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10 Brilliant (Or Puzzling) Baseball Stadium Promotions

For many fans, the promise of a great game is plenty of enticement for a pilgrimage to see their local Major League Baseball team play. Others are a bit choosier and need to be lured in with promotions and special events. If you fall into the latter camp, here are some offbeat celebrations and giveaways that might just have you hitting up StubHub and heading to the park this summer:

1. Meet Arnold Umbach

Some teams like to use the prospect of meeting franchise stars to bring fans to the park. The Atlanta Braves have a pretty nice slate of alumni coming back for appearances, including Dale Murphy. There's also the legendary Arnold Umbach. You know, the Arnold Umbach! Who? Exactly. Umbach, a right-handed reliever, put up a nice 3.12 ERA over the course of his Braves career, but said career probably isn't fresh in even die-hard fans' minds. Umbach only pitched 49 innings over the course of his entire MLB career; he tossed 8 1/3 innings in 1964 for the Milwaukee Braves, didn't play in the Majors in 1965, and then went 40 2/3 innings in 1966 for Atlanta. And that's it. So why is he the featured alumni draw at a Braves game? Good question. Head to Turner Field on June 7 and ask him yourself.

2. Garry Maddox Ribfest

Longtime Philadelphia Phillies centerfielder Garry Maddox was a magician with the leather; he won eight Gold Gloves over the course of his career and helped bring a World Series title to Philly in 1980. He's also a man who enjoys his barbecue. On August 8, he'll be hosting the eighth installment of the Garry Maddox Barbecue Challenge at Citizens Bank Park. Get hungry for an event in which restaurants and pitmasters try to outdo each other in the smoked meat department, and fans get to scarf down the cooks' tasty wares. [Image courtesy of BlindPigBBQ.net.]

3. 1989 Mark McGwire World Series Replica Jersey Night

Go to the Coliseum for the Oakland Athletics' game on Monday June 22nd, and you can leave with a Big Mac replica. This one should dovetail nicely with Syringe Night and "We're Not Here To Talk About the Past" Night.

4. 1989 San Francisco Giants Team Reunion

The A's aren't the only team that's honoring the 20th anniversary of the Bay Area Oakland-San Francisco World Series tilt. The Giants are hosting a reunion during their June 13 game against Oakland. The conversation at this one is bound to be worth the price of admission; "Hey, remember when we got swept in the World Series and a giant, deadly earthquake struck the area and delayed the whole thing by 10 days? Ah, precious memories"¦"

5. Wine, Women, and Baseball Tickets

Ladies, have you ever tried to get a group of girlfriends together for a game, only to be shot down because there wouldn't be enough wine at the festivities? The Minnesota Twins have heard your cries, and they're here to help. For just $47 you can buy special ladies-only tickets that include a pregame wine tasting, a gift bag, and "Pamper Yourself" stations.

6. Stitch "˜n' Pitch Night

stitch-pitch.jpgSick of going to Milwaukee Brewers games and not having a fellow needle artist sitting in your section? Well, just wait for the Brew Crew's July 29 game against the Nationals. On this night, the Needle Arts Association and the team are reserving over a thousand outfield loge box seats especially for folks who know their way around a thimble so top sewers can mingle, meet shop owners, and attend teaching sessions. Can't make it to Milwaukee? There's a good chance your home team is having a Stitch "˜n' Pitch Night of its own.

7. Very Specific Workforce Appreciation Nights

When the only thing lower than your squad's payroll is your attendance figures, you've got to do whatever you can to pack some folks in. Credit the Florida Marlins for being promotion-crazy to fill the seats. While you've already missed last Friday's Lawyer Appreciation Night, if you hurry, you can still get seats for CPA Appreciation Night on June 7th. This will be like a second Tax Day for everyone's favorite number crunchers.

8. Empty Seat Night

This exciting (if unintentional) twist on a ballgame will be available at every game between now and the end of the season at the new Yankee Stadium.

9. Get Cheap Seats In Exchange For Your All-Star Ballot

Most teams are pretty shameless about reminding you to fill out an All-Star ballot for the hometown guys when you're at the park. The Chicago White Sox have taken things to a whole new level, though. The team's website is currently offering a deal where in exchange for filling out an online ballot, they'll email you discount codes for $5 or $10 off tickets to several September games. Is this ploy ridiculous? Oh, yes, but when your starting second baseman has a whopping .642 OPS like Alexei Ramirez does, it's not like anyone's going vote for him on his own merits.

10. Dog Day

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Don't want to leave your pooch at home when you head to the ballpark? If you're a Blue Jays fan, you won't have to make that decision on July 26th, when the team hosts Dog Day.

This event likely takes the cake for funniest disclaimer or warning for an MLB promotion; the team's site includes the following in bold type: "Do not bring a female dog in heat."

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6 New Events Will Debut At This Year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang
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It’s that time again! The 2018 Winter Olympic Games will kick off in PyeongChang, South Korea on February 9, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is adding a handful of new events to the festivities. In 2014, 12 new events—including Men’s and Women’s Ski Half-Pipe and Biathlon Mixed Relay—were added to make the Sochi Games more challenging and exciting. This year, six new events will make their debut in PyeongChang.

Here’s what’s new for 2018: While it started out as an X-Games event, extreme athletes will now get their chance to win gold medals in Men’s and Women’s Snowboard Big Air, which sees competitors performing their best spins and tricks after launching off a large (about 160 feet) ramp. For the first time, the Alpine skiing Nations Team Event will make its debut; the event features mixed teams of two men and two women going head-to-head in a series of downhill slalom races in a best-of-four competition.

Next up, Men’s and Women’s Speed Skating Mass Start features a maximum of 28 athletes in a 16-lap race, where all participants start at the same time with winner-takes-all stakes. Speed Skating Mass Start first appeared during the Lake Placid games in 1932, but has sat out the Winter Olympics in the 85 years since, so it's prepared to make a triumphant return.

Lastly, there's Curling Mixed Doubles. The new event consists of teams of two, a man and a woman, competing in a curling match with eight ends and five stones, instead of the traditional 10 and eight, respectively. In addition, there’s a 22-minute limit to get a team’s stones closest to the center button of the house.

The Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will air on NBC beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, February 9, 2018.

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Watch These Surfers Crush Nantucket's 'Slurpee' Waves
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Instead of hunkering down with Netflix and hot chocolate during the East Coast’s recent cold snap, surfers Nick Hayden and Jamie Briard spent the first few days of January 2018 conquering icy waves in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The frothy swells resembled a frozen 7-Eleven Slurpee, so photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh, a friend of the athletes, grabbed his camera to capture the phenomenon, according to deMilked.

The freezing point for salt water is 28.4°F, but undulating ocean waves typically move too much for ice particles to form. At Nantucket’s Nobadeer Beach, however, conditions were just right for a thick layer of frost to form atop the water’s surface for several hours. Some of the slushy crests were even surfable before melting after about three hours, Nimerfroh told Live Science.

This is the second time Nimerfroh has photographed so-called “Slurpee waves." He captured a similar scene on February 27, 2015, telling The New York Times, “I saw these crazy half-frozen waves. Usually on a summer day you can hear the waves crashing, but it was absolutely silent. It was like I had earplugs in my ears.”

Check out Nimerfroh’s video of surfers enjoying the icy swell below.

[h/t deMilked]

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