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Ben's Biz: Minor League promos for mid-April

Hockey Day, Awful Night, Chili Buns and so much more
April 19, 2024

This is an excerpt from the latest edition of the Ben's Biz Beat Newsletter, bringing Minor League Baseball business and culture news to your inbox each and every Thursday. Check out the full newsletter HERE. The pomp and circumstance of Opening Day is in the rearview mirror and the world

This is an excerpt from the latest edition of the Ben's Biz Beat Newsletter, bringing Minor League Baseball business and culture news to your inbox each and every Thursday. Check out the full newsletter HERE.

The pomp and circumstance of Opening Day is in the rearview mirror and the world of Minor League Baseball has settled into the long grind of its regular season. But why call it a long grind? It’s more of an exuberant romp, exemplified by the promotions that Minor League teams stage on a daily basis. Here’s a look at some of the top promos taking place over the coming week.

Emo Night (Nashville Sounds, April 18)
Nashville is the Music City, and this season the city’s Triple-A team is celebrating musical genres beyond the iconic country and western sound that gave the team its name. Thursday was Emo Night, paying tribute to an angsty rock subgenre known for both skinny jeans and soul-baring emotional catharsis (emo is short for emotional, you see). Fans who went for the theme night specialty ticket received an emo T-shirt featuring a skeleton in a Sounds uniform. After one has bared all, bones are all that’s left.

Travis Loudin Appreciation Night (Akron RubberDucks, April 19)
The RubberDucks report that Travis Loudin is “funny, smart, cool and can bench press 400 pounds. He’s also a secret agent, but don’t tell anybody.” While these claims may be debatable, one thing’s for sure: Loudin is a RubberDucks’ season ticket holder, and the RubberDucks have randomly selected him to be the star of his own theme night. This is an annual tradition for the Double-A Cleveland affiliate; in 2021 I wrote about a similar tribute to the immortal Ken Thompson.

Quoth the Rave(n), Give Me More! (Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, April 19)
What can fans expect from Friday’s Jumbo Shrimp game? Consider it a Poe man’s version of an all-night rave. “We’ll have a ton of glow sticks and utilize our LED lights after every half-inning for about 10-20 seconds,” explains Jumbo Shrimp promotions director David Ratz. The team’s website further explains that there will be EDM (electronic dance music), tiny bottles of water and “the master works of one of the most prolific 19th-century poets.” The result will be a cultural mash-up that no one asked for, but sometimes you’ve just got to do what feels good.

Hockey Day with Ice Skating Fang bobblehead giveaway (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, April 20)
The Appleton-based Timber Rattlers are celebrating hockey on Saturday afternoon, because hockey ranks highly among the average Wisconsinite’s list of sporting loves. This celebration is highlighted by what must be a first: a snake on ice, in bobblehead form. The slithering reptile in question is Timber Rattlers mascot Fang, who appears poised to pirouette. Once again, Fang’s anomalous status as a snake with arms and legs is allowing him to break new ground.

Awful Night (Altoona Curve, April 23)
It’s back, and hopefully worse than ever. In the first decade of the 21st century, the Curve’s Awful Night was an annual staple. It was what it sounds like, an attempt to make everything about the ballpark experience as awful as possible. When this writer attended Awful Night V in 2007, “highlights” included a spork giveaway, misspellings on the videoboard, a falsetto “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” sung by a shirtless masked man named “Captain Awful” and, most memorably, a postgame Laser Light Show that turned out to be then-broadcaster Jon Laaser dancing on the field in a green body suit while waving glow sticks. Tuesday’s Awful Night resurrection has a lot to live down to. Hopefully the Curve will succeed.


Quick Hits
Here are five more notable promotions taking place over the next week, explained in 25 words or less.

South Carolina Weird Laws Night (Charleston RiverDogs, April 18) -- The RiverDogs highlighted strange and archaic state laws on Thursday, including age-related pinball restrictions and horse bathing.

Sixth City Night (Lake County Captains, April 19) -- The Captains are affiliated with, and play near, Cleveland. They’ll pay tribute to notable “inventions and innovations” from what was once the sixth-largest U.S. city.

Chili Buns (Wichita Wind Surge, April 19-20) -- The Chili Buns, an homage to the Great Plains tradition of placing cinnamon buns in a bowl of chili, debut in Wichita. Come hungry, leave stuffed.

Finn the Bat Dog Jersey Night (Las Vegas Aviators, April 19) -- Finn, a black Labrador, has been retrieving bats since 2016. He is now retiring, and the Aviators are paying homage with a fetching jersey giveaway.

PA Primary Night (Erie SeaWolves, April 23) -- PA voters go to the polls on Tuesday, prompting a celebration of democracy in Erie. Fans will vote on “key issues impacting the gameday experience.”

The Show Before the Show
It seems that I haven’t promoted’s “Show Before the Show” podcast recently, and it’s time to rectify that. Check out last week’s episode, in which Sam Dykstra and I chat with Erie SeaWolves president Greg Coleman about the process of creating memorable championship rings. I also go deep on my upcoming road trips, while Sam and Tyler Maun talk about Jackson Holliday’s debut (and much more). Oh, and your pal and mine Josh Jackson stops by for an elemental edition of Ghosts of the Minors. I’m telling you folks, this podcast has it all.


Thanks for reading the Ben’s Biz Beat Newsletter. I appreciate you and hope you’re having a good day.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.