(Blogathon ’16) A Random Musing on the Fairport Little League Money-Grabbing Promotion

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

Tons of people play Little League Baseball or have played Little League Baseball when they were of the age where you can.

This is not a story about my actual time on the Little League field, where my greatest moment was the time I drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in the walk-off run. No, this is about something else: the Fairport Little League money-grabbing promotion, a crazy promotion in which a pre-teen ballplayer was put into a box full of money, a blower was turned on to send that money flying around, and the kid had to try and grab as much money as possible, which he (or she) would be able to keep.

There were many thoughts on strategy for this. Some kids thought you should try to trap it against the sides of the box and then pull it on. Others thought you should just grab wildly and hope for the best. A few suggested using a loose jersey as a net to catch the dollars and then try to grab from the “net” since you were only allowed to keep the money you had in your hands. Still others thought that it was stupid and that you should just keep the entrance fee and use it to buy a candy bar from the concession stand.

That last group, while probably wise beyond their years, were absolutely no fun.

And then there was the question of what you’d do with the money. Maybe you’d use it to buy candy at the concession stand (always a great choice), maybe you’d rent a video game (this was back when there were actual stores that rented video games), or maybe you’d just put it into your piggy bank.

When I walked in to the box, all those years ago, I wasn’t sure what my strategy was. I think it was a mixture of the various strategies. And I can’t remember what I used the money I got for. Heck, I can’t even remember how much money I grabbed, period.

And yet, despite the fact that I’ve forgotten the end result, I still can remember that big box that sent money flying around you…. a piece of childhood and Little League.

At 5 AM: A “Songs of October” Update

This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

 

 

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.