Tacos, Rugrats and Lando Calrissian: The crazy world of minor league uniforms


Here’s some more local news coverage related to my previous post:

Tacos, Rugrats and Lando Calrissian: The crazy world of minor league uniforms.

What Kind of Jersey?


Taco_960_fbgljp4e_ey8pdrjcOn August 6, the Fresno Grizzlies will become what they eat when they become the Fresno Tacos for a day. A few weeks ago they held a press conference to announce the news complete with a life-size replica of the jersey and the tagline, “August 6: We Are What We Eat.”

Recently, minor league teams have embraced the concept of themed jerseys – not only to attract folks to the game, but also to raise funds for various charities by auctioning or raffling off the player-worn jerseys. For example, the Tri-City ValleyCats will wear Hawaiian-full_house_k0njwm6z_h05at9p2themed jerseys on August 9 for their Philan”tropic” Beach Party. The jerseys will then be auctioned to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

This year alone, many teams have donned special jerseys for Breast Cancer Awareness and Autism Awareness. But the themes go far beyond that from Star Wars (about 20 or so teams had jerseys with different Star Wars characters) to Game of Thrones. One team even wore egg-themed jerseys – for Bacon and Eggs Night, of course!

Interestingly, we never see Major League players in wacky theme jerseys. At most, we might see them wearing military-inspired jerseys. But how much might we pay to see Jayson Werth in a Chewbacca jersey or Big Papi as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

Below is just a sampling of this year’s minor league jerseys. I’m sure next year they will be even more creative!

~ baseballrebecca

4/24 Bridgeport Bluefish Tuxedo Jerseys
5/2 M-Braves Star Wars
5/2 Jackson Generals Star Wars – R2D2 and C3PO
5/3 Binghamton Autism Awareness
5/8 Akron Scrub Uniforms (for Nurse Appreciation Night)
5/8 Lehigh Valley Star Wars – Han Solo
5/15 Bridgeport Bluefish SNL Tribute Jerseys
5/16 Durham Star Wars – C3PO
5/16 Reno Star Wars – Han Solo (frozen in carbonite)
5/22 Bridgeport Bluefish Superheroes
5/23 Louisville Superheroes – Batman
5/30 Altoona Star Wars – Jabba the Hutt
5/30 Gwinnett Superheroes
6/5 Erie Breast Cancer Awareness
6/12 Bridgeport Bluefish Ringmaster Jerseys
6/12 Frisco Full House Night
6/13 Richmond Shark Jerseys (honoring swim teams)
6/13 Northwest Ark. Star Wars
6/20 New Hampshire Star Wars – Darth Vader
6/25 Richmond Jumanji (Tribute to Robin Williams)
6/27 Harrisburg Lego-style jerseys
6/27 Williamsport Star Wars
6/28 Aberdeen Autism Awareness
7/1 M-Braves Patriotic
7/3 Bridgeport Bluefish Patriotic – Constitution Jerseys
7/5 Brooklyn Seinfeld Jerseys (Kramer’s Technicolor Dreamcoat)
7/5 Brooklyn Seinfeld Night – Kramer’s Technicolor Dreamcoat
7/10 Durham Breast Cancer Awareness
7/11 Lowell Star Wars – Darth Vader
7/17 Binghamton Irish-Themed Jersey
7/17 Bridgeport Bluefish Sci-Fi Jerseys
7/18 Buffalo Star Wars – Jedi Knights
7/18 Louisville Star Wars
7/24 Bridgeport Bluefish Santa Specialty Jerseys
7/30 Richmond Superheroes – Flash
7/31 Frederick Rugrats
8/1 Williamsport Irish Jerseys
8/1 Louisville Star Trek
8/2 Brooklyn Star Wars
8/2 State College Breast Cancer Awareness
8/6 Fresno Tacos
8/6 M-Braves Breast Cancer Awareness
8/6 Toledo Egg-Themed Jersey (for Bacon and Eggs Night)
8/7 Bridgeport Bluefish Ghostbusters Jersey
8/7 Norfolk SpongeBob
8/8 Altoona Breast Cancer Awareness
8/8 Staten Island Game of Thrones Jerseys
8/8 Lowell Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
8/9 Tri-City Hawaiian-themed Jerseys
8/11 Fargo-Moorhead Breast Cancer Awareness
8/14 Bridgeport Bluefish Mystery Specialty Jersey
8/15 Harrisburg Breast Cancer Awareness
8/15 Portland Star Wars – R2D2
8/20 Greensboro Tropical Jerseys
8/22 Mahoning Valley Star Wars
8/24 Tri-City Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jerseys
9/4 Erie Star Wars
9/5 Tri-City Sons of Southpaw: Bike Night
9/18 Bridgeport Bluefish Neon Specialty Jerseys

