Weirdest Promotional Nights of 2013

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterAugust 16, 2013

Weirdest Promotional Nights of 2013

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    Let's face it, baseball season is extremely long. The World Series has been played as late as November and spring training starts in February. So basically it's like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and then BOOM! Baseball season.

    Nine months of the year is a very long time to hold someone's attention. Even the most fanatical of baseball fans will have trouble finding time in their schedules for five to seven games per week, which is pretty much the norm in MLB.

    The NFL has the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand on its side. With just 16 games per team in a season, it really doesn't to offer any extra incentive to show up. MLB has 162 games in a season, so throwing in an added bonus certainly doesn't hurt.

    It's called the Happy Meal principle™. You take something lame, throw in a toy and BOOM! You've got yourself a bag full of awesomeness.

    Minor league baseball teams have fewer games, but they also have all the players who aren't good enough to be playing in the majors. So whatever you've gained in supply and demand, you've lost in overall quality of product.

    Enter promotional nights. Baseball teams all over the country pack their home schedules with promotions to help get asses in the seats. Unfortunately, they all can't be winners. A team can't give out bobbleheads every night when they cost more per unit than fans pay for a ticket.

    But it's not all bad news. People only get creative when money is an object—and sometimes they get really creative...and downright weird. Here are some of the weirdest baseball promotions of 2013 and suggestions on how to carry over the fun to 2014.

    And if I missed your favorite, let me know about it on Twitter:

San Diego Padres

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    Fedora Night

    Fear not, San Diego Padres fans! You may be battling with the San Francisco Giants for the not-so-coveted basement of the NL West, but that doesn't mean there aren't still reasons to head out to the ballpark this season.

    Management planned ahead for a bummer of a summer and added a whole mess of extra promotions—including fedora night!

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Dress like an idiot from Jersey Shore night! First 10,000 people into the ballpark dressed like a moron from the shore[on] gets a complimentary spray tan.
    • Ryan Lochte night! Every other person into Petco Park gets a trucker cap that says "JEAH!" on it…and everyone who doesn't get a hat gets an "I'm with stupid" t-shirt.

Akron Aeros

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    Seamonkey Night

    Forget iPods and computer games, even forget dogs and cats! The Akron Aeros know that if there's anything kids today have been clamoring for, it's seamonkeys.

    Say what you will about the fine people of Akron, Ohio, just don't say they're not up to date on all the current trends. And children killing their disposable pets will never go out of style.

     Suggestions for 2014:

    • Gold Fish Night! They're small...they're quiet...and they die easily.
    • Hermit Crab Night! They're small...they're quiet...and they die easily.

Gastonia Grizzlies

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    Pillow Fight Night

    Brought to you by This Sounded Like a Much Better Idea in Theory Productions™: The Gastonia Grizzlies are proud to announce the "World's Largest Pillow Fight."

    We hope it'll be a sexy time. But it will probably be mostly kids and old people...

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • College girls get tipsy night! College girls [of legal drinking age only] drink for free—come see what might [but probably won't] happen.
    • College girls get tipsy night Redux!

Richmond Flying Squirrels

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    Soup Nazi Night

    The Richmond Flying Squirrels have their finger on the pulse of the community, and they know what's hot in pop culture today. So head on down to the ballpark for the chance to meet the hilariously cantankerous Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame.

    You saw him on two episodes of a sitcom in the mid-90s, and now you'll see him in Richmond!

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Come meet Chip Matthews! The guy Rachel went to prom with on Friends and later went on a date with Monica, who realized he was a tool.
    • Come meet Johnny Dakota! The movie star from Saved by the Bell who tried to get the gang to try drugs, before they taught him that "there's no hope with dope."

Bowie Baysox

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    More Cowbell Night

    Unless you're some kind of dedicated weirdo, there is absolutely no chance you'd ever be able to break a world record as an individual. There are just too many weirdos out there who are more talented and dedicated than you. But if you're really into breaking world records, there are some workarounds someone with an abject lack of talent and/or personal ability.

    The easiest workaround is gathering a massive number of people to participate in a mundane activity so simple that a moderately intelligent dog would quickly become bored by it. Which is why the Bowie Baysox invite you to come on down to Prince George's Stadium and help us with the More Cowbell world-record attempt.

