Roll out the red carpet, it’s Golden Bobblehead time again.
The five finalists for the top promotion from the month of May have been announced by Minor League Baseball. The winner qualifies as a finalist for a Golden Bobblehead award, a recognition of promotional greatness awarded after the season at the annual Minor League Baseball Promo Seminar.
This month’s nominees were selected from more than 70 entries and embrace the fun, fan-friendly and community-minded spirit of the sport. Each month, teams can either nominate promotions or events of their own or other teams for the award. The winner qualifies as a finalist for the Promo Seminar held in Des Moines, Iowa, where they will present their promotion before their peers, who will then vote on winners in the following categories:
Best Theme Night
Best In-Game Promotion
Best Non-Gameday Event
Best Community Promotion or Event
Best Digital Campaign or Activation
So, ladies and gentlemen, the nominees for the top promotion in the month of May are . . .
Ben Hill has seen it all and done it all when it comes to the antics of minor league baseball. By the end of this season, he will also have visited all of minor league baseball’s ballparks over his career of covering the wild and wacky side of the sport for milb.com. The journey marks quite a milestone for Hill, who has become an expert on minor league promotions and ballpark entertainment since joining MiLB.com in 2005 and launching his popular Ben’s Biz Blog two years later.
I've been visiting @MiLB stadiums since 2010. By the end of this season I'll have made over 200 stops and visited every single park at least once.
In his “On the Road” columns, Hill provides a first-hand look at a team’s promotions and ballpark entertainment, often participating in a variety of on-field shenanigans and giving a dining guide to concession fare—the latter he has passed on to “Designated Eaters” since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012. His weekend “Promo Previews” have been a must-read for people in the industry and passionate fans.
What follows is my conversation with Hill about his path and experiences in minor league baseball. The transcript has been edited in places for length and clarity.
You certainly are not a traditional journalist. You have a beat that you cover, but your cover it almost from the inside. How would you describe what you do?
Sometimes I ask myself that: What exactly am I? In a way I still don’t know. My official title is writer at MiLB.com and it has been pretty much since I was part-time to start this in 2005. When I try to describe what I do in a fairly succinct way, what I tell everyone is that I cover the business and culture of minor league baseball for MiLB.com. That is about as simply as I can put it. I think that sums up the beat pretty well: business and culture.Continue reading →