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More Appreciation Days


teacher_app_333x113I noted a few weeks ago that it’s become commonplace that baseball teams hold events such as Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Nights. But what about the other professions? Never fear, baseball is here and has it covered.

The professions with the most appreciation nights are health care and medical professionals, including nurses and pharmacists. The teams recognizing these professionals are: Bridgeport, Akron, Washington Nationals, Trenton, Aberdeen, Tampa Bay, and New Britain. The next most popular profession to be honored at a ballpark near you are teachers. Portland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Akron are all holding (or have held) Teacher Appreciation Nights. Interestingly, many teams appreciated teachers in May and June – when school was ending. Only St. Louis appears to be appreciating them in September.

400_teacher_toteBut these are the only professions being honored. On the list for this year are: administrative assistants, lawyers, wait staff, realtors, bankers, bus drivers, and corrections officers. In fact, the Aberdeen IronBirds are recognizing workers in several fields with Automotive Night, Construction Night, Healthcare Night, Accounting Night, Healthcare Night, Law Night, Realtor Night, Farm and Agriculture Night, Bankers Night, and Insurance Night. Similarly, the Cardinals had/have appreciation nights for the following: accounting industry, auto industry, bank and credit unions, financial planners, healthcare appreciation, insurance agencies, legal services, real estate, restaurant appreciation, salons and barber shops, and teachers and staff.

Below is the list of the remaining Professional Appreciation Nights for this year. Next year I want to see a Sociologists Appreciation Night!

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Profession
7/22 Aberdeen Bankers Night
7/24 Aberdeen Insurance Night
7/31 Potomac Legal Professionals Night
7/31 New Britain Pharmacists and Medical Professionals Night
8/8 Tampa Bay Healthcare Professionals Night
8/9 Lancaster (CA) Aerospace Appreciation Night
8/9 State College Bus Driver Appreciation Night
8/12 Potomac Bus Driver and Teacher Appreciation Day
8/20 Brooklyn Corrections Officer Night
8/31 St. Louis Accounting Industry
9/1 St. Louis Teachers and Staff Appreciation Night
9/21 St. Louis Teachers and Staff Appreciation Night
9/22 St. Louis Healthcare Appreciation Night
9/23 St. Louis Healthcare Appreciation Night

LGBT Nights at the Ballpark


zoom-1Just three weeks ago, Sean Conroy pitched a 3-hit shutout for the Sonoma Stompers (of the independent league Pacific Association Baseball Clubs). It was Conroy’s first start with the team since being signed right out of college in May. It also happened to be Pride Night at the Stompers.

Oh. And Conroy just so happens to be the first openly gay professional baseball player in the nation’s history.

The weird thing is, though, the media hasn’t really said much about it. There appears to have been one AP article that was picked up by a lot of news outlets, including ESPN.com. The Washington Times picked up the story, but not the New York Times ­– at least not fully. Buried at the bottom of an AP article summarizing the previous night’s games is a few sentences with the title, “Openly Gay Pitcher in the Minors.” The next day, the NYT printed another AP piece titled, “10 Things to Know for Today.” Listed between #6, “Trump Comments Rankle TV Networks,” and #8, “Bristol Palin Pregnant Again,” was “Who Made Diamond History.” And all it states is: “Baseball history is made in Northern California wine country when 23-year-old Sean Conroy, the sport’s first active professional player to come out as gay, pitches a shutout.”