    The first 1,500 fans get a souvenir cowbell—so if you think you're going to be late, bring your own cowbell. Or risk sitting on the sidelines while we make history!

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • "Nails on a Chalkboard" world-record attempt! The first 1,500 fans get a souvenir chalkboard and a set of press-on nails.
    • "Screaming Children" world-record attempt! The first 1,500 fans get a souvenir book filled with images guaranteed to make even the toughest children sob or scream uncontrollably.

Williamsport Bluefish

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    Accountant Night

    When many people think of Connecticut, the first thing that comes to mind is accountants—that's assuming anything comes to mind at all. And everyone knows you can't fight City Hall, which is why the Williamsport Bluefish are proud to announce Accountant Night!

    It's going to be a hoot. (Hoot is accountant slang for something really boring.) If you can't make it out for accountant night, attorney night should be quiet a riot! (Riot is attorney slang for something that starts out dull, before turning very litigious.)

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Advanced mathematics night! Everyone who can solve a complex equation gets in free.
    • Librarian night! Enjoy a hushed night at the ballpark.

Altoona Curve

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    A major problem facing minor league baseball affiliates in Pennsylvania is that minor league baseball fans have greater allegiances to teams in the larger metropolitan areas.

    Thankfully the Altoona Curve has the perfect remedy for what ail those moderately unenthusiastic fans of the suddenly upstart Pittsburgh Pirates and all the other historically successful teams of the Steel City. The answer is #PENSTOONA Night!

    So the Penguins have a big playoff game on the same day the Curve have an early season game—so what? Come on down to the ballpark and watch the Pens game on the Jumbotron, while ignoring the baseball game on the field.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • #STEELERSTOONA Night! Come to a live baseball game and watch a football game live on the Jumbotron.
    • #PIRATESTOONA Night! Come to a live baseball game and watch a different live baseball game on the Jumbotron.

Kansas City Royals

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    Condiment Bobblehead Night

    Just because the Kansas City Royals only have one player in the Baseball Hall of Fame (George Brett, FYI) doesn't mean fans don't deserve Bobblehead giveaways. But what do you do when there aren't any noteworthy players to choose from? Improvise!

    So come on down to the ballpark this summer for Ketchup bobblehead night. Mustard bobblehead night. And Relish bobblehead night. Three amazing nights, three amazing bobbleheads that you can sell for $18 to $30 on eBay.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Get better players.
    • If that doesn't work—Nacho toppings bobblehead nights! Jalapenos, cheese sauce, chives, bits of bacon—collect them all.

Birmingham Barons

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    Cuatro de Mayo

    Like most minor league baseball affiliates, the Birmingham Barons never let a little thing like a calendar get in the way of celebrating a holiday. Halloween in May? You got it. Christmas in July? No problem.

    Don't have a game on May 5 to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Big. Freaking. Whoop. Come celebrate Mexico's most festive drinking holiday on Cuatro de Mayo! That's how we do it in Alabama, folks.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Winter solstice on summer solstice! Let's celebrate the shortest day of the year on the longest day of the year.
    • Independence Day celebration on July 1! The Barons will be on a road trip on July 4, so we've stolen Canadian Independence Day because they're not even independent anyway.

Williamsport Crosscutters

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    Redneck Night

    If you're looking for a "great redneck time" (and let's face it—who isn't?), then look no further! The Williamsport Crosscutters have just what you need. So take off that shirt, put on your finest pair of cutoff jean shorts and let that mullet down to flow in the hot summer breeze—until you get all sweaty and it's just matted to your red neck.

    After all, who doesn't want to look their best when meetin' someone from the picture tube? You don't want to be underdressed for the occasion when the old lady gets her butt signed by Duck Dynasty's Mountain Man.

     Suggestions for 2014:

    • Old car on cinder blocks giveaway! The title really speaks for itself.
    • Storage locker night! Enter a raffle for the chance to win the rights to an old storage locker—maybe it'll be filled with bars of gold...but it will probably be filled with old clothes and wicker furniture.

