The Rochester Red Wings went all-in on their “Miracle on Ice” theme last night

Themed nights are a mainstay of Minor League Baseball, and at times Major League Baseball. Superhero Night! Throwback Night! (Insert Cultural Group Here) Appreciation Night!

However, a lot of times, these nights are half-hearted. Maybe there will be some music changes, some special guests, or a specially themed firework display. And, yes, there usually will be some sort of special uniform, auctioned off for charity. But few of them are willing to combine every single one of these aspects.

But last night, the Rochester Red Wings went all out for their “Miracle on Ice Night” event, in honor of the 35th anniversary of 1980’s Miracle on Ice. There were….

Special Guests!

Not one, not two, but three members of the Gold-Medal team came: Mike Ramsey, John Harrington, and Ken Morrow. They signed autographs, sure, but they also slap-shotted their first pitches:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd did a post-game interview about the 1980 Olympics and other topics. The biggest difference between Miracle and the real events, by the way, is that the real Herb Brooks wasn’t as nice as Kurt Russell’s version. Ha!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSpecial Uniforms:

Presumably because the Syracuse management wouldn’t have liked to have their players and managers wearing CCCP jerseys, both teams wore 1980 Team USA jerseys.

The Red Wings wore the white jersey, the Chiefs wore the blue ones… and the umpires wore hockey-style stripes. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI have to say, given that these uniforms are based off the uniforms of an entirely different sport, they didn’t look half-bad. And plus it allowed everyone to see the amazing site of Mike Quade in a Team USA argue and be ejected from the game by a umpire dressed like a hockey ref, which isn’t something you see every day:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSurreal.

Food and Little Touches

At the ballpark last night was something called the Hat Trick, which the Wings website described as “Consisting of a 1/2 pound cheeseburger, a 1/4 pound hot dog and a 1/3 pound Italian sausage with peppers and onions on a DiPaolo sub roll”. I didn’t eat it, but I was able to take a picture of it:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn addition, little changes were done throughout the game. Instead of the usual “Mario getting a coin” sound when the Wings scored, the stadium played a hockey arena horn. Instead of having a little league team be introduced before the game, they had a pee-wee hockey team be honored. Highlights of the game were given between innings and a replica of the newspaper from the day after the game in 1980 was given out. Also, to fit with the 1980s theme, all of the walk-up music was replaced with music from the era. Oh, and on the scoreboards they made it so that the players looked like they were in hockey gear:

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Note: James Beresford is Australian and it is entirely possible that he has never seen a game of ice hockey in person his entire life.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Fireworks!:

And, finally, the fireworks show consisted entirely of music from 1980. I can’t remember them doing that before. Here’s pictures of fireworks to end this:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAll in all, a well put-together night. Well, other than the fact the home team lost 10-4.

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My Suggestions for Out Of The Park Developments Tagline

As you know, I’m a big fan of Out of the Park Baseball. In fact, I purposely have to keep myself from playing it unless I really, really want to, because otherwise I’ll end up getting lost in it and never emerging for about a week and a half. I’m currently two months OOTP-sober, for example, but I think I might have a relapse soon.

Oh, I got a bit off track there.

Anyway, the developers of Out Of The Park, OOTP Developments, are now running a contest for what their tagline should be for their games (they are increasingly diversifying their portfolio and are adding a football game to the baseball and hockey games they already have). Y’know, like “It’s In The Game”. The winner gets $100 gift card, free copies of all of their games next year, and, presumably, bragging rights for all eternity. I mean, if I win, I’m totally putting it on my resume.

I, of course, had some suggestions. After checking to make sure sharing them won’t disqualify me, here they are:

OOTP Developments: Imagination and Victory
OOTP Developments: Imagine Victory
OOTP Developments: Dream of Victory
OOTP Developments: Dream It. Win It.
OOTP Developments: Beyond Fantasy, Beyond Reality
OOTP Developments: For When Paradox Isn’t Addictive Enough
OOTP Developments: Just One More Season
OOTP Developments: On Grass, On Turf, On Ice, On Your Computing Device!
OOTP Developments: More Than Mere Games
OOTP Developments: The Games Go On
OOTP Developments: Your Team, Your League, Your World
OOTP Developments: Where The Game Never Ends
OOTP Developments: Make The Crowd Go Wild
OOTP Developments: Just Imagine…

Personally, “Imagination and Victory” is my favorite, as it sums up the two best things about OOTP games: coming up with big or neat worlds or scenarios to play in, and winning in them. I even googled a Latin translation of it (Imaginatio Atque Victoria) in case they want to make it sound all profound.  The “For When Paradox Isn’t Addictive Enough” is a joking reference to Paradox Interactive, a game company that makes grand strategy games like Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron that, like OOTP, can perhaps best be described as addictive drugs in video game form.

Anyway, if you want to try and beat me (and everyone else) in this contest, you can check out the rules and get the e-mail address to apply to here. Good luck, and if you somehow grab one of the above suggestions and they pick you to win for some reason instead of me, I expect half of the winnings.

The Lone Man to play in MLB and the NHL (and other MLB/NHL connections)

Hockey is back!

(Crickets)

Well, anyway, there have been far fewer two-sport athletes in baseball involving hockey than there are basketball or football. In fact, there has been a grand total of one player who has spent time in the Major Leagues and the NHL. That player is Jim Riley, who spent some brief time with the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators in the 1920s and spent a brief time with the Chicago Black Hawks (note the space) and Detroit Cougars (not yet the Red Wings) in the 1926-1927 season. Here’s what his top league statistics looked like:

In MLB:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1921 26 SLB AL 4 12 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000 .083 .000 .083 -78 0 0 0 /4
1923 28 WSH AL 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .400 .000 .400 13 0 0 0 /3
1931 Did not play in major leagues (Did Not Play)
2 Yrs 6 17 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 .000 .176 .000 .176 -52 0 0 0
162 Game Avg. 162 459 378 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 81 81 .000 .176 .000 .176 -52 0 0 0
WSH (1 yr) 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .400 .000 .400 13 0 0 0
SLB (1 yr) 4 12 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000 .083 .000 .083 -78 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/14/2013.

In the NHL:

Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
1926-27 31 TOT NHL 9 0 2 2 1 14
1926-27 31 CBH NHL 3 0 0 0 0 0
1926-27 31 DTC NHL 6 0 2 2 1 14
Career NHL 9 0 2 2 1 14
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/14/2013.

Of course, Riley also played in the minor leagues in both sports. You can find his baseball minor league stats over at Baseball Reference, and you can find his hockey stats over at hockeydb.com.

Now, although Riley is the lone man to have played in both MLB and the NHL, he is not the only player who played both sports. Not even close. Take a look after the jump for other connections between America’s pastime and Canada’s pastime:

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