Yet Another Baseball Response to Tragedy


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Image courtesy of the Dayton Dragons (via Twitter)

The Cincinnati Reds Class A affiliate, the Dayton Dragons, postponed their game on Sunday, due to the tragic shooting that occurred earlier that morning. In their statement, the team added: “The Dragons organization sends our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this tragedy. We are proud to call Dayton home as it is an incredible place to work, live and play, filled with vibrant, resilient and caring people. We stand strong with our city as we come together and begin to heal.”

Sunday’s game was played as part of a double header on Monday. Between the two games, the team honored the victims by placing nine white roses – one for each victim – on home plate. They also collected donations for the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund, established by the Dayton Foundation, on Monday and Tuesday. The Dayton Community Blood Bank was also at the game on Tuesday to make appointments for people to donate blood.

The shooting in Dayton was not the only tragedy that occurred over the weekend. At least 22 people were killed at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday. The El Paso Chihuahuas weren’t home over the weekend, but the events weighed heavy on their minds. On Sunday the team tweeted, “Our hearts are hurting & our minds are still racing. But we can lean on the fact that this wonderful community of ours is full of love & strength. We are #ElPasoStrong.” Pitcher Dillon Overton dedicated his Tuesday night start to the victims and their families. They returned home last night.

As El Paso’s KTSM noted yesterday, “At a time like this, sports may seem trivial. But as we have seen through multiple tragedies in the past, sports can unify. Sports brings people together and the El Paso Chihuahuas will return home to play the Round Rock Express on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. It will be the first sporting event in El Paso since the shooting.” The article also quoted the Chihuaha’s GM: “‘We know full well, we accept and we will stand up to the fact that we are one of the things this community will rely on to help return it to normalcy. We will let people know it’s okay to laugh, hug and have fun together, again. It can happen at a place like this ballpark, which is a unifier.’”

As community organizations, baseball teams often play a part in the healing process. Let’s just hope that no more teams will have to do this.

~ baseballrebecca

 

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Moon Landing Night at the Baysox


IMG_3563My favorite team, the Bowie Baysox, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on Saturday. The highlight of the evening was, of course, the Trey “Moon Man”-cini bobblehead, but the team didn’t stop there. The team wore special moon landing jerseys, showed footage of the actual moon landing, and created special displays on the scoreboard for the players. It was an awesome event – check out my pics below!

~ baseballrebecca

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The Lancaster JetHawks Appreciate Aerospace


IMG_3282The advance-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies is located in Lancaster, CA, not far from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and Edwards Air Force Base. The JetHawks play at The Hangar (formerly known as Lancaster Municipal Stadium), which has a retired NASA F-18 Hornet on display outside of its main entrance.

The JetHawks capitalize on their proximity to NASA in other ways as well. In past years, they’ve given away NASA-themed bobbleheads, like the one they did of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin in 2007. They even have an Astronaut Race, much like the Washington Nationals president’s race, featuring three famous astronauts, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong:

In addition, every year, the JetHawks host Aerospace Appreciation Night. Two years ago  Buzz Aldrin was honored (again) by the Jethawks and he threw out the first pitch:

 

Enjoy a few additional photos below!

~ baseballrebecca

 

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Who Did Baseball Pride Better?


IMG_3222Now that I’ve been to Pride Night for both a Major League team (the Washington Nationals) and a Minor League team (the Bowie Baysox), I gotta say the minors did it better. Here’s how they compared:

  1. Giveaways:  While both the Nats and the Baysox required a special ticket purchase to obtain the giveaway, the Baysox at least let us pick up our item inside the park. The Nats made us walk away from the main entrance and down the street to a mostly unlabeled blue tent. Sure there was a tiny little sign, but who hangs out outside the street down there in the first place? Also, several, though not all, minor league teams gave Pride-related giveaways to fans when they entered the stadium. No secret entrances, no having to pick up your giveaway outside the stadium far away from other fans.
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  3. In-game advertising: Sure, the Nats would occasionally put up the rainbow-colored “Curly W” up on the scoreboard and had one Pride flag hanging next to the U.S. flag, but that was about it. The Baysox not only kept putting up a sign saying “Welcome to Pride Night” up on the scoreboard, they had Pride flags on display throughout the stadium and staff wore rainbow-colored jerseys (ok, so they were really more like tie-dyed shirts, but they tried!)
  4. In-game programming: Other than the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus singing the National Anthem, the one Pride flag, and the occasional rainbow Curly W, you never would have known it was Pride Night at the Nats. The Baysox, on the other hand, created a truly welcoming atmosphere. They had LGBTQ-related trivia in between a few innings (like, how many LGBTQ individuals live in Maryland?) (of course, I was too busy trying to take a picture of the question up on the scoreboard – which I missed anyway – to pay attention to the answer), as well as LGBTQ community groups set-up on the concourse to provide information. Yes, the DC Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs was at the Nats game, but not only were they tucked away in a corner where you wouldn’t see them (unless you bought those special LGBTQ tickets and happened to cut through the picnic tables on the way to those special seats) and they wouldn’t give you any information (or one of their cute flag pens) unless you lived in the city and gave them your phone number.

