After writing last week's post about failed baseball promotions, I was left a little disenchanted about being a baseball spectator. This wasn't helped by game I attended last week, where the free promotion ended up being a camouflage trucker hat that I will certainly never wear again. Luckily, I remembered the joy that are minor league baseball games, where the tickets are cheap, the games hardly matter and the promotions are extravagant. Here's a look my two-week plan to hit the coolest minor league promotions in America.
July 29: Blair Field, Long Beach, CA
The Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska reacted to the recent NFL dogfighting scandal by hosting Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day. Fans were encouraged to bring their dogs to the game and anyone who brought a Vick jersey or shirt was given free admission. The in-game promotions were changed to make the dogs more welcome, including a doggie first pitch, a wiener dog race and dog washes. And don't worry about the dogs leaving a mess on the field. What do you think they did with all those jerseys?
July 31: Edward A. LeLacheur Park, Lowell, MA
I've always thought of baseball as a pretty offensive game, so it's a good thing the Lowell Spinners put on Political Correctness Night. The names of the positions were changed, leaving the Spinners playing "first base-person" or "vertically challenged stop." In a classy touch, errors weren't announced to the crowd so the players didn't get embarrassed.
August 1: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL
Fans coming to see the Palm Beach Cardinals on My Two Cents Night were each given two pennies at the door. They were encouraged to drop the pennies off at various themed tables around the stadium and spout off about the topic at hand. I'm sure that didn't stop anyone from sharing their opinions about the umps from their seats.
August 2: PGE Park, Portland, OR
Mullet Night is the kind of promotion only Jeff Foxworthy could love. Fans seeing the Portland Beavers are urged to dress up like rednecks and participate in toilet seat horseshoes and the unofficial hub-cap tossing world championship.
more craziness after the break...
August 3: Ernie Shore Field, Winston-Salem, NC
Drag in Drag Night has been in the works for a long time. Brave volunteers from the Winston-Salem Warthogs front office volunteered to dress up in drag for this game, but only four will get the, um, honor. Throughout the month of July, fans could donate money to one man's jar; the four lucky winners will get to drag the infield in dresses. And no, it's not all for kicks; all the money raised is going to the Special Olympics.
August 4: William Peccole Ballpark, Reno, NV
Since all the candidates have already been campaigning for the 2008 presidential race for months now, it's about time we started voting. At Election Night, fans of the Reno Silver Sox will get the opportunity to vote on the candidate they prefer. The declared candidates have been invited to speak before the game, but the team's website doesn't mention if any have accepted. And, because it just wouldn't be a promo without swag, all fans get a commemorative piece of straw.
August 5: Lake Elsinore Diamond, Lake Elsinore, CA
The Lake Elsinore Storm are giving away free toothbrushes for this game. I bet they also hand out "promotional" apples on Halloween.
August 7: Eastwood Field, Niles, OH
Baseball can get quite stressful and I'll admit to losing my cool more than once at a game. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers planned for some outrage on Anger Management Night; all fans will get a free stress ball.
August 8: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL
It's been my dream job to be GM for a major league team someday (heck, the Devil Rays would probably take me right now), but I can get a step closer at Make Your Own Promotion Night. The Jupiter Hammerheads organization is taking fans' suggestions for future promotions at this even, part of their "Wackier than Normal Wednesdays."
August 9: Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Flocculent fans can show of their unintentional sweaters at the Hairiest Back in Louisville Contest at this Louisville Bats game. The winner of the contest gets free hair removal courtesy of Avanti Skin Centers.
August 11: Elfstrom Stadium, Geneva, IL
How could anyone pass up the World's Biggest Pillow Fight at this Kane County Cougars game?