Akron surely will wait with bated breath for May 20 when the Aeros celebrate National Garlic Day with a promotion called Oh Halitosis! Your Breath Stinks!
It’s all part of the new ownership’s tasteful attempt to increase the public’s hunger for baseball.
It might help that every fan will be given Tic Tacs as they enter Canal Park. Inside they will learn about the health benefits of garlic.
“We are partnering with a local garlic farm and they are going to come out and talk to us about garlic and provide us with some fun facts,” said Christina Shisler, the Aeros’ promotions director.
Garlic will be available for fans’ hot dogs, too.
“There will be garlic infused in the menu,” she said.
By the way, the defending Eastern League champion Aeros will be playing the Bowie Baysox that night.
The Aeros, now in their 17th season in Akron’s Canal Park, have had wacky promotions before, but under new owner Ken Babby there will be hype every night — 71 games.
Shisler said she actually lies awake at night dreaming up promotions that push the boundaries.
“We try and keep it PC to an extent, but we like to get to that line to where people are talking because we like a little bit of — I don’t want to say controversy — but we like a little bit of talk,” she said.
That’s why midget wrestling is back on Aug. 22. Jamaican Independence Day on Aug. 8 will be part of the yearlong Thirsty Thursdays, featuring $1 beer and soft drinks.
Almost every day of the week has a theme. On Sundays, kids can play catch on the field before the game and run the bases after. Mondays will be used to raise funds for local charities. Tuesdays will offer a two-for-one sale on tickets. Fridays will have fireworks and Saturdays will have mystery public-address announcers and celebrity appearances.
Two nights will include a feature on the new 2,000-square-foot video scoreboard after the game. Families can bring blankets and lounge in the outfield during the movie.
The Three Dog Night, a hot dog stuffed in a bratwurst wrapped in a kielbasa, is among the gastric monstrosities returning for your digestion.
Babby is emphasizing greater ties with the community.
He met with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and the City Council on Monday to share his plans.
Babby said he has put together a staff of 17 who all hail from Ohio except for him. He said they want to make going to an Aeros game an affordable and fun experience for families. He said $5 tickets and $2 hot dogs will be offered all season long.
A team representative also will attend council members’ ward meetings.
Links to Akron’s heritage will be a big part of the promotions.
Ode to Oats will celebrate the city’s history of manufacturing cereal.
“We wanted to find some great local ties. Akron is known for so many wonderful things,” Shisler said. “Part of the history is oats in Akron.”
The promotion will include “Fun things on the field from potentially oat mashing or an oat-eating contest, oatmeal cookies or all the great things you think of with Akron and oats.”
Bobblehead giveaways will include the team’s radio broadcaster Jim Clark, former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and a Roger Dorn snow globe giveaway that will include an appearance by actor-director Corbin Bernsen, who played the Cleveland Indians character Dorn in the movie Major League.
The team also will make a blatant appeal to the vanity of local media stars with three bobblehead nights, one each for stars from television, radio and print. Three names will be put up on the website and fans will get to vote for the winner.
Shisler said her promotions goal is simple: “To make them the best they can be. To make them really fun so fans will walk out of the ballpark and say, ‘Oh wait, what was the score?’ ”
Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or email@example.com. Follow Scott on Twitter at Davescottofakro.