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Promo Preview: Lotto fun planned in Bowie
Baysox introduce scratch ticket promo to determine 7 millionth fan
04/14/2015 12:30 PM ET
It's likely that the Baysox's 7 millionth fan will get some quality time with beloved mascot Louie. (Carl Kline/MiLB.com)

When it comes to honoring the 7 millionth fan in franchise history, the Bowie Baysox are starting from scratch.

The Baysox -- Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles -- are expecting to reach the seven-million fan milestone on Friday, the second home game of their 23rd season of existence. But who will this special fan be? Most teams simply select someone at random as he or she is passing through the turnstiles, but the Baysox have opted for a different approach. The first 1,000 fans in attendance receive instant-win scratch cards, produced by Ohio-based company Scratch Off Systems, with each card resulting in a prize. And the top prize to be had is, of course, official status as the team's 7 millionth fan.

"We've had the 7 millionth fan on our radar since last season. We were hoping, but at the same time not hoping, that we would get it [in 2014], because we wanted to have a full offseason to get it right," said Baysox promotions manager Chris Rogers. "We eventually came up with the idea of a scratch-off card, because who doesn't like the unknown element of a lottery? It's gambling, but really it's not a gamble -- everybody gets something."

That something includes one of 500 bobbleheads that the Baysox have in storage, including the likes of local radio personalities, current Orioles contributors such as Zach Britton and even Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak. Team logo tumblers, photo balls and free tickets are also among the offerings, but it all pales in comparison to the grand prize.

"The 7 millionth fan will get a couple of season tickets as well as a luxury suite for themselves and 20 of their closest friends," said Rogers. "They'll also get personalized Baysox jerseys, seven autographed baseballs from guys like Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and Zach Britton, stadium gifts cards, passes to a local amusement park, and an autographed bat from last year's team. ... The goal is to make this person the ultimate Baysox fan, if they weren't already."

The best of the rest

Good Karma Night

Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League)
Good Karma Night, April 15

The Fresno Grizzlies' "Good Karma Night" may just be the Stanford Prison Experiment of our times, a psychological exercise that yields deep insight into the fundamental nature of the human psyche. How it works is simple: Fans pay whatever they want for a ticket to the ballgame. If you want to give the team just one cent, then one cent is all that it'll take to get in the ballpark. But there's a catch, of course, as half of the ticket sale proceeds go to Valley Children's Hospital. This might make some cheapskates think twice. Self-interest versus the common good: what will prevail?

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Carolina League)
Deflate Cancer Night, April 15

When the Pelicans announced their "Deflate Cancer" promo back in January, it was in response to the New England Patriots' "Deflategate" controversy that was then dominating the news. This supremely silly scandal is just a memory now, but nonetheless the Pelicans are carrying on with their supremely silly promotion. The evening is dedicated to a larger theme of testicular cancer awareness, and ball-related jokes are in abundance. Highlights include 11 of every 12 fans through the gates receiving a deflated ball, free ball inflation stations on the concourse, a communal ball deflation ceremony and team president Andy Milovich competing in a Rocky Mountain Oyster (i.e breaded and fried cow testicles) eating contest. In short, a Super Bowl controversy has led to a super ball promotion.

Selena

El Paso Chihuahuas (Pacific Coast League)
Salute to Selena, April 16

March 31 marked the 20th anniversary of Selena's death, as on that date in 1995 the Latin pop star was murdered by the president of her fan club. At the time of her passing, Selena's music was popular throughout the nation, but, as a Texas native of Mexican descent, her influence was strongest among members of that state's Hispanic community. All of this makes the El Paso Chihuahuas, whose ballpark includes views of Juarez, Mexico, an ideal team to pay tribute. The team will be doing so throughout Thursday's "Salute to Selena," which will be filled start-to-finish with her modern pop interpretations of traditional Mexican Tejano music.

Black and Gold Gloves

Altoona Curve (Eastern League)
Black and Gold Texting Gloves and Martavis Bryant appearance, April 17

Broadly speaking, Altoona is considered to be part of the Central Pennsylvania region. The city's sporting loyalties skew distinctly toward the western side of the state, however, which makes the Curve's Pirates affiliation a natural fit. Pittsburgh sports mania will be in full effect during Friday's game, as Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant will be signing autographs throughout the evening. Furthermore, the first 1,000 fans in attendance receive a pair of black and gold "texting gloves." These gloves allow the wearer to extricate the fingertips, perfect for those who believe that composing and sending a timely text message is worthy of a possible case of hypothermia.

San Jose Giants (California League)
Salute to the Military Trading Card Set featuring Willie Mays, April 18

Military trading card sets, featuring veteran and active-duty members of the armed forces within a specific team's fan base, have been a popular promotional item over the past two seasons. The San Jose Giants have put a unique twist on the concept, as the 36-card trading set they are giving away Friday includes none other than Giants Hall of Famer (and, arguably, greatest living baseball player) Willie Mays. The card commemorates Mays' 1952-54 stint within the U.S. Army, which came about just one year after he made his Major League debut with the New York Giants.

Willie Mays Trading Card

Quick hits

April 15: Procrastinators among the Buffalo Bisons fan base will be pleased to know that the team is hosting a "Tax Drop-off Day" promotion.

April 16: Fans of physical media are rejoicing in the Binghamton Mets' decision to give away a DVD commemorating last season's Eastern League championship. ... The Sacramento River Cats' YOLO Night is a celebration not of youthful feelings of invincibility but of the businesses located in Yolo County (of which the Sacramento Valley is a part). ... The Salem Red Sox's "Virginia Tech Remembrance" pays tribute to the lives lost in 2007's mass shooting on the school's campus. The team will wear Virginia Tech hats during the ballgame.

April 17: Disco Inferno, not to be confused with the early '90s post-rock English band of the same name, plays at a postgame concert at the Clearwater Threshers' home of Bright House Field. ... The Reading Fightin Phils, still lacking an apostrophe in their team name, give away fleece blankets commemorating the 65th season of baseball at their FirstEnergy Stadium abode. ... Live and direct from Cooperstown, the Round Rock Express have Nolan Ryan's Hall of Fame plaque on display

April 18: The Tennessee Smokies stage the first of what will be many Goonies-themed promos around Minor League Baseball this season. ... Elena Delle Donne, a Wilmington native now playing in the WNBA, is honored with her own bobblehead at the Wilmington Blue Rocks game.

April 19: The Las Vegas 51s honor the memory of coach Jerry Tarkanian by wearing UNLV-themed jerseys. The opposing Fresno Grizzlies will wear Fresno State Bulldogs jerseys, thereby representing another team that "Tark" had coached. This promotion comes one week after the two teams wore the same jerseys during a game in Fresno.

April 20: Nothing of note is taking place, at least according to my meticulous and unimpeachable records.

April 21: 'Ello Guv'na! The Bowling Green Hot Rods host "Bad British Accent Night." ... The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders give away "Proud to be a Hater" T-shirts, with the hate in question specifically directed toward the opposing Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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