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MiLB memory box: Mementos from the road

Traveling writer digs deep into the archives in search of souvenirs
@BensBiz
January 21, 2021

"Do you collect anything?" As someone who has visited 177 Minor League Baseball ballparks, many more than once, I get that question a lot. The individuals who pose this query, usually collectors themselves, are curious as to whether I have made it a point to procure the same sort of

No spin zone: Phil Niekro's Minor League career

Knuckleballer's journey began in Wellsville, ended in Cooperstown
@BensBiz
January 19, 2021

Phil Niekro, 300-game winner and Hall of Famer, passed away on Dec. 26 at the age of 81. He was the best knuckleball pitcher in baseball history. Niekro, often referred to by his knuckleball-referencing nickname of Knucksie, spent 24 seasons (1964 through 1987) in the Major Leagues and pitched until

Taking a walk through Lasorda's playing days

Legendary Dodgers skipper spent parts of three decades in Minors
@BensBiz
January 14, 2021

Tommy Lasorda enjoyed one of the longest careers in professional baseball history, one that spanned from 1945 to his death at age 93 on Jan. 7. Of course, he will be best remembered as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a post he held from 1976 through 1996. Lasorda's

RIP: Paying tribute to beloved gameday employees

A remembrance of Minor League Baseball's unsung ballpark heroes
@BensBiz
January 12, 2021

From April until September, Opening Night through the playoffs, first pitch to final out, gameday employees are always there. These largely unsung individuals are part of the fabric of the Minor League Baseball experience, whether they're taking your ticket, guiding you to a seat or catering suites. If you attend

Heads up: A National Bobblehead Day celebration

From singers to swingers to snowmen, these giveaways get the nod
@BensBiz
January 7, 2021

Think the holidays are over? Think again. Today is National Bobblehead Day. National Bobblehead Day, spearheaded by the Milwaukee-based National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, was first observed in 2015. Thursday marks its seventh iteration. Minor League Baseball teams and fans are among National Bobblehead Day's most committed celebrants,

Choosing the decade's best Minor League promos

After much deliberation, veteran scribe unveils his 2010's Top 10
@BensBiz
January 5, 2021

Over the past three months, MiLB.com's Ben Hill provided a year-by-year overview of Minor League Baseball's top promotions of the 2010s. Today, he chooses his 10 favorite promos of the entire decade. This series will conclude Thursday -- National Bobblehead Day -- with a look at the decade's best bobbleheads.

Minor League Promos of the Decade: 2019

The 2010s conclude with poignant theme nights, regional flair
December 24, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. However, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the 10th and final article in a year-by-year series chronicling the past decade's most notable Minor League Baseball gameday promotions. To

Minor League Promos of the Decade: 2018

Penultimate season of the 2010s filled with cinematic celebration
December 22, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. However, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the ninth article in a year-by-year series chronicling the past decade's most notable Minor League Baseball gameday promotions. To share your

Drive-thru and Dash: Santa visits Winston-Salem

Claus and crew create socially distanced memories at the ballpark
@BensBiz
December 17, 2020

Across the country and around the world, Santa Claus has been recognized as an essential worker. The Winston-Salem Dash are assisting him with his essential work. On Saturday the Dash will host their final installment of "Drive-Thru Santa," a holiday endeavor devised for these pandemic-affected times. Though the name may

Minor League Promos of the Decade: 2017

There goes the sun: The year in which one promo eclipsed them all
@BensBiz
December 15, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. However, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the eighth article in a year-by-year series chronicling the past decade's most notable Minor League Baseball gameday promotions. To share your

Until we (Winter) Meet(ings) again, a look back

Massive annual baseball industry confab sorely missed in 2020
December 10, 2020

The 2020 Baseball Winter Meetings were scheduled to have taken place this week in Dallas. Needless to say, the in-person assemblage was canceled. As with so much else in 2020, all we can do is reminisce on what was while looking forward to a stronger, better, healthier future. The Winter

Minor League Promos of the Decade: 2016

Lehigh Valley gets 'wit' cheesesteaks; Hot Rods have barrels of fun
December 8, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. However, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the seventh article in a year-by-year series chronicling the past decade's most notable Minor League Baseball gameday promotions. To share your

Knights' office space rental a suite deal

'Work from Home (Plate)' initiative provides break from daily grind
@BensBiz
December 3, 2020

