Allowing the fans to run the bases after the game is a staple of minor league baseball teams across the country. In the hundreds of minor league games I have attended over the years I have seen fans run the bases dozens of times. I have yet to see as many fans run the bases at one time as you see in this video from a recent El Paso Diablos game where fans of the independent American Association team run the bases in droves.
Back in the mid 1990’s Rick Forney was a promising young arm in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He burst onto the scene as a 19 year old going 7-0 with a 2.19ERA on a GCL Orioles. Two years later he went 14-8 with a 2.78ERA for the High-A Frederick Keys. However after two seasons with the Double-A Bowie Baysox that resulted in an ERA near five and a brief stop in Triple-A, Forney’s big league dreams fizzled at age 23. From there he pitched in various independent leagues for the next five seasons before retiring from baseball at age 28 while a member of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Forney is now in his 6th season as the manager of the Goldeyes where he recently received the American Association Manager of the Year Award. The story below gives a brief look at Forney’s managerial career and the big crowds he is helping draw to Winnipeg.
Forney named top skipper — WinnipegFreePress.com
This has got to qualify as the best independent league promotion of the year. The Gary South Shore Railcats on the American Association brought in legendary competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi to throw out the first pitch, sign autographs, and take on fans in a hamburger eating contest. In addition to those festivities Kobayashi even filmed a classic commercial for the club. All three videos below are all kinds of awesome.
Kobayashi Throws Out The First Pitch & Downs Burgers
More of the Eating Contest, Autograph Signing, and Interview
Awesome Commercial Spot