American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. With the 2018 American Association season less than 10 days away, we look at some of the great promotions going on around the league, plus there are a whole lot of transactions to catch up on.
Around the American Association in Promotions
It is beginning to look a lot like a baseball season – the American Association baseball season that is. Spring training is underway and we have even had our first exhibition games of the season.
It is just 10 days away from when the lights being turned on for the first game of the year, and we thought it would be fun to examine some of the exciting promotions you will see around the league this season. There is no doubt there will be a lot of fireworks, food, and family fun entertainment, but here are some other days you may want to try to squeeze into your calendar.
It’s the inaugural season for the Chicago Dogs, and what better way to commemorate that than with giveaways of the hotdog’s favorite condiment. Every Monday is mustard Monday with the first 1500 fans receiving a mustard pack. Every Friday during the season will be Fan Friday, where the team will not only give away something to the first 1500 fans, something to be announced later, but kids get to run the bases following the game. Plus, there will be a very special giveaway on August 1 that the team has yet to announce.
The Cleburne Railroaders will honor the great Tris Speaker on May 20, and will have a blanket giveaway on May 29. June 1, the team will provide a post game concert by Steve Helms, and July 2 will be a night to bring out your wild side, as the team will have a Stampede Harley Group Ride. On August 25, the team will giveaway a plush mini-cow courtesy of Chick-fil-A.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks will honor The Big Lebowski on May 29, as patrons can come as their favorite character from the movie to earn prizes. Extreme juggler Mad Chad will appear on June 7 and June 15 the team honors Bull Durham. On Father’s Day, dads get a free spatula and it is throwback jersey night on July 7. On July 31, the extreme pogo team, XPOGO!, will perform and August 20 is superhero night.
Gary Southshore RailCats
Basketball is King in Indiana, so the Gary Southshore RailCats begin the season with a Hoosier Lottery Ticket giveaway on opening night. Kids can get a replica jersey the next day, and May 28 is All You Can Eat night. Every Wednesday, the team commemorates The Office, and June 1 is Princess and Pirates Night. Dads get in free on Father’s Day and July 22 is the World’s Largest White Elephant Gift Exchange. Scouts can camp out on August 3 and the RailCats celebrate Star Wars on August 4.
Kansas City T-Bones
The Kansas City T-Bones combine baseball with…well…baseball on June 1, when they host Bull Durham movie night and will have a tribute to Eric Hosmer on June 14. June 23 is Boy Scout (can we call them that anymore) campout night at the park. July 20 is adult replica jersey night and seven days later the team pays tribute to first responders. August has a lot of fun stuff going on, including another Boy Scout campout night and the 26th is Bark in the Park night.
The Lincoln Saltdogs will be announcing their promotion schedule soon. Visit their site for updates.
Sioux City Explorers
The Sioux City Explorers will be hosting a number of nights dedicated to promoting good health, including LifeServe Blood Center Night and the Strike Out Stroke Awareness Event but there will also be a number of replica t-shirt night giveaways as well, including that of Patrick Schuster (July 27), Ryan Flores (July 13), and Jay Baum (August 10). July 15 and August 12 could be can’t miss nights as you can get Blue Bunny Ice Cream sandwiches for fifty cents.
Sioux Falls Canaries
The Sioux Falls Canaries have a number of great seasonal promotions, including Family Fun Sundays and Firework Fridays. Specific other events are not currently provided on the team’s website.
St. Paul Saints
The St. Paul Saints are always known for their zany promotions, and this year is no exception. May 22 will open the new Monument Pork, a dedication to three of the most famous ball pigs in the team’s history, with a bobble head giveaway to the first 1,500 fans. The Saints will celebrate National Yoga Day on June 21 and the team welcomes Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau on July 6 for Fighting Saints Night. However, nothing will top August 14, when the Saints will host the world’s largest food fight to commemorate the 40th anniversary or Animal House. Bring your poncho.
The Texas AirHogs salute our men and women in uniform each Monday with Margarita and Military Mondays. June 1 the team hosts Hispanic Heritage Night and June 15 is Hipster Appreciation Night (Radio Broadcaster Joey Zanaboni should be named King on that night). The team will honor first responders on August 2, it’s Disney night on August 5, and it is Scout Night on August 25.
This will be the last season for Lawrence-Dumont Stadium so August 28 is one day you will have to include in your schedule as the team will give away a replica model of the stadium. May 29 is Star Wars Night, where the team will giveaway a Star Wars bobblehead of Manager Brent Clevlen (C Clev P O? Clev-bacca?) and August 14 will be replica Jersey night. The team will have other promotions related to the Stadium during other parts of the season as well.
On May 26, the team will honor the late great Lou Gehrig, while also bringing attention to ALS. The matinee games this season are also focused on good dental hygiene as the team will giveaway toothbrushes, and July 25 is Christmas in July night. June 28 is Shirt Off Our Backs night and on July 28 you can come in your favorite pajamas and enjoy a movie and sleepover.
For full schedules of promotions being offered during the season, visit each team’s website.
American Association Daily Notes
There are a lot of transactions to catch up on. We start with the St. Paul Saints re-signing J.J. Gould and Dan Johnson being invited to Spring Training. Gould finished the season in St. Paul, where he hit .250 in 25 games with 9 runs scored, 2 homers, and 6 RBI. Johnson has had great success in his two stints with the Saints, but if he is going to make this team it is only going to be as a knuckleball starter as they have no room for a veteran hitter…The Chicago Dogs signed OF Shawon Duston, Jr., C Wilfredo Rodriguez, OF Tony Rosselli, IF Kevin Ross, and LHP Evan Smith. Dunston’s dad is a former Chicago Cubs standout, and he has been a part of the organization as well. Dunston was in Mid-A Augusta (San Francisco Giants) last season, where he hit .241 in 50 games. Rodriguez was with Sugar Land (Atlantic League) in 2017, where he hit .333 in 84 games with 3 homers and 28 RBI. Evan Smith was in the Los Angeles Angels organization last season. He made just 12 appearances in rookie ball…The Kansas City T-Bones signed C Adrian Nieto, LHP Francisco Gracesqui, and traded RHP Miquel Rosario to the Texas AirHogs. Nieto is a former Major Leaguer, who reached the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 2014. Last season, he split time between AA-Pensacola and AAA-Louisville (Cincinnati Reds). Combined, he hit .230 in 68 games. Gracesqui was a Toronto Blue Jays prospect until joining New Jersey (Can-Am League) last season. The lefty was 2-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 24 appearances. He struck out 46 in 38.1 innings. Rosario was in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization last season, splitting time between High-A Bradenton and AA-Altoona. He was 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 36 combined appearances…The Gary Southshore RailCats added RHPs Gabriel Perez and Keaton Steele and IF Garrett Copeland. Steele has been with the Minnesota Twins organization the last four seasons, pitching at High-A Fort Myers and AA-Chattanooga last season, going 2-6 with a 4.81 ERA in 21 appearances. Perez was with T-Bones last season, going 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 21 appearances, 17 of which were starts. Copeland was with the Baltimore Orioles organization the last two seasons. He was with Low-A Aberdeen and High-A Frederick last year, hitting .274 with 26 runs scored and 16 RBI in 50 games…The Cleburne Railroaders signed LHP Josh Blanco. Blanco was with the AirHogs last season, posting a 2-2 record with a 4.85 ERA in 34 appearances. He struck out an amazing 52 in 39.0 innings pitched.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA