04/24/2007 4:03 PM ET
Top 10 upcoming promotions
What's going on this week in the Minors?
By Benjamin Hill / MLB.com
Minor League teams are known for their game-day promotions. Every Tuesday during the season, we'll preview 10 of the best for the week ahead. If you'd like a particular promotion to be considered for this feature in the future, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "Promo Preview."
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League)
Bishop Carmody Bobblehead Giveaway
Wednesday, April 25 vs. Midland RockHounds
How's this for a mouthful? On Wednesday, the Hooks will be holding "The Second Annual Roman Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi Night at Whataburger Field." Last year's inaugural RCDCCNWF drew the largest single group to ever attend a Hooks game (1,152 people), a record that the club hopes to break this year. This shouldn't be a problem, as the Hooks will be giving away 2,500 Bishop Carmody Bobblehead dolls, an item sure to be highly coveted by Corpus Christi's large Catholic population. The 73-year-old Carmody has served as the city's bishop since 2000. Rumors that he has perfected the gyroball remain unsubstantiated.
Lexington Legends (South Atlantic League)
Win A Date w/ Seth Poteat
Thursday, April 26 vs. West Virginia Power
For many fans, the Legends' weekly "Thirsty Thursday" promotion ($1 beer!) provides ample reason to come to a game. But, if that's somehow not motivation enough, then consider this: this Thursday, one lucky fan (a woman, presumably) will win a date with local super-hunk Seth Poteat. For those few people who don't know, Poteat is the Legends' totally dreamy corporate account representative. Make sure you buy advance tickets for this one, ladies. Poteat is a Lexington Legend.
Peoria Chiefs (Midwest League)
1983 Wally Joyner Replica Jersey T-Shirt Giveaway
Thursday, April 26 vs. West Michigan Whitecaps
In 1983, three years prior to taking the American League by storm as the California Angels' slugging first baseman, Wally Joyner made his professional debut as a member of the Peoria Suns (who were then an Angels' affiliate). The future MLB star played just 54 games in Peoria and hit .328 over 192 at-bats. On Thursday, the Chiefs will celebrate Joyner's brief but illustrious Peoria legacy by distributing replica retro jersey T-shirts to the first 1,500 fans in attendance.
Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League)
Fresno Famous Fan Tribute
Friday, April 27 vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox
On Opening Night, the Grizzlies unveiled the nominees for their first-ever Famous Fan Vote, in which they asked fans which Fresno native they'd like to see honored with a special night at the ballpark. The nominees were Alan Autry ("In the Heat of the Night" star and Fresno mayor), Cher (no explanation necessary), Joanna Kerns ("Growing Pains"), Sam Solomon (creator of the "popping" dance style) and David Seville ("Chipmunks" creator). In a very close race, Cher ended up coming out on top. As a result, Friday will be her night at the ballpark, as the club celebrates her life and legacy all game long. If we're lucky, the Grizzlies will wear uniforms modeled after Cher's outfit in the immortal "If I Could Turn Back Time" video.
Brevard County Manatees (Florida State League)
World Record First Pitch Attempt
Saturday, April 28 vs. St. Lucie Mets
Saturday's game in Brevard County doesn't start until 6 p.m., but the gates open 12 hours prior. This is because the Manatees are going to need all day in order to shatter last year's first-pitch record, in which 5,906 individuals took the mound and delivered a strike to home plate. Can the club entice 6,000 to come out to Space Coast Stadium this year to deliver a pitch? 7,000? 8,000? The sky's the limit, and the Manatees are known for dreaming big. This is America, after all.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League)
Nolan Ryan Mets Figurine
Saturday, April 28 vs. Frisco RoughRiders
Three days after their Bishop Carmody bobblehead giveaway, the Hooks return to the secular realm by giving away a figurine honoring their principal owner -- all-time strikeout leader and first-ballot Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. This particular item, which features Ryan in a Mets uniform, is the first of five such giveaways scheduled for this season. Future Ryan figurines will feature the flamethrower sporting the uniform of the Angels, Astros, Rangers, and, finally, Hooks. Collect 'em all!
Dunedin Blue Jays (Florida State League)
Saturday, April 28 vs. Fort Myers Miracle
Conspiracy theorists concerned about the upcoming mascot apocalypse should steer clear of Dunedin's Knology Park on Saturday. It's "Mascot Night" at the ballpark, and fans will be entertained by a vast array of costumed performers. The Blue Jays' own D-Jay will share his turf with the likes of Raymond the Devil Ray, the Chick-Fil-A Cow, Blondie and Dagwood and Clearwater Threshers mascot Phinley (among many others). Fans are encouraged to come out to the game early, as many of the mascots will be available to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Lake Elsinore Storm (California League)
Fishing Pole Giveaway
Saturday, April 28 vs. Stockton Ports
The highlight of the Storm's "Salute to the Great Outdoors" on Saturday will undoubtedly be the distribution of fishing poles to the first 1,000 fans ages 14 and younger. There is no better team in the Minor Leagues to be giving away such an item, as Lake Elsinore is the largest natural lake in Southern California. Carp, bass, catfish, bluegill and many other species of fish are just there for the taking, provided one has the right equipment (and a license).
Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League)
Lance Berkman Bobblehead Giveaway
Saturday, April 28 vs. Albuquerque Isotopes
Lance Berkman's Round Rock career consisted of just four games, as the Astros slugger made a brief stopover there in 2005 as he worked his way back from an injury. That short 14 at-bat stint provided the Express with the motivation they needed to stage Saturday's promotion, as the club will be giving away Lance Berkman bobblehead dolls to the first 3,000 fans in attendance. The promotion occurs with Berkman in the prime of his career. In 2006 the Texas native became just the second switch-hitter in baseball history to bash more than 40 home runs in multiple seasons (Mickey Mantle is the other).
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League)
Hot Dog Eating Challenge, Round One
Saturday, April 28 vs. Winston-Salem Warthogs
The Wilmington area is swarming with aspiring competitive hot dog-eaters. To weed out the pretenders from the contenders, the Blue Rocks are staging a comprehensive season-long challenge to determine the best of the frankfurter-eating best. The contest kicks off on Saturday, as the first of four qualifying rounds is scheduled to take place. The winners of the qualifying rounds will meet in a winner-eat-all championship on Sept. 3, in which they will vie for the honor of being crowned Wilmington's Hot Dog King. There is no greater honor.
Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.