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Whether paying tribute to vegetables (Asparagus Night in Stockton) or classic American movies (Top Gun Night in Lehigh Valley), minor league theme nights have covered just about every inch of pop culture. We've compiled our favorites to determine the 20 best of the 2016 season. Enjoy!
Asparagus Night, Stockton Ports
Fire up your grill, bring your olive oil, maybe a little cheese. It's an asparagus party! That’s right, the Stockton Ports celebrated the famous vegetable in May with an Asparagus Night. Why? According to the team's website, "asparagus is the world’s favorite vegetable and a famous staple of Stockton." While a Google search of "most popular vegetable" tells a different story, we're not here to nitpick. Asparagus is an important vegetable and the Stockton Ports had every right to pay tribute to it.
Full House Night, Brooklyn Cyclones
“Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there's a heart (there's a heart), a hand to hold onto.” The Full House theme song was in everyone's heads last month when the Brooklyn Cyclones paid tribute to everyone's favorite TGIF show. The first 2,000 fans received Uncle Jesse bobblebeads and the uniforms included his trademark pink bunny. There was also a Danny Tanner Clean-Off, a Kimmy Gibbler Stinky Feet Competition and a "How Rude" Pout Cam.
Nickelodeon '90s Night, Fresno Grizzlies
Kel Mitchell (of Kenan & Kel/Good Burger fame) was the main attraction when the Fresno Grizzlies took on the Reno Aces on '90s Nickelodeon Night early last month. The Grizzlies wore Grizz Burger jerseys while the Aces donned Mondo Burgers jerseys (if you've seen the movie, the uniforms will make more sense). And the game had a movie ending as the Grizzlies pounded the Aces 14-0. Maybe Fresno should invite Kel to every home game.
Netflix and Chill Night, Binghamton Mets
We give credit to the Binghamton Mets for trying to stay hip with a Netflix and Chill Night, but they probably should've done some research before announcing this night. Soon after tweeting details of the promotion, the team's account was bombarded with "what are you thinking" tweets, leading them to change the theme to "Salute to Your Favorite Netflix Shows Night." That just doesn't have the same cache. But good try on their part.
Better Call Saul Night, Albuquerque Isotopes
Top Gun Tribute Night, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Field of Dreams Night, Portland Sea Dogs
The Portland Sea Dogs will hold their annual Field of Dreams Nght in late August as part of Fan Appreciation Day. In keeping with tradition, the team will wear old-time uniforms and enter the stadium through a temporary cornfield in center field. Honorable mention to the Sea Dogs for hosting KNEEd to Know Night last month, the first theme night dedicated to stopping knee pain!
Ghostbusters Night, Birmingham Barons
Who you going to call? The Barons (and several other minor league teams). Ghostbusters went through a renaissance this summer, headlined by a somewhat successful remake starring Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones, plus a bunch of minor league teams throwing Ghostbusters Theme Nights. We went with Birmingham because these are our favorite uniforms among the group.
Salute to 8-Bit and Arcades Night, Frisco RoughRiders
We're picking this one for the uniforms alone, which makes us want to transport back to 1997 and play Tetris on our Gameboy. The team brought in retro arcade games for fans and re-created classic video games between innings.
KISS Night, El Paso Chihuahuas
Salute to Seinfeld Night, Brooklyn Cyclones
Glenn Hubbard Snake Night, Lexington Legends
When it comes to iconic baseball cards of yesteryear, nothing can touch Glenn Hubbard's 1984 Fleer card. Unless you've seen another baseball star with an eight-foot boa constrictor wrapped around his neck. Hubbard, now a coach for the Legends, received his own bobblehead tribute to the card in June. Now all we need is a Billy Ripken bat night to complete the circle of legendary '80s baseball cards.
Halfway to Festivus Night, Potomac Nationals
Space Jam Night, Charlotte Knights
Three Amigos Night, Fresno Grizzlies
Jennifer Appreciation Night/Ginger Night, Bowie Baysox
The Baysox threw two great promotions into one weekend series, so we decided to combine two great promotions into one blurb. Whether you're on Team Aniston, Lopez, Lawrence or Garner, there's a Jennifer for you that deserves celebrating. As for Ginger Night, it's good to see the Baysox stand up to the redhead hatred in the world. We're not sure if any redheads named Jennifer made an appearance.
Price is Right! Night, Pensacola Wahoos
Game show fans, Come on down to Pensaola, where the Wahoos paid homage to one of America's favorite game shows. The events included Human Plinko, Hole-In-One and other Price is Right! games. Fans were reminded to have their pets spayed and neutured. If only Bob Barker had made an appearance
Keep Tom Brady Suspended Night, Buffalo Braves
It's rare to see a theme night conceived as a direct response to another team's theme night, but when Tom Brady and Deflategate are involved, anything is possible. Such was the case earlier this season when the Buffalo Braves held a Keep Tom Brady Suspended Night in July as a direct response to The Pawtucket Pawsox's Free Tom Brady Night. The Braves won the game and more importantly, the NFL won its case against Brady, who will sit out the first four games of next season after dropping his appeal.
Alpaca Racing Night, Harrisburg Senators
Who needs racing presidents when you have racing alpacas? That's what the Harrisburg Senators were thinking when they came up with this masterpiece. In addition to the alpaca obstacle course, there will be a petting zoo and pregame alpaca parade. And if you're wondering, an alpaca is a "domesticated species of South American camel that resembles a small llama in appearance.
Vince Carter Night, Daytona Tortugas
Vince Carter is the second most important person from Daytona Beach (Bob Ross is first), so it only makes sense for him to be honored in his hometown. A single $12 ticket included a ticket to the game, all-you-can-eat food and the opportunity to meet Vince Carter. I dare anyone to find a better value for a live sporting event.