February 2012

More About our Music

Yesterday as I was planning our musical elements this season, I realized I failed to mention our Irish Heritage Day that we did in August last year.  We are planning another again, so fear not if you missed it.  It is slated for August of this year; check out our full promo schedule here.

Last year for our Irish Night, we were joined for some front plaza music by Boghat.  The above clip is from an appearance they did on 207 a few years ago.  Their performance transformed our plaza into a festive, celebratory atmosphere.

So, let’s kick off this Valentine’s Day with what else?  A little Irish Music.

I know the Valentine’s bandit has already struck Portland, but be on the look out for the second wave cupid attacks.  Slugger just left the office and is delivering his roses and such to all of his lucky Valentines.

Can You Carry a Tune? If Yes, the Sea Dogs Want YOU

Easy does it today.  Monday mornings are the worst.

I was inspired by the Grammys last night to write about our musical endeavors at the ballpark for this 2012 season.  One of the best parts of my job, or any job in minor league sports for that matter, is the variety of responsibilities that come with each day.  And you’re right—I wrote that primarily because I am 99% sure my boss sometimes reads this.  However, all joking aside, having multiple responsibilities at work can significantly reduce the burnout factor during one of the longest seasons in professional sports.  For me, those responsibilities usually fall under three categories:  sales, marketing and promotions.  Since the promotions piece is by far the most fun, let’s talk about that.  “Promotions” encompass the most duties on my agenda, because that can mean anything from executing the short contests that occur in between innings, planning the themed games as well as putting on the pre-game and post game events.  This week I am focusing on the pre-game events—the events that set the tone for the fans as they enter the main gate, stroll through the concourse, take their seats and await the first pitch.  Part of setting the tone occurs in the front plaza as fans enter the park.  Music is the perfect “tone setter”  and the front plaza is the perfect place to have a band set up:  there is enough room for the band to have a comprehensive set up and for their adoring fans to rock out.  We are looking to book bands for most weekend games, so, read on if you think your band is the perfect fit for Hadlock, or, just humor me because this part of my job helps me to validate my music degree from a very expensive college.

Had-Rock Field

I’ve already said that I am not a huge fan of baseball, more of the atmosphere created at each ballpark.  Nothing creates a better atmosphere as you walk into a ballpark than a live band.  Unless that live band is Black Sabbath circa 1982.  Fortunately, the only bats at Hadlock are wood and we require the songs played at our stadium to be a bit more “rock- lite” in fair than your typical Sabbath ballad. This past season the restaurant manager from Inn by the Sea suggested that I reach out to this kid, Keelan Donovan and his band, The Feature.  I always get a little nervous when it comes to reaching out to *gasp* strangers, because you never know how weird they could end up.  But, then I always think that they are probably thinking the exact same thing about this strange lady on the phone who is asking them to play at a baseball field.  Keelan and his band were phenomenal.  They were friendly, on time and obviously knew what they were doing.  Keelan and the Feature were the perfect combination because they not only looked young and hip, but they also had a diverse, peppy and setting-appropriate play list perfect for summer.  Keelan will be spending the summer of 2012 in Nashville working on his music, so he will not be joining us this season.  If I were a better person I would say that I was happy for him, but I’m sad not to hear his band this summer.  I hope he remembers the little people (me) when he makes it.

That’s not to say we do not have a list of talented musicians on the docket for this season.  Ronnie Lee and his band The Affliction will be joining us again on June 8th.  Ronnie and his band not only sound great, but more importantly they are also total pros and take every gig seriously.  Also, I think at least one of their band members works in education, and what is more cool than a teacher that plays in a band?

