DOWN ON THE FARM: MAJOR HAPPENINGS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES
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).