The Veeck Family Night of 100 Promotions was held at Kane County’s Elfstrom Stadium Thursday night, and frankly, there were so many promotions going on before, during and after the game, it was difficult to keep track of when every promotion took place. But I did my best to do so, and here’s a brief summary of my personal experience that night:
The gates opened at 5:30 p.m., an hour before the game started. As I entered the ballpark, I received a free Cougars cinch sack and saw Mike Veeck greeting people. After checking out the starting lineup and walking the concourse as per my usual custom upon entering any minor-league ballpark, I headed to the press box area to watch former White Sox organist Nancy Faust perform. (She played before the game, occasionally during the game, and during the 7th inning stretch.)
In addition to Veeck and Faust, baseball executive Roland Hemond was at the ballpark. All three VIPs were introduced on the field before the game.
Among the items being given away on the concourse before the game were ivy seeds (one ivy seed per person), mini bats (plastic bat rings) and cups of melted ice cubes (water).
I bought a drink and some food, sat down on the leftfield berm and watched Peoria Chiefs players do their pregame drills as I waited for my friend Andy to join me.
Dozens of promotional events took place during the game. I won the “Tweet Your Seat” contest, netting me a high five from an intern (free high fives was one of the promotions) and a couple vouchers for free admission to a future Cougars game this season. Later I caught a softee ball and avoided getting hit by a water balloon.
I realize this was because the Cougars staff had to come up with 100 promotions, but some of the promotions barely qualified as such in my opinion. For example, one promotion was that fans could get a list of the 100 promotions. Another promotion was free copies of the Grand Slam Gazette, even though the Cougars always give away copies of their program for free.
Regardless, it was a fun night at the ballpark. More than 10,000 people attended the game, which lasted 11 innings and was won 9-6 by the Chiefs. Afterward we watched a pretty good fireworks show and ran the bases (usually a promotion that only kids can do).
The Cougars should consider making the Night of 100 Promotions an annual event.