Bowie Baysox

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    Carlton Banks Night

    The Bowie Baysox, the masters of promotions that brought you More Cowbell world-record night, have really outdone themselves this time. Just when you think it can't get any better...it...does.

    Cowbells might not be for everyone, but show me one person in this great nation of ours that doesn't love Fresh Prince of Bel Air's Carlton Banks and I'll show you a liar. Bring the kiddies down to the ballpark to meet Carlton Banks!

    Ask him questions about Will Smith. Make him dance for you. Honestly, we paid the guy, so nothing's off limits.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Keep up the good work.

    Why mess with perfection...these guys obviously know what they're doing.

Elmira Pioneers

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    Red Solo Cup Night

    Have you ever heard of Elmira, N.Y.? Well it's nestled away between Corning, Horseheads and the Farmland Animal Park, just off the Southern Tier Expressway, and the Chemung River (a tributary of the mighty Susquehanna) runs right through the middle of town.

    Oh…that still doesn't ring a bell? Well that's exactly why the Elmira Pioneers are pleased to welcome fans to Red Solo Cup night! Because when the closest city is Scranton—which is 115 miles away and across the state line—what else is there to do but get drunk.

    Fans of all ages get their own red solo cup—what they fill it with is their own business.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Blue Solo Cup night! Because why stop at red?
    • Blue and Red Solo Cup night! Because why choose just one?

San Jose Giants

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    Lennay Kekua Night

    Remember Lennay Kekua? You know…the imaginary dead girlfriend of former Notre Dame turned San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o. Wait...you don't? 

    Has it been that long already? Maybe a few months in pop culture time is like a lifetime to most people. Well...the San Jose Giants sure as hell are going to remember her with Lennay Kekua Night!

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • George Glass Night! A night to honor the imaginary boyfriend of The Brady Bunch's most pathetic middle child, Jan Brady.
    • Tyler Durden Night! Come on down to celebrate Tyler Durden, the narrator's imaginary alter ego in the mind bending American classic Fight Club.

Klamath Falls Gems

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    Shovel Giveaway Night

    That's right, ladies! The Klamath Falls Gems have partnered with Holliday Jewels, the local purveyors of your best friend (moderately priced diamonds, duh), to offer a promotion that will make you the envy of all your friends. So the first 250 women into the ballpark will get their very…own…SHOVELS!

    And you probably thought it was going to be the fashionable jeweled knife they created for Father's Day. Holliday Jewels knows women don't want overpriced novelty weapons—they want shovels to dig for their diamond scraps at a baseball game. 

    *We know it's a diamond scrap because, let's face it, if it was any good, they wouldn't be giving it you.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • First 250 females get to strip down to their underwear and battle it out in Jello for a lose scrap diamond!
    • First 250 female gain entry to a strip poker tournament to be played in the outfield—last woman with an item of clothing on gets a garbage diamond!

Fort Myers Miracle

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    Heat Fans Suck Night

    Do you like baseball promotions but always wish they could be just a little bit more vindictive? Sure, hats and kitchen magnets are great—but the truth is, kindness only feeds a part of the human soul. The Fort Myers Miracle feeds the other part.

    Remember all those jagweed Heat fans who left Game 6 of the NBA Finals early, only to have LeBron and Co. come back and win the damn thing? They probably thought that leaving early and missing the game was punishment enough. Boy…do they have another thing coming.

    This summer, the Miracle and Simply Spiteful Promotions™ bring you the "Big Three" deal, which is offered exclusively to Heat fans. All they have to do is enter the ballpark through the back exit with their tails between their legs and stay through all nine innings, and they can buy a ticket for a future game for just $3.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • "Fort Myers Rules, Miami Drools" t-shirt giveaway
    • Heat fans sit in the bathroom day! Every Heat fan who spends all nine innings gets a certificate proving they've paid their debt to society.

Long Island Ducks

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     No Friggin Peanuts Night

    "Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack..."

    Hold it right there! Peanuts? Not on our watch. The Long Island Ducks awkwardly announce Peanut-Free/Food Allergy Awareness Day. It's time those of you with allergies and/or self-imposed dietary restrictions that you use to inconvenience others had your very own day.

