Without playing a game at PNC Field this season, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees still managed to make an impact on the community.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization raised more than $4,000 for the Plains Little League Field. Its efforts earned the Yankees a nomination for the Golden Bobblehead Award.
‚??We‚??re thrilled to be nominated for something of this caliber,‚?Ě Ryan Beardsley, community relations and Play Ball! manager said. ‚??To have a season where all our games are on the road while we‚??re under reconstruction and to still be nominated by the MILB for the Golden Bobblehead is wonderful.‚?Ě
If Minor League Baseball Promotion Seminar attendees choose the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization, the Yankees will earn the Minor League Baseball Golden Bobblehead award for Best Charity Promotion or Event.
‚??It‚??s tough enough to get nominated for something like this but when you don‚??t have any games or in-game promotions or anything like that and are still nominated for something like this it just goes to show how good of a promotion it was,‚?Ě Beardsley said.
The Little League Takeover fundraiser was created in response to a break-in and arson at Plains Little League‚??s Tokach Field.
‚??Our vice president of ticket sales, Doug Augis, and Rob McLane, our corporate ticket sales executive, had seen somewhere online where someone had taken over a game for kids like this,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??They thought it would be a wonderful idea for them to have a great experience for the kids and help raise the money they needed to do all the repairs for the field.‚?Ě
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization provided the atmosphere of a professional minor league baseball game.
‚??When we manage a game at PNC Field, there‚??s a ton of pre-planning,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??So we went about it in the exact same way we would go about planning one of our games.‚?Ě
The Friday evening in June included a total of nine innings of baseball and softball, a hat giveaway, the national anthem, PNC Field P.A. announcer, John Davies, Champ, the Yankees‚?? mascot, and other in-game entertainment.
‚??Between innings, our Pinstripe Patrol was out and about doing little skits,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??It was just like you would see at PNC Field.‚?Ě
Beardsley was pleased with the turnout and said about 2,000 hats were given away at the promotion.
‚??Their bleachers were filled to capacity,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??To walk to one side of the field to the other was a struggle, which was a good thing because there was a good amount of people there.‚?Ě
Beardsley credits the success of the event not only to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization, but also to the Plains Little League officials.
‚??They worked with us to make sure everything was going smoothly and they got a lot of donations and made sure everyone was on their game,‚?Ě Beardsley said.
Beardsley said the most important motive behind the event was to help out Plains Little League after a tragedy but it also gave the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre organization an opportunity to provide minor league baseball entertainment.
‚??We haven‚??t been able to do any of that this year so to do that on the little league level for those kids and really give them the professional experience of maybe playing a minor league game was wonderful,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??We thought it was great and it gave us one day out of the year where we could show off our planning skills and put on a good show for everybody.‚?Ě
Beardsley took pride in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Plains Little League organizations‚?? ability to come together and create the event in such a short period of time.
‚??Everybody worked extremely hard on this,‚?Ě Beardsley said. ‚??We worked extra hours for it and everybody did what they needed to do to make sure we had a successful charity fundraiser and the kids had a good time.‚?Ě
The Yankees will face off against five other nominated teams when the Best Charity Promotion or Event award is presented at Minor League Baseball‚??s Promotional Seminar Oct. 2-5 in Reno, Nev., at the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa.