Minor league baseball is one of the greatest things about America. It's full of hope, disappointment and bumbling amateurism. Unlike their major league counterparts, minor league teams don't have the draw of star power or the storied ballparks covered in weeds. No, minor league teams have to go a different route if they want to bring in hordes of families to watch teams often commit more errors than a high school sophomore's English paper; that route is promotional nights. With this in mind, here are the 15 best promo nights in minor league baseball for the month of June:
15. Round Rock Express: Win a Used Car Night - June 21
This is what minor league promo nights are about. There is a poetry in winning a used car at a minor league game that touches the very being of AAA baseball.
14. Tacoma Rainiers: Hands Only CPR Weekend - June 8
The only reason I'm mentioning this event is that you'll probably want to get the CPR training before you attend the event immediately below.
13. Reno Aces: $1 Hot Dogs and RIBS - June 18
In minor league circles dollar dogs are pretty commonplace, but dollar ribs are a GIFT FROM GOD. Can you fathom how many ribs you could buy at that rate? The Reno Aces are a first class organization and should run for Senate. So many people will die on this day.
12. New Orleans Zephyrs: Lightsaber Giveaway - June 20
I found a lot if Star Wars promo nights out there, but this was the only one with substance and class.
11. Nashville Sounds: Bible Series Bobbleheads: The First Wiseman - June 29
The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a bobblehead doll of the first wise man. That's the big hook here.
10. Fresno Grizzlies: Bromance Night - June 12</strong>
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This is an annual celebration for the Fresno Grizzlies and it is much needed. Finally, a night where guys can just be guys at the ball park! If this is anything like Bromance Night 2012 (video above), you can expect wheelbarrow racing, light attendance and horrified players observing the scene.
9. Albuquerque Isotopes: Speed Dating Night - June 9
"How did you guys meet?"
"We met... uh... well, the Albuquerque Isotopes were having this promo night..."
This is the arena speed-dating was meant for. I wonder if anyone will ROUND THE BASES? Perhaps someone will HIT A HOME RUN? Will a brave soul try to STEAL 3RD BASE? These are all questions about the game, by the way.
Bar none, the best sentence of the event's description is "The event will take place in one of the picnic areas of Isotopes Park called the O-Zone."
8. Toledo Mudhens: Postgame Fireworks w/ 3D Glasses - June 14
I don't know what 3D glasses will do for fireworks but I got a feeling the fireworks are just going to be aimed at the audience.
It should be noted that the Toledo Mudhens are the reigning minor league promo night champions, after pulling off Ghostbuster's night on May 30, with the help of none other than this guy:
7. Rochester Redwings: Meet Bill "Spaceman" Lee - June 18
When I google'd this guy, the first image that popped up was Bill in a spacesuit throwing a pitch and I was satisfied. Combine that with the video above, and Bill "Spaceman" Lee is sure to rocket up your "person I want to have a beer with" rankings.
6. Norfolk Tides: Zooper Stars - June 20
The promo ad has this to say about the Zooper Stars: "Which funny Zooperstars will visit Harbor Park this time? Cow Ripken, Jr.? Monkey Mantle? Harry Canary? Come and see these crazy characters put on a show!" I really hope they don't leave behind Beary Bonds or Yogi Beara or Derek...Bearjeter.
Anyhow, if you're a fan of mascots and acid trips, circle this event on your calendar.
5. Louisville Bats: Peanut Allergy Awareness Night - June 11
The website states that there will be no peanuts in the stadium that night, not even in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." It's a novel idea, but there really aren't that many fun events that include "awareness" in the title.
4. Lehigh Valley IronPigs: German Stein Glass for 1st 3,000 fans - June 16
All of this promotion makes sense. Iron(Pig)clad logic. Plus, if you're not getting a beer stein for free, what are you even doing with your life?
3. Indiana Indians: Meet Bruce Sutter - June 14
Who is Bruce Sutter? He's the dude who was the first pitcher to use a split finger fastball on the regs. This event is worth going to just to see if he signs autographs like he threw that pitch (if he doesn't he's a fake and a liar).
2. Gwinnett Braves: Clue Night - June 21
Hang out with all of your favorite Clue characters at the ball game for a unique murder mystery promo night. Spoiler alert! The murder weapon was a baseball bat, the victims are the local actors who needed to earn a couple of extra bucks by dressing up as characters from Clue.
Fans of this theme night might want to return for June 28 when the team will host Monopoly Night, in which the game will end as soon as your little brother has a mental breakdown after landing on Park Place again.
1. Brooklyn Cyclones: Garage Sale Giveaway - June 16This concept kind of turns the idea of showing up to the ballpark in order to receive a specific promotional item on its head, which is why it deserves high marks. From the Cyclones website: "Unlike your average garage sale, this one features Cyclones collectibles like bobbleheads, books, t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and just about everything but the kitchen sink!" The first fans fans to show up at the ballpark will receive a voucher and get to pick out their own swag, none of this totalitarian "everyone gets the same rally towel" nonsense. And "Garage Sale Giveaway" has such a better ring to it than "We have a bunch of crap left over, please take it" giveaway.