07/18/2006 2:48 PM ET
Top 10 upcoming promotions
What's going on this week in the Minors?
By Benjamin Hill / Special to MLB.com
Minor League Baseball teams are known for their game promotions. Every Tuesday, we preview 10 of the best for the upcoming week.
If you would like an upcoming promotion to be considered for this feature in the future, please send it to "firstname.lastname@example.org" with the subject line: promo preview.
Casper Rockies (Pioneer League)
Tuesday, July 18 vs. Great Falls White Sox
Attention all inhabitants of the circumpolar region -- the Casper Rockies want YOU! On Tuesday, the ballclub will grant free admission to all of their Eskimo fans (the Rockies' liberal definition of "Eskimo" extends far beyond Inuits and Yupiks -- a Canadian or Alaskan ID is all one needs in order to score a complimentary ticket). And that's not all: If the temperature exceeds 80 degrees at any point during the game, all fans will receive tickets to a future contest. Not a bad deal, especially considering that temperatures in Casper have recently reached a decidedly un-Arctic 100 degrees.
Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn League)
Salute to Roberto Clemente Night
Wednesday, July 19 vs. Williamsport Crosscutters
Roberto Clemente's baseball career was cut short by a fatal plane crash, but the Puerto Rican legend still managed to collect 3,000 hits over 18 seasons while establishing himself as one the game's great humanitarians. On Wednesday, Staten Island will honor the Pirates legend by distributing Clemente lithographs to the first 2,000 fans in attendance. Apparently, the "Baby Bombers" are willing to overlook the fact that Clemente's Pirates defeated the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League)
Time Capsule Night
Thursday, July 20 vs. State College Spikes
Spinners fans attending Thursday's game against the Spikes have a chance to become a part of baseball history. The team is asking their supporters to bring a small personal memento to the ballpark, for inclusion in the Spinners' 10th anniversary time capsule. The capsule will be on display in the concourse of Edward LeLacheur Park for the next decade, until it is opened in 2016. Then, baseball fans of the future can marvel at their ancestors' antiquated belief systems and inexplicable affinity for the music of Bronson Arroyo. The Spinners will also be giving away 1,500 mini time capsules, so that fans can go home and create their own.
Columbus Clippers (International League)
Jerry Lawler Appearance
Friday, July 21 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
When most people think of "The King," an image of Elvis comes to mind. In fact, there is another American icon even more deserving of the nickname: Jerry "The King" Lawler. The professional wrestling superstar is currently a commentator for the WWE as well as an aspiring politician (he ran for Mayor of Memphis), but he is best known in the public imagination as the guy who beat up comedian Andy Kaufman on "Late Night with David Letterman." On Friday, Lawler will make an appearance at Columbus' Cooper Stadium, as part of an action-packed promotional night that also includes a hat giveaway and a fireworks display.
San Antonio Missions (Texas League)
Used Car Night
Friday, July 21 vs. Frisco RoughRiders
The Missions will be on Friday, a fitting opponent for a night in which the club will be giving away a dozen used cars. That's right, a dozen. Considering that San Antonio's Nelson W. Wolff Stadium seats less than 10,000 people, the chances of winning a "new" used vehicle are not as stratospheric as one might think. A '91 Jaguar XJ6 and a '90 Cadillac Deville highlight the Missions' remarkably generous giveaway.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League)
Fishin' Nolan Ryan Bobblehead
Saturday, July 22 vs. Midland RockHounds
Now that he's finally done terrorizing Major League batters with his blazing fastball, Nolan Ryan has time for more leisurely pursuits -- like fishing. On Saturday, the Hooks will commemorate Ryan's life after baseball by issuing 2,500 Fishin' Nolan Ryan bobbleheads. This is hopefully the first in a series of bobbleheads that depict retired superstars engaging in relaxing activities. The possibilities are endless.
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League)
Chad Billingsley Bobblehead Giveaway
Saturday, July 22 vs. Chattanooga Lookouts
Chad Billingsley was a key component of last year's Southern League Champion Jacksonville Suns. Over 28 appearances, the hard-throwing righty went 13-6 with a 3.51 ERA and struck out 162 batters. Billingsley is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting rotation, but he still looms large in the hearts and mind of the Jacksonville faithful. On Saturday, the Suns will honor Billingsley's contributions to the ballclub by distributing 3,000 bobblehead dolls bearing his likeness.
Ottawa Lynx (International League)
Tribute to Jackie Robinson
Saturday, July 22 vs. Norfolk Tides
2006 is the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first and only Minor League season. In 1946, the pioneering second baseman played for the Montreal Royals, and helped lead the club to the Governors' Cup title. On Saturday, Ottawa (the only Canadian team left in the International League) will honor Robinson in a pre-game tribute. Two of Robinson's 1946 teammates -- George "Shotgun" Shuba and Jean-Pierre Roy -- will be in attendance, and the Lynx will wear Montreal Royals replica caps and jerseys during the game.
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League)
Monday, July 24 vs. Reading Phillies
The TD Banknorth 250 -- New England's premier stock car race -- will take place on July 30. In anticipation of this event, the Portland Sea Dogs will be staging NASCAR Night on Monday, an action-packed celebration of all things automotive. Racing veteran and Maine native Ricky Craven will be throwing the ceremonial first pitch, and his car (along with several others) will be on display at the ballpark. Three-thousand free tickets to the TD Banknorth 250 will be distributed at the game, so Sea Dog fans won't be able to make any excuses when it comes to attending the big race. That's a good thing, because it would be a real shame to let Ricky Craven down.
Savannah Sand Gnats (South Atlantic League)
July 24-27 vs. Lexington Legends, July 28-31 vs. West Virginia Power
The Savannah Sand Gnats' second annual "Survivor" competition is an all-encompassing event, a week-long exploration of the limits of human endurance. Nine courageous Gnats fans have agreed to live in Savannah's Grayson Stadium for the duration of the team's upcoming homestand. The contestants are permitted to bring a tent, two blankets, two pillows and three non-electronic luxury items and will live exclusively on ballpark food. During each game, these nine hardy souls will compete in various contests, and one will be voted off the ballpark each night. The winner will be treated like Minor League royalty, as the prize package includes lifetime admission to Sand Gnats games and round-trip airline tickets. Get ready, Savannah -- this one is gonna be good.
Upcoming Promos: Unorganized Cookie Monster Protest (Charleston, July 26), Big Dig Night (Lowell, July 27), Mullet Night (Portland, July 27), Guns and Hoses Softball Classic (Myrtle Beach, July 30), Portable Chair Giveaway (Lowell, August 2), Tim Wakefield Bobblehead (Buffalo, August 3), Appearance by Survivor's Rudy Boesh (Buffalo, August 5), Soccer Ball Giveaway (Hickory, August 5), Halloween at the Ballpark (Ottawa, August 5), Mayberry Deputy Bobblehead Giveaway (Princeton, Aug. 8), Rodney McCray Bobblefence Night (Portland, August 12), Stopwatch Giveaway (Lowell, August 19), Ball Park Replica Giveaway Night, (Buffalo, August 23), Tony Perez Appearance (San Antonio, August 26), Plunger Giveaway (Brevard County, August 26), Appearance by Sgt. Slaughter and George "The Animal" Steele (Columbus, September 1), World Record First Pitch Attempt (Brevard County, September 2), World's
Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.