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The Biz of Baseball :: Minor League News
Minor League Baseball Sees Over 41 Million Fans, Continues Streak for Nearly Decade PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 14:41

Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball announced today that its regular season attendance surpassed 41 million fans again this season, as it has done so for nearly a decade. The 41,553,781 fans that MiLB attracted in 2013 is nearly 275,000 more than last year’s total. The industry also saw almost a 2% rise n average attendance, despite facing a multitude of weather issues early in the season.

“To experience increases in total and average attendance is a testament to the quality of our product and the ability of our clubs to adapt to conditions, be it weather, economic or otherwise,” Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner said. “Attracting more than 41 million fans a year for nine years has helped solidify the Minor League Baseball brand to our partners and fans.”

The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians (637,579) led all clubs in total attendance. The Columbus Clippers, their International League West Division rival, topped all domestic clubs in average crowd (9,212).

The Frisco RoughRiders paced all 30 Double-A clubs in total (479,873) and average attendance (7,057), for the ninth consecutive year.

The Dayton Dragons, as they have every season since they began playing in 2000, were tops among the 60

Class A clubs in overall attendance (579,946) and average (8,405). The Dragons also extended their record consecutive sellout streak for a professional sports team to 983 games.

The Brooklyn Cyclones, who attracted 232,224 fans for an average of 6,276, have led the 40 Short Season-A and Rookie clubs in both categories since their first year in 2001.

The Monterrey Sultans of the Mexican League led all MiLB clubs in average crowd (11,145) this season for the second straight year.

2013 Attendance by League

International League

6,766,442

Florida State League

1,212,184

Pacific Coast League

6,763,683

Midwest League

4,118,049

Mexican League

3,812,376

South Atlantic League

2,951,813

Eastern League

3,743,582

New York-Penn League

1,602,725

Southern League

2,316,591

Northwest League

984,432

Texas League

2,815,133

Appalachian League

275,419

California League

1,583,488

Pioneer League

673,124

Carolina League

1,934,740

Minor League Baseball

41,553,781

Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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Tapping Craft Beer, Hillsboro Hops Top Online Seller in All of Minor League Baseball PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 12 August 2013 15:53

Barley

When the Single-A Yakima Bears moved in to fill the void in Portland, OR for professional baseball, the owners knew that with the larger market, rebranding would be a part of the equation. A new ballpark, a larger metro area, all offered opportunity for a new look. The idea of “tapping” into something of a trademark for Portland seemed a logical choice.

So when Short Season LLC, the owners of the club, came up with the name the Hillsboro Hops, they had to know they were hitting on something very “Portland” in the craft beer craze (CNN ranked Portland as the #1 beer city in the US). The question was always, how could their merchandise tie into it?

Starting with their mascot, Barley, who was recently voted the Northwest League’s Best Mascot, it all made sense… Balls “hop”, hops are used to make beer, as is barley.

It would be one thing if the marketing was a local or regional sensation. But according to sources, the Hillsboro Hops have the best online merchandise sales—not in just the Northwest League—but all of Minor League Baseball. While numbers weren’t provided, to achieve that mark is a sign that the logo resonates with fans, as does the idea of craft beer. After all, baseball, hot dogs, and yes, beer, are a timeless tradition. The Hops just seem to be happy to run the keg dry at this point.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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Minor League Baseball Sees Attendance Surpass 41 Million for 8th Straight Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 13 September 2012 08:52

Minor League BaseballIn a sign that not just attendance in the Major Leagues are seeing a bouncing in attendance, Minor League Baseball has said that its clubs attracted 41,279,382 regular season fans this year as of Wednesday. This season’s total represents an increase over 2011 and marks the eighth year in a row that the industry has topped 41 million fans.

“On behalf of our 15 leagues and 176 clubs, I would like to say thank you to the more than 41 million fans that, once again, supported our great game this season,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “I know our clubs will work hard this off-season to find ways to continue to provide affordable entertainment for their communities and maintain the attendance boom that Minor League Baseball has seen over the last decade, thanks to our enthusiastic and loyal fans, in 2013.”

The Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs topped all clubs based in the domestic leagues in total attendance for the second consecutive year (622,421) and in average crowd for the third straight season (9,153). For the eighth year in a row, the Frisco RoughRiders paced all Double-A clubs in total (488,224) and average attendance (7,076).

The Class A Dayton Dragons, who extended their consecutive sellout streak record for a professional sports team to 913 games this season, averaged 8,532 fans a game in attracting 588,689. They have paced their classification every year in both categories since they began play in 2000. Likewise, the Brooklyn Cyclones, who drew 249,009 fans for an average of 6,553, have led all Short Season-A™ and Rookie® clubs in attendance and average per game since their first year in 2001.