 

Minor League Baseball put forth a concerted effort with their Strike Out Hate Campaign and joint advertising for the nearly 70 teams hosting Pride Nights. Major League Baseball may have had a greater percentage of their teams celebrating Pride, but it was still only 28 of them. Maybe its time MLB learned something from MiLB.

~ baseballrebecca

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Pride flag on display above the entrance of Prince George’s County Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox

#MiLBPride, Part 3: The Bowie Baysox


DSCN9011The Bowie Baysox held their first-ever Pride event on June 13, 2019, partnering with a local LGBTQ+ organization, Annapolis Pride. The Baysox were just one of nearly 70 teams hosting Pride Nights and participating in Minor League Baseball’s “Strike Out Hate” Campaign.

Check out the scenes below from the game, and check out my post tomorrow in which I’ll compare the Washington Nationals Pride Night to the Baysox event! Who did Pride better?

~ baseballrebecca

 

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#MiLBPride, Part 2


As I reported last week, a record number of minor league teams are celebrating Pride Month. I posted the remaining schedule last week, but its also interesting to know what the other teams did for Pride Month. Below are the events that were held prior to last week. Plus, check out the video below from the Hartford Yard Goats.

~ baseballrebecca

 

Past dates:

Date Team Details
4/13 Lynchburg Hillcats
5/9 Hagerstown Suns
5/22 Lansing Lugnuts
5/31 Birmingham Barons “Action Network’s 5th Annual “Out at the Field” night kicked off Central Alabama Pride Week.
6/1 Biloxi Shuckers 1st ever Pride Night; first 1,500 guests through gate received aluminum water bottle; special ticket package included Shuckers Pride Hat; pre-game drag show;
6/1 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers LGBT-themed Timber Rattlers t-shirt and a ticket for a box seat at the game for $25. Promo code: pride
6/1 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers LGBT-themed Timber Rattlers t-shirt with special ticket (promo code: pride)
6/3 Greensboro Grasshoppers
6/4 Hartford Yard Goats The first of 2 Pride Nights. Fans received Yard Goats Pride-themed cap; the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus sang the National Anthem and had a booth on the concourse with other community organizations
6/5 Durham Bulls 1st ever Pride Night; special Pride Night ticket incl. a Bulls Pride pennant for the first 1,000 purchased
6/6 Omaha Storm Chasers
6/6 West Virginia Power
6/6 Wilmington Blue Rocks
6/7 Gwinnett Stripers
6/7 New Orleans Baby Cakes
6/7 Palm Beach Cardinals
6/8 Lake Elsinore Storm
6/8 Lakewood BlueClaws 1st ever Pride Night; BlueClaws Pride Night Hat Giveaway for the first 1,500 fans
6/8 Portland Sea Dogs
6/10 Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
6/10 Trenton Thunder 1st ever Pride Night; Pride Hat Giveaway to the 1st 1,000 fans 14+, presented by NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce; special pre-game event; appearance from Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion
6/11 Norfolk Tides
6/12 Lehigh Valley IronPigs 1st ever Pride Night; cap giveaway to the first 3,000 adults 18 and older; appearance by Billy Bean
6/12 Nashville Sounds
6/13 Bowie Baysox 1st ever Pride Night; Baysox Pride Hat with special ticket purchase
6/13 El Paso Chihuahuas first 1500 attendees received a free pride flag
6/13 Salem Red Sox
6/13 South Bend Cubs
6/13 Springfield Cardinals
6/14 Great Lakes Loons 3rd Annual Pride Night; special ticket package included a Loons Pride Night shirt
6/14 Sacramento River Cats

 

#MiLBPride, Part 1


This year, a record number of minor league teams will celebrate Pride Month as part of the MiLB Pride initiative to “Strike Out Hate.” Sixty eight Minor League teams have partnered with more than 150 local LGBTQ organizations to host Pride celebrations across the country. According to MiLB.com, “MiLB Pride uses the game of baseball to bring communities together and proactively engage and embrace the LGBTQ community with a focus on creating an environment where everyone feels welcome. This platform was created to celebrate, highlight and tell the breakthrough stories on inclusion taking place in participating cities.” Check out the schedule below for remaining dates.