The Affliction

So, do you want your band to play at Had-Rock field this summer?  See check list below for qualifications:

  1.  Are you willing to play for “free”, as in, no cash?  No, you won’t get paid in cash.  What I am able to provide is my charming personality and access to the Sea Dogs extensive network of promotional capabilities.  Obviously the promotional network is the selling point here.  We have over 18,000 facebook fans, over  5,000 twitter followers and a stadium that seats 7,368 people.  When you perform for us, I will make  sure that you and your band are promoted to all of these fans through the magic of facebook, twitter and all of the capabilities of the internet.  There are also opportunities to leave your band information at our  Information Desk in the stadium which is the epicenter of well, information.  I had numerous people this summer ask me for Keelan’s contact information for anything from personal parties as well as weddings.  The Sea Dogs are an excellent avenue of raising awareness and generating future business.  Plus, I’m somewhat of a chatter, and work with a lot of businesses in the area, and am only too happy to promote bands that play for us via word of mouth.
  2.  Are you generally a punctual person?  We only ask that you play for two hours before the game starts, usually this is from 5pm-7pm, or 4pm-6pm.
  3.  Are there a limited number of four letter  words in your vernacular, at least in a public setting?  Seriously, no swearing allowed.  Saying “earmuffs” to kids only works in the movies.
  4.  Do you know who John Denver is?  You might laugh, but one of the younger  members of our staff did not know who he was.  If you’d like to access our front plaza and our fan base, have a general idea of some of the history of awesome musicians.  Plus, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” can      really rock the house.
  5.  Is your proudest achievement setting all  of Kanye’s “songs” to acoustic guitar?    Denied!

So, if you have a band, or know a band, that wants to kick off or enhance their career with us at Hadlock Field, give me a call.  I can say from past experience you will not be disappointed with the level of promotion you will receive.  Email me:  lriley@seadogs.com  and tell me how awesome your band is.

National Anthem Singers

I majored in music at Colby College.  Don’t ask me why, I just liked it.  While I was not a talented musician, I was around a lot of talented musicians while I was there, and all of them were intimidated by our National Anthem.  The words are hard, the notes are hard, and it feels like you need a set of iron lungs to sing it properly.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who is able to perform this in front of strangers.  The Sea Dogs are fortunate to have a deep pool of dedicated National Anthem singers, a perk that comes from demanding performances of at LEAST seventy-one National Anthems each year, for going on nineteen years.  Some of these people have been singing for the Sea Dogs since our inception in 1994.  (Remember when our colors were teal and black!  Some of our staff members were just entering the first grade in 1994).  In addition to my returning pool of mothers, fathers, daughters, school groups, quartets, etc., we also are fortunate to have the stars from the shows of the Maine State Music Theater join us each summer.  I’m not using the term “stars” lightly:  these performers are unreal.  The performance that sticks out most in my mind is one by a 12 year old, Lauren Weintrab who was playing little orphan Annie.  Lauren was a peanut, but she brought down the house.  I cannot emphasize enough how powerful her voice was.  She mesmerized our crowd.

The other performer that mesmerized at least the ladies in the crowd was Brandon Andrus from MSMT’s production of Xanadu.  I know that he had a tremendous voice, but he was also a dream boat so he could have croaked out the notes like Carl Lewis and I wouldn’t have cared.  That last statement is not true—being handsome is not a ticket to singing the National Anthem before a game.  You have to at least be handsome and talented.

We take the National Anthem very seriously, and look for performers who sing it beautifully and respectfully and without the frills and trills that take away from the meaning of the piece.  Also, it must be sung in under 90s seconds.  We have a baseball game to start, people!

If you feel as though you have what it takes to join our pool of anthem singers for the 2012 season, we are having try outs at Hadlock Field on Saturday April 14th from 8am-9am.  In order to try out, you must fill out this link:   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TryOut2011.

Space is limited for try outs, so it is imperative that you fill out the link as a courtesy to others because we plan our schedule based upon this.  We also insist that you try out live at the stadium.  Recordings are not accepted because everyone sounds good on recordings.  The real test is when you have the mic in your hand and are singing it live.  Don’t worry, we aren’t mean people, and I am already impressed that you  have the courage to come out and try.  That is more courage than I have!

Happy Monday to everyone, and keep your ears tuned to talented musicians today.  We are currently recruiting some for Hadlock Field.

