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Scranton/W-B RailRiders: Letâ??s take it day by day Mark Guydish Commentary


February 20. 2013 4:11AM
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SO THE Scranton/Wilkes-Barre porcupine RailRiders will hold 72 home games in its new stadium, and there will be 72 separate events to draw fans, according to team president and general manager Rob Crane.


Samples provided in a story in The Times Leader Sunday about the stadium's open house included $1 hot dog Mondays, Two-for Tuesdays, Kids-eat-free Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Fireworks Fridays, giveaways on Saturday and Family Funday Sundays.


I say kudos, though I'm admittedly a rare attendee who found his last visit to the old stadium underwhelming – the many additions intended to pump up the crowd just seemed to distract from the game. But I appreciate the logic: Giving fans something new to see every home game just might beef up interest.


I do have a concern, though: I hope the Monday-through-Sunday list isn't the complete 72 separate events. Because, you know, having the same event on separate days over and over again isn't quite the epitome of innovation. Not to mention some might be thirsty on Wednesday, or families may decide to have fun on not-Sunday.


But of course, there are plenty of other baseball-related events that could be held such as T-shirt day, hat day, bat day, helmet day, ball day, glove day, and get-to-run-around-the bases-yourself day. Add those to the seven Monday through Sunday ideas, we've already covered .... um ... 14 of those 72 separate events.


Let's face it, after they get through pants day, sock day, cleat day and wad-of-chaw-in-your-cheek day, the baseball-related event themes may get scarce. The team could go with its new name (RailRiders) and logo (a railriding porcupine?), but can that fill the remaining 50-some days?


Porcupine quill day? Engineer cap day? Rail spike day? Splinter-from-an-old-railroad-tie day? Cross-section-of-a-steel rail day? Lionel model layout day? Ballast day? (Here kid, free rocks!)


Hobo day?


I've got it: Gandy Dancer Day. The fans will go wild watching all those exciting Gandys do their crowd-pleasing moves. People will rock in their seats, the floors will rumble with the stomping of happy feet! The YouTube video will go viral (Gandy style!)


I know, gandy dancer was slang for old rail repairman, when all the work was done manually. I learned that as a kid when my dad explained why the little motorized car on our O-gauge layout was called a gandy dancer car. But most fans -- especially the young ones – will never have heard this. So you can repurpose the term and make it whatever you think will be the biggest hit.


I have the utmost faith in the ingenuity of the RailRiders' marketing machine – I mean, come on: Hot dog day! Who would have though of that? But I'm concerned that 72 days of events may simply overwhelm.


I say let's help. If you've got a game-day event you think will be a sure draw, email it to me. If I get enough usable ones (remember, it's a family newspaper), I'll print them here.


Because if we don't help, they may run out of ideas, and all we'd have left is come-see-good-old-fashioned-baseball days.


And who wants that?


Mark Guydish can be reached at 829-7161 or email mguydish@timesleader.com




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