One of the great things about Minor League Baseball is the countless activities going on at ballparks on any given day. Sure, a lot of these are designed to lure folks to the ballpark. But a lot of them also help us recognize and honor things that are important in our culture.
This season, it seems like “Awareness Days,” “Heritage Days,” and other such events are more numerous than ever before. In fact, it’s taken me nearly half the season to complete my research on them! However, over the next few days I’ll post what’s coming up at Minor League – and Major League – ballparks across the country this summer. I’ve divvyed them up into several categories: Military/Law Enforcement Days, Professional Days, Awareness Days, Diversity/Heritage Days, Player Appearances, Jersey Nights, and Other Goofy Stuff.
So, in honor of Independence Day, I’ll start with a rundown of all of the military and law enforcement appreciation days coming up at a ballpark near you.
|5/9||Tides||Armed Forces Night|
|6/13||Tides||Marine Corps Night|
|6/22||Williamsport||Military Monday (Free general
admission ticket for all active & retired Military)
|6/24||Vermont||First Responders Night|
|7/3||State College||First Responders Appreciation Night|
|7/3||Williamsport||Military Appreciation Night|
|7/11||State College||Military Appreciation Night|
|7/12||Lowell||First Responders Appreciation Day|
|7/13||Lowell||Vietnam Veterans Night|
|7/15||Mahoning Valley||Military Appreciation Night|
|7/18||Staten Island||FDNY Appreciation Night|
|7/22||Mahoning Valley||Military Appreciation Night|
|7/22||Vermont||Military Appreciation Night|
|7/31||CT Tigers||First Responder Night|
|8/2||State College||Veteran Appreciation Day|
|8/3||West Virginia||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/5||Mahoning Valley||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/6||Aberdeen||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/9||State College||Veteran Appreciation Day|
|8/12||Mahoning Valley||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/14||Staten Island||NYPD Appreciation Night|
|8/16||State College||Veteran Appreciation Day|
|8/19||Mahoning Valley||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/21||CT Tigers||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/24||West Virginia||Guns and Hoses Night
(celebrating First Responders)
|8/29||Brooklyn||Military Appreciation Night|
|8/30||Staten Island||Military Appreciation Night|
|9/6||State College||Veteran Appreciation Day|
Last week, a 16-year old baseball player, Melissa Mayeux, made history by becoming the first female baseball player to be added to the MLB international registration list. This means that she could conceivably become the first female major leaguer. (Note that this all happened one day before the 43rd anniversary of the passage of Title IX, commonly known for providing equal opportunity for girls in sports.)
Today is the day that teams can start signing players on list. But first, what is the international registration list? New international signing rules were implemented in 2012 with the latest MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement. Teams must follow this process in order to sign international amateurs. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
“An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of next year if the prospect turns 17 before Sept. 1 of this year or by the completion of his first Minor League season. Additionally, any prospect who is already 17 or older and has not previously signed a Major or Minor League contract, resides outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year is eligible to sign during the period.”
Ok, so that’s a little confusing. Basically, 16-year olds in countries not subject to the MLB draft (i.e., everywhere by the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico) become eligible to sign with MLB teams on July 2 every year as long as they registered with MLB by May 1. If you’re already 17, you don’t need to register.
But being registered doesn’t mean you will get signed. After Melissa was placed on the international registration list, The New York Daily News had an interesting article about how likely it was that she – or any woman – would sign with MLB any time soon. Even MLB.com’s Lindsay Berra says it’s not likely that Mayeux will sign with anyone.
Right now, Mayeux is at an MLB hitting camp in Germany where she’ll get hitting instruction from former Oriole (Diamondback, etc.) Steve Finley. Later this summer she’ll be at the European baseball championship in the Czech Republic, and then it’s on to MLB’s European Elite Camp in the Netherlands. One thing is for sure: it’s good to be 16!
For a continually updated list of the top international prospects and who is getting signed, go to Baseball America.com.
With the postponement of several baseball games on Saturday (resulting in a fabulous Sunday of double headers!) and the tornado warnings in St. Louis last night (prompting some to second-guess whether the nationally televised Cardinals-Cubs game should have started at all), it seems like it’s time for a quick post on baseball and the weather. In fact, just last week the National Weather Service observed National Lightning Awareness Safety Week.
So, here’s a brief rundown of recent articles on the relationship among baseball, weather, and sociology:
- Recently, the Washington Post clued us in to “How the Nationals make high-pressure weather decisions.”
