2021 Minors promos to look forward to

A season-opening look at theme nights and giveaways, from absurd to the sublime

May 4th, 2021

Minor League Baseball front office members don't determine who plays for the team they work for. That's a job for the Major League parent club. But what they do determine is the entertainment experience, a something-for-everyone smorgasbord augmented by a full-to-bursting promotional calendar.

If you're a fan of bobbleheads, absurd theme nights, regional food-based alternate identities, grassroots community initiatives and all manner of pop culture-based commemorations, then Minor League Baseball is the place for you. What follows is an overview of notable 2021 Minor League team promotions, encompassing many styles and moods. As the weather warms, the days get longer and ballpark capacity (hopefully) increases, more promotions are sure to be announced. Many will be familiar, some won't go as planned and a select few just may enter the pantheon of all-time classics. Stay tuned, and read on.

Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals)
Thank You Tuesday; May 4 and every subsequent Tuesday home game

In Omaha, and surely in many other Minor League locales, there will be a season-long emphasis on the everyday heroes who have stepped up for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Storm Chasers are paying tribute to frontline essential workers all season long via their recurring "Thank You Tuesday" promotions, the first of which takes place on Opening Night. Each "Thank You Tuesday" will focus on a different industry, whose members will be celebrated during the game. The team is currently accepting submissions from fans wishing to nominate workers who deserve special recognition at the ballpark.

Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays)
Record-Breaking Night with .462 t-shirt giveaway, May 13th

In 1978, Gary Redus hit .462 -- a Minor League record -- as a member of the Billings Mustangs. 43 years later, the Montgomery Biscuits are giving away a t-shirt commemorating this legendary season. Redus is now a member of the Biscuits coaching staff, so it all makes sense.

Daytona Tortugas (Low-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds)
Jackie Robinson Celebration Day with No. 9 uniforms, May 15

The late start to the 2021 season meant that Minor League teams were unable to properly celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 15. The Tortugas are staging their annual iteration one month later, with every player on the team wearing Dodgers-style jerseys featuring the number 9. Robinson wore that single digit during 1946 Spring Training, which was held in Daytona Beach, Fla., and marked his first games as a member of the Dodgers organization. These historic games took place at the ballpark the Tortugas currently call home. Originally known as City Island Park, it was renamed in Robinson's honor in 1989.

Columbia Fireflies (Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals)
We Are Fireflies theme jerseys, May 15

The #WeAreFireflies campaign, announced last July, gave fans the opportunity to have their name placed on a theme jersey that the team would wear during the first Saturday of the 2021 season. That day arrives on May 15. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with proceeds benefiting Homeless No More.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (High-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers)
Udder Tuggers Weekend, June 3-6

Beginning in 2009, the Timber Rattlers have staged an annual Salute to Cows promotion honoring the local dairy industry. In 2019, they milked this evening for all it was worth by playing a game as the Udder Tuggers. This bovine bonanza is even bigger in 2021, as the Udder Tuggers are taking the field for four consecutive ballgames. Giveaway items during this time include a Budder Cup the Cow bobblehead (June 3), a stress cow (June 5) and an Udder Tuggers fanny pack (June 6).

Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays)
Toilet Paper Night, June 26
When it comes to commemorating 2020, the RiverDogs are taking a satirical approach. Toilet Paper Night, which the team lists as its "number two" promo of the season, is dedicated to remembering when toilet paper was America's hottest commodity. The first 1000 fans in attendance receive a complimentary roll.

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins)
"The Ocean Called..." bobblehead giveaway, July 10

In the "Seinfeld" episode "The Comeback," George Costanza gorges on shrimp cocktail during a work meeting. This inspires co-worker Reilly to say "Hey, George, the ocean called; they're running out of shrimp."

"Everyone does a Seinfeld Night. We needed to figure out a way to tie it us," said Jumbo Shrimp promotions director David Ratz. "So we're doing a bobblehead of George stuffing his face with shrimp."

Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants)
Richmond 34 Legacy Weekend, July 16-17

The Richmond 34 were a group of protestors who, in 1960, were arrested after a peaceful sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter in downtown Richmond. The repercussions of this action were felt in Richmond and throughout the Civil Rights Movement. The Flying Squirrels have retired the number 34 in tribute, and a "Richmond 34" mural has been painted on the façade of the team's ballpark. Richmond 34 Legacy Weekend takes place July 16-17, celebrating "local leaders both past and present who have made contributions in the push for social justice and racial equality."

Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins)
Festival of Crabzilla, August 11

The Blue Wahoos' Crabzilla, a gargantuan seafood sandwich, debuted in 2019. Last year, the team unveiled a Crabzilla logo and corresponding merchandise. The next phase in this ongoing evolution occurs on August 11, when the team takes the field as the Crabzillas. The uniforms haven't been revealed, but the Blue Wahoos proudly state that they will be among the ugliest ever worn in the history of baseball. Stay tuned.