The Monterrey Sultans of the Mexican League led all Minor League Baseball clubs in attendance (645,302) and average crowd (11,321) this season.

As to why the increase, weather has been better this year than last, thus lowering the number of rainouts, the economy has somewhat brightened in many areas of the country, and Minor League ball continues to be an affordable entertainment option.

2012 Attendance by League:

International

6,504,586

Florida State

1,215,020

Pacific Coast

6,796,157

Midwest

4,084,343

Mexican

3,814,348

South Atlantic

3,056,097

Eastern

3,791,241

New York-Penn

1,701,001

Southern

2,152,852

Northwest

896,781

Texas

2,834,864

Appalachian

278,785

California

1,582,174

Pioneer

695,052

Carolina

1,876,081

Total

41,279,382

Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Despite Losing 100 Games to Rain Last Month, Minor League Baseball Sees 500,000 More Fans PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 15:00

Minor League BaseballIn a sign that not only Major League Baseball, but Minor League Baseball is seeing an attendance increase from last year, MiLB announced today that its 176 clubs in 15 leagues drew 9,221,023 fans in July, bringing the season total to 31,567,709 through last month. The total represents an increase of more than 500,000 fans, or 1.6 percent, over 2011.

And, if rainouts hit MLB hard, it can be exponentially higher with the Minors based on the large number of clubs (146 more than MLB),

 “It is encouraging that our attendance remains ahead of last year, despite losing more than 100 games to weather last month,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Our fans’ continued support of their local Minor League Baseball club is a testament to the efforts of our club owners and operators to provide affordable, family entertainment for their communities.”

READ THE BIZ OF BASEBALL INTERVIEW WITH PAT O'CONNER 

MiLB clubs averaged 3,973 fans a game in 7,945 openings through July. The Mexican League, which completed its regular season on July 30, attracted 400,000 more fans than it did in 2011.

Source: MiLB


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Baseball Seeing Attendance Increase PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 06 July 2012 11:28

Minor League BaseballIs it the weather, the economy, or just the fact that fans seem to be flocking to baseball in all forms this year? Minor League Baseball has announced that its clubs attracted 8,407,103 fans last month, bringing the industry’s season total to 22,346,686 in paid attendance through June. The 176 clubs in 15 leagues across MiLB have seen 901,800 tickets sold than they did through June of last year, representing a 4.2 percent increase.

The month of July is also seeing a good jump, thanks to Fourth of July celebrations at stadiums across the country. The 80 MiLB ballparks that hosted games attracted 539,795 fans for an average of 6,747.

The Salt Lake Bees (15,411) and Albuquerque Isotopes (15,309) led the 13 clubs that entertained crowds of more than 10,000 on the Fourth of July. The others were the Indianapolis Indians (14,504); Charlotte Knights (14,206); Fresno Grizzlies (13,839); Iowa Cubs (11,950); New Orleans Zephyrs (11,778); Durham Bulls (11,117); Las Vegas 51s (11,026); Lansing Lugnuts (10,512); Rochester Red Wings (10,412); Lehigh Valley IronPigs (10,100); and Memphis Redbirds (10,063).

"Our attendance remained strong through June, as our clubs continue to provide our fans with a high quality product,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Hopefully the momentum generated from the half a million fans who attended our games yesterday will serve as a springboard for yet another favorable month at the turnstiles for our clubs.”

MiLB clubs averaged 4,008 a game in 5,576 openings through last month. Eight leagues are seeing an increase in paid attendance than they did in 2011.

The following clubs led their leagues in average attendance through June: International—Lehigh Valley (8,966); Pacific Coast—Round Rock (8,355); Mexican—Monterrey (10,793); Eastern—Richmond (6,385); Southern—Pensacola (4,877); Texas—Frisco (7,697); California—Lake Elsinore (3,396); Carolina—Frederick (4,806); Florida State—Clearwater (2,590); Midwest—Dayton (8,494); South Atlantic—Greensboro (5,671); New York-Penn—Brooklyn (6,923); Northwest—Spokane (4,366); Appalachian—Greeneville (1,501); and Pioneer—Ogden (3,839). 
Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Baseball Saw $52.2 Million in Merchandise Sales in 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 21 May 2012 17:08

Minor League BaseballMinor League Baseball announced today that its national Licensing Program last year generated $52.2 million in sales of licensed merchandise. The overall 2011 figure is the third largest since the program began in 1991 and represents a 2.2% increase compared to 2010.

