heavy look at the brilliance that was the Timber Rattlers’ “Salute to Cows.”
One of the premier between-inning events that night was the Milk Chug. I like to call this picture “Goldilocks, the Three Bros, and a Costumed Snake” (I’m not sure who won, but I definitely would have rooted for the guy who took the time to put on a bib).
1. A contestant is blindfolded by our mascot Fang and ready to tip a cow.
2. The cow awaits tipping.
3. The cow is tipped.
He goes on to add “If you live in Wisconsin, you get it. If you don’t live in Wisconsin, you’ll never get it.”
But what I don’t get, Chris, is why the cow isn’t tipped over in the third picture. It looks to me like the tables were turned, and the “tipper” became the “tippee.” Observe:
I will close with what may be my favorite photo thus far this season. I’ll let Mehring set the scene:
“When there’s a year’s supply of cheese curds on the line, one must moooooo from one’s soul. And the gentleman on the left is about to mooooooo like he’s never moooooooed before.”
Meanwhile, in the background, a human dressed as a snake dressed as a cow gives a shoulder rub to a human dressed as a cow. Just another day at the ballpark, in other words.
And — hey you! — do me a favor and get in touch. Be you fan, front office member, or (best case scenario) moneyed media mogul captivated by my mastery of a niche subject, I want to hear from you.
Apologies for being so back-logged on the blog, as well. Thanks to those who have sent me stuff, and are patiently waiting for it to appear on this hallowed sliver of the blogosphere.
In the meantime, read the latest “Promotion Preview.”