An Intern’s Life

It has been a busy week in the Sea Dogs’ front office.  I had wanted to post this earlier today but the hours flew by.  Part of the reason why it was so busy is because our 2012 interns officially reported for duty this week.  Their presence reminds us that the season is rapidly approaching.  Throughout the years the Sea Dogs have worked hard to create an internship program that is beneficial to both us and the interns themselves.  We receive hundreds of resumes for only seven or eight positions.  Our goal is to create future successful full-time employees in the sports industry.

Chris Cameron has done a great job selecting the crew this year.  He and I also do much of the training of the interns.  We find it is beneficial to have two staff members train these fresh faces.  That way, one of us is the “nice” boss, and one is the “mean” boss.   I did not add an official poll for people to vote who they thought  the “mean” one would be, but I will give you a hint:  Her name beings with an L and rhymes with the word “is”.

Interns are the focus of this post.  I hope everyone has had time to recover from The Event that Shall Not Be Named last Sunday night because it is also pretty heavy on the topic of football.  It follows the path of one of our former interns, Ryan Wilson.  Ryan interned for us during the 2011 season with Chris Cameron in the Media Department.  He also helped run a lot of our promotions such as Mercy Hospital’s Hit, Run and Throw program and Oakhurst Dairy’s Musical Chairs, to name just a few.  Ryan was a phenomenal intern, the kind that we hope this year’s will be.  Without the interns to help us through the season, many members of the front office staff would go insane.  They are extensions of the front office staff, and we treat them as such.  Early this week Ryan and I had a little  Q & A about his experience with the Pats and with the Sea Dogs.  Ryan and I did this primarily over email, so my clever come backs are interjected into Ryan’s bold responses bracketed and in plain text.

Liz:  What is your actual title with the Patriots?

Ryan:  Media Relations Coordinator. I started as a 30 hour a week intern (two weeks) then became an unlimited hour intern and then was brought on as full-time temporary employee. (My last day is next Wednesday though, haha). YIKES.

Liz:  Do you hear that loyal readers?  If anyone is looking to hire a seasoned media professional, please contact Mr. Ryan Wilson.

Ryan: Yes, loyal readers who are reading this (crickets, crickets…) Liz, it sounds like you’re posting my personal add – long walks on the beach, enjoys painting and surfing but we all know I could use the help in all phases.

[Hey…whatever works. You’re in no position to be picky.]

Ryan Wilson: Future Media Mogul and lover of Uggs

Liz:   So, did Tom wear Uggs, like, everyday?

Ryan:  Tom sported the Ugg boots on occasion. I wasn’t usually checking out his choice of kicks on a daily basis. [Too busy looking into his tiger eyes, no doubt] He did buy everyone on the team Uggs for the holidays. The locker room looked like a shoe store before the Miami game on Dec. 24. Uggs and Tom also gave everyone on the team a pair on three different occasions as well. Talk about always looking fresh.

Liz:  Do you think you can get me a pair of Uggs?

Ryan: Ohh easily….you’re acting like Uggs are going out of style – they’re still a fashion epidemic. The only accessory or clothing item that challenges Uggs right now in Maine is Wayferer shades. [I am so uncool, I don’t even know what those are] And they are as common as mosquitoes.  Liz, you were always slightly behind the eight-ball in fashion. [True] Don’t worry about it. It’s called Zappos.com. Have you heard of it? [I don’t shop online at work…much] Get your first pair and when you’re ready to make the jump up to your second pair of Uggs I’ll let Tom know – I’ve heard he’s got a hookup.

Liz:  I’m a size nine.  He can mail them to the office.

Ryan: Perfect. I’ll make sure to pass along the message

Liz:   Ok for serious, what was the “typical day” while you were in Indy?

