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AA: Wisconsin Baseball Fans LOVE Cheap Gimmicks

Wrestling mascots, tennis balls littering the mound next to a 5 gallon pail, robotic t-shirt guns, under age college students rolling kegs around the bases, and of course “the beer batter” whom gives the fans $1 beers if he strikes out. These are only some of the differences between the professional level and any amateur level of baseball. Without these gimmicks, how else would amateur baseball get fans to enjoy themselves at the ballpark. Well, those items and the chance to witness the rising of the next Bob Gibson.

Professional clubs try to simulate this atmosphere, but at a much more tame level. The Brewers have the Sausage Race, Pittsburgh has the Pierogi Race, Washington has the Presidents Race (which is funny because Teddy Roosevelt isn’t ever allowed to win), teams give out items to the first X number of fans (ranging anywhere from an umbrella, to a bobble head, to the sweetest t-shirt of all time). But none of these gimmicks are as great as what the amateur organizations will try in order to persuade their fan base to contribute to the team’s revenue.

Thus, I am going to try to start a new weekly (semi-weekly) column where I share one or multiple organizations’ greatest 2010 promotions. If you stumble upon any or know of any, feel free to send me a link. You can get a hold of me via the contact page.

So let’s begin this year long journey I am dubbing “Attendance Augmenters” or AA for short.

This week I will be hi-lighting the Madison Mallards 2010 promotions. One, because they bring back fond memories of my great alum days; and two, because they always have great promotions ( see the Gary Coleman stunt RIP Gary).

The Madison Mallards are part of the 16 team Northwoods League. This league is formed by some of the top collegiate players around the country and allows them to play competitive summer ball. The Northwoods League is also known for playing more games and drawing the most fans (partially due to these gimmicks) than almost all the other collegiate summer leagues. The league has produced some of the top names in baseball today, including Ian Kinsler (ex-Mallard), Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre, Max Scherzer, Ryan Spilbroghs (ex-Mallard), Josh Willingham, and Ben Zobrist just to name a few.

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They Call Me Superman

In a week that has seen Pudge lose the ball in his catcher mitt (I wish I had a link to this because its hilarious) and an $18 million starting pitcher shipped to the bullpen, I have this gem of a play for you.

(I’m bummed that yahoo beat me to this story. I had it ready to go but couldn’t get it posted in time)

Take a look at this college play.

Fordham was down 9-1. They then went on to make it 9-8. With the pond full of ducks, the batter ripped a shot into left center. They wave the guy from first around third and he does this:

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