Minor league promotions people, listen up: this is how you do a promotion. On Saturday, the Daytona Tortugas are hosting “Bob Ross Night.” The first 1,000 fans will get a Ross bobblehead. The Tortugas are the Single-A affiliate of the Reds.
Fans can purchase a $35 ticket package that not only includes a ticket and a bobblehead, but a pass to a pregame painting class taught by certified instructors wearing Bob Ross wigs. There will also be a “Bob Ross happy Little 5K” held that morning. Runners can stop and paint at the various canvases that will be scattered throughout the route.
Ross, who died in 1995, was born in Daytona Beach. You can read more about the promotion at MiLB.com.
Last month, we heard about “Hourglass Appreciation Night,” a promotion idea the Ogden Raptors — the Single-A affiliate of the Dodgers — had but eventually retracted after receiving heavy public backlash. It’s a good learning experience to compare and contrast the two promotions. The Ross promotion celebrates someone’s influence and accomplishments; the Raptors’ promotion objectified people, obviously women in this case. It’s really not that hard to come up with fun, unoffensive theme nights at minor league ballparks, but kudos just the same to the Tortugas.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.