Ryan:  In Indy there was no such thing as a typical day. Each day varied greatly depending on media requests and player obligations. The entire week dealt with Player Relations and making sure we were able to accommodate all the needs of the major media outlets – NBC, NFL Network, ESPN, etc. Each day was essentially “organized chaos” due to the constant overlapping in players who needed to do multiple commitments.  We essentially worked around the clock from Sunday-Wednesday.  My staff [YOUR staff!  Impressive.] would take the players to where they needed to be, supervise the event, answer questions that the media had and make sure players were in proper attire.  I saved a few guys from getting fined. They were pretty pumped when they found out what could have happened.

Liz:  How did you save them from getting fined?  Saying the wrong thing?

Ryan: During the Super Bowl Week it was making sure they were wearing the proper attire. It was requested that every player wear their jersey during speaking events and NFL licensed Super Bowl gear. A lot of times a player would wake up head down to the hotel conference center and be wearing a random hat—the NFL can fine them for that. I would always just make the players aware of what they are wearing and if they were persistent on keeping it on then they are at least made aware of the possible repercussions.   On Wednesday a few players did not want to come down for media requirements… my staff eventually got them down [Jeez, how?  Bribed them with candy and bacon?] and they participated in the event. Later that day Osi Umenyiora [NY Giants] did not show and got fined 20K by the league. When our players found out about that they were pretty grateful.   [I bet!  Ouch.  Great job, Ryan and his staff.]

Liz:  What was your job during the regular season with the Pats?

Ryan:  My job dealt with various different things. I usually would have to transcribe a press conference, conference call, or player interview every day. My staff would attend practice; oversee the open locker room during media availability too. In addition, I would write feature stories on various players and set up weekly conference calls for the opposing team’s Head Coach and player (requested by our media).  A lot of the job dealt with statistical analysis and finding new facts about the organization in whatever area that may be.  The one task I did daily was compile a document of every local and national media coverage of the Patriots, AFC East and NFL. As you can imagine that could take a few hours depending on the matchup or the degree of the game. Luckily, I split up the task with a co-worker.  The job constantly entailed my department managing and shaping the brand of the New England Patriots, the Kraft Family and the players. It was fascinating to see things unfold – why we push this, alter that, redirect something, or defer comment.

Liz: Do you feel like the Sea Dogs prepared you for this experience?  Keep in mind it will be awkward if you say “no”.

Ryan:  My experience with the Sea Dogs without a doubt helped prepare me for the next step in my career. My job at the Patriots requires constant interaction with players, coaches and media members. Being able to learn how to manage and interact with professional athletes at a minor league level helped give me a great foundation on how to approach and converse with high profiled players, executives and media members.  Although it is not a skill you can measure tangibly I would say that the Sea Dogs experience helped improve my relationships skills and ability to adapt to particular environments – stressful or fan interaction that occur on a daily basis throughout the season.

Liz:   Who would you say your favorite staff member is in the Sea Dogs front office?

Ryan:  Geoff no question…I got to go grab a tissue and wipe the brown of my nose real quick.

Liz:  I will pretend I’m not hurt…

Ryan: How about favorite female staff member?  In general the staff collectively is amazing. I became great friends with Brayton and Courtney and tried to watch how Chris, Geoff and you conduct yourselves in all phases of minor league baseball. I learned a lot by watching how you handled situations and then would take mental notes on how the situation unfolded.   At the Patriots I write a personal business journal about any major situations that occur so I can reflect on it down the road if something similar comes up. I’ve used this for player situations with Gronkowski, Edelman and corporate business moves such as the proposed Wynn/Kraft Resort to name a few.  I started doing this at the Sea Dogs when watching the veteran staff.

Liz:  That’s a phenomenal idea!  Where did you think of that?

Ryan: I read that it was a tactic used by upper level executives that are constantly involved in large projects and I figured it would be a great thing for me to start doing now so I can improve faster and learn from past experiences. Personally, I know there have been times when I try to revert back to a past experience but can not fully remember all the details. This “journal” allows me to write in detail about the event – what went right, wrong and improvements therefore I will not forget all the minor details that shaped the outcome no matter how long ago it occurred.

Liz:  What was your favorite promo with the Sea Dogs?  This can be on field or the extra stuff like the Little League days or the baseball camp.

Ryan:  The Lobster Toss is by far the best on-field promotion. Despite myself being demoted from tossing duties (I blame whomever placed the lobsters) due to my bad performance, I hold no grudges against the fan favorite.   The on-field promotions are amazing. It’s a testament to the quality of promotions put forth by the organization when parents and children of all ages run up to you before the game asking what they can do to get involved in a promotion. It can make the intern’s job a whole lot easier, haha.   Off- field I thought the Slugger Valentines’ Day visit was very creative and personal. That was a promotion which I felt was received extremely well and greatly appreciated.  Speaking of, Valentines’ Day is coming up.

Liz:   Yes it is!  Our Valentine’s Day packages recently sold out.  Are you a baseball guy or a football guy, primarily?

Ryan:  I was hardly a football guy by any measurement but after working in the NFL and experiencing the Super Bowl Week I’m beginning to come around. Seeing the whole Super Bowl Week from our busses leaving the stadium through the game was incredible. I find it difficult to believe that any sporting event could rival that build up.   I’m still a baseball person and my end goal is work for a MLB team. Hopefully, I’ll get there sooner than later. Baseball has always been my passion and being a part of something you enjoy only makes you work harder to improve the entire product around you.

Liz:  Coolest promo you saw in Indy or at Foxboro that you think we should do.

Ryan:  The Patriots do not do any in-game promotions during games. The organization will give away rally towels, hand warmers, posters and conduct fly overs prior to the game but during the game the focus is on the team.  Off the field the Patriots, along with the Cheerleaders, are extremely involved in the community and put on countless events all season long. Myra Kraft, the late wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft instilled philanthropic desires in the entire organization which continue to grow.   The Patriots are very good with social media. Our department does a lot of creative things to engage our fans on both platforms and we strategically put certain things on our Twitter and not our Facebook and vice versa. I would encourage the team to monitor the Patriots social media accounts.  We did do a Gronkowski Spike contest… pretty cool. Pretty self explanatory, lol.

Liz:  This is a contest you do through your social media??  How do you sign up….just wondering…not that I would enter….

Ryan: the contest already happened. CBS Scene held a “Give us our best Gronk!” spike contest at Patriot Place Plaza. Besides bragging rights, fans could win AFC Championship tickets, autograph jerseys and other prizes. We promoted the event through social media.

Liz:  Darn.  I’m not a die-hard football fan by any stretch of the word, but I did enjoy watching Gronk, especially because he single handedly kept my fantasy football team afloat this year.  Thank you Ryan, for giving us some insight into the life of an intern, and the life of working in the Patriots organization.  I am so impressed with your experience.  Based on the work you did for us during the 2011 season you definitely deserved it. So, if anyone out there is looking for a great media guy who has exceptional experience and connections to footwear, contact Ryan Wilson.  Since it would be creepy to put his contact information here, you can just call the Sea Dogs office if you’re interested.  Wow, that does sound like a personal add.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend.  It’s getting a little brighter outside each evening.  April 12th will be here before we know it!

NOW that it’s Officially Baseball Season…

Read on for a somewhat football free post:

My friends who have “normal” jobs (normal:  9am-5pm schedule; no tarp clothes stashed under desks; never have conversations with a mute mythical sea creature named Slugger, etc.) often ask me “So Liz, what do you do in the off season?”  The way they emphasize “do” makes me feel like they expect me to say “oh you know, in general, I just sit on my hands and eat cake while counting down the days until April”.

Not our typical work day.

This description is only partially true, because while the Sea Dogs staff loves a good birthday cake, we are anything but idle in the off season.

Long before the last out is registered on Labor Day at Hadlock Field, the next season’s planning is already well underway.  Usually by September, we have a super top secret sketch of the following season’s schedule.  From this, we start to lay out our various promotional events that have become staples in our season and look for new events to plan.  Fireworks, Most Improved Student Days, Teacher Appreciation Day, Field of Dreams, Road Races, Special Guest Appearances (Rob Gronkowski in 2011, Seargent Slaughter and Mr. Belding slated for 2012) are just a fraction of the events we plan and they require quite a bit of lead time.  The cooperation of our sponsors is obviously enormously important in making sure these events take place for our fans each season.   At the risk of sounding self-important and ego-driven (I’ve been accused of worse) I must also add that the Sea Dogs staff is important in this as well.

