Controversial promotions are nothing new to minor league baseball.
Vasectomy Night in Charleston—all male fans were eligible to win a free snip—was not well-received and canceled without a single neuter. The independent Kansas City T-Bones planned to hold a Welcome Michael Vick to Kansas Night—the former Falcons quarterback had just been assigned to prison in Leavenworth, Kansas—but public outcry brought the promotion to a halt.
And now this, the latest minor league stunt to come to a screeching halt: Dr. Seuss Night.
That’s right, Lake Elsinore drew the attention of Dr. Seuss Enterprise when the Storm announced they were planning to hold their fourth annual Dr. Seuss theme night this past Friday—apparently Horton didn’t hear a hoot about the past three. Lake Elsinore, which averages just under 4,000 fans per game, had planned on following the same outline of previous Dr. Seuss theme nights: all announcements would be made in rhyme, gameday staff would dress as various Seuss characters, and players would wear red and white striped socks (a la the Cat in the Hat).
However, Storm president Dave Oster said that Seuss issued a cease and desist order when the Storm declined to meet their financial terms to hold the promotion: a $1,000 one-time licensing fee and a $4,000 security deposit to rent official costumes. The price tag was a tad steep, Oster said, for a promotion brings in roughly "zero" dollars.
"We thought the four grand was a little tough to swallow to walk around an hour and a half," Oster said. "We passed on that . . . People aren’t coming here for (Dr. Seuss) night. It’s a Friday Night Fireworks (promotion). It’s a secondary promotion. We’re not giving anything away or selling or anything. It’s just people walking around in costume. It’s not anything different than a Halloween night. I can guarantee you that nobody is walking up to the gate to buy a ticket for Dr. Seuss Night."
Oster believes that the Seuss foundation may not have completely understood the parameters of the promotion and that he hopes they can work together to pull something off for next season.
In the meantime, the team may have unearthed a budding children’s novelist who penned the following press release:
The Padres affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm
Tried to put on a promotion that wasn’t the Norm
We called it Dr. Seuss Night on our website
But something about that didn’t seem right
Dr. Seuss Enterprises didn’t see it as funny
They said we could do it but we didn’t have the money
They didn’t appreciate our publicity ploys
So we have to inform all the sad girls and boys
Through the face of it all we thought we’d persist
Until we were served with a cease and desist
The theme has been cancelled but the game will go on
Perhaps it wouldn’t matter if we were in Taiwan