~ baseballrebecca

Date Team Details
6/17 Erie SeaWolves Special ticket package includes SeaWolves Pride tee – advance purchase at: https://groupmatics.events/event/Nwpapride
6/20 Lake County Captains Special ticket package includes Captains’ Pride t-shirt (promo code: Pride) (info found on Facebook)
6/21 Harrisburg Senators The Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus will perform the National Anthem
6/22 Eugene Emeralds The team will wear and auction off specialty PRIDE jerseys.
6/23 Lexington Legends LGBTQ+ Brunch before the game at 11 a.m. with special ticket purchase (info found on Facebook)
6/24 Hillsboro Hops 1st ever Pride Night
6/24 Las Vegas Aviators
6/27 Albuquerque Isotopes Pride-themed pennants for first 1,000 fans; $9 Reserved seats with promo code PRIDE
6/27 Daytona Tortugas 3rd Annual Pride Night; honors the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
6/27 Frederick Keys  
6/27 Inland Empire 66ers No information team schedule or website
6/27 Iowa Cubs No information team schedule or website
6/27 Lowell Spinners
6/27 Richmond Flying Squirrels 1st ever Pride Night; tickets purchased through vapride.org help support scholarship and outreach to the community.
6/27 Syracuse Mets 4th annual Pride Night
6/28 State College Spikes Spikes Pride Hat Giveaway for the first 500 fans
6/28 Tri-City ValleyCats  
7/2 Rochester Red Wings 1st ever Pride Night; First 500 fans will receive a Red Wings Pride Night t-shirt; Wings Pride adjustable cap with special ticket purchase
7/5 Cedar Rapids Kernels No information on team schedule or website
7/5 New Hampshire Fisher Cats
7/6 Bradenton Marauders Pride Night pin for the first 500 attendees; $5 from each ticket purchased through special link will benefit community organizations (https://groupmatics.events/event/PrideNightattheParkJuly6?fbclid=IwAR1jJfrnMWc-lFg0ffdWD-tZlo0SjOleyqL7nkkYSI93jWqLqFbrie5T1k0) (info found on Facebook, not on team website)
7/11 Brooklyn Cyclones
7/11 Tacoma Rainiers No additional information – there was a link that no longer works
7/11 West Michigan Whitecaps Night mentioned on Team website; special ticket purchase from Grand Rapids Pride Center includes a Whitecaps Pride Night Baseball Cap https://www.grpride.org/pridenight
7/14 Visalia Rawhide CommUNITY Celebration Series – No additional information on their website.
7/19 Pawtucket Red Sox No information team schedule or website
7/25 Fresno Grizzlies Proceeds from a special ticket package will benefit Fresno Rainbow Pride. Players will wear on-field theme jerseys which will be auctioned off to benefit a local LGBTQ+ beneficiary TBD. Complimentary booth space is available for nonprofits that serve the LGBTQ+ community.
7/27 Clearwater Threshers 1st ever Pride Night. Special graphics, colors, and festivities that celebrate community’s diversity and “a special, colorful, Fireworks display.”
7/31 Hudson Valley Renegades
8/1 Peoria Chiefs
8/11 San Jose Giants Pride Night flag giveaway for the 1st 1,000; team will wear and auction off special Pride jerseys
8/14 Charleston RiverDogs The team will become the Charleston Rainbows; will wear and auction off Rainbows uniforms, proceeds to benefit Charleston Pride
8/15 Reno Aces No information team schedule or website
8/22 Everett AquaSox 2nd Annual Pride Night; Pride Night T-Shirt Package includes Nike Pride Night T-Shirt for $30.
8/22 Scranton/

Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

No information team schedule or website
8/27 Hartford Yard Goats 2nd Pride Night of the season; fans through the gates receive a rainbow Yard Goats bracelet; special guests pre-game
8/28 Reading Fightin Phils 7th Annual LGBT+ Night/Reading Pride; “Pride Night” R-Phils Rainbow Bracelet for the first 1,000 fans
8/30 Missoula Osprey 1st ever Pride Night