In my research on diversity/heritage days and other observances at baseball stadiums this year, I’ve run across only a handful of LGBT pride events. However, the more digging I did, the more I realized that a lot of teams had such events, they just didn’t necessarily advertise them – often remaining completely silent and leaving the organizing and advertising up to partner organizations.

Of course, when the Oakland A’s announced they’d be holding their first-ever Pride Night on June 17 this year, some fans were not too happy about it. However, one player’s girlfriend took care of the problem by offering to buy people’s tickets. She blogged, “So, A’s fans; if attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME!” The tickets she purchased, she said, would be donated to the Bay Area LGBTQ youth center. She also set up a “Go Fund Me Page” to purchase more tickets for the community center. She and A’s ballplayer Sean Doolittle pledged to match the first $3,000 in donations.

Some teams have been holding LGBT pride events for years – such as the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants. Others are just starting to befriend this part of the community, such as the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays, both of whom held their first LGBT events this year.

Here’s the list of pride events I’ve found so far. The lack of information is astounding. As I learn more, I’ll post more on this issue.

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Event
6/3 Detroit Pride Night
6/10 Atlanta LGBT Night
6/12 Red Sox Pride Night
6/12 Tampa Bay Pride Night
6/17 A’s Pride Night
6/17 Nationals Night Out (LGBT)
6/18 Mets LGBT Night
6/18 Nashville Night Out at the Ballpark
6/19 Dodgers LGBT Pride Night
6/23 Bridgeport Bluefish LGBTQ Community Night
6/26 Giants LGBT Night
6/30 Orioles LGBT Baseball Night Out
7/6 Staten Island Pride Night
7/16 Buffalo Out at the Ballpark
7/30 Phillies Gay Community Night
8/9 Columbus Pride Night
8/18 Reading LGBT/Reading
Pride Celebration
8/25 Toronto Play with Pride Night
8/29 White Sox Out at the Sox

Baseball Farms


Baysox' Machado GnomeWith it’s pastoral imagery, re-birth in spring, farm teams, and garden gnome giveaways, the connection between baseball and agriculture would seem to be obvious. The other day, ThinkProgress.org posted an article on Major League Baseball and the urban farming trend. According to the article, five MLB teams currently have gardens in their stadiums:

  • Red Sox: Dubbed “Fenway Farms,” a 5,000 square rooftop farm grows on the roof behind Gate A of Fenway Park. Planted there are: kale, sweet peppers, a “rotating lineup of seasonal vegetables,” and herbs.
  • Rockies: The Coors Field GaRden, also near Gate A, is a joint venture between the Rockies and Colorado State University. Plants in this 600 square foot garden include: Purple Viking potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, turnips, chard, kale, beans, and chives, as well as herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil, cilantro, dill, oregano and sage.
  • Padres: For the last four years, the Director of Field Operations at Petco Pak has grown a variety of plants in the home and visitors’ bullpens, including: peppers, blueberries, avocados, pomegranates, lettuce, beets, onions, garlic, carrots, and radishes.
  • Giants: The Garden at AT&T Park is a 4,320 square foot area whec12d51868f6da4a15c087f5bb547dceare the team grows a variety of fruits and veggies, such as: blueberries, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce, lemons, and kale.
  • Nationals: For the 2015 season, the Washington Nationals have piloted a program at their ballpark with 180 plants to grow tomatoes, zucchini, squash and herbs. The team says if it is successful, they will expand the garden in the future.

There are other interesting agricultural connections to baseball. Apparently the New York Mets were the first to plant a garden. As the story goes, a stray tomato plant grew in the Mets’ bullpen in Shea Stadium in 1969. Since it apparently brought the team some luck – and the pennant – the groundskeeper kept planting in hopes of a future Mets winnning seasons. The Orioles’ Memorial Stadium also was a good place to grow tomatoes, though ivy didn’t do too well at Camden Yards.

