What's coming up in the world of minor league baseball ... we proudly give you Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
Saturday, June 9th will also be a popular night because it is the [Dunedin] Blue Jays annual "Scout Night and Sleepover". Boy and Girl Scouts from all over the Tampa Bay area are expected to attend. Following the game, the Blue Jays will have their second fireworks spectacular of the season. Then the field opens up to allow families to set up camp and sleep on the Knology Park grass. Tickets for people wanting to sleep over are $10, which includes a ball park meal, a ticket, and breakfast the next morning.
Ah, to stretch out beneath the stars in a minor league ballpark, with second base as your pillow and the sounds of crickets to lull you to sleep (and around about 1 a.m., the automatic sprinklers). Just think, kids; your sleeping bag could be on the very spot where outfielder Eric Nielsen spits his chew. [Thanks to Reasonable Doubt].
Elsewhere in upcoming promotions:
• Beach Raft Giveaway. Today, Hickory Crawdads (Single-A, South Atlantic League). Do the Crawdads know something we don't know concerning tropical storm patterns? The answer is unclear. What is known is that the first 1,000 fans will receive a handsome beach raft. But whatever you do lady, don't pull on that cord. Pulling the cord would be a bad thing, because the raft ... oh no ... lady, lady!
• "Squeeze Me" T-Shirt Giveaway. Monday, May 14, Vero Beach Devil Rays (Single-A, Florida State League). I have enough trouble without a walking grapefruit instructing me on what should and shouldn't be squeezed. Yes the t-shirts are cute, but leave me out of this transaction. Side note: When Vero Beach was brainstorming ideas for a mascot, I suggested a wheat toast.
• Dave The Horn Guy Performance. Saturday, May 12, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Single-A, Carolina League). If you must squeeze something, better it be one of Dave's 25 "chromatically tuned horn bulbs," which are attached to his body. His performance, we're told, also includes "streams of confetti being shot into the crowd from his turbo-charged jetpack." Just a hunch, but we have a feeling that Dave ain't stable, folks. In about five years we see him with 25 sticks of dynamite attached to his body, holding up a bank. [Thanks to Benjamin Hill]
• Mustache May. All this month, Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League). Members of the Grizzlies front office are growing mustaches this month, all in the name of charity. May 31 will be Mustache Appreciation Night, and prizes will be given in the following categories to front-office members: Best in Show, Most Money Raised for their Mustache, Best Tom Selleck Look-Alike and Most Pathetic. The awards will be called the "Bochy's," in honor of Bruce Bochy, the formerly mustached manager of the San Francisco Giants. How one raises money for a mustache is unclear, but I'm sure we're all with the Grizzlies in spirit.
• Bobblehead of the Moment. Mr. Celery, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Single-A Carolina League). Our old friend Mr. Celery has finally been immortalized with a bobblehead giveaway; and we couldn't be prouder. On Thursday, 1,250 lucky fans took home the toy depicting the baseball mascot which is most delicious when smothered in peanut butter. (Ed. Note: If anyone has an extra one of these, we desperately want Mr. Chandler to have one. Please let us know.)
• Team Logo Of The Week: Other teams in the Independent Baseball League have already learned to fear the fierce chili pepper logo of the El Paso Diablos.
We want your minor league tips! Send info on upcoming events, photos, or grapefruit segments to RickChand@gmail.com. And thanks!