Eugene Bound?

Dear Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds]:

Good day, sir. I write to you during these troubled times of minor league contraction as a minor league ambassador to share a great idea for a promotion: Garrison Lassiter Night. I am sure by now you have heard of this gentlemen who sued to Yankees for allowing Derek Jeter to block his career. Stunts like this should be immortalized in the minor league for one summer night because raising a toast to train wrecks belching toxic plumes in the mountain pass are a poignant reminder that we are all one failed promotion away from a new career in retail — well, except for me because I am spiritually wealthy with skill sets that allow for a great deal of forgiveness. 

I pitched this idea to Hunter Horenstein [Director of Fan Engagement; Myrtle Beach Pelicans], but he has uncharacteristically not responded, probably because he is too busy making sure everyone in his area has taken down their holiday decorations in a timely manner. I would pitch the idea to Anna Forslin [Promotions Manager; Inland Empire 66ers], but I think she is still a little bit intimidated by my fame in the California League (I was a celebrity judge for a burrito truck throw down, which is a pretty big deal in the Inland Empire, as you well know since you cut your teeth at Lake Elsinore). Our paths probably crossed back then, and I apologize that I never made the effort to initiate a conversation, but I was busy saving rock n’ roll. 

I took in a Northwest League opener at PK Park circa 2016. It was the last baseball game I watched with my acquaintance Bongwater, who was already well on his way to dropping out of society, and probably on the run from the Feds. He was living in Astoria then, and he met us on a misty night before he slipped over the Canadian border, perhaps for good. As you can imagine, PK Park has a special place in my baseball annals. I hope to get back there soon, but a minor league vagabond is never certain which horizon will gently call next. 

2016 was the year you deservedly received the Northwest League Executive of the Year. I do not think it is a coincidence that you won the year I visited your stadium though, even though I had nothing to do with your admirable efforts. Good things just seem to happen to organizations who show me  good time because of my tight relationship with the baseball gods. Joe Hudson [General Manager. Inland Empire 66ers] was been awarded to the California League Executive of the Year twice in the last three years, which is about the time I started writing his front office.

Since I just gave you a Golden Bobblehead nomination with the Garrison Lassiter Night idea, perhaps you can do me a favor in return. I would like to purchase some Emeralds’ attire, but nothing in your online team store appears to have “Eugene” on it. I travel all over the country to visit minor league parks, wearing shirts from other organizations as conversation starters. After all, minor league shirts are tattoos on our souls. It saves me a great deal of time when the organization’s home city is on the shirt so I do not have to explain to Drunk Betty in Fayetteville that the Emeralds’ play in Eugene, not in Columbia, South Carolina. This might seem like a very little thing, but when you talk to as many people as I do, it cuts into the sharing of oral tradition. If you could suggest to your merchandise people to design some gear with “Eugene” emblazoned on it, I would be forever grateful. 

Since I am a giver, here is another suggestion. Your two “models” on the men’s apparel page look like a Father/Son Unabomber combination. I know that look is fashionable up there, but this is the year 2020, and minor league marketing is nationwide. The Missoula PaddleHeads are selling stuff across the country via the friendly Amazon Delivery Dude as are the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and the Wichita Wind Surge. Trust me, Papa and Jr. Kaczynski are not on their team shop page. I am sure these two gentlemen are fine, outstanding citizens of Eugene, and I am not the shallow type to judge by appearance, but Clara in Orange County is not buying her husband an Ems’ jersey when she sees those two. Perhaps you should have a gentleman who looks more like Benedict Cumberbatch modeling that apparel. 

Anyway, I am sure will be discussing all things minor league baseball in the future, so I am going to cut this short. Garrison Lassiter Night. Make it happen!

Your friend in baseball,


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