“Minor League Baseball merchandise continues to remain extremely popular with our millions of fans, thanks to the efforts of our clubs and licensees,” said MiLB Director of Licensing Sandie Hebert. “The ability of the Baseball Internet Rights Company, since its inception in December 2008, to create, facilitate and manage the number of club stores that are on our website has also played an integral role in the continued success of our licensing program.”

The Baseball Internet Rights Company (BIRCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of MiLB that was formed to manage the digital and interactive media rights for Minor League Baseball clubs and leagues across the United States and Canada, has helped launch 120 stores on www.MiLB.com. Of the Top 25 clubs, 21 have stores using the BIRCO platform.

The MiLB national Licensing Program is comprised of the 160 clubs in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games. It also released its annual report of the top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales, ranked alphabetically. Rankings are based on wholesale sales reported from January 1 to December 31, 2011.

All but four clubs in the Top 25 were also on the 2010 list. The quartet of newcomers for 2011 includes the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Louisville Bats, Omaha Storm Chasers and Salt Lake Bees.

Here is the 2011 Top 25, listed alphabetically: Carolina Mudcats; Charleston RiverDogs; Corpus Christi Hooks; Durham Bulls; Fort Wayne TinCaps; Greensboro Grasshoppers; Lake Elsinore Storm; Lakewood BlueClaws; Lansing Lugnuts; Lehigh Valley IronPigs; Louisville Bats; Midland RockHounds; Myrtle Beach Pelicans; Omaha Storm Chasers; Pawtucket Red Sox; Portland Sea Dogs; Reno Aces; Richmond Flying Squirrels; Rochester Red Wings; Round Rock Express; Sacramento River Cats; Salt Lake Bees; Toledo Mud Hens; Trenton Thunder; and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Source: Minor League Baseball


 Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Avg Cost for Family of Four to Attend Minor League Baseball $61.23 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:13

MiLBGoing to a Major League ballgame can be expensive. Going to one with your whole family, even more so. While prices have remained static from last year to this in MLB, not everyone may choose to go to a big league game based on cost.

For many – either due to location, or by choice – Minor League Baseball can be an affordable entertainment option.

With that, Minor League Baseball announced today that the average cost for a family of four to attend a MiLB game this season is $61.23. The total was calculated using the price of two adult tickets, two child tickets, four hot dogs, two sodas, two beers, a program or scorecard and parking at the 159 clubs in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, who are playing all of their games on the road this season due to a stadium renovation project, were not included in the survey. 

“The ability of our clubs to maintain affordable prices for our millions of fans, especially for families, speaks to their commitment to remain integral parts of their communities,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Whether it’s to see and experience the game itself, receive a giveaway item or allow the kids to play with the team mascot, fans know they can do all of these things and more at a Minor League Baseball game without breaking the bank.”

The ticket prices are based on the most economical fixed seat in the ballpark. Adult tickets are available for $8 or less at nearly 80% of MiLB stadiums. According to MiLB, “Minor League Baseball is an even bigger bargain when considering that more than 40% of clubs do not charge for parking and many have more economical berm seating available; free or special ticket prices in place for toddlers, senior citizens and/or military personnel; and food and drink specials on designated nights of the week.”

The average cost of a night at an MiLB ballpark for a family of four is $69.07 for a Triple-A game, $61.57 for Double-A, $61.62 for Class A and $54.28 for a Short Season-A/Rookie contest. The overall and classification averages all fall within $2 of last season’s costs.

AVERAGE PRICES

 

MiLB

Triple-A

Double-A

Class A

Short A/Rookie

Adult ticket

$7.09

$8.09

$7.05

$7.34

$6.04

Child ticket

$6.10

$7.03

$6.22

$6.16

$5.25

Hot Dog

$3.02

$3.41

$3.05

$3.03

$2.71

Soda

$2.91

$3.11

$3.02

$2.91

$2.67

Beer

$5.05

$5.70

$4.85

$5.06

$4.62

Program

$2.25

$2.35

$2.59

$2.15

$2.08

*Parking

$4.60

$5.22

$4.50

$4.41

$4.20

*–price where fee is charged

(Source: MiLB)

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Baseball Attendance Database Sees Update to 2010-2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:08

MiLB

The Biz of Baseball has been updated with new attendance data.

Since 2008, The Biz of Baseball has been the only location where users can use queries to get attendance information about Minor League Baseball. Today, we update that database with information from 2010 and 2011.

Data can be queried against by the following:

  • Year (currently 2005-2011)
  • Team
  • Class
  • Leagues
  • Division
    (NOTE: Currently 2010 and 2011 not sortable by this category. Updating shortly)
  • MLB Affiliation

See the Minor League Salary Database for details


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Baseball Draws Over 42.2 Millon Fans, Up Slightly From Last Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 14:06

MiLBMinor League Baseball today announced that its 15 leagues and 174 clubs drew 41,252,053 fans in 10,238 openings this regular season. The average crowd of 4,029 represents a 0.9% increase over last year. Sixteen clubs and the Florida State League set regular season attendance records. 

