ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Class A Charleston RiverDogs won Golden Bobblehead Awards tonight for the Best Overall Promotion and Best Non-Game Day Event for hosting the first round of the 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star Game Home Run Derby contest on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. The RiverDogs were presented with their Golden Bobbleheads during the Outing at Aces Ballpark at the 35th annual Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar in Reno, Nev.
The June 18 Home Run Derby held on the USS Yorktown was round one of the contest. The 10 SAL All-Stars each got 10 swings in an inflatable batting cage that was set up on the ship's flight deck. Staffers on jet skis in Charleston Harbor retrieved the baseballs and the Coast Guard assisted in determining the distance of the longest hit balls. The final round of the contest took place the following evening before the SAL All-Star Game at Riley Park.
The Golden Bobblehead Award for Best Theme Night went to the West Virginia Power for "Redneck Night." The May 26 game celebrating the Power's rural roots featured a "Redneck Wedding" atop the first base dugout; camouflage Power hats to the first 1,000 fans through the gates; Steve McGranahan, "The World's Strongest Redneck"; and Paw Paw Soggy Bottom, a locally well-known redneck. After the South Atlantic League game, Team Ghostrider's Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, a team of dog-riding monkeys, entertained the crowd.
The Class A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays won the Best In-Game Promotion category for their "8-Bit Video to Promote Playoffs" idea. The Florida State League club promoted their playoff game by creating a unique highlight video inspired by 8-bit Nintendo games, such as RBI Baseball. The YouTube video garnered coverage in USA Today, The Examiner, MLB Cut 4 and on The Fan590's hit show "Baseball Central." It was also featured during an on-air interview on Sportsnet Canadian Radio.
The Altoona Curve's "Blue Out Saturdays" was selected as the Best Charity Promotion or Event. The Eastern League club partnered with Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania to raise awareness and funds in an effort to prevent child abuse. The Curve wore specially designed blue jerseys during all 11 Saturday home games, which were then auctioned after the last one on Aug. 25. Altoona's front office and game day staff also wore blue.
Fans were encouraged to dress in blue apparel to show their support for the cause. They could also aid the cause by purchasing items such as PCA PA's blue pinwheels, wristbands and "Curve, PA Blue Out Saturdays" t-shirts and by participating in a "Text-to-Give" program. Some of the proceeds from cotton candy and online ticket sales for these Saturday games were also directed to PCA PA.
The Golden Bobblehead Awards winners are chosen by MiLB Promotional Seminar attendees in five categories, including the Best Overall winner. Five finalists are selected in each category from the list of clubs who have been nominated during the regular season. After presentations by nominated teams, attendees vote for their favorite in each category, as well as an overall winner.
The third annual Golden Bobblehead Award winners will be selected at the MiLB Promotional Seminar next year in Louisville, Ky. Galt House Hotel will host the event from Sept. 24-27, 2013.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.