What's coming up in the world of minor league baseball ... we proudly give you Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
Monday is the West Michigan Whitecaps' gigantic, festive Salute to Bubbles, and not a moment too soon. The night will feature two giant bubble machines that will produce more than a million bubbles per hour, and there will be special bubble giveaways before and during the game.
But the main attraction will be an appearance by the clown team of Mr. and Mrs. Bubbles, shown here preparing to drop their pants and fire a rocket, as they say. We've discovered that Mr. and Mrs. Bubbles, who have been entertaining Michigan residents for years with their delightful antics, are members of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, who describe themselves on their Web site as follows:
We teach how to use the visual illustrations and develop talent for Gospel presentation using sleight of hand, optical illusion, ventriloquism, puppets, balloons, clowning, juggling, storytelling, and other visual arts as they develop for this one cause, visually promoting the Word of God.
The part of the Sermon on the Mount they don't tell you about:
JESUS: So how is school treating you, Billy?
VENTRILOQUIST DUMMY: Not so good. I have to walk 10 blocks to get there.
JESUS: When I was a kid, I didn't think anything of walking several miles to school.
VENTRILOQUIST DUMMY: Well I don't think too much of it either. (Laughter).
Other promotions, the leaders in the Worst Song in the World voting, and a woman who sees dead people, after the jump.
• Worst Music Of All Time Night. Tuesday, June 26. Long Beach Armada (Independent, Golden Baseball League). Though a winner will not be announced until game time, the race for the worst song of all time is coming down to the wire in Long Beach. Voting has been heavy for We Built This City by Jefferson Starship, Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, Mmmm Bop by Hanson, Gerrardo by Rico Suave, Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, Too Legit to Quit by MC Hammer and Party All the Time by Eddie Murphy, any of whom could win this thing. Get your vote in now!
• Petrol-Palooza Gas Giveaway. Monday, June 25. Birmingham Barons (Class-AA Southern League). On this day ticket prices will be identical to the price of a gallon of gas (general admission = regular unleaded), and one lucky fan will get a $250 gas card courtsey of Napa Auto Parts. Fill 'er up with excitement! Offer not good for Tony LaRussa!
• Nothing Night . Monday, June 25. Lake Elsinore Storm (Class-A California League). The team's staff honored this promotion last season by doing absolutely nothing at the ballpark, so I assume that this year's event will be the same. No PA announcer, no mascot, no concessions, nada. Enjoy.
• Garrett Fahrmann Tribute Night. Wednesday, June 27. Fresno Grizzlies (Class-AAA Pacific Coast League). Tired of honoring celebrities such as Bob Barker, Kevin Federline and Cher, the Grizzlies will instead pay tribute their own VP of operations. The game will include a special behind the scenes look at Fahrmann's rapid ascent from humble beginnings as a farm kid from rural Iowa to a position of power with a Class-AAA team. Also, anyone with an Iowa ID will be admitted free.
• Mike Tyson Ear Night. Thursday, June 28. Fort Myers Miracle (Class-A Florida State League). Free facial tattoos? Discount admission for those with partially missing ears? I have no idea. If you go, please write and tell me what happens.
• Salute To The Pickle. Tuesday, June 26. Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Class-A New York-Penn League). On this magical night, the first 1,000 fans to enter Eastwood Field will receive their own pickle. Plus, there will be pickle-related activities before and during the Scrappers' game with the Jamestown Jammers. Could any event be more truly American? The terrorists hate us for our pickles.
• Connection Beyond With A Real Medium. Thursday, June 28. Trenton Thunder (Class-AA Eastern League). Teresa Liza Pell sees dead people ... and for $68 she will let you talk to them. "The Thunder will welcome acclaimed spiritual medium, Marisa Pell, to Waterfront Park for an evening of communicating with spirits from beyond. The Thunder will host this special Connection Beyond Gallery Event in the Yankee Club and Conference Center at Waterfront Park." Gerald Ford? Is that you? [Thanks to Ted Kerwin]
• Player Of The Week. Deik Scram, West Michigan Whitecaps (Class-A Midwest League). Scram was the MVP of Sunday's Midwest League All-Star Game, but I picked him because I like his name. A close second was Robert Moron, GCL Phillies (Class-Rookie, Gulf Coast League).
• Bobblehead Of The Moment. James Whistler Bobblehead. Lowell Spinners (Class-A New York-Penn League). Lowell-born James Whistler, the world-renown painter and etcher, received many accolades during his lifetime. But the artist perhaps best-known for the painting Whistler's Mother now has his biggest tribute of all; a bobblehead doll in his honor. On Thursday, June 21, 1,500 fortunate fans at LeLacheur Park received one of these beauties. If you have one, we'd appreciate a photo that is larger than this.
And speaking of the Spinners, don't forget that Laces Out With Stephen Gostkowski Day is Sunday!
We want your minor league tips! Send info on upcoming events, photos, or messages from the beyond to RickChand@gmail.com. And thanks!