- Over the weekend, a storm flooded Homer Stryker Field, home of the Kalamazoo Growlers.
- A week ago, after Scherzer’s no-hitter, Nats Park was flooded in a few places, including the clubhouse tunnel.
Last Tuesday, several teams experienced amazing colors in the sky as storms approached or departed the local area, including: Chicago, Washington (check out the cool pic by none other than Bryce Harper), Boston, and Bowie (see the Baysox photo to the right).
- In April, USA Today, reported that “Mike Trout also is baseball’s best meteorologist.”
- Even stadiums with roofs, like Minute Maid Park, haven’t been safe from the rain this year.
- And if you need to a quick weather update for any stadium, DailyBaseballData.com has you covered, as does AccuWeather!
Hopefully there are no rain-outs in your future!
Yesterday, I posed the question – what is the connection between Bernie Williams and the Tri-City Valleycats? The ‘Cats are a Houston Astros affiliate. Bernie is a life-long Yankee. He never played for Houston, nor did he play for Tri-City. So, why are they giving out a Bernie Williams bobblehead this season?
Well, it turns out that the Valleycats are located in Troy, NY. The “Tri-City” moniker refers to the tri-city area of New York’s capital region – Albany, Schenectady, and Troy. And that’s where the connection begins to make sense. Anyone remember the Albany-Colonie Yankees? They were the Double A (AA) affiliate of the New York Yankees from 1985 to 1994. The Valleycats pay tribute to the former local team with their “Weekend at Bernie’s” promotion, which includes a bobblehead giveaway of the 1989-90 Albany-Colonie Yankee, Bernie Williams, on August 21. The Bernie Weekend continues the following day with a raffle for an autographed, life-sized Bernie Williams bobblehead. (The team will sell a limited number of raffle tickets beginning at the start of the season, with proceeds going to charity.)
Now, here’s where minor league genealogy gets complicated, yet fascinating. Throughout its history, Albany, NY, had several minor league teams. In fact, between 1920 and 1959, the city hosted a team every year. Baseball returned to Albany in 1983 in the form of the Albany A’s (who became the Albany-Colonie A’s in 1984; technically, the team played in Colonie, NY, a suburb of Albany). Their home ballpark, Heritage Park, was built in 1982. (In case you were wondering, the A’s had moved from West Haven, CT, where they had played as the West Haven Whitecaps (1980) and the West Haven A’s (1981-1982)) (prior to that they were the West Haven Yankees from 1972-1979 and the A’s affiliate was in Waterbury, CT). (But I digress.)
In 1985, the Albany team became an affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Albany-Colonie Yankees moved to Norwich, CT, in 1995 and were renamed the Norwich Navigators. They remained the Yankees’ AA affiliate through 2002. The team switched affiliations to the San Francisco Giants for the 2003 season (when the Yankees moved their AA team to Trenton, which is still the Yankees’ AA team). In 2006, the team’s name changed to the Connecticut Defenders, though they remained a Giants affiliate. After the 2009 season, they moved to Richmond, VA, and became known as the Richmond Flying Squirrels. To this day, the team remains in Richmond, is still a Giants farm team, and is still named the Flying Squirrels.
Of course, when the Yankees’ AA team moved to Connecticut in 1995, it wasn’t the end of baseball in New York’s State Capital. At least not then. In 1995, the independent Northeast League was formed and fielded a team in Albany – the Albany Diamond Dogs. Beginning in 1998, they became known as the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs.
In 1999, the Northeast League merged with the Northern League (which was founded in 1993). The Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs remained in the Northern League through 2002. The team folded after the 2002 season (and the Northern League folded after the 2010 season). Although the Northeast League returned as a separate league in 2003, the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs were no longer part of the league, nor did Albany (or Colonie) field a team in 2005 when the Northeast league reorganized as the Canadian-American League (also known as the Can-Am League, not to be confused with the Class C minor league Canadian-American League, or Can-Am League, which operated between 1936 and 1951 (for the most part)). (Interestingly, the original Can-Am league did not field a team in Albany.) (But I digress.) (Again.)
Sadly, the Diamond Dogs’ Heritage Park sat empty after the 2002 season. In 2005, just ten years after the Dogs first played there and less than 23 years after it was built, the contents of the stadium were sold at auction. The stadium itself was demolished four years later.
What makes this so fascinating and sociologically significant? The linkages among teams and towns fascinates this Baseball Sociologist. It’s kind of like that six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing. If you dig deep enough, you can find a connection to baseball almost anywhere. Baseball is deeply ingrained in U.S. society, and you never know when, or where, you might stumble upon it (or, exasperatingly, the Yankees).
