Mitchell: Nerd Alert! (and it’s ok if it’s you)
In the minor leagues, much of the fan experience has nothing to do with the game on the field. Baseball as affordable family entertainment counts on the ballpark, its amenities and the accouterments that accompany the actual game. One of these is the nightly promotion. Mark Galuska, the Clippers Director of Marketing does a great job booking acts to thrill the masses at Huntington Park every year. This season on May 19th the Clippers will kick in the hyper-drive and travel to a galaxy far, far away to bring the Columbus faithful (cue John Williams)- Star Wars Night. Though I’m a not a Sci-Fi fan in general, as a child of the 70′s and 80′s I was a huge fan of the movies and they are as iconic as anything in American pop culture. It will be a night that would-be Skywalkers from near and far can enjoy. Get your tickets now for this great event to see the characters you’ve loved and hated since childhood. Not surprisingly, the Clippers will be taking on the representatives of the Evil Empire, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. You can check out the rest of the promotions here for the 2012 season.
Baseball, like Star Wars brings out the nerd in many of us. Star Wars and baseball trivia both can turn into heated contests among devotees. Top 10 baseball players lists, Han vs. Luke, should a pitcher be able to win the MVP, whether or not those building the second Death Star were innocent victims, these are the conversations that many take seriously, seriously. Mixing these two American icons should be a recipe for a great night for nerds everywhere. I may even challenge Mike Vander Woude, the voice of the SWB Yankees to a light saber duel.
Speaking of broadcasters (and nerds) I would like to extend a very warm welcome onto the IL brotherhood to my good friend Patrick Kinas. Patrick will take the reins on the Durham Bulls broadcasts this season, replacing Neil Solondz who took the pre/post game job with the Bulls parent club Tampa Bay. In 2002 Patrick brought me on sight unseen (which was to my benefit) for my first job in pro baseball as his #2 in Zebulon, NC. Kinas called Carolina Mudcats games from 1999-2011 when they were a Double-A club affiliated with Colorado, Florida, and Cincinnati (the Mudcats are now the High-A affiliate of the Indians, moving from the Southern League to the Carolina League). Kinas is an extremely talented broadcaster who does NC State women’s basketball and also can be seen on ACC and ESPN broadcasts. I have learned a lot from him over the years and I’m very glad I’ll be able to let him pay for dinner several nights throughout the season.
Finally, the Indians swung a trade for reigning IL MVP Russ Canzler today for cash considerations. Canzler is on the 40-man roster and will have a chance to make the team in Spring Training, but most likely he will see time in Columbus. It would mark the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons that the Clippers had the reigning IL MVP on their roster (Shelley Duncan won the IL MVP in 2009 for SWB).
Questions, comments, Star Wars rants and top-10 players lists can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org