What's coming up in the world of minor league baseball ... we proudly present you with Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
It's the type of photo you've seen a million times: Proud owners showing off their weiner dog after a first-place triumph at the weiner races on Community Basket Day at the home field of the Burlington Bees. Um, what's Miss Iowa Preteen got to do with it again? Is that a tub of Turtle Wax? Christ, I'm losing it ...
Lester the dog, shown here, shall now celebrate his victory with a barnstorming tour through several other minor league parks. That's because there's a plethora of canine-related events scheduled for this weekend and next week. First, Lester can attend Bark at the Park on Saturday, when the host Dunedin Blue Jays (Class-A Florida State League) take on the St. Lucie Mets at 7 p.m. Dogs will be admitted for $1 and "will be invited on the field for a pre-game parade." But do dogs really need an invitation for something like that? Next, Lester will fly to beautiful Altoona, Pa., for Bark in the Park/Karoake Night with the Altoona Curve (Class-AA Eastern League) on Tuesday, May 29. Frankly I found it a little hard to believe that my dog could get into a game free of charge, and be allowed to sing into a microphone. But I examined my ticket carefully and it's true. I haven't been this excited for a sporting event since the Puppy Bowl.
After the jump, other upcoming minor league promotions:
• Illini Night With Bruce Weber. Tonight, Peoria Chiefs (Class-A Midwest League). Sorry if you don't see any further posting today: Will's rental car is speeding toward Peoria at this very moment, Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight blaring on the CD and a variety of empty liquor bottles rattling around in the back seat. Hopefully he'll be there in time to obtain one of the autographed jerseys being auctioned at the Second Annual Illini Night with basketball coach Bruce Weber — and assistant coach Wayne McClain — as the Chiefs take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at 6:30. The legendary Zooperstars will also be there, so Will just may get to meet his two greatest heroes: Coach Weber and Clammy Sosa. Godspeed!
• World Record Yo-Yo Attempt . Saturday, May 26, Bowie Baysox (Class-AA Eastern League). It was a proud moment for America when Baysox fans in 2005 broke Japan's record for simultaneous Whoopee-cushion sitting. The Baysox got 4,439 fans to make loud noises of flatulence, to ... wait, but they only handed out 3,800 Whoopee cushions. Oh, gross! Anyway, now they'll go for the Guinness World Record for most people simultaneously yo-yoing, handing out 1,500 yo-yos before their game with the Altoona Curve. And if anyone wants to fart, well, feel free.
• King Kong Bundy Appearance. Lakewood Blue Claws (Class-A South Atlantic League). One of my favorite '80s wrestlers, The Atlantic City Annihilator feuded with both Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. We wonder what he weighs now? It would be kind of a letdown if he's only, like, 195.
• Laces Out With Stephen Gostkowski. Saturday, June 24, Lowell Spinners (Class-A New York Penn League). Make your plans now for this magical event, when the Patriots placekicker will boot autographed footballs into the stands; hopefully knocking off the head of one the team's three annoying mascots. It's all part of New England Patriots Night at LeLacheur Park, which for a couple of shining hours will be the hub of Patriots football on the eastern seaboard. [Thanks to TJ Doyle]
• Minor League Poo Toss: A Look Back. Our pal Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog checks in with this: "I realize you have already covered the Salute to Indoor Plumbing, but I feel like the poo toss really ought to be memorialized in some way. What I wouldn't give for a photo." I couldn't agree more. And as you relive the glory of this event through Dan's report, don't skip over the part where the very same West Virginia Power is planning a gala Salute to Cheese, on July 23. See you there!
• Cap Of The Week. Lake Elsinore Storm (Class-A Advanced, California League). It has been rumored that Storm players are given their positions by the team sorting hat, seen above. Not true. All the same, if we're a kid and we own this hat, we're turning the logo toward the wall when we go to sleep. "Matt Buschmann? Hufflepuff!"
• Bobblehead of the Moment. The Portland Beavers (Class-AAA Pacific Coast League) wanted to have a bobblehead promotion, and what better way than to find someone whose actual name is Bob L. Head? The problem is, the Beavers found a bunch of them. So now it's up to you to vote for the ultimate winner. Don't delay; the deadline is May 31! [Thanks to Michael Howell]
We want your minor league tips! Send photos, info on upcoming promotions and any fun squeeky toys to RickChand@gmail.com. And thanks!