We saw a few of these successful cross-team promos in 2017, and it looks like more are on tap this season, with the temporarily renamed Bowling Green Bootleggers and Peoria Distillers battling it out in the Low-A Midwest League.
The Hot Rods began the Bootlegger Night promotion two seasons ago, which was eventually named MiLB Promo of the Year in 2016. The Chiefs changed their name to Distillers for one night in 2017, and a fun rivalry was born.
“It’s a natural rivalry,” said Hot Rods GM/COO Eric C. Leach, “We can’t wait to add another trophy to our shelf here at Bowling Green Ballpark.”
Leach and Peoria Chiefs GM Jason Mott are good friends, and after getting together around a good bottle themselves, they concocted the “Battle For The Barrel,” a traveling trophy series that will be awarded to the series winner each year.
“The rivalry just makes too much sense not to do it,” Mott said. “We already have a spot to display our newest trophy here at Dozer Park.”
This year, the Battle will go from Monday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 9, with the trophy awarded to the team which wins the series on the 9. For Tuesday night’s game, which begins at 6:35 p.m., both teams will wear their special jerseys — the Hot Rods in Bootlegger apparel, with the Chiefs wearing their Distillers jerseys.
The two GMs have a bet going on the series, with the losing team’s GM sending the other their favorite bottle of bourbon or spirit.
“I can’t wait until we win and Jason has to send me some of Peoria’s finest,” Leach said.
“I already cleaned out my Distillers whiskey glass and am ready to fill it with some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon to celebrate our win,” Mott said.
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