Previous 2018 editions of this column have taken a broad look at promotional trends throughout the Minors, from alternate identities involving food (or booze) to Star Wars to The Sandlot to Copa De La Diversion.
But now that we're in the second month of the season, the time for broader looks has passed. It's time to focus on the here and now. With that in mind, this week's column looks at the 10 best promotions that are occurring between today (May 14) and Sunday, May 20.
Spoiler alert: All of these promotions are taking place on Friday or Saturday. Everybody's working for the weekend.
Taco bobblehead, May 18
When the Isotopes suited up as the "Green Chile Cheeseburgers" last season, their opponent was the Fresno Tacos. But in Albuqerque, tacos aren't always the opposition. "Taco" is a character in a nightly onfield mascot race, and on Friday this tortilla-wrapped protagonist is being honored with his own bobblehead. There is no word yet on whether Taco's on-field nemeses, Green Chile and Red Chile, are outraged by the Isotopes' decision to immortalize their racing foe.
Pride Night, May 18
"Pride Night" promotions, a way for teams to engage with and celebrate the LGBTQ community, are becoming increasingly prevalent in the world of Minor League Baseball. The Lugnuts stage their first-ever Pride Night on Friday, featuring representatives from a variety of local LGBTQ organizations. The LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus will sing both the National Anthem and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Palm Beach Cardinals
Broken iPhone Screen Amnesty Night, May 18
The Cardinals are extending an offer, "no questions asked," to fans who are currently in possession of phones with broken screens. This offer reads, in part: "Whether your screen met its demise at a baseball game, during a tumble, a toilet mishap, a break-up.... Come to the game and sign up to win one of nine free iPhone screen repairs. One per inning done on the spot!" This is a promotion that seems exactly what it was cracked up to be.
Rochester Red Wings
Renew Your Vows Night, May 18
There'll be runs, hits and love in the air at Rochester's Frontier Field this Friday. The team is offering a "Renew Your Vows" package, featuring a pregame ceremony presided over by on-field host/ordained minister Grant Anderson and Bernie Carbo. The latter individual, a veteran of 12 Major League seasons, is the evening's special guest and will sign autographs following the ceremony. In addition to publicly declaring their continuing love for one another, couples will recieve special "Renew Your Vow Night" koozies. That's so romantic.
Aaron Judge high school bobblehead, May 18
Before Aaron Judge was New York Yankees superstar slugger Aaron Judge, he was regionally renowned Linden High School slugger Aaron Judge. The Ports, who play in close proximity to Linden High, are commemorating this lesser-known portion of Judge's slugging career via the distribution of bobbleheads featuring Judge decked out in a Linden High School jersey. These bobbleheads will go fast, so fans are advised to Aaron on the side of caution and get to the ballpark early.
Thunder Pork Roll, May 18
Trenton will suit up as the "Thunder Pork Roll" this Friday and every Friday home game thereafter for the remainder of the season. New Jersey's favorite meat product will be celebrated in myriad ways during the inaugural "Pork Roll" game. The first 1,025 adults in attendance recieve pork roll aprons, and $1 pork roll sandwiches are available throughout the game. This writer, currently referring to himself in the third person, will be in attendance. His Designated Eater will surely sample the "Sticky Pig."
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
1950s Replica Sky Sox Jerseys, May 19
The Sky Sox are celebrating their final season as a Triple-A franchise with a "Cheers to 45 More Years" campaign, in which they take the field on select nights while wearing a jersey representing a distinct era of Colorado Springs baseball history. This Saturday is "'50s Night," with the duds in question being '50s-era Sky Sox jerseys.
Royal Wedding Celebration, May 19
Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan Markle, tie the knot this Saturday, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers have declared themselves "the official site of the stateside wedding reception." As such, the team will distribute 1,000 Royal Couple bobbleheads while also honoring two local lovebirds as "the Royal Couple of the game." Other Great Britain-influenced endeavors include a pregame rendition of "God Save the Queen," the chimes of Big Ben ringing at the start of each inning and a fourth-inning "High Tea."
Game of Thrones Night, May 19
One night after "Pride Night," the Lugnuts are staging a salute to Game of Thrones. The Lugnuts, a Toronto affiliate, are giving away "spear throwing" bobbleheads featuring former House Blue Jays, and current House Met, Noah Syndergaard. Meanwhile, the team will take the field in "White Walker" specialty jerseys.
Asparagus Night, May 19
The Ports are following their Aaron Judge bobblehead night with their annual "Asparagus Night." Why? Because Stockton is known as the "Asparagus Capital of the World," and the Ports love to celebrate this agricultural claim to fame. The team will wear asparagus theme jerseys, and asparagus will be incorporated into a variety of concession specialties. Who wants an asparagus dog?