    *Bring the kids early for a free bat and a chance to wail on an unsuspecting sucker we paid to dress in a peanut costume.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Gluten free day! For every idiot who thinks a gluten-free diet is necessary because Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she has a gluten allergy.
    • No vaccines awareness day! Naked model Jenny McCarthy will be on hand to share all the latest conspiracy theories about how vaccines are killing children.

Huntsville Stars

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    Awesome Gun Night

    Celebrate the Second Amendment with the Huntsville Stars! Head on down to the old ballpark and enter the raffle for a chance to win a Ruger American with scope, Ruger 22-45 MKIII or a Ruger 10-22-TD—weaponry courtesy of local business cornerstone Larry's Pistol and Pawn.

    Remember to bring your NRA membership card for free admission.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • A 25th Amendment night! Celebrate the codification of the Tyler Precedent, which defines the process of presidential succession!
    • A 16th Amendment night! Celebrate the the federal government's right to collect income tax! (This one would be a hit…I can feel it.)

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

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    Smells of Baseball Night

    The sense of smell is the most sensitive of all human senses. Via Alun Palmer of the Mirror, "People can remember smells with 65% accuracy after a year, while visual recall is about 50% after three months." So if you're looking to make long-lasting memories, something better be smelly.

    The Myrtle Beach Pelicans want you to make lifelong memories at the ballpark with your family, which is why this summer we're staging The Smells of Baseball"a fragrant evening dedicated to the aromas of a baseball stadium," according to Benjamin Hill, MiLB.com.

    "During the game, a 'smelling station' will be set up on the concourse, featuring scents such as tarp, wet bullpen baseball and stale beer."

    Every fan will get a scratch-and-sniff card featuring a wide array of smells guaranteed to make a memory. *Please note that we're not promising it'll be a good memory, just a memory.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • The Sounds of Baseball! The sounds of people chewing crunchy food, people arguing in the stands and managers going on an expletive-laden tirade will be blasted all afternoon.
    • The Sights of Baseball! The baseball game is the real promotion. Every fan with a sense of sight gets $5 off their ticket. Blind fans pay full price. Sorry.

     

Fort Myers Miracle

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    Odd Pet Night

    Bark in the park? Please. What are we…amateurs? The Fort Myers Miracle call the great state of Florida home, which is the freakshow capital of North America. This summer, leave your dogs at home, because we don't want nothin' to do with them.

    However, if you're the owner of an edgier pet, we wanna meet it! So put a harness on your raccoon, find a collar on your deer, strap your family of possums to your back, or wrap your horrifying snake (that will eventually kill you) around your neck and head on down to the ballpark for Odd Pet Night!

    Prizes will be awarded to the best pets in a variety of categories. *Please note that the Miracle is not legally responsible for any injuries sustained at Odd Pet Night. Attend at your own risk.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Release from Death Row Night! With 413 inmates currently on death row, the Sunshine State is second only to California in the number of people currently awaiting execution. The Miracle have partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections to give them one last night of baseball. Come join us for an exciting night.
    • Let's just see how Odd Pet Night and Release From Death Row Night go first...

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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    Funeral Giveaway Night

    Pennsylvania is one of just seven states in the U.S. where the median age is above 40. Which means if you're living in the Keystone state, there's a good chance you spend most days just waiting to die. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs know that you can't take a bobblehead or a commemorative tote bag with you to the great beyond—so they decided to think big picture this year!

    The IronPigs have partnered with Reichel Funeral Home, your friendly neighborhood undertakers, for "Celebration of Life" night. And nothing celebrates life like a funeral giveaway! Win a free funeral AND the IronPigs mascot "PorkChop" will make a cameo appearance at your funeral and will even delivery the eulogy for an additional fee. Talk about a home run (wink wink).

    Reichel Funeral Home Inc.: Remember, It'll only feel like an eternity.

    Suggestions for 2014:

    • Hospice services giveaway! Come for a baseball game, leave with quality and compassionate end of life services.
    • "GET OFF MY LAWN" sign giveaway! Now everyone can be a cranky old man.

     

    *Speaking of funerals...if you don't follow me on Twitter...it's your own: