Brendan Sagara

Life In The Minors

By Brendan Sagara

Sunday, July 8, 2001

There’s lots of attractions,
including ‘Hawaiian Night’

THE Frontier League has a wide range of promotions in attempts to lure fans to the games. I've seen a number of them in the 36 or so games that we've played so far.

There was the "Blues Brothers" act which we saw in Cook County and Richmond. The Brothers featured two very spunky, actor-dancer types doing their best shuffling and shouting impersonation of the characters made famous by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

They jumped onto the field every other inning and burned about a billion calories jumping, sprinting, and driving around the field in their auctioned police car, complete with a blaring loud speaker.

It was cute for the first two appearances or so, but then it just got old. More than anything it just delayed the game for about three minutes a crack.

Another act which we have become familiar with is the Harry Caray impersonator we ran into at both Cook County and River City.

The actor actually does a rather credible job of playing the famous late radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, slurring, singing, and cracking many one-liners over the public address system, often at the expense of the players.

Having seen Harry twice, he became fond of our all-star third baseman, Pichi Balet (pronounced Ba-LETT). Harry's version of Pichi's surname was pronounced ballet, like the style of dance.

Apparently, this stirred some painful childhood memories for our slugger, because he did not take well to it. In fact, as we were departing River City last week, the Harry Caray impersonator came on board our bus to apologize to Pichi for poking fun at him.

Let's just say that the apology did not go over very well. However, no punches were thrown.

River City, which outdraws every other Frontier League club, has some of the more entertaining promotions that I've seen. With attendance frequently surpassing 3,000 on any given night, the Rascals crew does itself proud, with such nightly dandies as a bed race, human bowling, and jousting.

The human bowling features the use of a 5-foot tall wire ball which the contestant is supposed to sit in as he is rolled into a set of larger-than-life bowling pins. I believe that the contestants should not be allowed to eat within 24 hours of being spun head over heels in that contraption.

In the joust, two contestants are dressed in suits which have a foam head placed atop each jouster's actual head. The combatants smack each other with foam-padded weapons until the first head rolls.

During one of our six games there in June, the announcer became fair game as well. I somehow don't think he enjoyed being nailed in the teeth by the jousting weapon.

Here at home in Huntingburg, we have a few gems of our own. Tomorrow when we host the Cook County Cheetahs, It will be "Hawaiian Night.''

I have been told that every fan entering the stadium wearing an aloha shirt will receive a free lei. I guess myself and our other resident Hawaii native, Damon Yee, will have to break out our best Kahala's tomorrow.

I hear that they will be playing some Hawaiian music. I'm not expecting them to jam any Ho'okena or Makaha Sons, but hey, the Hawaiian music sections at the local CD stores aren't too sizable.

Brendan Sagara, a former University of Hawaii-Hilo pitcher,
is in his first season as a pitching coach for the
Dubois County (Ind.) Dragons

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