I Welcome the Gwinnett Stripers to Thirsty Thursday.

Dear Kyle Kamerbeek [Promotion Coordinator; Gwinnett Stripers]:

I read today that your organization has finally embraced Thirsty Thursdays, so I feel compelled to welcome you to the LAND OF THE LIVING. You see, I am the Thirsty Thursday Ambassador of the California League and Beyond, a title bestowed upon me by Joe Hudson {General Manager, Inland Empire 66ers and two time California League Executive of the Year]. I am not sure why it took the Stripers this long to embrace one of the greatest tradition in all of sports (probably something not do with archaic liquor laws in Lawrenceville, Georgia), but soon the fans at CoolRay Field will be basking in the glory of cheap beer on Thursday nights. This should boost your organization’s sagging attendance (last in the International League) and make your bosses at Liberty Media happy.

Since you have only been at your position for about a month, please allow a grizzled minor league road warrior like myself to offer you some advice about Thirsty Thursday. As a smart guy like you has probably already deduced, you ain’t in Texas anymore. You are a long way from a Whataburger, and CoolRay Field is not exactly surrounded by eateries, so you better have some food specials on Thursday, lest the locals get bombed out of their mind and want to go hunting out of season, if you know what I mean. 

You also should have a social area where the drinkers can converge and you know, socialize. I am not talking about places like the Foul Pole Water Hole or the Base Docks where the bourgeois pigs flex their corporate credit cards. I am talking about a place where every ticket holder can drift to share oral tradition while sipping on those Thirsty Thursday beers rather than drunkenly heckle the home team. This creates a sense of fan identity that draws people back to the park, even if Crazy Eddie vomits in the Charger. Put a couple of TVs in this area so fans can watch highlights of other games and PGA tour events.

Hey, if your teams is named after a fish, why is Chopper the Groundhog your mascot? After riding shotgun with Orbit all those years, are you going to be able to hang with this Chopper fellow? I doubt he will have the professional work ethic as Orbit, who probably has the most integrity of anyone who still remains in the Houston Astros’ organization. Orbit was not banging on any trashcans. Maybe your organization should put Chopper to rest in a Caddyshack sort of way on a fireworks night. I am sure you are thinking, “Bads85, fish don’t have feet. How can we have a mascot without any feet?” You are right, Kyle, fish do not have any feet, but fishermen do. You need a big fisherman mascot named Gaffy Bigstick who casts his rod from the dugout. Nurtured with the proper love, Gaffy will become the beloved identity of the county.

Here is a promotional idea that fits your organization: Bass Boat Regatta Night. Offer half price admission for any piscatory who brings his fishing boat to the stadium. Fire up some grills in the parking lot, sell some discounted beers, and throw the biggest tailgate party Gwinnett County has ever seen. Maybe even have a beauty contest where a local looker gets a crown. Put an intern in a dinosaur suit and have him run through the parking lot because kids love dinosaurs. Make sure the intern remains properly hydrated though. Dead interns ruin regattas, and the paperwork. Oh Lord, the paperwork. 

You are probably thinking, “Who is this visionary who has suddenly come into my life?” I am just a guy who has been around, Kyle, traveling from park to park, looking for a good story, a swell drink special, and crisp commemorative t-shirts (the Bass Boat Regatta t-shirt will almost design itself). I have never been to Gwinnett because there were never Thirsty Thursdays before, plus your stadium is a bit off the beaten path. However, now that the Stripers have Thirsty Thursdays, that all could change.

Your friend in baseball,


PS: Not only am I the Thirsty Thursday of the California League and Beyond, I am the Generalissimo of the Army of the Night.

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