Dear Austin Schwartz [Vice President, Sales & Marketing; Fayetteville Woodpeckers] and Ben Hughes [Manager, Marketing and Communications; Fayetteville Woodpeckers]:
As you have probably realized by now, I did not make the trip from Southern California to Fayetteville for the first round of the Carolina League playoffs. I was seriously considering it, but Hurricane Dorian is a saucy shrew, so I did not book a flight. Once I saw your organization’s two playoff games had been reduced to a minor league double header, I realized I made the correct choice. Bads85 does not travel across the country for fourteen innings on a singular day.
I was also thinking the tickets might be difficult to get for the game, even for a fan of my stature. Watching the second game on MiLBTV today proved that to be a fallacy. 1,346 in paid attendance? I guess Fayetteville just is not ready for the big lights of the playoffs yet, but that will change over time. Your organization might be outdrawn in the playoffs by Woodies. To be fair, Wade Howell [Vice President; Down East Wood Ducks and Hickory Crawdads] has been selling those tickets since I visited Historic Grainger Stadium this summer.
Pro tip for the future: the playoffs in the minors are hard sells. Greatly reduce ticket prices and put bodies in the stands. Playoff bobbleheads work great also — the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are having a Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead giveaway this Friday. I will not be attending because I despise their insolent fan base and aloof front office.
I am sure you also received the news that the Inland Empire 66ers honored me with an official title and stack of business cards — I am the Thirsty Thursday Ambassador, and with that comes great privilege and responsibility. Well, I think it is an official title; I have not really heard from the team since the end of the season. They are probably still celebrating being the number one organization in attendance in the California League this year. Maybe I will stop by there tomorrow to show them my nifty spreadsheet I created, a spread sheet that sorts individual game attendance by day of the week.
I know you have the playoffs to still worry about, but have you finalized your plans to attend the Minor League Baseball Innovators Summit later this month in El Paso? I am sure Mark Zarthar [President; Fayetteville Woodpeckers] is sending you guys out there. All the best minds in the minors will be there, and maybe some drool cups from the Winston-Salem Dash. I do not think I am receiving any awards there this year, but I do not do this for recognition, but because I have a deep respect for the culture of minor league baseball.
Hey, will Healy’s Right Field Bar be open for the MLB postseason and college football this fall? I would hate to see Healy’s battened down all the way until spring. Nothing builds a season ticket base faster than having vocals drink in the bar in the off season —- actually I do not know if that is true or not; I just made it up. It feels right though, and as you well know, my intuitions often mirror reality with stunning resolution. I do not think I can make it to Fayetteville this fall because of multiple Arizona Fall League trips planned, plus the Mexican Winter League trip in Mexicali this Veteran’s Day weekend, a trip that should be mandatory for all young minor league executives.
Are the ‘Peckers going to have a Copa de la Diversion identity next year? Because I think so highly of you guys, let me give you some more MARKETING GOLD. Adopt the Águilas Aztecas (Aztec Eagles] as your identity. These guys were the 201st Fighter Squadron of Mexico in World War II that saw combat operations in the Pacific. They flew P-47 Thunderbolts, which is a bad ass plane that will sell many, may t-shirts, especially with a screaming Aztec eagle in the cockpit.
Sometimes I give myself goosebumps with my ideas.
Your friend in baseball,