Welcome to Minor Enterprise, where each Wednesday we preview, and occasionally review, the great events and promotions of minor league baseball. If you have a tip about a minor league promotion, or perhaps you're dressed as a large mascot beaver and are hopelessly stuck in the suit, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's an idea whose time has come. Surprised only that no one has thought of it sooner, we are proud to announce that Aug. 14 is Gassy Monday for the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League. Adults will receive coupons for discounted gasoline, and children will be given Whoopee Cushions. (You may want to make sure the boss isn't around before clicking on the next few links). "Henry Sanchez takes his lead at first. Nathan Fogle checks the sign, and goes into the windup. Here's the pitch: Josh Land hits a long fly ball to left! But it's hooking ... foul! (Thanks to Benjamin Hill).
• Dax Norris Salute to Baldness Night. (Friday, Richmond Braves, International League). Make baldness work for you for once, as all bald fans will be admitted free. Plus, baldies will be eligible to win a free trip to Bald Head Island, NC., and the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Dax Norris hand-held mask and bald cap. (Thanks to Aaron Webb).
• Jose Canseco Juice Box Night. (Thursday, Fullerton Flyers, Golden League). Jose Canseco and the Long Beach Armada are in town, and that can only mean one thing: free juice. The Flyers are giving away 500 juice boxes in commemoration of Canseco's book Juiced, in which the former major league slugger named names in the steroid controversy. Also, fliers that discuss the dangers of steroid use will be distributed. We assume that one of the points will be: Use steroids, and you may end up in the Golden League. (Thanks to Tim Bennett).
• Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. (Saturday, Frederick Keys, Carolina League). The Keys will honor one of the few activities where skill is not involved; Harry Grove Stadium is the site for the big Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament prior to the game with the Winston-Salem Warthogs. (Thanks to Benjamin Hill).
• Antique Appraisal Night. (Saturday, Williamsport Crosscutters, New York-Penn League). Come join Dr. Lori Verderame, the host of Trash or Treasure, a Philadelphia TV show in which various antiques and collectibles are appraised. This is the only sporting event which Niles and Frasier Crane annually attend. And on Friday, don't miss the World Famous Rubber Boy.
• Bobblehead of the Moment: We don't know how, but by the grace of God we will one day get our hands on one of these sweet Bruce Weber bobbleheads, given out by the Schaumburg Flyers to 2,500 lucky fans at Tuesday's Northern League game with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. This depiction of the University of Illinois basketball coach just may be the greatest bobblehead ever created.
• Mascot of the Week: Ciggy Butts, the anti-smoking mascot of the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League. Reader Pam Carabetta attended a game in which Mr. Butts appeared, and has filed a report — complete with photos — which you can peruse after the jump.
I suppose I'm a bit late on this, but I'm a relatively new Deadspin reader, so please forgive me. I thought I would send a couple of pictures of my favorite mascot to ever grace a ballpark: Ciggy Butts (yes, that was the official name). I'm a Somerset Patriots (of the Independent Atlantic League) fan and I was delighted to see this loveable character at the home opener on April 28 of this year. He apparently was part of some kind of anti-smoking thing held during pregame. What's not to love about a smoldering cigarette mascot? — Pam Carabetta.
Ciggy Butts races Sparkee, the Patriots' regular mascot, around the bases. Notice Sparkee clearly taunting the coughing, wheezing Mr. Butts as they round second. The quality of these shots reminds one of the Zapruder Film, because they were taken with a cell phone camera. But don't complain: Without readers like Pam Carabetta and her friend Jason, the historical record would be without any photos of Ciggy Butts at all.
Ciggy Butts works the crowd before the game. We suspect that the mascot had the opposite effect of that intended; kids seem to have run to the restrooms in droves to light up, as evidenced by the empty seats.