The unofficial "Star Wars" holiday that is May the Fourth occurs on Saturday, perhaps the optimal day of the week for a Minor League team to stage an all-out theme night celebration. At least 20 such celebrations will occur, featuring some combination of 501st Legion character appearances, theme jerseys, giveaway items, special concession options and mascot scene reenactments.
This special edition of Promo Preview takes a look at some of the more notable "Star Wars" theme nights taking place at ballparks across the country. May the Fourth be with you.
Durham Bulls -- The Durham Bulls have a long tradition of staging "Star Wars" promos. This writer witnessed their 2016 edition, during which he embarrassed himself on the field doing an impersonation of Chewbacca. Last season the Triple-A Tampa Bay affiliate went to the Dark Side, wearing Darth Vader jerseys while declaring themselves the "Evil Empire of the International League." This time around, they've chosen the side of good. Bulls players will don jerseys inspired by "famous scenes of Yoda and Luke Skywalker training in the Dagobah system."
Harrisburg Senators -- Juan Soto. Sounds quite a bit like Han Solo, no? The phonetic similarities between the Nationals' prodigal outfield talent and the "Star Wars" franchise's roguish rebel inspired the Harrisburg Senators to create a bobblehead featuring Soto dressed up as Solo. The fact that Soto made a cameo for the Senators likely also inspired the team's decision; in 2018, he appeared in eight games for Double-A Harrisburg before getting called up to the Nationals. The first 1,500 fans in attendance at Harrisburg's FNB Field will receive this bobblehead. You might want to get in line now.
Hickory Crawdads -- The Crawdads, Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, are on the road Saturday. But the team is still getting in on the May the Fourth action, as they'll be hosting "An Evening of John Williams " at their home of L.P. Frans Stadium. Williams, who has worked as a film composer for over 60 years, is perhaps best known for his work on the "Star Wars" films. Saturday's concert will be performed by the Western Piedmont Symphony; the entire second half will be devoted to music from "Star Wars."
Omaha Storm Chasers -- What is "Star Wars" if not a parable on the dual nature of man? The Omaha Storm Chasers are embracing both good and evil over the span of two nights, as the Triple-A Royals affiliate will wear Dark Side jerseys on Friday before switching over to the light on May the Fourth. Saturday's "Star Wars" Night also features a "Bluebacca" bobblehead giveaway, featuring mascot Casey as a uniquely hued Wookiee.
Potomac Nationals -- "The Phantom Menace" is not exactly the most revered film in the "Star Wars" oeuvre, but a lack of critical acclaim isn't stopping the Potomac Nationals from celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release. The Class A Advanced Washington affiliate will take the field in eye-catching jerseys featuring Anakin Skywalker's podracing arch-nemesis Sebulba. These figure to be the most polarizing "Star Wars" theme jerseys since the Altoona Curve paid homage to Jar-Jar Binks in 2016.
Toledo Mud Hens -- Like the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Toledo Mud Hens are staging not one but, yes, two "Star Wars" promotions. May 4 features a pregame "Star Wars" dinner, with food and beverage items themed around the franchise. If that somehow doesn't satisfy your crossover culinary needs, May 5 brings a pregame Sunday brunch with "Star Wars" characters.
Wilmington Blue Rocks -- Omaha's Bluebacca isn't the only blue mascot "Star Wars" character bobblehead being given away on May 4 by a Kansas City affiliate.The Wilmington Blue Rocks, Class A Advanced affiliate of the Royals, are distributing 1,000 Rocky Bluewinkle bobbleheads. If you've ever wanted to own a collectible featuring a saber-wielding moose, then this represents your best (and probably last) chance.