In 2012, the Fresno Grizzlies established the Grizzlies Community Fund’s Farm Grown program to promote Central California agriculture. The team hosts a farmer’s market during every Friday home game. The program also includes a literacy component for children as well as agricultural exhibits and displays.

And of course, the St. Paul Saints, always a little different, have corn-themed foul poles in their stadium. The team that once had ears of corn as a promotional giveaway teamed up this year with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) to feature the state’s largest crop on the stadium’s foul poles. In addition, MCGA signage is featured on the outfield walls and throughout the season the Saints will play “the world’s largest game of corn toss” between innings. And on July 25, the MCGA is sponsoring a mini bat giveaway for the first 1,000 fans.

Happy farming!

~ baseballrebecca

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Baseball’s Diversity and Heritage Days


viva250x250As I’ve noted before, baseball teams – especially Minor League Baseball – develop a variety of events to draw people to games. One category of such events is, as I’ve named it, is “Diversity/Heritage Days.” These days celebrate the diversity of the United States and the communities in which the teams operate.

I’m not sure what some of these events actually celebrate – such as “Redstoberfest” and “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.” And, of course, teams need to be thoughtful and respectful in their approaches to these events. The Orem Owlz recently learned that lesson when their “Caucasian Night” promotion was widely criticized. In their apology, the team noted: “Our goal in this promotion, like any of our promotions, is to have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies. Our night was to include wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like Friends and Seinfeld and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge. We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.”

Below I’ve collected the Diversity/Heritage Days for all MLB teams, plus the minor leagues that include teams for my Orioles and Nationals: the International League, Eastern League, Carolina League, and New York-Penn League. Also included are all of the independent leagues. The remaining dates are shown first, broken down by group. However, that doesn’t give you the full story, as we’ve already missed several dates, including Korean Heritage Night and Japanese Heritage Night at the San Francisco Giants.

Have fun celebrating your heritage and that of others!

~ baseballrebecca

 

Hispanic/Cinco de Mayo/Latino/Caribbean

Date Team Event
7/25 Royals Viva Los Reales
8/2 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
8/5 Hudson Valley Latin Heritage Night
8/8 Tigers 10th Annual Fiesta Tigres
8/11 White Sox Orgullo Sox Night
8/16 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
8/20 West Virginia Latin Heritage Night
8/21 Reds Fiesta Rojos
8/22 Marlins Dominican Heritage Night
8/26 New Britain Latino Heritage Day
8/28 Phillies Latino Family Celebration
8/30 Kansas City T-Bones Hispanic Heritage Day
8/30 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
9/5 Brooklyn Latin Music Night
9/10 Braves Hispanic Heritage Night
9/12 Giants Fiesta Gigantes
9/12 Mariners Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night
9/12 Rangers Hispanic Heritage Day
9/17 Bridgeport Bluefish Hispanic Heritage Night
9/17 Nationals Hispanic Heritage Day
9/20 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
9/26 Marlins Hispanic Heritage Day
10/2 White Sox Hispanic Heritage Night
10/3 Dbacks Hispanic Heritage Day
10/3 Dodgers La Gran Fiesta – Viva Los Dodgers

 

Black/African American Heritage/Tributes to the Negro Leagues and Players

7/18 Brewers Negro League Tribute Game
7/20 St. Paul Saints Larry Doby Night
8/2 Durham Negro League Night
10/2 Giants African American Heritage Day

 

Asian Heritage

8/21 A’s Filipino Heritiage Night
9/15 Giants Filipino Heritage Night
9/18 Giants Polynesian Heritage Night

