The wait is over, folks. The next round of Golden Bobblehead nominees is upon us as Minor League Baseball releases its candidates for the best promotion for the month of July. The winner receives an automatic entry into the coveted Golden Bobblehead competition at the Minor League Baseball Promo Seminar this September in Des Moines.
As has been the case all season, there is no shortage of great candidates, but there can only be one winner. In fact, if you have not been following along and tracking the Golden Bobblehead nominees (shame on you!) catch up on all of the brilliant and creative promotions at minor league ballparks this season by clicking here.
This month’s nominees were selected from a plethora of 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 Golden Bobblehead competition at Promo Seminar held in Des Moines, 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
Now, on to the nominees:
Greg Coleman has worked in minor league baseball for 20 years, including serving in his current role as president of the Erie SeaWolves since 2011. He understands that cold and wet weather can make the first month of the baseball season a challenging, and sometimes miserable, experience. Yet he, like many minor league operators across the Northeast and Midwest, were left shaking their heads about what Mother Nature threw at them in April.
“The weekend we opened at home was remarkable,” Coleman said of the season-opening, seven-game homestand that included two postponements and four games with first-pitch temperatures in the 30s. “We’re two hours from Akron, yet the temperatures were 30 to 40 degrees lower in Erie. We know how to handle cold and snow in Erie, but April really tested our resolve.”
And for good reason. Erie (Eastern League) had the coldest ballpark in the minor leagues in April. During nine games and two postponements at UPMC Park, the SeaWolves averaged temperatures of just 44.3 degrees while drawing 1,687 fans per game. Erie’s chilly beginning to the season edged the Lansing Lugnuts (45.6 degrees), Buffalo Bisons (45.8), Syracuse Chiefs (46.3) and West Michigan Whitecaps (46.6) for the coldest start to the season.
“We played nine of our eleven April home dates, but the cold was unrelenting,” Coleman said. “One day, we had to clear 4 inches of snow and then play a doubleheader with temperatures in the 30s.”