Minor League Baseball teams will be celebrating the Fourth of July weekend in style, with a variety of unique promotions that include weekend long events, historic recreations, and presidential bobbleheads, all of which will be covered in this week’s Promotions Watch.
Independence Day has become a weekend-long opportunity for teams to undertake different promotions. Across the industry come special Fourth of July caps and jerseys, often auctioned off to benefit veteran-related charities. Some Military Appreciation Day jerseys have been covered here previously, including a three-game promotion from the Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League)—who will auction off their jerseys in August—as well as an Independence Day patriotic pink uniform top from the Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League). Pictures is the special jersey from the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), to be worn by the team on July 3rd, with proceeds benefiting the Salvation Army.
Fans in other locations will have plenty of opportunities over the holiday weekend to obtain a game-worn patriotic jersey or hat. The Omaha Storm Chasers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), Beloit Snappers (Low A; Midwest League), Missoula Osprey (Rookie; Pioneer League), Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), Jackson Generals (Class AA; Southern League), Bradenton Marauders (High A; Florida State League), and Lancaster JetHawks (High A; California league) will be among the clubs selling game-worn jerseys on July 3. The Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will also be auctioning off jerseys on July 3, when the first 4,000 fans through the gates of First Tennessee Park will receive a free Independence Day t-shirt.
On July 4, there will be more jerseys up for grabs, featuring a selection of teams that includes but is not limited to the Syracuse Chiefs (Class AAA; International League), Mississippi Braves (Class AA; Southern League), Gwinnett Braves (Class AAA; International League), Peoria Chiefs (Low A; Midwest League), Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A; Midwest League), and Indianapolis Indians (Class AA; International League). Independence Day will be eventful at Avista Stadium—home of the Spokane Indians (Short Season A; Northwest League)—which will be the finish line for the morning 4th of July Pennant Run before the Indians feature special jerseys and a firework show as part of that night’s game.
Game-worn hats will be made available over the July 3-4 stretch by a variety of teams, including the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Class AAA; International League), Everett Aqua Sox (Short Season A; Northwest League), Rancho Cucamunga Quakes (High A; California League), Bowling Green Hot Rods (Low A; Midwest League), Frederick Keys (High A; Carolina League) and Stockton Ports (Class A; California league). Replicas of Stars & Stripes caps will be available as merchandise over the weekend by clubs such as the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), Lakewood BlueClaws (Low A; Sally League), and Toledo Mud Hens (Class AAA; International League).
Those looking for a twist to the patriotic themes will want to check out the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low A; Midwest League) and Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), who will don Captain America uniforms. The TinCaps will break out their jerseys on July 4, when they will honor all first responders in addition to military personnel as part of a busy night at Parkview Field that will include a visit from the ZOOperstars and admission for Downtown Fort Wayne’s firework show. Out in Fresno, the Grizzlies will take the field in their Captain America uniforms on July 5 as part of Military Appreciation Night at Chukchansi Park.
One other interesting trend to emerge this year is weekend-long promotions. The Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will host a Red, White and Blue Weekend at Dell Diamond. Post-game firework shows are slated for July 4 and July 5, with a separate Military Appreciation Night scheduled for July 6. For that game, the Express will take the field in camouflage jerseys that feature the names of 400 veterans and soldiers. The uniform tops will be available in a post-game auction that benefits Guardians for Heroes and Base Camp 40.
The Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) will have a busy weekend at Modern Woodman Park, which will play host to back-to-back to firework shows beginning on July 2—the date of the River Bandits’ Halloween in July promotion. After a two-game road series, the River Bandits will come home on July 6 for their weekly Military Monday special, which gives $1 admission to former and current military personnel as well as their families.
Elsewhere, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A; Midwest League) will host a Military Appreciation Weekend that features a jersey auction on July 4, followed the next day by a hat auction. Thanks to some beneficial scheduling, the Tri-City Valley Cats (Short Season A; New York-Penn League) will be home from July 1-6. This has given the club ample time for promotions, as they have scheduled a military appreciation night for July 2, followed by fireworks in each of the next two nights before capping the weekend with a patriotic jersey auction.
After two consecutive firework promotions, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) will offer a recreation of one of the American Revolution’s most iconic speeches on July 6. The St. John’s Church Foundation will stage a reenactment of Patrick Henry’s 1775 “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech. The recreation—which will feature reenactors playing delegates to the Second Virginia Convention, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson—will take place prior to the game.
To cap their celebration of the Fourth of July weekend, the Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League) will honor a former president who is now depicted in the team’s main logo. As a tribute to Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt on July 5, the RoughRiders will hand out Swinging Teddy Bobbleheads to the first 2,000 fans in attendance.
After his stint as assistant secretary of the United States Navy, Roosevelt became a commander for the First United States Volunteer Calvary—which became known as the Rough Riders—during the Spanish-American War. While Frisco has honored the Rough Riders since the team’s inaugural season in 2003, they decided to work Roosevelt into its primary logo prior to this season.
And, of course, there are plenty of promotions over the Independence Day weekend not specifically about the red, white and blue. One of the most notable promos in all of Minor League Baseball takes place on July 5, when the Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) hosts Seinfeld Night 2: Bigger, Better & Bania, the successor to last season’s popular Seinfeld promo. The Cyclones will sport jerseys based on Kramer’s famous outfit, with Little Jerry bobbleheads the order of the day as well.
Celebrating Independence Day while watching baseball has long been a standard practice for many Americans. However, the promotions this year add another element to that tradition by giving fans an opportunity to take in unique events, giveaways, and memorabilia auctions that honor the tradition of the United States.