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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
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.