“Minor League Baseball faced many challenges in 2011,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Inclement weather plagued our leagues throughout the season. The increased number of lost dates compromised our total attendance, but the key indicator of average attendance remained strong with an increase over a year ago.

“Our teams remain committed to our communities across this country and thank all fans of Minor League Baseball for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

The Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs led all clubs in total attendance (628,925) and average crowd (9,249). Other classification leaders include the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders (509,331/7,276); Class A Dayton Dragons (571,886/8,288); and the Brooklyn Cyclones (245,087/7,002) among Short Season/Rookie clubs.

This season’s total attendance is only 176,090 fans or four-tenths of one percent (0.4%) less than 2010 when 176 clubs attracted 41,428,143 fans in 140 more openings. The Mexican League had two fewer clubs this season, as Chihuahua and Laredo are dormant until suitable playing facilities can be found for them. These two clubs attracted over 209,000 fans in 2010.

2011 Attendance by League:

International

6,664,206

Florida State

     1,296,962

Pacific Coast

6,925,290

Midwest

     3,983,282

Mexican

3,322,029

South Atlantic

     3,125,934

Eastern

3,923,381

New York-Penn

     1,749,891

Southern

2,175,505

Northwest

        913,986

Texas

2,822,109

Appalachian

        295,563

California

1,593,398

Pioneer

        670,886

Carolina

1,789,631

Total

41,252,053

Source: MiLB


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Mike Jacobs Becomes First Player Suspended for Testing Positive for hGH PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:18

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Minor League first baseman Mike Jacobs of the Colorado Rockies organization has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Human Growth Hormone (hGH), a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Jacobs is the first player ever to test positive for hGH.

Jordan Schafer, who is currently with the Houston Astros, was suspended for hGH in April of 2008 while with the Gwinnett Braves, however his was a non-analytic positive – he did not test positive, rather he was suspended as part of an investigation through MLB. Schafer has continually denied using hGH.

The suspension of Jacobs, who is currently with Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific CoastLeague, is effective immediately. He marks the 48th player in the minors to be suspended as part of the drug policy this year.

See the All-Time MLB and Minor League Drug Suspension list


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Minor League Baseball Merchandise Sales Up 12% in 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 16 May 2011 12:06

MiLBMinor League Baseball announced today that its national Licensing Program experienced a 12% increase in the sales of licensed merchandise last year over 2009. The program, established in 1991, consists of the 160 clubs in the domestic-based leagues.

“Minor League Baseball is proud of the popularity that our clubs’ names, logos and merchandise have with our industry’s fans,” said MiLB Director of Licensing Sandie Hebert. “Our clubs and licensees work very hard in providing and creating merchandise that Minor League Baseball fans of all ages can enjoy.”

The MiLB national Licensing Program also released its annual report of the top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales, ranked alphabetically. Rankings are based on wholesale sales reported from January 1 – December 31, 2010.

Here is the Top 25, listed alphabetically:

  • Albuquerque Isotopes
  • Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • Carolina Mudcats
  • Charleston RiverDogs
  • Columbus Clippers
  • Corpus Christi Hooks
  • Durham Bulls
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Lake Elsinore Storm
  • Lakewood BlueClaws
  • Lansing Lugnuts
  • Lehigh Valley
  • IronPigs
  • Midland RockHounds
  • Myrtle Beach Pelicans
  • Pawtucket Red Sox
  • Portland Sea Dogs
  • Reno Aces
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels
  • Rochester Red Wings
  • Round Rock Express
  • Sacramento River Cats
  • Toledo Mud Hens
  • Trenton Thunder
  • Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Source: Minor League Baseball


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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First Official On-The-Field Rally Cap Created for Altoona Curve PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 07:49

Aloona

When it comes to pushing the envelope for uniforms, you’re likely to find it happening in Minor League Baseball. So, when word arrived this morning from Plan B. Branding that the world’s first official on-the-field rally cap had been created, you knew it was happening in the minors.

Based on the Altoona Curve mascot “Al Tuna”, who materializes from the outfield wall when the team is in need of a rally, the guys at Plan B. came up with this design.

This 59/Fifty features a “brick” fabric outer fabric with an orange satin inner lining and printed “Al Tuna” the rally tuna eyes when turned inside out.

Gotta love Minor League Baseball.


SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS:
The Labor Battle in the NFL. See BizOfFootball.com for details

Welcome to the 2011 Business of Sports Network Autism Challenge


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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