Results tagged ‘ thirst-day thursday ’

Last Chance

Here we go. The last hoorah. One last rodeo.

It’s hard to believe, but the 2009 baseball season is coming to a close. The last homestand of the season begins tonight. Just three home games remain before the River Bandits go into hibernation for seven months. Scary thought, right?

Fortunately, the River Bandits are going out with a bang. Big surprise, right? Like you never saw that one coming. If you’ve learned anything over the last two years, I hope it is the meaning of the words “Bandit-style.”

Tonight is Modern Woodmen Half-Price Night at the ballpark, and our friends at Modern Woodmen of America are also giving away River Bandits hats to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. I think people in the Quad Cities have realized over the last few years that not every naming rights deal is an evil corporate alliance. Modern Woodmen of America has proven that, enabling the River Bandits to lower ticket prices while offering a series of half-price nights and even hosting a nightly in-game promotion in which they give away money!

Oh by the way, the Klement’s Racing Sausages will be at Modern Woodmen Park tonight. You know, those sausages that famously race around Miller Park in Milwaukee? That’s right. We got ’em.

Tomorrow’s game (Thursday) will be special for a number of reasons. First, as those of you who read this blog regularly already know, Cardinals’ 2009 first-round pick Shelby Miller will make his professional debut. He will start and throw one inning, so don’t be late! If you ever wanted to know what an 18-year-old throwing high ’90s cheese with a hammer breaking ball looks like, this is your chance. It will also be the last Thirst-day Thursday of the year ($2 drink specials) and the popular Tattoo Night! Bill’s Garage Tattoo Emporium will be here giving FREE River Bandits tattoos. Anybody that gets one will then be able to show the tattoo at the box office next season and receive a free berm ticket to ANY game!

And, alas, Friday will follow. The last home game of the season. Of course, the River Bandits have to go out in style… Bandit-style that is!

Friday will feature a Modern Woodmen Park first – the Bandit Wedding. The promotion was the winner of last winter’s Name the Promotion contest and has been in the planning process ever since. All of a sudden, we’ve got a wedding for nearly 700 people on our hands! Michael Spain and Ashley Baxter will get married on the field one hour before game time, and then will party all night with their friends and family in the reception on the Suite Level.

Friday will also be Fan Appreciation Night, and we’ve got prizes from all over the Quad Cities to give to you. The evening will then wind down in true Bandit-style fashion, with the most extravagant fireworks display of the year lighting up the night sky to celebrate another great season on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The next three days should be a blast. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Welcome to August!

Hard to believe, but here we are. We’ve played over 100 games and nearly four months. The River Bandits have traveled all over the Midwest. We’ve seen wins and losses, 14-inning games and rain-shortened seven-inning affairs, blowouts, suspended games, and a host of other twists and turns that inevitably pop up over the course of a full season. That’s why you’ve gotta love this game.

I am writing this post from Grand Chute, Wisconsin, a suburb of Appleton about 30 miles southwest of Green Bay. For a born-and-raised Chicago Bears fan like me, this is as close as I get to enemy territory. I can practically feel the green and yellow Kryptonite pushing me away.

But not so fast! We’ve got two games left to play against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium. The River Bandits blew out the Rattlers last night, 7-0, thanks in large part to another great starting performance by Arquimedes Nieto. You gotta love this guy. He’s 20 years old, listed at 175 pounds, and no way he  touches six feet tall – but he’s got a wicked changeup and when his control is on he’s dangerous. Most guys, especially ones with a slight build like his, wear down as the season goes on. But not “Arqy.” He finished July with a 2.72 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36.1 innings, making it easily his best month of the season.

After this trip we’ve got another loaded homestand coming up Monday-Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? It wasn’t more than two years ago that our homestands were plain, boring and as run-of-the-mill as you could get. Now, even a four-day, middle-of-the-week homestand is loaded with promotions. 

Tuesday and Wednesday will be two huge crowds thanks to the annual events held at the ballpark by the Quad Cities Homebuilders & Remodelers Association and the Optimists International. If you like candy – and the huge success of last week’s candy drop makes me thing that more than a few of you do – we’ve also got Halloween in August coming on Wednesday. I might even try to sneak away from the radio booth to see if I can knock on some suite doors and go trick-or-treating!

But the most unique thing going on this week is on Thursday. Never mind the $2 drink specials on a Thirst-day Thursday. Never mind a special Thursday night fireworks show after the game. DID YOU KNOW THERE WAS A PROFESSIONAL PILLOW FIGHTING LEAGUE?!?!?!

Yup, it’s for real. I’m dead series. Click here for proof. They’ve even got instructions on how to try out. Now look, I’m a married man. Happily married in fact. Wendy, if you’re reading this, I love you more than anything in the world.

But the day a bunch of cute, young and energetic women pillowfighting in front of a beer-infused crowd doesn’t sound like fun is the day I need to be checked into a nursing home.