07/25/2006 1:26 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.
Williamsport Crosscutters (New York-Penn League)
Guilty Pleasures Night
Tuesday, July 25 vs. Oneonta Tigers
Minor League Baseball games regularly provide the opportunity to indulge in guilty pleasures -- fattening food, cheap beer and the chance to harass a grown man wearing a chicken suit come to mind. But "guilty pleasures" exist away from the ballpark as well, and on Tuesday the Crosscutters will be celebrating the American tendency to derive enjoyment from that which is unhealthy. Fans will receive coupons for free donuts upon arriving at the stadium, and during the game the team will hold contests and prize drawings related to guilty pleasures such as Spam and reality TV.
Portland Beavers (Pacific Coast League)
Thursday, July 27 vs. Oklahoma RedHawks
Although it was once sported by mega-stars such as Mel Gibson and John Kruk, the mullet haircut has been subject to mockery and derision in recent years. The "business in the front, party in the back" hairstyle will be "honored" by the Portland Beavers on Thursday, when the club holds its annual "Mullet Night" promotion. In previous years, "Mullet Night" has included hubcap-tossing competitions, toilet-seat horseshoes, a redneck dress-up contest and other acts of barely concealed class warfare. Bring the family.
Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn League)
Chien-Ming Wang Bobblehead Giveaway
Thursday, July 27 vs. Batavia Muckdogs
Before-Chien Ming Wang was a Bronx Bomber, he was a Baby Bomber. The Taiwanese righty began his professional career in 2000, as a member of the New York-Penn League champion Staten Island Yankees. On Thursday, Wang will be on hand as the SI Yanks retire his number 41 as part of a pregame ceremony. Better yet, the club will distribute 2,000 bobblehead dolls bearing Wang's likeness. And these are no ordinary bobbleheads, mind you -- each doll has a flowing mane of beautiful black hair, just like Wang! The bar for bobblehead quality has been raised once again. Bravo, Staten Island Yankees. Bravo.
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League)
Judy Johnson Bronze Statues
Thursday, July 27 vs. Kinston Indians
Hall of Famer Judy Johnson led a life of distinction. The wiry third baseman is recognized as one of the greatest players in the history of the Negro Leagues, a 150-pound scrapper with excellent defensive skills and an extremely sharp baseball mind. Johnson went on to become the first black coach in the Major Leagues and was also a well-regarded scout. He died in Wilmington in 1989, and on Thursday the Blue Rocks will honor him by distributing 1,250 Judy Johnson statues.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League)
Mike Lowell Spinners for a Day
Friday, July 28 vs. Vermont Lake Monsters
The Lowell Spinners are an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Mike Lowell plays for the Boston Red Sox. On Friday, these two seemingly random facts will collide head-on, as the Spinners will change their name to the "Mike Lowell Spinners" for that evening's contest against Vermont. The team will be outfitted in special jerseys that read "Mike Lowell" across the front, Mike Lowell footage will be displayed on the videoboard, and "Mike Lowell Double Cheeseburgers" will be served at the concession stands. Mike Lowell will unfortunately not be in attendance, as his Red Sox will be playing a game at Fenway that night.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League)
First Aid Kit Giveaway
Saturday, July 29 vs. Staten Island
From magnetic schedules to moshi pillows to bobblehead dolls, Minor League teams give away lots of stuff over the course of the season. Very few of these promotional items are capable of saving a human life, however, and this is a situation that the Brooklyn Cyclones would like to rectify. On Saturday, the club will distribute 2,500 first-aid kits to early arriving fans. The kits will be embossed with the Cyclones' logo and will be a convenient way to deal with any foul-ball related injuries that may occur in the stands during the game.
Kane County Cougars (Midwest League)
Seven Millionth Fan Celebration
Saturday, July 29 vs. Swing of the Quad Cities
The Cougars are one of the top-drawing teams in the Midwest League, having averaged over 450,000 fans a season since their inception in 1991. On Saturday, the club will celebrate an attendance landmark by welcoming the 7-millionth fan in team history. That lucky individual will throw out the game's first pitch, be showered with a multitude of Cougars souvenirs and receive tickets to the 2007 All-Star Game -- which, coincidentally enough, will be played at Kane County's Elfstrom Stadium.