It’s Opening Day for the New York-Penn League and time for another update to the bobblehead giveaway list. And these are definitely worth listing! This year, the Aberdeen Ironbirds are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken’s streak of 2,131 games played with four separate bobblehead giveaways – one each month (on June 30, July 15, August 5, and September 2). Cal will also make several appearances at his ballpark throughout the season.
Other notable bobble giveaways are: Madison Bumgarner from the Connecticut Tigers on July 4; a Juan Lagares bobble glove from the Brooklyn Cyclones on July 29; and a trio of Yankees from a trio of teams – Dellin Betances from the Staten Island Yankees (7/18), CC Sabathia from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (7/25), and Bernie Williams from the Tri-City Valley Cats (8/21). Of course, only one of those teams is a Yankees affiliate (can you guess which one?). It sorta makes sense that a Cleveland farm team would be giving away a CC Sabathia bobblehead, though it seems like he’s been a Yankee forever. But I had to do some research to see the connection between Bernie and the Tri-City Valleycats, which is currently an affiliate of the Houston Astros. (Tomorrow, I’ll give you my report on the connection between Bernie Williams and the Tri-City Valleycats and it will all become crystal clear.)
The New York-Penn League’s teams will also giveaway several non-baseball bobbleheads, including NHL and NFL players, a university president, and a zombie player. In addition, the Brooklyn Cyclones will pay tribute to “Seinfeld” and “The Honeymooners” with bobbleheads. The Cyclones will also offer what is believed to be the first-ever Sidd Finch bobblehead.
And just in case you aren’t fond of some of the bobbles you collect, the Lowell Spinners are hosting a Bobblehead Swap Day on August 24.
|6/26||Mahoning Valley||Jim Tressel (Youngstown State Univ. president)|
|6/30||Aberdeen||Cal Ripken – Rookie Year|
|7/4||Connecticut Tigers||Madison Bumgarner|
|7/5||Brooklyn||Lil’ Jerry Bobble Beak (Kramer’s pet rooster from Seinfeld)|
|7/15||Aberdeen||Cal Ripken – World Series Champ|
|7/15||Lowell||Dogman (local legend)|
|7/18||Brooklyn||Bus Driver Sandy Bobblehead (from the Honeymooners)|
|7/18||CT Tigers||Mike Rabelo (manager)|
|7/18||Staten Island||Dellin Betances|
|7/19||Brooklyn||Impractical Jokers (Tru TV) Bobbleheads|
|7/21||Lowell||Fan Vote Bobblehead|
|7/23||Lowell||Keith Aucoin (NHL)|
|7/25||Mahoning Valley||CC Sabathia|
|7/26||Lowell||Pete Frates (Boston College) Bobble Ice Bucket|
|7/29||Brooklyn||Juan Lagares Bobble Glove|
|8/1||Staten Island||Jason Arnold|
|8/5||Aberdeen||Cal Ripken – Season for the Ages|
|8/8||Mahoning Valley||Cody Allen|
|8/9||State College||Jerome Bettis (NFL) Gold Jacket Bobblehead|
|8/15||CT Tigers||Eric Campbell|
|8/19||Brooklyn||Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto (from “Good Day New York”)|
|8/23||Lowell||Zombie Player Bobblehead|
|8/26||Brooklyn||Sidd Finch Bobblehead|
|9/2||Aberdeen||Cal Ripken – 2131 Bobblehead|
Yesterday, I published my annual list of bobbleheads being given away by Major League and Minor League Baseball teams. However, MLB and MiLB aren’t the only games in town. Currently there are seven Independent Leagues in professional baseball. The more established leagues (those that have been around for at least 10 years) are the American Association, the Atlantic League, the Canadian-American League, and the Frontier League. Three leagues were founded more recently: the Pecos League (founded 2011), the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (2013), and the newly formed Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League.
I suspect that due to their independence from Major League Baseball (and MLB’s monetary coffers), independent league teams are less likely to have the sponsorship support that teams affiliated with MLB have. Thus, the independent league teams seem to have fewer “big ticket” giveaways and promotions. However, there is a significant amount of bobbleheads and figurines up for grabs this season at independent league ballparks. Below is the list I was able to cobble together from the teams’ various website.