Irish Heritage/St. Patrick’s Day

7/16 Brooklyn Irish Heritage Night
7/17 Binghamton Irish Night
7/20 Long Island Ducks Irish Night
7/22 Hudson Valley Irish – Organically Green Irish Night
7/23 Akron Irish Heritage Night
7/23 Trenton Irish Heritage Night
8/1 Williamsport Irish Heritage Night
8/8 Lakewood Irish Heritage Night
8/11 Giants Irish Heritage
8/25 Tri-City Irish Night
8/28 State Island Irish Heritage
8/28 West Virginia Irish Heritage
8/28 Staten Island Irish Heritage Night
9/2 Royals Irish Heritage
9/12 White Sox Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day
9/17 Braves Halfway to St. Patricks Day
9/22 Tigers Irish Heritage

 

Italian Heritage

7/16 West Virginia Italian Heritage Night
7/17 Phillies Italian Heritage
7/31 Tri-City Italian Night
8/7 A’s Italian Heritage Night
8/16 Staten Island Italian Heritage
8/16 Staten Island Italian Heritage Night
8/20 Brooklyn Italian Heritage Night

 

German Heritage/Oktoberfest

8/1 Brooklyn Augtoberfest
8/14 Tri-City Oktoberfest
8/20 Akron German Heritage
8/27 Hudson Valley Augtoberfest
9/3 St. Paul Saints Oktoberfest
9/3 West Virginia Oktoberfest
9/4 A’s Oktoberfest
9/5 Reds Redstoberfest
9/30 Giants Oktoberfest
10/3 Mariners Oktoberfest
10/3 Rays Oktoberfest Freezer Mug

 

Polish Heritage


8/7
Toledo Polish Heritage Night
8/13 West Virginia Polish Heritage Night

 

Portuguese Heritage

9/22 A’s Portuguese Heritage Night

 Jewish Heritage

7/15 Staten Island Jewish Heritage
7/15 Staten Island Jewish Heritage Night
7/27 Giants Jewish Heritage
8/2 Brooklyn Jewish Heritage Day
8/19 Wilmington Jewish Heritage
8/23 Lowell Jewish Heritage
8/23 Lowell Jewish Heritage Day
8/25 Trenton Jewish Heritage Night
9/6 Marlins Jewish Heritage Day

 

Other Heritage Celebrations

7/28 Tri-City Mardi Gras
8/2 Tri-City Around the World in Nine Innings
8/16 Winnipeg Goldeyes Canada Day
8/25 Giants Indian Heritage Night
8/9 Tides All Ages Run the Bases

 

 

Events that already occurred

4/11 Marlins Puerto Rican Heritage Day
4/11 Braves Asian Heritage Night
4/11 Phillies Asian Pacific Heritage
4/16 Giants Irish Heritage
4/16 Nationals Black Heritage Day
4/17 Giants Korean Heritage
4/19 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
4/23 Keys Italian Heritage Night
4/24 Tigers Negro Leagues Weekend
4/26 Lakewood Jewish Heritage Night
5/3 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
5/5 New Britain Latino Heritage
5/5 Bridgeport Bluefish Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Syracuse Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Baysox Fiesta de La Familia/Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Angels Cinco de Mayo
5/5 Giants Cinco de Mayo
5/5 White Sox Cinco de Mayo
5/8 Richmond Hispanic Heritage Night
5/8 Giants Filipino Heritage Night
5/10 Tides All Ages Run the Bases
5/12 Phillies Jewish Heritage Celebration
5/13 Wilmington Greek Heritage
5/15 Phillies Irish Heritage
5/17 Charlotte Tribute to the Negro Leagues
5/17 Royals Salute to the Negro Leagues
5/19 Giants Japanese Heritage
5/22 Marlins Cuban Heritage Night
5/22 Tigers 45th Annual Polish-American Night
5/24 So. Maryland Hispanic Heritage Day
5/24 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
5/28 Giants Chinese Heritage Night
6/1 Keys Celtic Night
6/4 Camden Riversharks Irish Heritage
6/5 White Sox Italian Heritage Night
6/5 Phillies African American Heritage
6/7 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
6/7 New Hampshire Irish Heritage Day
6/7 White Sox Greek Heritage Night
6/8 White Sox Polish Heritage Night
6/9 A’s Korean Heritage Night
6/13 Marlins Venezuelan Heritage Day
6/15 Giants Portuguese Heritage
6/17 Wilmington Irish Heritage
6/17 Phillies Greek Heritage
6/19 Braves Heritage Weekend
6/20 Dbacks Native American Recognition Day
6/20 Baysox Tribute to the Negro Leagues
6/20 Braves Negro League Tribute
6/21 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
6/21 Camden Riversharks Jewish Heritage
6/23 Giants Italian Heritage
6/24 Marlins Caribbean Heritage Night
6/24 Giants Native American Heritage
6/29 Tides All Ages Run the Bases
7/1 Winnipeg Goldeyes B’Nai Brith
7/2 Winnipeg Goldeyes Ukrainian Celebration
7/5 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers
7/6 Syracuse Negro League Appreciation Day
7/8 Wilmington Italian Heritage
7/10 Lakewood Italian Heritage Night
7/12 Dodgers Viva Los Dodgers