Charleston RiverDogs (South Atlantic League)
BairFind Team Photo
Sunday, July 30 vs. Lexington Legends
All fans attending Sunday's Riverdogs game will receive a complimentary team photo, which Charleston players will be available to autograph. But there's a twist: in addition to a group shot of the 2006 RiverDogs, the photo will include an image of a missing child. The promotion is being run by Dennis Bair, a former Minor League pitcher who believes that team photos are a more effective way to locate missing children than milk cartons or mass mailings. Bair has conducted such promotions with five other Minor League teams, and two of the children featured have since been found.
Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian League)
Miss Twins Beauty Pageant
Sunday, July 30 vs. Kingsport Mets
Approximately 14,000 people live in Elizabethton, a charming Tennessee burgh located on the banks of the Watauga River. The town has 100 females for every 82.3 males, and it can be presumed that many of these females are quite beautiful. But who is the most beautiful? That burning question can only be answered by holding a beauty pageant, and the Elizabethton Twins will be doing just that prior to Sunday's contest against Kingsport. This is the sort of event that needs to be held in a stadium -- town halls and school gymnasiums simply cannot handle so many gorgeous women in the same place at the same time.
Yakima Bears (Northwest League)
Jay Buhner Appearance
Monday, July 31 vs. Eugene Emeralds
In addition to their hometown Bears, the people of Yakima, Wash., root for the Seattle Mariners. Last season, the Bears honored Mariner great Edgar Martinez at Yakima County stadium. This year's distinguished guest is none other than Jay Buhner, the shiny-domed slugger who bashed 310 homers over 15 Major League seasons. Buhner will be visiting Yakima for the first time, but the locals will treat him with such warmth and hospitality that he may never leave.
Upcoming Promos: Portable Chair Giveaway (Lowell, August 2), Napoleon Dynamite Night (Mahoning Valley, August 2), Tim Wakefield Bobblehead (Buffalo, August 3), Negro Leagues Salute with Doc Graham (Brevard County, August 4), Appearance by Survivor's Rudy Boesh (Buffalo, August 5), Soccer Ball Giveaway (Hickory, August 5), Halloween at the Ballpark (Ottawa, August 5), Chris Weinke Trophy Dolls (Tennessee, August 5), Bernie Kopell Appearance (State College, August 7), Mayberry Deputy Bobblehead Giveaway (Princeton, Aug. 8), Rulon Gardner Night (Orem, August 11), Bald is Beautiful Night (Boise, August 12), Stadium Replica Giveaway (Danville, August 12), Rodney McCray Bobblefence Night (Portland, August 12), Antique Appraisal Night (Williamsport, August 12), Car Survivor (Brevard County, August 14), Gassy Monday (Elizabethton, August 14), Post-Game Karaoke (Brevard County, August 16), Damn Yankees Night (Brevard County, August 17), Stopwatch Giveaway (Lowell, August 19), Hairiest Back Promotion (Mahoning Valley, August 20), Lynrd Skynrd Night (Idaho Falls, August 22), Ball Park Replica Giveaway Night (Buffalo, August 23), Diamond Giveaway (Brevard County, August 24), Civil War Night (Salem-Keizer, August 24), Dawn Well Appearance (State College, August 24), Insert Your Name Here Night (Columbus, August 25), Cup of Coffee Night (Salem-Keizer, August 26), Tony Perez Appearance (San Antonio, August 26), Plunger Giveaway (Brevard County, August 26), Steve Sax Night (Orem, August 26), Ron Palillo Appearance (Altoona, August 28), Efren Ramirez Appearance (State College, August 31), Baseball for Babies Night (Boise, September 1), Appearance by Sgt. Slaughter and George "The Animal" Steele (Columbus, September 1), Shirt Off Our Back Promotion (Lowell, September 1), Jimmie Walker Appearance (Altoona, September 2), Fann Appreciation Night (Boise, September 2), World Record First Pitch Attempt (Brevard County, September 2), Anger Management Night (Augusta, September 3), World's Largest Game of 'Duck-Duck-Goose' (Hagerstown, September 3), Shirt Off Our Back (San Antonio, September 3), Fleece Blanket Giveaway (Brooklyn, September 7).
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.