Major and minor league baseball games are very different. Major league ballparks accommodate a small city’s worth of people. Minor league ballparks are much smaller, and the small-town atmosphere is more intimate. As a result, minor league franchises have to be very creative in their efforts to draw large crowds. Few franchises do it better than the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox’ Single-A affiliate.
Lately, the Spinners have been writing the book on creative promotions. After hosting Politically Correct Night and Politically Incorrect Night earlier in the season, the team hosted Halloween Night on Aug. 22. The first 600 children received free Halloween masks, and a costume parade was led around the field. A costume competition was held, and fans were given the opportunity to trick-or-treat throughout LeLacheur Park. The park staff made fans feel comfortable by wearing costumes as well. The Spinners themselves contributed to the night’s festivities by defeating the Oneonta Tigers 5-2 to take sole possession of first place in the New York-Penn League’s Stedler Division.
Next, the Spinners will welcome the Flying Karamazov Brothers to LeLacheur on Saturday. The juggling troupe will perform a sneak preview of their new show, “Flings and Eros,” which will premiere on Sept. 10 at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. The show is William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, retold with the flair that only the legendary juggling troupe can provide.
And finally, Glen “Big Baby” Davis of the Boston Celtics will appear at LeLacheur Park as the Spinners’ guest of honor on Sunday. He’ll throw the ceremonial first pitch, participate in between-inning promotions and toss autographed basketballs into the stands. Legendary Celtic Jo Jo White will also attend. The event has been dubbed “Celtics Night” and will be presented by Electrical Wholesalers.
If the Spinners are looking to conclude their 2009 season with a bang, they certainly are on the right track. Entering play Friday, the team is 38-27, in sole possession of first place by 4 1/2 games. At LeLacheur Park, the Spinners have gone 20-13.
Historically, the Spinners’ franchise has always stretched its imagination when it comes to promotions and fan events. That’s what makes a trip to LeLacheur Park so exciting. You never know who will be there or what you’ll walk away with, but it’s sure to be an interesting experience no matter what.