Of course, independent league teams, like MLB and MiLB teams, have a variety of other promotions and giveaways scheduled for this season. I’ll publish those over the next few days.
|Date||Team||Bobblehead, Gnome, Figurine, Etc.|
|5/1||Long Island Ducks||Lew Ford Bronze Figurine|
|5/6||Bridgeport Bluefish||Mayor Bill Finch|
|5/30||Lancaster Barnstormers||Robert Fulton|
|6/12||Bridgeport Bluefish||Ringmaster Fred Hall|
|6/13||River City Rascals||Todd Worrell (Bobblehead and Appearance)|
|6/13||So. Maryland Blue Crabs||Stan Cliburn “Stomp the ‘Sharks’” Bobblehead (v. Camden Riversharks)|
|6/23||Winnipeg Goldeyes||Ace Walker|
|6/24||Bridgeport Bluefish||B.B. Bobblehead|
|7/1||Bridgeport Bluefish||P.T. Barnum|
|7/18||Lancaster Barnstormers||Jim Furyk|
|7/21||Kansas City T-Bones||Jake Blackwood|
|7/31||Lancaster Barnstormers||Johnny Weir|
|8/1||Bridgeport Bluefish||Bobby Valentine|
|8/2||Long Island Ducks||Elizabeth Hashagen|
|8/5||St. Paul Saints||King Boreas|
|8/15||Rockford Aviators||Western Bobblehead|
|8/16||Long Island Ducks||Ray Navarrete|
|8/21||Rockford Aviators||Superhero Bobblehead|
|8/22||Wichita Wingnuts||Anthony Capra Bobble-Butt|
|8/26||Bridgeport Bluefish||James O’Rourke|
|8/29||So. Maryland Blue Crabs||Jeremy Owens “Duck Hunting” Bobblehead (v. L.I. Ducks)|
|9/9||Bridgeport Bluefish||Chaz and AJ|
|9/13||Somerset Patriots||Fan Choice Bobblehead|
|9/16||Bridgeport Bluefish||George H.W. Bush|
This past Monday, I got my first in-park bobblehead of the year: Livan Hernandez. This bobble had been on my calendar since before the season started. But I suppose you can’t say it was my first bobblehead for this year – before this year’s promotions schedules were even announced, I made sure I got Zach Britton and Jayson Werth – no more Jayson Werth incidents for this Baseball Sociologist! (It takes much less effort to get free bobbleheads with my annual purchase of ticket packs from the Bowie Baysox.)
Of course, these days my list gets scooped by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which has a much more extensive list than I do. But I still get a kick out of putting together my own list. However, over the next weeks or so, I’ll post more about this year’s major- and minor league promotion schedules. After all, there is more to life than bobbleheads.
In fact, its not just heads that are bobbling this year. You can get a bobble waist (5/23), bobble biceps (6/27), bobble belly (8/9), bobble legs (9/5), and – I kid you not – a bobble butt (8/22 at the Wichita Wingnuts). Below is the list of bobbleheads, figurines, gnomes, and similar giveaways at Major League and Minor League Baseball stadiums this year (the bobble dates that have already passed appear at the end of the list). For now, the list does not include independent league teams, such as the Wichita Wingnuts. I’ll post those at a later date.
In the meantime, happy collecting!
|Date||Team||Bobblehead, Gnome, Figurine, etc.|
|5/8||Erie||Steven Moya OYO|
|5/9||Giants||Hunter Pence “Fence Catch” Bobblehead|
|5/9||Rays||Evan Longoria Walkup Music Bobblehead|
|5/14||Altoona||Starling Marte Partay Bobblehead|
|5/14||New Britain||David Ortiz|
|5/16||Astros||Dallas Keuchel “Gold Glove” Gnome|
|5/22||Erie||C. Wolf Garden Gnome (mascot)|
|5/23||Scranton-WB||CHAMP-Vadar Bobble Waist (mascot)|
|5/23||Syracuse Chiefs||Billy Gardner Jr. Gnome|
|5/23||White Sox||Paul Konerko Replica Statute|
|5/25||Dodgers||Tommy Lasorda Garden Gnome|
|5/28||A’s||Stephen Vogt Referee Bobblehead|
|5/29||Altoona||Tony Watson “Elementary” Bobblehead|
|5/29||Cardinals||Whitey Herzog Garden Gnome|
|5/29||Mississippi Braves||Christian Bethancourt|
|5/30||Akron||Truffle Shuffle Bobblehead|
