There'll soon be a bad moon rising over Banner Island Ballpark.
On Saturday, the Stockton Ports (Class A Advanced affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) are paying tribute to perhaps the greatest American rock band of all time: Creedence Clearwater Revival.
There's no bad time to celebrate Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), in this writer's opinion, but the Ports have special reason for doing so. The band, comprised of brothers John and Tom Fogerty and rhythm section Doug Clifford and Stu Cook, formed in El Cerrito, California. The Bay Area town is 10 miles from Oakland, home of the Ports' parent club. More importantly, Stockton is only 16 miles south of Lodi. "Lodi," one of CCR's best-known songs, appeared on the 1969 album Green River. Remarkably, that LP is one of three CCR albums celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Bayou Country was released in January, Green River in August and Willy and the Poor Boys in November.
"Lodi" originally was released as the B-Side of the "Bad Moon Rising" single. The theme jerseys the Ports will wear on Saturday incorporate both classic tunes, as the front features "Lodi" atop an ominous rising moon.
"One thing we need to work on is getting the people of Lodi fired up about this promotion," said Pat Filippone, Ports president and part-owner. "We've got some calls in to the visitors bureau."
CCR's "Lodi" doesn't paint the town in the best light, as "Oh, Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again" is the best-known lyric. Fillipone acknowledged this but said the song is a point of pride in the community and, besides, "it's just a good-natured jab at travel issues."
"We'll be doing a bunch of cool stuff," he continued. "This is part of our A's Weekend. We'll have bands from the East Bay playing and we'll be celebrating the A's heyday of the late 60's and early '70s. And CCR will be the only music we play all day, other than the visitor's walk-up songs we're doing for charity."
Ports staff will be decked out in late '60s/early '70s attire on Saturday, ranging from tie-dye to leather tassels. Fans named John, Tom, Stu or Doug can buy tickets for $6.80, an homage to CCR's eponymous first record being released in 1968. Meanwhile, "Suzie Q(uiz)" trivia contests will conducted during the game.
Filippone, who's worked in Minor League Baseball for nearly three decades, has a long history of staging rock music-themed promotions. He's done KISS theme nights with the Prince William Cannons and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Metallica Night with the Fresno Grizzlies and both Rolling Stones and Beatles Nights with the Ports. In his estimation, it was about time that CCR got its due at a Minor League ballpark.
"When it comes to greatest band ever, they're in the discussion," he said. "I'm pumped to hear great music all night."
But that's not all
There are, of course, many notable Minor League promotions taking place this week. Let's take a look at one highlight from each day.
Monday (June 3) -- The Reading Fightin Phils play their 19th annual morning game, marketed toward late-shift workers and seniors (although all are, of course, welcome). This year's iteration includes throwback jerseys, a pregame warning track stroll and a "Kegs and Eggs" beer tasting festival. First pitch is at 9:45 a.m. Set your alarm.
Tuesday (June 4) -- The Columbus Clippers are giving away a Chad Huffman bobblehead, the fifth entry in their Huntington Park 10th Anniversary All-Star Team Bobblehead Set. Huffman suited up for the team during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Wednesday (June 5) -- Last season, this writer attended (and wrote about) the Harrisburg Senators' 1K Beer Race. This year's version takes place Wednesday. Will Josh Sadlock be back to defend his crown?
Thursday (June 6) -- It's "Parks and Rec Night" in Charlotte, celebrating the cultishly beloved sitcom. Alison Becker, who played journalist Shauna Malwae-Tweep, will be on hand. The first 2,000 fans in attendance receive a "Treat Yo' Self" T-shirt.
Friday (June 7) -- On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Altoona Curve are paying respect in myriad ways:
Saturday (June 8) -- The Down East Wood Ducks are suiting up as the Kinston Collard Greens. Why? Because it's "Farm Appreciation Weekend" (Kinston also is the name of the town in which they play).
Sunday (June 9) -- The Visalia Rawhide pay tribute to "the dominant grape industry in Tulare county" by wearing grape theme jerseys. Runs are sure to come in bunches.