 

#LikeAGirl


11666129_10152879019102026_6668280623557902845_nTonight is #LikeAGirl Night at the Lowell Spinners! Inspired by the 2015 Always Super Bowl ad, #LikeAGirl Night seeks to “continue the campaign by Always, changing the meaning of the phrase ‘like a girl.’” (See the ad below.) Bravo, Spinners!

Several teams have held “Girls Night Out” and “Ladies Night” events. However, some of these events haven’t been met with approval. This year, after criticism from ThinkProgress.org, the Washington Nationals apparently changed their promotional materials for Ladies Night from stating “there’s no crying in baseball, but there’s plenty of wine” to “there’s no crying in baseball, even if you spill your wine.” An improvement, but not much better. A similar event held by the Atlanta Braves in May included feather boas and charm bracelets. (Apparently we have learned little from the Houston Astros’ 2013 Ladies Night debacle.)

guys_cap_500x383Of course, not to leave anyone out, at least two teams have scheduled events just for guys. In fact, if you live on the West Coast, tonight is Guys Night Out at the Seattle Mariners, where you’re invited to “Make Safeco Field your man cave.” Included in the ticket price are your first drink (wine, beer, soda, or water) and a Seattle Mariners bottle opener cap.

At least a bottle opener is more useful than a boa.

Below is a list of gender-related events at ballparks this year, as well as that Super Bowl ad.

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Event
4/24 Mariners Guys Night Out
5/1

5/2

Atlanta Braves

Camden Riversharks

Ladies Night

Girls in Sports Day

5/6 Boston Girls of Summer
5/8 Mariners Girls Night Out
6/5 Royals Girls Night Out
6/13 Brewers Brewed for Her Event (Girls’ Night Out)
6/18 Nationals Ladies Day
7/10 Lowell #LikeAGirl Night
7/10 Mariners Guys Night Out
7/23 Aberdeen Ladies Night
7/30 State College Guys Night Out
8/1 White Sox Ladies Night
8/6 Lakewood Ladies Night/Women’s Expo
8/7 Mariners Girls Night Out

The Super Bowl ad:

And the extended version:

MiLB’s Independence Day Photos


130Just to follow up on last week’s festivities, here’s a great photo gallery from Minor League Baseball:

Photos of the Week: July 8, 2015

Enjoy!

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball and the Cure


index Recently I posted a list of Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Days at ballparks across the country, noting that Minor League Baseball, in particular, has taken on the task of increasing awareness of the things that are important to society. However, when we think of illness in society, the first thing we think of usually isn’t baseball – unless its “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) that comes to mind. However, baseball teams are doing a great job of raising awareness and donations for several major diseases in society. Below are just a few examples.

