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Tennessee will test your inner sleuth

Clue Murder Mystery brings whodunnit challenge to Smokies Park
June 2, 2015

Was it Slugger in the Party Porch with a foam finger? Or maybe Homer in the dugout with a poisoned hot dog? That's up to you to find out with the help of your friends, parents or siblings. Consider them the Watson to your Holmes.

Come on out to Tennessee's Clue Murder Mystery Night on Thursday, June 4, when the Smokies put their ballpark spin on the classic kids game that inspired a big screen classic of the same name.

With the cult movie celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Chicago Cubs' Double-A affiliate invites fans to play the role of sleuth to solve a ballpark incident.

When Slugger and Homer stumble onto a body, it's up to the fans to put on their thinking caps and figure out the who, what and where before the game comes to an end.  

"We've done stuff like scavenger hunts and treasure hunts where you've had to solve clues around the park," said Kristi Servais, the Smokies' director of in-game entertainment. "It's going to be really fun to see and I hope the fans are going to be as excited about it as I am. I think they're going to be excited to put the clues together and see if they can figure out who did it.

"It's going to be a lot of fun and we hope everybody enjoys it. It's very family friendly here, so there might even be a little bit of a twist at the end so that everybody leaves happy."

All fans wishing to participate in the Clue challenge will report to the Smokies fan assistance center next to the taped-off crime scene on the concourse where they will be given their game card. Smokies' mascots Homer and Slugger will join Diamond, Ot Dawg, Pappa Corn and Pete's A. Pizza to dress up as Clue characters and suspects.

Keeping with the family-friendly atmosphere, the weapons will also get a Minor League makeover. Instead of a knife, there's a foam finger; instead of a candlestick, there's choking chewing gum, instead of a lead pipe it's a broken bat. A foul ball and length of rope are also possible weapons.

Similarly, the rooms will also change to reflect the unique areas of Smokies Stadium. Instead of the kitchen, study and lounge, there's Homer's Playground, the team store and the Pioneer Picnic Porch. Rumor has it the crime could also have been committed in the home dugout, Peter Pan Play Area, visitor's locker room, ladies restroom and first aid booth, so keep you eyes peeled for clues throughout the game.

Throughout the contest, clues will be given via in-game contests and on the video scoreboard. For those who miss a hint, the clues will also be shared on the team's social media feeds. The answer will be revealed at the end of the seventh inning.  

West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League)
Social Media Night, June 4

The Whitecaps won awards for their inaugural Social Media Night in 2014, so naturally it's returning bigger and better than ever later this week.

Months in the making, this year's promotion started in January when fans submitted jersey designs via social media channels and fans voted for the winner on the club's Facebook page. Fans also got to vote on the giveaway for the night, which will be a power bank.

There are several different contests planned for at the game, including social media mock elections for the most creative selfie, best foodie pic, top Snapchat drawing and best Twitter story using just Emojis.

There will be a social media match game on the video board, where fans tweet combinations to win prizes, and a Tweet Your Seat contest is also in the works. A great app debate will see fans voting on their favorite social media platform and the Emoji Cam will allow fans to make a frame with different emojis and find fans that suit that emotion.

If you like hashtags, West Michigan has you covered, too. Retweet game updates exclusively on Twitter with the hashtag #CapsFanTakeover for a chance to win cool prizes and use #CapsDJ to request songs throughout the game.

Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League)
Tribute to 1965 High School Baseball Team, June 4

Corpus Christi is thought by many to have the nation's best high school baseball, evidenced by the fact local powers Moody High School and Calallen High School drew more than 41,000 fans at Whataburger Field over a pair of playoff series in 2007 and 2009.

1965 Rings

Hooks senior director of communications Matt Rogers said there have been 24 state championships won by 15 different area schools since 1965, when the Coles Green Hornets won the Prairie View Interscholastic League. The Green Hornets will be recognized by the Hooks, the Corpus Christi Independent School District and the City of Corpus Christi in pregame ceremonies.

All fans receive a 1965 Coles Team Poster and several of the remaining players will sign autographs on the stadium concourse. During pregame on-field recognition, eight of 10 surviving team members will receive state championship rings.

"The story of that ballclub is about so much more than baseball," said Rogers. "Baseball brought those guys together, as it brought the Hooks and Coles together. That's the power of our game. But, think about the backdrop of the spring of '65. Those Coles players came of age as the segregation of African-Americans and Caucasians was coming to an end, yet they still played in a segregated league. As boys and young teens, they'd lived in a separate society."

Tennessee Smokies (Southern League)
Back to the Future Night, June 5

The Smokies are traveling through time during their Mother-Son Date Night. As fans enter the park they will be giving Remote Area Medial Thundersticks to help generate the 1.21 gigawatts needed to get . Throughout the game Citizens National Bank will be sponsoring a Money Grab event to "Save the Clock Tower." On-field games will include an old western pony hop with their version of "Clint Eastwood" (really just a mascot dressed in Marty McFly cowboy attire), a skateboard race, and a Johnny B. Goode dance off/air-guitar battle. AND... every time a pitcher hits 88 mph, Homer the Hound Dog will shoot off a free T-shirt into the crowd.  

Quick hits


June 4: When Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were selected to the Hall of Fame last year, the Braves decided to honor them on a tri-bobbleBack to the Futurehead. Each Atlanta affiliate has an allocation to share with fans, and Mississippi will hand theirs out to the first 1,500 through the gate June 4. Next Thursday, the M-Braves will give away a John Smoltz bobblehead since he's in the 2015 Hall of Fame class.

Wisconsin will wear cow-patterned jerseys that will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Freedom Food Pantry. There will be a bobblehead giveaway of Clint Coulter wearing the specialty cow jersey last year, and there will be everything from cheese sampling, milk mustaches and live cows to a milk-chugging contest, cow mooing and cow herding. After the game, fans can grab the exit giveaway of, you guessed it, milk.

June 6: Two nights later, the Timber Rattlers bring back a fan favorite with Star Wars Night, a regular fixture on the Wisconsin calendar. The team will wear special C-3PO Star Wars jerseys that will be auctioned off throughout the game with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. Star Wars characters will be on hand for pre- and postgame interactions, and light sabers will be on sale during the game. Cap off the evening with a fireworks show set to Star Wars-themed music.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans will play tribute to a former Minor League baseball team in Myrtle Beach when they remember the Hurricanes. The team will wear throwback jerseys and hats, which will all be auctioned off for charity. Former notable players for the team include Carlos Delgado, Howard Battle and Chris Weinke.

1965 Rings

The Hurricanes were a short-lived team that began in 1991 when the Myrtle Beach Blue Jays were renamed. However, after the 1992 season, owner Winston Blenckstone moved the franchise to Hagerstown after negotiations for a new stadium fell through.

Should a hurricane reach landfall in Myrtle Beach on June 6, one lucky fan will leave with $25,000. Regardless, the night will feature information on how to prepare for a hurricane and storm survival tips.

June 7: The Fresno Grizzlies will be giving away advanced screening tickets to the Jurassic World movie during their game with Reno. Chukchansi Park will become Jurassic Ballpark, and the Grizzlies have been working with the movie's promoters to cover the stadium in posters and design videoboard head shots. Just like life, you should "find a way" to the park Sunday.

June 8: The Carolina Mudcats will have a Taylor Swift impersonator belting out the chart-topper's smash hit songs throughout the game. All of the on-field promotions will also have a Taylor Swift theme (shake the dirt off the bases perhaps?), including Tswizzle trivia and rap contests.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB.