You can blame/thank the Reds for all the green you see in teams’ uniforms today. It was them — or more specifically, their GM Dick Wagner — who started the tradition in 1978. While it went over pretty well, the initial reactions were fun:
After workouts, the Reds dragged their perspiring bodies off the field
and retreated to the clubhouse — closed, uncharacteristically, to the
media — took a look and then did a double-take at their lockers …
green uniforms hanging in front of each.
“Did we get traded to Oakland?” catcher Johnny Bench asked.
Shortstop Davey Concepcion squinted at his green No. 13 uniform and said, “I’m not wearing that. I’m Venezuelan, not Irish.”
I’m usually opposed to messing with uniforms too much, but I’ve always liked the green-on-St. Patrick’s Day thing. It’s spring training, and spring training is casual. It looks good. And besides, it’s so much nicer than the the more historically-accurate St. Patrick’s Day tradition they used to do at the ballpark: having ushers go through the stands converting all the pagans.
Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.
ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:
Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”
Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.