Two instances do not a trend make, but I am nonetheless intrigued that a pair of teams with "Blue" in their names will be selling secondhand goods in the out-of-doors. Conspiracy theorists, take note.
Dunedin Blue Jays (Florida State League)
Annual Garage Sale, Nov. 7
One of the most prominent vendors at the D-Jays garage sale will be the team's front office. The club boasts in a press release that they have "a large amount of baseball items at their disposal," and that office furniture will be available as well. Dunedinians should take advantage of this opportunity, because most of us can only dream of owning furniture that once resided within the hallowed confines of a Florida State League stadium. But there will be more -- much more, even -- and the philanthropic cherry on top is that all of the day's proceeds go toward helping children entering Florida's foster care program.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League)
Flea Market, Nov. 8 and 15
I have been to Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park and can attest firsthand that it is a venue with exceedingly ample parking. On Nov. 8th and 15, this prodigious island of asphalt will be utilized for the team's flea market. Interested vendors can rent an 18x18-foot space (the size of two parking spots) for the eminently reasonable price of $30.
Now that we've got the all-important garage sales and flea markets out of the way, let us move on to a chronological run-through of a half-dozen intriguing upcoming events:
Lake Elsinore Storm (California League)
Lake Elsinore Grand Prix, Nov. 7-8
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Lake Elsinore's The Diamond is the only baseball stadium that doubles as the starting and ending points of a 7.2-mile motorcycle race. The transformation occurs this weekend, when the team hosts the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix. The two-day event features a cornucopia of activities, including the 100-mile "Mushman Race" on Sunday (named in honor of Steve McQueen, who participated in the 1971 Grand Prix under the name "Harvey Mushman"). But the weekend's highlight could quite possibly be Saturday night's "Rockfest," which is headlined by two titans of '80s hair metal: Warrant and Great White. In honor of these rock legends, "Once Bitten Cherry Pie" will be served at the concession stands (Note: not true).
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League)
Troll for Trout and Spencer Mulder concert, Nov. 13
Trolling for trout is a common offseason pastime for many a ballplayer, so perhaps it's fitting that a band named after this activity will be playing at the Whitecaps' Pepsi Stadium Club. Or perhaps it's not fitting at all. For who am I to determine such things? Let me refrain from editorializing and simply report that affable local folk rockers Troll for Trout and up-and-coming songsmith Spencer Mulder will be providing an evening of low-cost entertainment for the denizens of Michigan's western sector on Friday the 13th. In keeping with that date's superstitious reputation, perhaps it would be fitting to shout out requests for Janet Jackson's "Black Cat." Or perhaps it would not be fitting at all. For who am I to determine such things? In the interest of not having this column further degenerate into idiocy, let us quickly proceed to the following writeup.
Daytona Cubs (Florida State League)
World Series of Chili, Nov. 14
If promotions could be judged by their name alone, then this one would certainly be a contender for year's best. It would also lead one to believe that that the event would be a best-of-7 affair beset by interminable commercial delays. The reality is much simpler, however: On Nov. 14, chili enthusiasts will flock to Jackie Robinson Stadium in order to enjoy unlimited samples of their favorite food, dished out by some of Daytona's finest cooks. Admission to the event is $12, with proceeds benefiting a local humane society. And in keeping with that pet-friendly theme, attendees are encouraged to bring their canines to the ballpark so that they may enjoy a heaping helping of "Chili for Dogs" (this is true).
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League)
Thanksgiving Pig Tales, Nov. 14
In the last installment of this column, I plugged the Halloween edition of Lehigh Valley's "Pig Tales" storytelling series. Now the club is putting a Thanksgiving spin on the proceedings. On Nov. 14, area youth are invited to join Farmer Sally for an hour of tales related to a holiday that manages to pull off the rare feat of being both gluttonous and introspective.
Mobile BayBears (Southern League)
Renaissance Faire, Nov. 14-15
The BayBears have always been big proponents of staging offseason events, and they've sure got a great one lined up next weekend. Hank Aaron Stadium will be transformed into a 14th-century wonderland, complete with knights, wizards, jugglers, gypsies and falcon handlers (only one of the aforementioned occupations is currently the name of a Minor League team). And in lieu of beer and a hot dog at the concession stand, revelers are encouraged to chow down on cuisine more relevant to Medieval times -- mutton and mead, perhaps?
Portland Beavers (Pacific Coast League)
Fall Ball Clinic, Nov. 14
The Beavers' players have returned to their homes for the offseason, all tuckered out after a measly 144-game campaign. But that doesn't mean that baseball won't be taking place at PGE Park. To the contrary! Area players between the ages of 10-17 are encouraged to register for Nov. 14's "Youth Clinic," which consists of separate hitting and pitching sessions. The former will be conducted by former Beavers hitting coach Tommy Sandt, while the latter will be overseen by former big league hurler Tom Gorman. I wonder if those guys refer to themselves as the "Tom Tom Club" whenever they hang out together.