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Promo Preview: Embrace your inner nerd
Myrtle Beach has four-day 'Geekend' planned to delight every dork
04/21/2015 11:00 AM ET
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans will go up, up and away with their Superman-inspired jerseys on Superhero Night.

One of the best things about the wacky world of Minor League promotions is that teams are happy to share ideas and bounce concepts off one another. Never is this truer than at the annual Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar each fall.

It was at this seminar last winter when the Myrtle Beach Pelicans first learned of Lake Elsinore's "Geekend," a homestand-long promotion that encapsulates the finer points of nerdvana.

The Pelicans took that idea and made it their own. Now fans will see the fruits of their labor this Thursday through Sunday during a four-game series with the Winston-Salem Dash that will include everything from Superman and Sonic the Hedgehog to Katniss Everdeen and Luke Skywalker.

"We have a few closet nerds here on the staff, myself included, so we just had to tap into that geek inside all of us," Pelicans senior director of community development Jen Borowski said. "Everyone has that inner nerd. It's going to be fun, for sure. We took [Lake Elsinore's] concept and made it our own. They brought it to the promotional seminar and we stole it from them."

Each of the four games will have its own geek theme. Thursday is Salute to Hunger Games Night where the stadium will be divided into 12 "districts." As in Suzanne Collins' books and the movies they inspired, one fan from each district will compete in a series of on-field contests between innings until only one combatant remains.

Friday is Star Wars Night and the Pelicans have teamed up with Carolina Garrison, the local regional chapter of the 501st Legion, an all-volunteer international Star Wars costuming organization. The Legion will be on hand for photographs throughout the evening and the Pelicans are expecting this to be one of the more popular nights at the ballpark.

Fans can channel their inner hero Saturday on Superhero Night. Myrtle Beach will wear Superman-inspired themed jerseys and fans can bid on the uniforms throughout the game. The first 500 children 12 and under will receive a special cape, and those in attendance can mingle with a cast of superheroes expected to make special appearances throughout the evening. All proceeds from the auction and superhero raffle will benefit the Special Olympics of South Carolina, a non-profit organization that received $13,000 from the club last year as one of dozens of organizations to receive part of the $465,000 raised by team and its fans throughout the season.

Rounding out the Geekend is Retro Game Night on Sunday. Every inning, the Pelicans will give away a different antiquated game to stir up the nostalgia. From the 1960s classic Rock'em Sock'em Robots and infuriatingly hard smash hit Rubik's Cube to a Nintendo Game Boy and Tetris bundle, fans of all ages will be taken back to an era in which every telephone was connected to a wire and when a mouse was simply a small barnyard rodent.

"The staff here has been looking forward to it for months, and it's something we've had on our calendar since September," Borowski said. "For us, Star Wars Night is a big one. We haven't had Star Wars characters here for four or five years, so that will be something new, and we expect the jerseys on Superhero Night to be extremely popular."

The best of the rest

Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League)
Bad British Accent Night, April 21
Hello, Guv'nor. Did you enjoy Anne Hathaway trying to speak with a Yorkshire accent in One Day? How about Russell Crowe butchering the Nottingham accent in Robin Hood? Dick Van Dyke mangling a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins? If you answered "Yes!" to any of these, then you're going to love what the Hot Rods have on display Tuesday night. Created to coincide with British monarch Queen Elizabeth's official birthday, Bad British Accent Night (briefly mentioned at the end of last week's Promo Preview) will see the Hot Rods' PA announcer, on-field emcee and promotion contestants speak in a British accent all night. In addition, some of the on-field promotions will be tailored toward British traditions, such as crumpet-eating and tea-sipping contests. Jolly good show, chap.

Salt Lake Bees (Pacific Coast League)
Beard Appreciation Night, April 24
The Salt Lake Bees might be squaring off against the Fresno Grizzlies on Friday night, but it's your own grizzly, well-manicured facial hair that could land you in the money. The first 2,000 fans through the gates at Smith's Ballpark will get their hands on a Matt Shoemaker Beard Beanie. Everyone in attendance can show off their beard -- the one with the most likes on the Bees Instagram page will collect a cool $200. "We felt like we needed to do something to honor the great season Matt had for the Angels last year," said Bees communications manager Kraig Williams. "When looking at what kind of giveaways, we wanted to try to find something unique and true to Matt and thought these beanies were a great fit. They look great and they will come in handy while waiting for baseball season during the cold Salt Lake winters."

Charleston RiverDogs (South Atlantic League)
Bill Murray Tune Squad jersey giveaway, April 25
His Royal Airness Michael Jordan doubted Bill Murray could ball in his 1996 Space Jam cameo, but the part owner of the RiverDogs proved he had the game to handle the Monstars. Now you can grab your No. 22 Tune Squad jersey at Charleston and take your game to the next level. Just like Murray, you'll never have to play defense with these threads on your back.

Sacramento River Cats (Pacific Coast League)
Zoo Night jerseys, April 25
The River Cats started a minor Twitter war earlier this year when they unveiled their four themed jersey nights that included an extreme close-up of an endangered snow leopard on their April 25 Zoo Night jersey. In the past, the River Cats have included animal prints from lovable creatures such as giraffe and turtles on the Zoo Night jerseys. This year, not only did the club reduce the number of theme night jerseys from 12 to five, they also chose to ditch the print motif and feature an actual photo of Sacramento Zoo resident Blizzard on the uniforms.

The Fresno Grizzlies questioned the rationale behind such a jersey, prompting the River Cats to make a mild-mannered burn of their own.

Each of the game-used jerseys will be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds benefiting the Sacramento Zoo. Gus the Green Tree Frog, the zoo's official mascot, will be on hand to take photos with fans and staff members will pass out animal hats to fans.

Akron RubberDucks (Eastern League)
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire night, April 27
The RubberDucks wasted no time latching onto the story of longtime NBC news anchor Brian Williams being suspended for lying about being shot down in a helicopter over Iraq in 2003. Weaving the scandal seamlessly into National Tell a Story Day, Cleveland's Double-A affiliate decided to create Pants on Fire Night to chronicle the February suspension of Williams. In-game activities include burning a pair of pants belonging to a fan named Brian Williams and inviting a spectator of the same name to share embellished tales.

Quick hits

April 22: Get out to Lansing's Cooley Law School stadium to celebrate the middle of the work week at Hump Day. Guess what day of the week it is? Of course, it falls on a Wednesday. Cheer on your Lugnuts and have your photo taken with Humphrey the Camel. Soon you'll be racing your way to the weekend quicker than you can say, "Eh, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike."

April 23: El Paso's Tribute to New Mexico will pay homage to the team's neighbors to the north, as New Mexico is as close as 10 minutes from the ballpark. The Chihuahuas have been working with groups from New Mexico State University and the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce to highlight all things New Mexico during the game. The team will serve green chili concession items and have themed contests ranging from hot-air balloons and aliens to history of the state and the Carlsbad Caverns.

April 24: The perks of being at the SeaWolves game on Friday are glorious, coffee pun intended. Erie will host a Salute of Coffee night with plenty of free giveaways, java-themed contests and specialty concessions items.

April 26: Round out your weekend with a sugar rush in Frederick. For the second straight year, the Keys will drop more than 150 pounds of candy from a helicopter hovering over the outfield. Why, you ask? It's halfway to Halloween so let the big kid inside of you come out and grab as much candy as you can handle. Halloween-themed contests will take place during the game and the Keys players will have costumed headshots displayed on the scoreboard. Be sure to visit the pumpkin chucking cannon, always a fan-favorite.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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