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DOWN ON THE FARM: MAJOR HAPPENINGS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES
Published April 11, 1995
MLB ALUMNI TO PLAY BISONS: The AAA Buffalo Bisons announced that the team will play the MLB Players Alumni Association on June 17 in a game benefiting charitable causes chosen by the MLBPAA. The festivities will be spread over a three-day period and will include a golf tournament, fantasy camp and a home run hitting contest (Bisons). NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Single-A Durham Bulls new stadium is profiled in the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. The Durham Bulls Athletic Park is modeled after Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards and is designed in the architectural style of a now-vacant tobacco warehouse next door. "Nostalgic touches are everywhere, from gas-style lanterns in the parking lot to curved lamps in the stadium concourse." The park also has a 24-foot-high left field wall, named the "Blue Monster," modeled after the Fenway Park's "Green Monster." The Bulls' first two games of the season drew crowds of approximately 11,000 and 9,000 fans (Chris Burritt, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/6). FUN FOR EVERYONE, EXCEPT THE NEIGHBORS: On opening night on Friday, the AAA Albuquerque Dukes had Kazoo Night -- sponsored by the team's flagship radio station 770 KOB. The first 3,000 fans received the kazoos (Dukes). CHICAGO'S SECOND CITY TEAMS: Chicago's IHL Wolves and CBA Rockers "have fared somewhat differently outside of the standings -- especially in the stands and in the stores," writes Andrew Gottesman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Gottesman compares the two clubs and finds that the Wolves have fared much better in their first year in Chicago. "There are several explanations for the difference in popularity": location, exposure, hockey's new-found appeal, the NHL lockout, greater local competition in basketball, and timing. The Wolves had about ten months to prepare, and proceeded to spend almost $2 on advertising. The Rockers, on the other hand, had only five months with which to market their club. The Wolves logo has also become a "hot commodity" leading the IHL in arena sales and third among teams in stores nationwide (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/9).