What's coming up in the world of minor league baseball ... we proudly present you with Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
Does it seem as if Stubby Clapp Day is getting more and more commercialized every year? It used to be all about Stubby Clapp; the former Memphis Redbirds infielder who holds four franchise records. But now it's just about the presents.
No other Memphis Redbird has worn No. 10 since Clapp left. In his four years in Memphis, Clapp hit .269 with 87 doubles, 19 triples, 222 walks and 258 runs scored. He holds the career records for doubles, triples, walks and runs. Following the game between Memphis and Omaha there will be an on-field ceremony to retire Clapp's jersey. Fireworks will follow the ceremony. To buy your Stubby 10 Pack or to purchase remaining tickets for this special game call (901) 721-6000 or visit memphisredbirds.com.
It's well known that he was also a fixture on Canada's 2004 Olympic team. But what self-proclaimed Stubby Clapp experts fail to mention is that he was also once a member of the Edmonton Cracker-Cats. And his wife's name is Chastity.
Elsewhere in the minors:
• Managerial Debut Of Hall Of Fame Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg, Tonight, Peoria Chiefs (Class-A Midwest League). That's a lot to fit onto a banner, so the Chiefs are just calling it Opening Night Festivities (schedule magnets for the first 1,500 fans!). And you know, what better way for a former Cub to kick off his managerial career than with a game on Friday the 13th?
• Ken Burns Lectures On Buck O'Neil. Saturday, April 14, Sarasota Reds (Class-A Florida State League). Yes, why not head out to the old ball yard and enjoy a lecture by an esteemed PBS documentarian? Hopefully this will go over better than the Reds' previous promotion, "Dr. Roger Pielke Discusses Global Warming." Actually, players from both teams will wear the uniforms of various Negro League teams on Saturday, and former Negro League players will be there to sign autographs, which is way cool. [Benjamin Hill]
• Mascot of the Week: Mr. Lugnut (Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A Midwest League). A legend in the state of Michigan, the delightful metal nut frolics about Oldsmobile Park spreading joy to children while educating adults on the importance of proper automotive maintenance. ... Aw, who are we kidding? There is in reality no Mr. Lugnut. The mascot the team has come up with is actually a sappy, kiddie-friendly carpet remnant named Big Lug. We are very disappointed in you, Lansing. You could have had one of the coolest and most unique mascots in all of sports, but instead opted for Barney the Dinosaur with type-2 diabetes.
You've got it and we want it ... tips on minor league promotions and other shenanigans, that is. Send to RickChand@gmail.com.