With nearly an eighth of a season in the books, the 4-16 Milwaukee Brewers are playing historically bad baseball right now. Not only does the franchise have the absolute worst record in the league at the moment (the seven-win Washington Nationals are the next worst), many Wisconsin sports fans have already written off the 2015 Brew Crew and, instead, have their sights fixed on the increasingly exciting Bucks playoff series or potential Green Bay Packers draft picks. Sure, people will still come out to the park, what with such lucrative promos as the forthcoming 5-County 5-Day Celebration, all-fan bobblehead giveaways, T-shirt Fridays, and “Oh fuck, we mistakenly made Scooter Gennett our everyday second baseman and can’t sell tickets worth a shit” late July through September. However, some people only see value in supporting a team with potential to win with some regularity.
Those people are in luck! As the Brewers languish in last place, a lesser known team a few miles north on I-43 will take the diamond to defend its title. Last year’s Northwoods League champions, the Lakeshore Chinooks, are set to begin their season soon. Okay, it’s actually close to a month away, but the promotional schedule is out now and—let’s be honest here—that’s the only reason you’re considering seeing a bunch of fringe 19-year-old collegiate ballplayers dick around in Mequon this summer. Beyond the possibility of witnessing a Lakeshore Chinooks repeat, the team has arranged for ex-wrestlers, giveaways, nostalgic movie nights, and terribly outdated promotions geared towards women to get people in the seats. Here’s Milwaukee Record‘s handy dandy/almost exclusively promotion-related Chinooks season preview.
Throughout the season
Since the 2014 squad won the Northwoods League title (suck it, Kalamazoo Growlers!), many of the Chinooks’ early promotions have something to do with their championship season. Fans get a 2014 Champions pennant on May 28, a “Championship Gill” bobblehead two games later, and a 2014 Championship t-shirt May 31. Subsequent months find the team giving away a “2014 Championship Ring Replica” (June 5), a “2014 Championship Beer Glass” (June 6), and a “2014 Championship Commemorative Coin” (June 15). After that, the team figures you get this idea about that 2014 Championship stuff.
Since nothing says baseball in Wisconsin like thoughtlessly wedging football into the game experience, the June 7 Chinooks game will serve as a rickety platform for “Green & Gold Night,” featuring 1990s Green Bay Packers center Frank Winters. Was William Henderson busy or something?
June 8, June 22, and August 5
The first “College Night” is likely already circled on many a dorm calendar, as it features an IMAGINE DRAGONS CONCERT…ticket drawing. Baseball is fun to watch at almost any level, but if it alone isn’t enough to get you to buy a ticket, perhaps the slight possibility of winning a ticket to a second (more expensive) event will get you out to the park. The Chinooks marketing department apparently thinks it is, as ticket giveaway drawings for BMO Harris concerts by Imagine Dragons, Mötley Crüe (June 22), and The Who (August 5) double as that game’s promo. This is still a better promotion than a post-game concert.
Piggybacking off the team’s now-traditional “Star Wars Night” (which also occurs at countless other Major League and Minor League ballparks around the country), “Jurassic Park Night” will roar into Kapco Park on the final night of spring. Once summer strikes, “Back To The Future/’80s Night” (June 22) and the aforementioned “Star Wars Night” (July 18) will come to the diamond. You simply haven’t watched young men from Division 1 baseball schools play baseball until you’ve done so while cosplaying as Biff Tannen, Jar Jar Binks or the dinosaur that blinded Wayne Knight.
Despite never playing for nor coaching the Chinooks, and the fact he’s currently managing an MLB team that isn’t the Brewers, 2015 is the year Paul Molitor gets his bobblehead. Though the basis of this giveaway is solely the team’s proximity to the city where the Hall Of Famer did his best work, we suppose this type of giveaway makes more sense than issuing a figurine honoring the team’s most renowned former player/Jonathan Lucroy’s little brother: Whatever His Name Is Lucroy.
Taking the example set by the Milwaukee Brewers’ “Brewed For Her” night, the team a few miles away wanted to get on the fun of having tragically outdated promotions that are geared towards stereotypical perceptions of women, since as we all know, NO women like sports. Right, ladies?! Thanks to Allure Salon & Spa, the first 500 women 13 and older will get a “Baseball’s Allure For Women” gift bag stuffed with hair care items, other toiletries, and a free drink voucher. No word on whether women will need to balance a book on their head while walking to redeem the beverage voucher. “Princess Night” is August 8.
Nothing goes together like independent baseball and professional wrestling. After the apparent success of last year’s Hacksaw Jim Duggan appearance, the Chinooks marketing department swung for the fences this year by booking 21-time (combined) WWE, WCW, and TNA champion Kevin “Big Sexy” Nash to sign autographs the day before his 56th birthday.
The Lakeshore Chinooks 2015 season begins May 26, and the home opener is May 28. If the season worth of promotions isn’t enough, you might also be happy to learn that some semblance of baseball games are played as well.