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Indians Indians Archive View from the Porch: Going Through the Promotions
Written by Adam Burke

Adam Burke

HRPorchViewLeft without much to follow for the next 10 days or so, the Indians gave us a one big talking point this week that beautifully coincides with my deadline for writing this weekly column. The promotional schedule!

It’s a difficult time of year for a sports fan as we will now be without football until September and are stuck in the middle of the NBA, NHL, and college basketball seasons. For those of you who get bored enough to watch golf, I hope you’re enjoying the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. For those infatuated with left turns, you still have a couple weeks until the Daytona 500.

Baseball season is slowly, but surely, coming along. The Indians will report to Goodyear, AZ on February 20, the same day that single-game tickets go on sale. For the first time, I will be a season ticket holder (!!) and so my yearly tradition of being in line at the nearest Cleveland Indians Team Shop for Opening Day tickets on the first day they’re available will come to an end. It hasn’t won us a World Series so far, so if we somehow do hold a parade this October, I take full responsibility.

In line with ticket sales beginning in about a week-and-a-half, the Indians released their 2012 Promotional Schedule. Despite a bunch of nice promotional items, I’m really disappointed that the creative department doesn’t think outside the box a little bit. Sure, I’ll be glad to add a Sandy Alomar Jr. bobblehead to my collection. I’m not sure what I’ll do with a Chuck Nagy replica jersey, but it’s a nice gesture to pay homage to one of the better Indians starting pitchers in the Jacobs Field era. But, I think they definitely missed some opportunities.

hamiltonaudiobookAudiobooks narrated by Tom Hamilton: Hammy would find a way to even make Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” worth listening to. Even if they wanted to go the baseball route with W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe or some old Matt Christopher books for the kids. I think this is a glaring omission. I'd even listen to Tom Hamilton read the Bible to me. Tolstoy. Stephen King. Hell, even something from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He'd find a way to make the Yellow Pages exciting.

Matt & Rick Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots: Obviously, these would have to be rigged so that Rick Manning beat Matt Underwood in every rock ‘em, sock ‘em bout. Some nights in the broadcast booth sound like they might end up this way. Why not have a promotional item that personifies that?

bellecorkscrewAlbert Belle Corkscrew Night: How awesome would it be to be able to uncork your wine bottle by twisting the head of Albert “Joey” Belle? Could even sell one of those cork holder decorative cages in the shape of a baseball bat in the Team Shop at the Jake to complete the set. This could lead to an entire line of Albert Belle-themed giveaway items including a GPS, a miniature (read: lifesize) Fernando Vina doll being dwarfed by a Godzilla-like Belle (naturally, MLB took down all of the videos of that epic moment when Belle trucked Vina to break up a double play), and even a sound-enabled display of costume-clad children running away from Albert. (Disclaimer: As a kid, I was a huge Albert Belle fan. Guy could straight rake at the plate and was one of the league’s most feared hitters. Plus, I never threw eggs at his house, so he had no beef with me. I also wasn’t Hannah Storm.)

Native American Headdress Night: If you’re already going to have a politically incorrect, red-faced Indian with a giant smile as your logo, you might as well go all the way. These are non-discriminatory because, with the exception of the front row, every fan can’t see over the person in front of them. Or, we could always just bring back and re-purpose Chief Noc-A-Homa, the extremely politically incorrect former mascot for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. Would better than whatever the hell Slider is.

Andrea Thome Pet Rocks: This one clearly speaks for itself. Paint a likeness of Andrea Thome, wife of Jim, on a nice flat rock. To be given to the first 685,000 fans of the season to signify Thome’s six-year, $85M contract he signed with the Phillies back in December 2002.

Miguel Cabrera Talking Bobblehead Night: Before you get annoyed that we’re giving away a Detroit Tigers promotional item, keep in mind that pushing the button will allow you to hear John Vernon’s voice telling us that “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” as Dean Warner from Animal House.

A CD of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Drum Solo featuring John Adams: Everybody’s favorite fan, John Adams, performs on this promo CD which features Iron Butterfly’s 17-minute hit (?) song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (drum solo begins at 6:30). Adams does his best bass drum rendition of one of the most recognizable drum solos in music history.

GradyTeaCupGrady Sizemore #24 Tea Cup: Finally, a promotional item specially made for the ladies. Get to the bottom of the cup and see what Brittany Binger sees everyday.  As my fiance just told me while designing the tea cup, "That way, your tea can be good 'til the last drop". The way I see it, when your husband/boyfriend goes out in the summer for a morning tee time, it'll all even out because you ladies can have a tea time of your own. For those who are concerned, yes, this tea cup is dishwasher and microwave safe.


 And finally, the last missing piece to this puzzle is, of course, to hand out Fifth Anniversary Snowglobes featuring Opening Day 2007, complete with legendary "Snow Angel" guy, along with the 2012 magnet schedule on Opening Day. It will serve as an everlasting reminder of the dangers of early April baseball in Cleveland and be something to laugh about while you’re freezing your ass off on April 5.

Some honorable mention possibilities for future seasons include: Penthouse issues signed by Paul Byrd, Eric Plunk replica glasses, and Edgar Renteria voodoo dolls.

In actuality, the Indians promotional schedule features a lot of fireworks, plenty of chances for college kids to get half price tickets, nine nights to gorge on cheap, mass-produced hot dogs for a dollar, and 13 giveaway items, ranging from a team calendar on April 7 to a Gaylord Perry bobblehead on August 12. The entire promotional schedule can be found here.

Submit your best “Alternative Promotion” ideas to me by email to and I’ll add the best suggestions to next week’s View from the Porch.

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