ALS Awareness: Of course, baseball and ALS awareness go hand-in-hand. In fact, Major League Baseball has a separate website devoted to ALS awareness. Upcoming ALS awareness nights will be held in Lowell (7/26), New Orleans (7/30), and at the Mississippi Braves (8/2). Past ALS awareness nights included: Bridgeport (5/7), the Mississippi Braves (5/29 and 7/4), New Britain (6/7), and Biloxi (7/3).

major-league-baseball-autism-awareness-thumbAutism Awareness: While Autism Awareness Month is generally observed in April, Major League Baseball keeps up awareness (and sells tickets) throughout the year. On these days, teams have giveaways, provide information on autism, and several even have “sensory friendly” seating areas for children experiencing difficulties during the game. Nearly 20 teams hosted autism awareness nights this year. Upcoming autism awareness events and minor and major league ballparks include July 12 at the Seattle Mariners, July 25 at the Lowell Spinners, July 26 at the Kansas City Royals, and August 7 at the Lakewood Blue Claws.

Anti-Bullying: In 2013, MLB officially got involved in the nationwide anti-bullying campaign, though some teams, like Detroit, have championed this cause for a while. The Detroit Tigers will host another anti-bully night this year (on August 23) as will Bridgeport (7/26). Brooklyn held theirs on June 23.

Cancer: Given the wide variety of cancer-related diseases, there are numerous cancer awareness nights scheduled at ballparks. Such events focus on prostate cancer, breast cancer, pediatric cancer, and other forms of cancer.

And Many More: Other awareness events this year focus attention on a variety of social issues, including: stroke, peanut allergies, asthma, scleroderma, crime victims, hunger, homeless, men’s health, women’s health, leukemia and lymphoma, diabetes, chiari, and heart disease, just to name a few.

Remaining awareness days are listed below:

Date Team Issue
Many dates Many teams Ed Randall’s Fans 4 the Cure Awareness Night

(http://fans4thecure.org/events)

7/8 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Prostate Cancer Awareness (Bros on Broadway Prostate Cancer Awareness Night)
7/10 Toledo Breast Cancer Awareness (Pink in the Park)
7/10 Durham Breast Cancer Awareness (Swing for the Cure)
7/11 Tides Prostate Cancer Awareness (Bat 4 the Cure)
7/12 Lowell Peanut Free Game
7/15 Staten Island Prostate Cancer Awareness (Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure)
7/17 Lowell Cancer Awareness Night
7/17 Lowell Cancer Awareness Night
7/18 San Rafael Pacifics Lung Cancer Awareness Weekend
7/19 Bridgeport Bluefish Men’s Health Awareness Night
7/19 Blue Jays Peanut/Nut Reduced Zone
7/19 St. Paul Saints Peanut Free Night
7/19 Brooklyn Relay for Life Night
7/22 Lowell Peanut Free Game
7/23 Lowell Chiari Awareness Night
7/23 Lakewood Prostate Cancer Awareness Night
7/24 Lowell March of Dimes Night
7/25 Mariners Fight Hunger Day
7/25 Mississippi Braves Salvation Army Awareness Night
7/25 Harrisburg Cancer Awareness/”Knock Cancer Out of the Park” Night
7/26 Vermont Help Fight Hunger Night
7/26 Lowell Peanut Free Night
7/30 State College Prostate Cancer Awareness Night
7/31 Staten Island Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night
8/1 Birmingham Breast Cancer Awareness Day
8/1 Williamsport Prostate Cancer Awareness (Bat 4 the Cure)
8/2 State College Breast Cancer Awareness (Paint the Park Pink Night)
8/3 Hudson Valley Prostate Cancer Awareness (“National Grab Some Nuts Day”)
8/5 Lowell Stroke Appreciation Night
8/5 Vermont Cancer Awareness Night
8/6 Mahoning Valley Strike Out Stroke Night
8/6 Mississippi Braves Breast Cancer Awareness (Pink in the Park)
8/8 Altoona Breast Cancer Awareness (Pink in the Park)
8/9 Braves Peanut Free Section
8/11 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Breast Cancer Awareness Night
8/14 Keys Cancer Awareness/”Knock Cancer Out of the Park” Night
8/16 Lowell Peanut Free Game
8/17 Camden Riversharks Breast Cancer Awareness
8/21 Lowell Fist Bump World Record Attempt for Cancer
8/22 Scranton Breast Cancer Awareness Night
8/23 Lowell Peanut Free Game
8/23 Nationals Peanut Free Seats
8/24 Camden Riversharks Alzheimer’s Awareness
8/25 Lowell Go Red for Women Night (Women’s Health)
8/27 Phillies Peanut Reduced Suites
8/27 Kansas City T-Bones Suicide Prevention Night
8/28 Rangers Alzheimer’s Awareness – Strikeout Alzheimer’s Weekend
8/28 Akron Hematology and Oncology Awareness Night
8/30 Blue Jays Peanut/Nut Reduced Zone
8/30 Lowell Peanut Free Game
9/1 Long Island Ducks Breast Cancer Awareness
9/4 Louisville Peanut Allergy Awareness Night
9/4 Marlins Star Wars Night benefitting Pediatric Cancer Awareness
9/5 Marlins Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Day
9/6 Lowell Peanut Free Game
9/6 A’s Breast Cancer Awareness Night
9/6 Louisville Strike Out Cancer Night
9/12 Phillies Peanut Reduced Suites
9/14 Giants Homelessness and Poverty Awareness
9/19 Nationals Peanut Free Seats
9/20 Blue Jays Peanut/Nut Reduced Zone
10/3 Braves Breast Cancer Awareness

