Dear Mike Abramson [General Manager; Hartford Yard Goats]:
Good day, sir, and congratulations to your organization for an outstanding season attendance wise, drawing an average of 6,193 per game in a stadium with an official capacity go 6,127 (maximum capacity 6,850). That is keynote speaker material at the Minor League Baseball Innovators Summit later this month in El Paso. Do not feel bad if you did not get invited to speak though as often minor league baseball politics trumps merit at the convention.
You may not of heard of me, but I am kind of a big deal on certain minor league circuits. Officially, I am now the Inland Empire 66ers’ Thirsty Thursday Ambassador — I think it is official — General Manager Joe Hudson gave me a stack of business cards with the team logo and my title in Fan Appreciation Night, although we never finalized a formal contract because of the copious alcohol consumption that night. However, my duties are not limited to Thirsty Thursday or to the 66ers. I travel from park to park across the land, hobnobbing with minor league executives, helping to improve the overall experience of minor league ball in these troubling times of continued attendance decline.
This summer, I threw out a first pitch in Kinston, NC at the request of Wade Howell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads], and drank top shelf liquor in the air conditioned Aevex Veteran’s Club at Segra Stadium through an invitation from Austin Schwartz [Vice President, Sales and Marketing; Fayetteville Woodpeckers] and Ben Hughes [Manager, Marketing and Communications; Fayetteville Woodpeckers]. I visited twenty minor league parks this summer, including Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford. Even though I was spread sort of thin, the 66ers led the California League in attendance, no doubt in part because of my appearances at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California.
I did not attend a game in your fine palace of product placement, but I hung out in your team store for a while on a game day, purchasing some of your excellent team merchandise and sharing stories of the road with your two young employees working the counter that day. I am sure I left a lasting impression on the youths because that is just how I roll. We did not stay for a game because we had a game to attend in Manchester that night. The horseshoe bar in Northeast Delta Dental Stadium is legendary, plus there were some rather scary looking women in yoga attire chopping peanuts with a razor across the street, and snorting the powder into their nostrils while cackling about fascist reactions to peanut allergies. Or maybe that was in Norwich; things tend to blend together when you are on an 11,000 mile baseball road trip. I do remember the city of Hartford’s 4.5 million’s yearly bond payment feeling oppressive, so we moved on with no regrets.
I would like to return to your outstanding stadium to see a Yard Goats’ game rather than sneaking through a gate to capture some pictures on the concourse like I did this year, perhaps even as early as next season. I do have a very pertinent question though. Does your team have an exclusive deal with Dunkin Donuts? Theoretically, could the concession stands serve Tim Horton’s?
Look as you probably know, like you, I sold my soul to Dunkin Donuts a long time ago, but the maple donuts that Tim Horton’s offer are so superior, plus I had a little incident in Boston. I told the kid at DD that his company could learn a great deal about making donuts from the Vietnamese. Apparently, they are not open to constructive criticism there because HOLY SHIT SHOW! Even the homeless vet outside the store has something to say about this suggestion. I was able to contain the situation because I know when discussing matters with Bostonians, it is important to shower them with praise to assuage both their ego and insecurities. For instance, one might say, “Wow, you have really overcome that Southie accent, and it is only noticeable when you get so mad you facial tick flares up.” You know what is great fun to tell people from Massachusetts? “You aren’t are liberal. You are just a Kennedy Democrat.”
Anyway, I need to get going because so many clubs need help with their minor league promotional schedules, and the planning starts now. I am sure we will be in touch this offseason.
Your friend in baseball,