Friday, May 09, 2003

Life in the minor leagues
Minor league baseball is a world apart from the "big business" major leagues as Jeff D'Alessio reports in Florida Today:
Win or lose, the Brevard County Manatees and Vero Beach Dodgers are strongly advised to leave the field immediately following tonight's Florida State League baseball game in Viera.

Either that, or run the risk of getting trampled by hundreds of moms on a mission.

Tonight is "Don Traver's World Famous Diamond Dig" at Space Coast Stadium, when women are invited to tear up the infield for a chance to win half-carat diamond earrings.

"They squeal, they scream, they yell," said Traver, a Suntree jeweler. "They'll dig until their hands get blisters. Some of them even come with kneepads.

"Quite frankly, all you see are butts and elbows, I'm telling you."

Here's how it works: Before today's 5:05 p.m. doubleheader, white chips which can be redeemed for diamonds will be buried in the infield clay between first and third base. Following the second game, any woman 18 and older -- preferably mothers -- can come onto the field, where they'll be given half of a paint stirring stick. When Traver, the emcee, gives the go sign, they're free to start digging.
The best part is that no goofballs have yet popped up claiming that having it limited to women only is unfair to the transgendered or similar dreck.
The Dig, an old promotion brought to Brevard seven years ago by Dunn, has been borrowed by other minor-league teams, which are always looking for creative ways to put fannies in the seats.

And, boy, do they come up with some doozies. Here's a list of the 20 best that we discovered in an informal survey of minor-league executives.
Much hilarity in the list - here's one I liked:
Animals -- real or fake -- are always good for a few chuckles. Like Laura the Elephant, whom the West Michigan Whitecaps hired in 1997 to throw out the first pitch. "She did fine many times," said Matt O'Brien, now the GM of the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans. "But the best was when she took the ball and ate it right there on our pitcher's mound."
Better that end than the other end! Nothing like a mound on the mound.