Celebrating Independence Day the Baseball Way


Fireworks at Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CAIf your team is in town and playing a night game, chances are you can view your 4th of July fireworks at the stadium tonight. In fact, it may just be the only municipal fireworks display in your area. For the past several years, my city has partnered with our local team to hold the city fireworks display at the stadium. This year, it just so happens that the Baysox are in town and scheduled to play a game. One would think that’s a great thing – fireworks and a baseball game! However, the city found this to be “an extremely disappointing turn of events.”

I mean, it’s not like there are NO fireworks to be seen. If you don’t want to pay for the game, I’m sure you can hang out in the Target or Wal-Mart parking lots. I, for one, am not disappointed that there’s a game tonight. In fact, in response to the city’s disappointment at not being able to spend my tax payer dollars and have their own fireworks, the Baysox General Manger noted that the team’s July 4th fireworks display will be “‘more grandiose’” than the usual post-game fireworks shows. Seems like a win-win to me!

11171215_400_alternative2-w124If you can’t come to Bowie, there are many other options for joint-baseball and Independence Day celebrations. For example, beginning at 2 pm ESPN will show the first of three baseball games (I used to LOVE spending my day with the ESPN triple header – I’m glad they brought it back)! Here are a few other fun ideas for baseball on the 4th of July:

  • Several clubs will be auctioning off game-worn jerseys. For example, the Fort Wayne Tincaps will wear, then auction, Superhero jerseys. Proceeds will benefit Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, an organization that flies U.S. veterans to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials.
  • The Mississippi Braves and Jacksonville Suns, among other teams, will don patriotic-themed jerseys and auction them off to support local charities: the Louisiana-MipMLB2-20748903nmssissippi Chapter of the ALS Association and the Greater Jacksonville Area USO, respectively.
  • Similarly, several teams are also auctioning off game-worn hats, including the Everett AquaSox.
  • For those not wanting a game-worn cap or jersey, you can get a free t-shirt from the Nashville Sounds.
  • For it’s part, Major League Baseball will be again wearing – and selling – patriotic-themed caps.
  • And, with perhaps the most unique Independence Day gimmick, only July 6th, the Richmond Flying Squirrels will host a reenactment of Patrick Henry’s 1775 “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech. Those attending the game will also have the chance to meet delegates to the Second Virginia Convention, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. In addition, Patrick Henry will throw out the first pitch. 

If you don’t have ESPN and can’t make it to a game, why not go outside and play catch? What’s more American than that?

Happy Birthday, USA!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

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