|5/30||Giants||Giants World Champions Postseasons Heroes Bobblehead (Belt, Crawford, or Petit)|
|5/31||Cubs||Clark W Flag Bobblehead (mascot?)|
|6/2||Phillies||Vintage Phillies Bobblehead|
|6/4||Mississippi Braves||Tri-Bobblehead featuring Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux|
|6/4||White Sox||Bobby Jenks World Series Moment|
|6/5||Mississippi Braves||Mycal Jones|
|6/7||Blue Jays||Marcus Stroman|
|6/11||Mississippi Braves||John Smoltz|
|6/12||Mississippi Braves||Barrett Kleinknecht|
|6/13||Giants||Giants World Champions Postseasons Heroes Bobblehead (Affeldt, Ishikawa, or Panik)|
|6/13||Potomac||Steven Souza “The Catch” Figurine Giveaway|
|6/14||Rangers||Elvis Andrus Stolen Base Garden Gnome|
|6/19||Frederick Keys||Pat Sajak (including appearance by Pat Sajak)|
|6/20||A’s||Sonny Gray Solar Powered Gnome|
|6/20||Altoona||Josh Harrison Garden Gnome|
|6/25||Mississippi Braves||Aaron Holbert|
|6/27||Akron||Albert Belle Bobble Biceps|
|6/27||Baltimore||Buck Showalter Garden Gnome|
|6/29||Potomac||Michael Taylor “Flattop” MLB Debut Bobblehead|
|7/2||New Britain||Kennys Vargas|
|7/5||Cardinals||Ozzie Smith Bronze Statue|
|7/5||Potomac||Wilson Ramos Buff-A-Rine|
|7/8||Lakewood||Ken Giles “Made the Phillies” Bobblehead|
|7/8||Yankees||Dellin Betances Figurine|
|7/15||Lowell||Dogman (local personality)|
|7/17||Mississippi Braves||Julio Teheran|
|7/18||Dbacks||A.J. Pollock Star Wars Bobblehead|
|7/18||Staten Island||Dellin Betances|
|7/18||Wilmington||Rocky Bluewinkle Hero Bobblehead (mascot)|
|7/19||Bowie Baysox||Babe Ruth|
|7/21||Lowell||Fan Vote Bobble Head|
|7/23||Lowell||Keith Aucoin (NHL)|
|7/24||Cubs||Billy Williams Replica Statute|
|7/24||Mississippi Braves||Braeden Schlehuber|
|7/25||Dbacks||Randy Johnson Hall of Fame Bobblehead|
|7/25||Frederick Keys||Zach Britton|
|7/25||Giants||Hunter Pence Gnome|
|7/25||Indians||Larry Doby Replica Statue|
|7/26||Lowell||Pete Frates (Boston College) Bobble Ice Bucket|
|7/26||Rockies||Nolan Arenado Gold Glove Bobblehead|
|7/28||Birmingham||Michael Early Catch of the Year Figurine|
|7/31||Wilmington||Senator Tom Carper|
|8/1||Baltimore||Oriole Bird (mascot)|
|8/1||Potomac||One-Eyed Willie (“The Goonies”)|
|8/1||Staten Island||Jason Arnold|
|8/1||Twins||1965 Vintage Bobblehead|
|8/1||White Sox||Scott Podsednik World Series Moment|
|8/2||A’s||Mike Gallego Windmill Windup Toy|
|8/2||Brewers||Matt Garza Gnome|
|8/3||Blue Jays||Russell Martin|
|8/5||Nationals||Jayson Werth Chia Pet|
|8/8||Akron||Michael Dean Perry|
|8/9||Bowie Baysox||“Captain Manny” Machado Pirate Bobblehead|
|8/9||Brewers||Bob Uecker Statue Bobblehead|
|8/9||Lakewood||Buster Bobble-Belly (mascot)|
|8/14||Braves||John Smoltz Hall of Fame Bobblehead|
|8/14||Cardinals||Red Schoendienst Hall of Fame Red Jacket Statue|
|8/15||NW Arkansas||Yordano Ventura|
|8/16||Blue Jays||Bell, Moseby, and Barfield|
|8/16||Giants||Juan Marichal Statue Replica|
|8/16||New Britain||Elvis Rocky Bobblehead Weekend|
|8/22||Frederick Keys||Kevin Gausman|
|8/22||Hagerstown||Historic figure mystery bobblehead|
|8/22||Harrisburg||Stephen Souza, Jr.|
|8/22||Reds||Tony Perez Replica Statue|
|8/22||Rockies||Star Wars Bobblehead|
|8/23||Lowell||Zombie Player Bobblehead|
|8/25||Nationals||Anthony Rendon Garden Gnome|
|8/27||Altoona||Steamer Dashboard Bobble|
|8/28||Altoona||Jordy Mercer “Lloyd Christmas” Bobblehead|
|8/29||Akron||“It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” Bobble Tiki Bar|
|8/29||Mets||1986 World Championship Bobblehead|
|8/29||Pirates||Bill Mazeroski Replica Statue|
|8/29||Rays||Kevin Kiermaier Outlaw Action Figure|
|8/29||White Sox||Jermaine Dye World Series Night|
