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Fresno Grizzlies Unveil 20th Anniversary Promotions

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The Fresno Grizzlies, who last year won Best Promotion in Baseball America’s inaugural Best of the Minors survey, have pulled out all the stops for their 20th anniversary promotional schedule. In addition to continuing their Taco Tuesday tradition for a third season, the Grizzlies will offer three unique bobbleheads and will don several commemorative jerseys.

The Grizzlies’ bobblehead slate features four major leaguers, three all-stars . . . and one woodland creature. On April 22, the team will give away a replica of Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum celebrating a win in a pose the Grizzlies have dubbed “Buster Hugs.” Four months later, on Aug. 26, the Grizzlies will honor an Astros-based Grizzlies alumnus when they hand out a bobblehead of Tony Kemp wearing a Tacos jersey while driving a taco truck.

And while those two bobbles alone are spectacular, the crown jewel will debut on June 24, when the Grizzlies play the Sacramento River Cats. That statue pits Giants ace Madison Bumgarner--known for his pitching and larger-than-life exploits away from the diamond--against a bear in an arm-wrestling duel. That’s right: You can walk home with a bobblehead (rather, a bobble-arm) of a three-time World Series champion engaging a bear in a battle of biceps.

"We're right back in our wheelhouse of what #Growlifornia does best on the promotional front, with some new twists," Fresno general manager Derek Franks said. "The uniqueness of our 20th anniversary bobbleheads is truly groundbreaking. Our theme-night jerseys have drawn national media attention before, and should again.”

All three bobbleheads will be available only to those who purchase a seven-game mini plan.

Beyond the bobbles, the Grizzlies will also honor 1990s hip-hop group Kris Kross on April 20 with “Totally Krossed Out” jerseys that will the players’ numbers on the front and the team name on the back. In conjunction with a classic vinyl night on June 1, the team will wear uniforms to honor the Beatles’ classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album on the 40th anniversary of its release.

On May 4, the Grizzlies will reprise their smash hit from last year with My Big Fat Fresno Wedding Show 2, during which the team’s mascot, Parker T. Bear, who was ordained as a minister last season, will once again be available to legally marry any couples with a wedding license and a dream.

Only in the minor leagues.


Chihuahuas Go Back To Their Roots

On Tuesday, the El Paso Chihuahuas revealed a key portion of their promotional schedule when they announced Diablo Days, a Wednesday tradition designed to honor the version of the franchise that played in the late 1980s. The promotion will take place on every home Wednesday with the exception of June 14, a night already reserved for a tribute to the U.S. Army.

On Diablo Days the Chihuahuas will wear throwback jerseys and will attempt to recreate the magic of Dudley Park, the team’s home until it moved into Cohen Stadium in 1989. Among the traditions the team will attempt to resuscitate are waving “Bye bye, baby” to departing pitchers and chanting “We want a hit!” when the Chihuahuas are at the plate.

“We are extremely proud and excited to bring this iconic name and look back under the control of Minor League Baseball and more importantly, El Paso, its true home,” Chihuahuas vice president and general manager Brad Taylor said.


And the Oscar Goes To ...

After Sunday’s flub at the Academy Awards, the Richmond Flying Squirrels have found a quick way to commemorate the moment. Oscar winner Warren Beatty, who had the misfortune of being at the center of the controversial moment when “La La Land” was erroneously announced as this year’s Best Picture winner, is a native of Richmond, and the Squirrels have decided to extend him the invitation to hand out commemorative Oscar statues (with a Flying Squirrels twist) to the first 1,000 fans at The Diamond on Aug. 13.

"We checked the envelope three times and it said 'Nutzy', so we actually made the award look like him," Flying Squirrels vice president and chief operating officer Todd "Parney" Parnell said. "Seriously, the Oscars are a big part of American entertainment and we have decided to celebrate it by putting our own Nutzy spin on it. We are looking forward to celebrating in August."

The celebration will also coincide with the 50th anniversary of Beatty’s appearance in “Bonnie and Clyde.”


Alliance Baseball Buys Biscuits

A group of investors including Gary Green, Todd Parnell and Lou DiBella have reached an agreement to purchase the Double-A Southern League’s Montgomery Biscuits. Green is a principal owner of Baseball America Enterprises--which owns this publication--and is part of the group, along with DiBella and Parnell, that owns the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Green is also an owner of the Pacific Coast League’s Omaha Storm Chasers, the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate.

The Biscuits are currently owned by Montgomery Baseball LLC, which is Sherrie Myers and Tom Dickson.

"I took a ride one day last season unannounced and walked around, went into the ballpark," DiBella told the Montgomery Advertiser. "The park is charming. The city is a terrific little city that is growing and booming and it just appealed to me."

The sale will require league approval. DiBella told the Advertiser that he expects all approvals to take about a month.

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