“Seinfeld Night” is not a new thing in baseball.
On the contrary, it seems like every minor league organization with aspirations to drum up ticket sales will host an evening in honor of the long-running sitcom.
People show up in Keith Hernandez jerseys and a few laughs are had, but your average, half-hearted “Seinfeld Night” doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the event put on by the Brooklyn Cyclones this weekend.
The minor league team pulled out just about every Seinfeld joke imaginable while celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary on Saturday.
Hunter Atkins of the New York Times reports the franchise renamed the foul poles “Festivus poles,” held a marble rye fishing competition and Larry “The Soup Nazi” Thomas threw out the first pitch, among many other things.
Naturally, the team temporarily renamed MCU Park as “Vandelay Industries Park” for the event.
The Cyclones wore puffy pirate shirts during batting practice.
Kenny "The Real" Kramer (Larry David's neighbor, whom Cosmos Kramer's character was based upon) showed up to the ballpark.
An Elaine Benes dancing competition was held.
“Magic Loogie” Keith Hernandez bobbleheads were given out.
Cards advertising "The Human Fund" also made the rounds.
Atkins reports that a man with the legal name “George Costanza” drove down from Rhode Island to announce the third inning of the ballgame.
A “Close Talker” mascot and a “Low Talker” announcer were introduced. The Cyclones also encouraged their fans to head for the information kiosk for an “airing of grievances.”
Last but not least, the Face Painter made an appearance.
Atkins writes that Cyclones pitching coach Tom Signore admitted to having once used a reference from the show while trying to pep up a pitcher on the brink of blowing a lead.
Signore claimed he told the pitcher, “We don’t want to be ‘Even Steven,’ as Jerry would say.” Signore says the pitcher had no idea what he was talking about, but the team went on to win the game.
Unfortunately, a win was not in the cards for the Cyclones on Seinfeld night. Atkins writes that fans were having such a good time, none seemed to care that their team was being dismantled on the field.
The communal effort by fans and the Cyclones to send up a show built on the minutia of observational humor kept most of the 8,241 person sellout crowd around through the end of the game, even if it meant watching the Cyclones play their worst game of the season, an 18-2 loss to the Aberdeen IronBirds of Maryland.
While no one enjoys losing, suffering a crushing defeat feels like a fitting end for a "Seinfeld Night." What better way to pay tribute to the show than losing focus on the important things and getting lost in absurdity?
The Summer of George continues.