|8/30||Brewers||Vintage Brewer Bobblehead|
|9/5||Tampa||Brett Gardner Bobble Legs|
|9/7||Cardinals||Harry Caray Bobblehead with voice chip|
|9/12||Indians||Terry Francona red scooter bobblehead|
|9/12||Reds||To Be Announced|
|9/13||Marlins||Jose Fernandez Figurine|
|9/19||Rays||Fan Vote Bobblehead|
|9/20||Brewers||Scooter Gennett Gnome|
|9/23||Rockies||Jorge De La Rosa|
|9/26||Cubs||To Be Determined|
|9/26||Reds||2015 All-Star Player Bobblehead|
Dates that we already missed:
|4/12||Rockies||Justin Morneau Batting Champ Bobblehead|
|4/14||Boston Red Sox||Wally (mascot)|
|4/14||Giants||Madison Bumgarner Postseason MVP Bobblehead|
|4/17||Bowie Baysox||Mystery Bobblehead|
|4/18||Cardinals||Yadier Molina Gold and Platinum Gloves Bobblehead|
|4/18||Wilmington||Elena Delle Donne (basketball)|
|4/19||Blue Jays||Jose Bautista|
|4/19||New Britain||Byron Buxton|
|4/19||Rays||Evan Longoria Rubber Duck|
|4/25||Akron||Webster bobblehead (mascot)|
|4/28||Rangers||Derek Holland Garden Gnome|
|5/1||Altoona||Andrew McCutcheon OYO|
|5/2||Astros||Jose Altuve “Hit Counter” Bobblehead|
|5/2||Mets||Jacob deGrom Garden Gnome|
|5/3||Giants||Buster Posey Bank|
|5/5||Boston Red Sox||Carlton Fisk|
|5/7||Lakewood||Garden Gnome (player not specified)|
|5/7||Pirates||Clint Hurdle Gnome|
TOMORROW’S ORIOLES-WHITE SOX GAME TO BEGIN AT 2:05 P.M. ET AND BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
WEEKEND SERIES WITH RAYS TO MOVE TO TROPICANA FIELD
Monday’s and Tuesday’s games rescheduled for single-admission doubleheader on May 28
A game with no fans will certainly be interesting. Its definitely a good compromise. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, the events of this past week will be analyzed by the public, the media, and, of course, sociologists. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts from the baseball world:
- Baffoe: Baseball’s Not Important In Baltimore Right Now « CBS Chicago.
- USA Today: This isn’t the time for baseball in Baltimore
Hopefully the coming months will bring peace and healing to all those in pain in Baltimore and beyond. In the meantime, the world is watching.
Baseball is the only game where there is a right
way to play: the white way.” ~ Chris Rock
One week after Jackie Robinson Day, HBO posted a video on YouTube of Chris Rock discussing the absence of Blacks in Major League Baseball. Rock is a baseball fan, and he has some legitimate concerns. “Baseball is dying,” he says.
This is something MLB and the Baseball Sociologist have also focused on in recent years. Here are a few of the issues highlighted by Rock (the video is also posted below):
- Baseball is old-fashioned.
- The number of Black ball players has fallen from 20% a few decades ago to 8% today.
- Announcers are old, white-haired white guys.
- Baseball wants things to return to the way it used to be – from retro ballparks to organ music in the parks; this does not reflect the history and experiences of non-white fans.
- In a speeded up world, baseball is slowing down.
- There is an old-fashioned code: no celebrations allowed.
All of these things, Rock argues, do not reflect the interests and experiences of a large part of society. He sums it up: “Baseball is uncool. … you lose black America, you lose young America.”
So what are the solutions to this dilemma? I, for one, would like to start with his point about announcers. Let’s have Chris Rock and other celebrities (who are not old white-haired white guys) do the announcing some day. That would be pretty cool. And completely un-old-fashioned.
What are your suggestions?
So much baseball, so little time! Enjoy every moment of baseball season that you can!
Happy Opening Day!