Top 10 upcoming promotions

What's going on this week in the Minors?


April 17, 2007 12:43 PM

Minor League teams are known for their game-day promotions. Every Tuesday during the season, we'll preview 10 of the best for the week ahead. If you'd like a particular promotion to be considered for this feature in the future, please send it to with the subject line: "Promo Preview."

Columbus Catfish (South Atlantic League)
20th Anniversary of the Simpsons
Thursday, April 19 vs. Augusta GreenJackets
Throughout history, many memorable events have occurred on April 19. In 1692, Bridget Bishop went on trial for witchcraft in Salem, Mass. In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began. And, in 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ended in failure. But none of these events were as significant as what occurred on April 19, 1987, when the greatest show in television history - "The Simpsons" -- aired for the very first time (as a short on "The Tracey Ullman Show"). On Thursday, the Catfish will be celebrating this momentous occasion all game long, so fans of the show should make sure that they turn out en masse.

Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League)
Hagerstown McDreamy Contest and "Grey's Anatomy" Celebration
Thursday, April 19 vs. Lake County Captains
This Thursday, like every Thursday, is "Ladies Night" at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium. Ladies are a diverse bunch, but if there's one thing that they can agree on, it's that "Gray's Anatomy" star Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey is, like, so cute. The Suns are capitalizing on this sentiment by holding a McDreamy contest, in which five aspiring Dempsey look-alikes will be put to the test. After a "scrubs" fashion parade, a medical spelling bee and a "McDreamiest hair competition," a panel of local nurses will choose a winner. This fortunate individual receives a prize pack consisting of a comb, mirror, Band-Aids and Suns merchandise. See you at the game, ladies.

Portland Beavers (Pacific Coast League)
Ugly Sweater Night
Thursday, April 19 vs. Sacramento RiverCats
For Thursday's contest against Sacramento, the Beavers are urging fans to "dig deep in their closets" in order to find the absolute ugliest sweater they can find. Those who are brave enough to wear their hideous wool pullovers to the game will then have the chance to compete for prizes. In a perfect world, one of those prizes would be an autographed photo of Motocross star Travis Pastrana, who will be throwing out the first pitch. Who doesn't love that guy?

West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League)
Replica Ring Giveaway
Thursday, April 19 vs. Clinton LumberKings
In 2006, the Whitecaps successfully navigated the serpentine, seemingly all-inclusive free-for-all that is the Midwest League playoff system and emerged as league champions. In recognition of this impressive accomplishment, the club will be distributing replica championship rings to the first 1,000 fans who attend Thursday's game against Clinton. What's more, one lucky fan will win an actual championship ring, just like the ones worn by the players and coaches. As an added bonus, Thursday is also College Night at Comstock Park. Fans with a college ID can gorge on $1 hot dogs, pretzels and Miller Lite all game long.

Altoona Curve (Eastern League)
Curve Idol #1 w/ former "American Idol" finalist Ace Young
Friday, April 20 vs. Harrisburg Senators
Friday will mark the debut of a new promotional series for the always-innovative Altoona Curve, as the club will hold the first of four special nights featuring a popular performer from the all-pervasive "American Idol" television show. Friday's guest will be Brett Asa "Ace" Young, a season five finalist who happens to have impressive baseball credentials -- his father played Minor League ball, and he was named after hemorrhoidal Hall of Famer George Brett. Mark your calendars, Idol fans, as future "Curve Idol" promotional appearances will take place on May 5, June 27 and August 2.

Chattanooga Lookouts (Southern League)
Mystery Bobblehead
Friday, April 20 vs. Tennessee Smokies
Who doesn't love a good mystery? On Friday, the Lookouts will be distributing "Mystery" bobblehead dolls, which will bear the likeness of an as-of-yet unannounced individual. The Lookouts' website does say this about the dolls: "You won't see this one anywhere else." That just adds to the intrigue. Who could it possibly be? The only way to find out is to attend the game. Hopefully the club takes a local angle, as notable Chattanooga natives include Samuel L. Jackson, Pat Robertson and Ted Turner (in fact, that triumvirate briefly played together in a mid 60s garage band).

Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League)
Jimmy Rollins Bobblehead
Friday, April 20 vs. Sarasota Reds
The Minor League promotional schedule is packed with bobblehead giveaways. The best of the bunch (on paper, at least), is the Threshers' Jimmy Rollins bobblehead. The club, a Phillies affiliate, will be giving these dolls away prior to Friday's game against Sarasota. J-Roll played for Clearwater in 1998, when he hit .244 and stole 23 bases over 119 games while angering St. Lucie Mets fans with his brash style of play. There is apparently no truth to the rumor that Rollins has declared his doll "the bobblehead to beat in the Florida State League West Division."

Altoona Curve (Eastern League)
Neil Walker Bobblehead
Saturday, April 21 vs. Harrisburg Senators
Just one day after "Curve Idol," we return to Altoona for an exciting bobblehead giveaway -- that of top Pirates prospect and current Curve third baseman Neil Walker. The first 2,000 fans through the gates at Blair County Ballpark will receive this coveted item, which is sure to provoke Walker's teammates to give him plenty of grief. What, does he think he's better than everyone else now, just because he's got his own bobblehead? Think again, Neil. Think again.

Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League)
Fleece Blanket Night
Saturday, April 21 vs. Tucson Sidewinders
This April's cold, wet weather has made some promotions seem more appealing than they otherwise would have been. That was the case with last week's Iowa Cubs' knit cap giveaway, and it certainly applies to this Saturday's fleece blanket giveaway in Fresno. The first 2,500 fans to attend the contest will receive a toasty (although not made literally of toast) fleece blanket, which is sure to make that evening's contest against the Sidewinders much more enjoyable.

Memphis Redbirds (Pacific Coast League)
Stubby Clapp Night
Saturday, April 21 vs. Omaha Royals
The phenomenally named Stubby Clapp never established himself as a Major Leaguer (he appeared in just 23 games for the Cardinals during the 2001 season), but he was a bona-fide legend in Memphis. Clapp played in 425 games for the Redbirds over four seasons, during which time he set Redbirds' franchise records in doubles (87), triples (19), walks (222) and runs scored (258). On Saturday, the club will honor Clapp by retiring his No. 10 in a post-game ceremony. And, in a fitting tribute to an explosive Triple-A player, fireworks will follow.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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