In normal times, spending a weekday at the ballpark often meant that one had found a way to escape the office. In these abnormal times, however, the reverse is true: the ballpark itself is the office, providing the opportunity to escape from home. That's the premise behind the Charlotte Knights'

Minor League Promos of the Decade: 2015

Fresno Tacos highlight another season of theme jersey innovation
@BensBiz
December 1, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. While there may not be any to look back on this year, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the sixth article in a year-by-year series chronicling of the

Home plates: Jumbo Shrimp offer team-logo tags

Jacksonville's charity-driven license initiative travels a long road
@BensBiz
November 24, 2020

Earlier this month, the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp unveiled an initiative that, if successful, would be a first in Florida and a rarity throughout Minor League Baseball. The long-running Sunshine State franchise, in partnership with local environmental non-profit St. Johns Riverkeeper, is offering specialty license plates featuring the Jumbo Shrimp

Minor League Baseball promos of the decade: 2014

Outlandish apparel took center stage, courtesy of the theme jersey
@BensBiz
November 19, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. While there may not be any to look back on this year, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. This marks the fifth article in a year-by-year series chronicling of the

Alter Ego boost: Four teams advance to Finals

Wisconsin, Pensacola, Clearwater and Fresno vying to win it all
@BensBiz
November 17, 2020

Vote in the MiLB Alter Ego Challenge presented by Stouffer’s for your chance to win a Stouffer’s prize pack from their new retail store! Looking for MiLB team merch for your favorite alternate identity? Click here. It's time to take a second look at Minor League Baseball's best second looks.

Trash Pandas attempt world-record food drive

Toyota Field serves as donation site for massive philanthropic event
@BensBiz
November 12, 2020

The Rocket City Trash Pandas recently staged one of the most successful and impactful events in the short history of the franchise. They also fell short of a much-publicized stated goal. Two things can be true at the same time. The Rocket City Trash Pandas, located in the greater Huntsville,

Minor League Baseball promos of the decade: 2013

From the Shake to sharks to Scranton, a review of the year's finest
@BensBiz
November 10, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. While there may not be any to look back on this year, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. Today marks the fourth article in a year-by-year series chronicling of the

Bases and ballots: Tulsa Drillers host early voters

ONEOK Field utilized as an election site over a three-day period
@BensBiz
November 3, 2020

Thursday through Saturday, the Tulsa Drillers helped stage what was arguably the most important event to take place at a Minor League Baseball stadium in 2020. Over 13,000 people attended the socially distanced multi-day occasion at ONEOK Field, and yet not a single one sat in the seating bowl. They

Minor League Baseball promos of the decade: 2012

Hitting from the dock to the bay headlined noteworthy endeavors
@BensBiz
October 29, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. While there may not be any to look back on this year, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. Today marks the second article in a series, a year-by-year chronicling of

Black Broadcaster Grant finds an audience  

Detailing the rapid growth of a game-changing diversity effort
@BensBiz
October 27, 2020

Five months ago, the Black Play-By-Play Broadcaster Grant was little more than an idea. Heading into November, it is now a full-fledged and rapidly expanding initiative poised to have a tangible impact on the racial makeup of broadcast booths across America. Established by Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders broadcaster Adam Giardino, the

Minor League Baseball promos of the decade: 2011

Braden's belly and ballpark belles, in 3D: A look back at year's best
@BensBiz
October 22, 2020

The lack of a 2020 Minor League Baseball season meant the lack of gameday promotions. While there may not be any to look back on this year, there are still plenty of promotions upon which we can reminisce. Today marks the second article in a series, a year-by-year chronicling of

Shore thing: BlueClaws adopt beachy keen look 

Lakewood club shifts to 'Jersey Shore' moniker, unveils fresh logos
@BensBiz
October 21, 2020

New Jersey's Lakewood Township Minor League Baseball team isn't going anywhere. In 2021, as in every season since their inaugural 2001 campaign, the Phillies' Class A affiliate will still be named the BlueClaws and operate out of FirstEnergy Park. Nonetheless, next year marks the official start of a new era

33 in the books: PawSox say goodbye to McCoy

In absence of farewell campaign, team stages epic Grand Finale
@BensBiz
October 20, 2020

In 2021, the Pawtucket Red Sox will move across state lines, some 45 miles to the northwest, and become the Worcester Red Sox. 2020, then, has marked this International League entity's 50th and final year at historic -- and much beloved -- McCoy Stadium. This milestone year came, and has