Forging Ahead With Wade

Dear Wade Howell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads]:

Sorry for the delay in my response to your exciting news. I was in the savage throes of a Cactus League weekend, avoiding mobile sects of human trafficking and driving around town with in a Lyft with a certified lunatic and a bunch of Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys. This is the land where Hunter S. Thompson refused to visit because of he knew he could not hang. You should have seen the look on our driver’s face when my friend asked her if she minded stopping for some zip ties and duct tape. I hope one day soon you get to meet my friend as he is from your area, but more on that in a bit.

I did notice that you had been assigned the Hickory organization, but I did not congratulate you because I was not sure if it was a promotion or punishment. I hope the Rangers are adequately compensating you for duties with the Crawdads. Have they released their promotion schedule yet? I see they are missing a mannequin also, but have the sense to take pictures of the merchandise on clothes hangers instead of just throwing them on the floor and shooting them with a cell phone.

I will let you choose what merchandise you would like to send me. I would humbly request a shot glass if possible. You see, I have a shot glass freezer on my bar, and I would love to be able to reach in there and pull out the Wood Ducks shot glass and fill it with Fireball or tequila. Those silly ‘Peckers do not have shot glasses because they are too bust completing their Death Star. I thank you again for your generosity.

The idea of me throwing out a first pitch is very intriguing. I would not be coming with my dogs though, but my wife and children named Sweet Tea and White Lightning. We are embarking on a cross country road trip in July. I was going to try to swing through North Carolina to see the ‘Peckers new park at one point in that trip. Perhaps I can arrange a detour to Kinston – or fly out there.

I do have a serious idea for a promotion/group night whether I make it or not. You know that lunatic referenced at the beginning of this missive? Well, he is on the Society of American Baseball Research’s board of directors. He has implored me to reach out to you on his behalf to create a SABR chapter night at your park. You might be thinking, “Do I really want those blue hairs in our park arguing whether or not Ted Williams was a an effective hitting instructor, or did pitchers eventually just starting busting his hitters with fastballs because they lacked the power to really hurt the defense by taking pitches?” This is a valid concern, especially since the lunatic can get very vocal, but your beer sales will triple for that game.

I believe my friend might be also interested in your organization sending a speaker to a chapter meeting. Perhaps you and Alexa can make an appearance and discuss a bit of the history in Kinston, including how it was the host to an outlaw league team in 1920-21. Better yet, get one of those guys to make the historical presentation; it is what they do! Or maybe you can talk about the Four Gospels of Minor League Baseball: Corporate Sponsorship, Promotions, Fan Retention, and Groups Sales. Whatever the case, bring lots of bourbon and Mountain Dew.

Let me solidify my summer travel schedule this week. Until then, let’s continue to think how we can promote this Woodies/’Peckers rivalry thing, or as I like to call it, “The Battle for The Wood.” I thought of that driving home from the Cactus League – you have to admit that is goddamn genius. I tried to think of clever slogans for the Wood Ducks, but did not get much more than “We Bring the Wood”, which would sell a great deal of shirts if you if had a proper mannequin, but I think we can do better. I have requested some outside assistance on this one – so far, the only thing they have produced is “We are Down To Duck”. We are working on things with “quack” and “quacker”, and a “Duck, duck, wood.” I will keep you updated.

I have to run for now – I need to tell Austin Schwartz [Vice President, Sales & Marketing; Fayetteville Woodpeckers] that you have offered me to throw out a first pitch.

Your friend in baseball,


PS: Have you ever heard of Pack the Park Night?

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