A funny thing happened at my local ballpark the other day.
Jim Bouton tossed the first pitch! I thought that was pretty cool. I also thought it was a bit odd that my favorite team, the Lexington Legends, did not mention Jim's appearance on their web site.
Sure, there was a mention that National's prospect Bryce Harper would be there. In fact, there were adds in the paper about it.
Don't get me wrong, seeing big name prospects is a big reason to to see a minor league game. It is one of the reasons I go to a lot of games.
But come on, there should be some mention of Bouton at the park, right?
They did announce at the start of the game that he would be selling and signing his book for the first few innings.
I went to find the author/pitcher. I was pleased to see a huge line of young people waiting around.
WOW! I figured thats pretty cool! Some young baseball fans (they looked to be college aged) going to pick up a copy of "Ball Four!" How cool is that?
Then I remembered, it was $1 beer night. The kids weren't in line to meet Bouton, they were there for cheap beer.
I walked right up to Jim and bought a new copy his book, and he kindly signed it. There was no line. I did see people coming up after me to buy books though.
I DID email the Legends about the lack of promoting Jim Bouton's appearance.
The Legends are a classy group, and they let me know that THEY only knew about his appearance a few hours before the game themselves. They said that they wished they had known sooner so that they could have promoted it!
So, after getting that email, I sort of looked at things a little differently. For the price of a ticket on this night, a baseball fan could go to the park expecting $1 drinks and baseball prospects. Seeing Jim Bouton was an unadvertised bonus.