This is why you have to love minor league baseball. In no other venue can you write in the same story about Jackie Robinson and Negro League tributes as well as a professional pillow fight league.
Below are a few events to keep an eye on this week:
• JACKIE ROBINSON DAY (BIRMINGHAM BARONS)
My father grew up in Manhattan as a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He put me to bed as a child with tales of Jackie Robinson stealing home and tried to teach me on the diamond the art of the fadeaway slide. So I certainly hold a little special sentiment for Jackie Robinson Day celebrations. More than 330 major league players and on-field staff are expected to wear Robinson’s retired No. 42 today, and a variety of ceremonies are scheduled in honor of the 61st anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier. The Mets announced the new Citi Field will open next year with a Jackie Robinson Rotunda, styled after the entranceway to Ebbets Field, greeting fans as they step off the subway. An eight-foot statue of Robinson’s No. 42 will be included in the Rotunda.
The Barons are hosting a "Tribute to Negro Leagues Baseball" night in honor of Robinson’s legacy. The team will honor a dozen local former Negro League players in a ceremony prior to the game and will pay tribute to the area’s rich baseball history—the Birmingham Black Barons was one of the premier teams and played host to such greats as Willie Mays and Satchel Paige.
The Barons will wear throwback Birmingham Black Barons caps during the game.
"It’s a big deal for us because of the heritage we have in the city and because the Black Barons are a huge part of Birmingham’s baseball history," team spokesman Justin Firesheets said.
• OFFICE NIGHT (WILMINGTON BLUE ROCKS)
Who could ever tire of the film classic "Office Space?" Sure it’s almost 10 years old, but such memorable quips never get old:
Bob: Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter: I wouldn’t say I’ve been *missing* it, Bob.
Obviously the Blue Rocks still see the humor in the film and host a night dedicated to the "9 to 5ers."
Included among tonight’s activities is a chance to take a whack at a copier. Literally. $3 for one whack; $5 for two whacks (all proceeds go to United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware).
WEIGHT LOSS WEDNESDAY (LANCASTER JETHAWKS)
Every Wednesday is Weight Loss Wednesday in Lancaster, where fans in attendance can win prizes and compete with your fans all season long by living a healthy lifestyle. Fans can register their weight on the first Wednesday game they attend and then weigh-in on the final Wednesday home game. Whoever has lost the largest percentage of their body weight will win a prize. The JetHawks will also weigh a staff member each Wednesday, and that member’s weight (in pennies) will be the cost of admittance.
LADIES OF THE PROFESSIONAL PILLOW FIGHT LEAGUE (FORT MYERS MIRACLE)
(Note to my wife: I’ll be away on assignment Thursday. A hard-hitting news assignment needs my attention in Florida.)
Thursday night is not family night in Fort Myers. Usually the Miracle attract a more conservative crowd, comprised largely of local retirees. They’re going for a different audience with this promotion, in which the team ha s combined Thursty Thursday (2-for-1 beers) with the Florida debut of the Professional Pillow Fight League.
Following the game against Clearwater, the Miracle will roll out the mat for some good, no-holds barred ladies pro pillow fighting.
"When we first brought this idea up, we thought, ‘babes, boobs and beers? That’s not going to over here,’ " Miracle spokesman Gary Sharp said. "But sometimes you have to give people what they want. We did midget wrestling last year and it was huge." (Bad Pun of the Day!)
The Miracle learned of the PFL when fellow Goldklang Group team Charleston hosted members of the Toronto-based league last year. Apparently there was a huge turnout, and Fort Myers is counting on a similar reception. Sharp said they have been promoting the event on their Facebook and MySpace pages, and have gotten quite a response.
"We’re expecting more of a college crowd," Sharp said.
Featured pillow fighters on Thursday’s card included top-rated contender Laina Beaton along with Eiffel Power and Carmen Monoxide. The fighters will be involved with in-game and on-field promotions, but said they will not fight any fans in attendance. Apparently they take their work quite seriously.
"We told them we’d love to have someone from our staff jump into the ring, and they said ‘no way. We have records.’"
The Miracle will continue whacky Thursday promotions in May when local strongman Mighty Gonzalez (Sharp insists that is his legal name) will try and set a Guinness World Record by lifting a full keg 900 times in three hours.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog