Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 05 August 2008 14:38
There are numerous trends in baseball, most of which have little to do with the game.
Bobbleheads are everywhere. That’s OK. That’s one of the better promotions really. But they don’t make bobbleheads like they used to.
A couple of years ago, my cousin sent a Jim Kleinsasser bobblehead doll to me as a present. It was part of a “Got Milk” promotion using Minnesota Vikings football players. What made the gift special, though, was the typo on the box, which said Joe Kleinsasser.
My bobblehead didn’t stay intact long though. My son Ryan grabbed the doll by the head, the head came off and the doll lost its bobble. However, it still makes for an interesting topic of conversation.
I have an idea—hold a bobblehead night in late September in honor of the player from the National and American leagues with the most bobbles, or errors, through August.
Another trend in baseball is letting children and/or adults come onto the field before or after the game to run around the bases.
I had an opportunity to go around the bases with Ryan a few years ago after a KC Royals game. It was OK, but the wait was far longer than the time it took to mosey around the crowded base paths.
One of the disturbing trends in baseball is horrible music. As one writer said, “Clearly, there has never been a better year than 2008 to be both a baseball fan and deaf.”
Speaking of trends, bad promotional ideas are a dime a dozen as some teams try any gimmick to get fans into the seats.
The Charleston Riverdogs had a “Nobody Night” for the lowest attendance. The gates of the stadium were locked while fans partied in the parking lot. Fans were finally allowed into the game in the sixth inning when the game was official.
The Riverdogs also had a “Call-in-Sick Day” in which they sent a note to your boss for you.
But there’s more. The Riverdogs also had a “Tonya Harding Bat Night.”
While the minor league promotions may be more outlandish, Major League Baseball has had a few unusual stunts.
There was a “Disco Demolition” promotion in a 1979 game between the Tigers and White Sox. Fans brought disco records to demolish. During the event, rowdy fans surged onto the field, and a near riot ensued. It would ultimately prove to be the most catastrophic promotional idea since the infamous “Ten Cent Beer Night” in Cleveland in 1974.
The Detroit Tigers have something in the works this year called “Tape Me Out to the Ball Game Night,” which will feature the many uses of duct tape.
One of the more entertaining suggestions on the athomeplate.com Web site is “Compare Your Salary to A-Rod’s Night.” Every fan gets a chart that shows them, based upon their salary, just how long it would take to earn what A-Rod gets per at bat.
Another possibility is the “Pete Rose Re-instatement Celebration” sponsored by the Las Vegas Sports Book Association.
And given all the broken bats nowadays, perhaps each game should be designated as “Bat Fragment Day.” Paying customers sitting in box seats will be required to sign a liability waiver as they enter the stadium.
As a public service, I’m offering the following ideas to area schools at no charge.
The next time Hillsboro High School and Marion High School play football, give the first 1,000 fans squirt guns to keep each other cool.
The next time Bethel College and Tabor College play football, give the first 2,000 fans peace symbol buttons.