But, there is a group of people who rarely get recognized for their efforts in putting on a baseball season and all of the extracurricular events that includes—The Coaching Staff.  Kevin Boles, Dave Joppie and Bob Kipper will be back for the 2012 season.  Joppie and Kipper have spent some time coaching in Portland before, so they are aware of our sometimes dysfunctional family atmosphere in our tight-knit front office.   2011 was Kevin’s first season as a manager in Portland and we are thrilled to have him back for 2012.  Without a good great (Flattery Alert!) coaching staff, none of the fun events that have become synonymous with Minor League Baseball would come to fruition.

One of the things that makes Minor League Baseball such an easy sell (family friendly environment, catering to the tastes of both the casual and hard core sports fans alike, affordable prices, clean facilities….need I go on?) is the fact that there is always so much happening at the games.  Love the sport of baseball?  Great, come on in, have a seat.  Don’t care for baseball too much?  No problem.  Today at the park you can have some dinner and be entertained by one of the many themed events or special appearances we have scheduled throughout the season.  To make sure all of the events go off smoothly and include all of the necessary elements such as participation of players, use of the field, use of equipment, etc., we need to make sure we communicate effectively with the coaching staff.  We do this through memos and meetings.

Memos are brutal instruments of torture in any office setting.  They’re so definitive.  So bossy.  Mine are no different.  A couple of days before each home stand, I go over the next series of games, promotions, pre-game events, appearances, and times with Kevin so he can convey this to the team.  I have to let him know if there are any special jerseys or hats they must wear for a game, if there is a special autograph session for military families or season ticket holders, an appearance or occasionally a golf tournament.  The best way to do this is with a definitive and bossy memo.  (I can actually feel your eyes glazing over now…much like Kevin’s do at each meeting) This “memo” details EVERYTHING that our team and Kevin are scheduled to take part in. (ZZZzzzzz)  Basically, it is the schedule for the week that dictates when the team can and cannot have a moment to themselves.

TPS Reports & Memos; both painful yet necessary.

Sometimes I forget that while the season might be 71 games long for me, it is 142 games long for the team and coaching staff.  That makes for a long season, and a lot of being told what to do.  Kevin, Kipper and Joppie could not have been more gracious and helpful in making our season a success.  No matter the length of the memo or the length of the days planned, Kevin always smiled and said “No problem”, even if he was thinking of a variety of four letter words that would describe the piece of paper in front of him.  The team and coaching staff were not only on time at all of the appearances, but they were also personable, friendly and down to earth.  If you have ever attended our Fan Appreciation Game on the last Sunday in September, you know the attitude that I am taking about.  Our team emerges from a corn field in the outfield, and enters the stands and thanks the fans for a great season.  I have worked in Minor League Baseball long enough to be immune to some of the events that occur on the field.  But, the Field of Dreams game is still my most favorite promotion and one of the most moving things that I see all year.

After viewing that brief promo clip, you might have noticed that the team is wearing special replica uniforms from the Portland Eskimos.  Do they look breathable?  I’m not sure what the wicking technology was in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but I am fairly certain Under Armour was not incorporated then.  Regardless, the team and coaching staff are all in for this promo, a fact made evident by the looks on the faces of the fans as they greet them in their seats.  This promo, and all of the others that we do each year would not be possible without the exceptional attitude of the coaching staff, and for that, we thank them.

I’ve already started working on my Memo’s for the 2012 season.  I have through May completed.  From here, I will only have about 60-70 more events to map out.  I hope to see you there at at least twenty or thirty of them.

At the risk of sounding too “the glass is half full” today, I wanted to leave you with a list of things to look forward to.  We are now muddling through “The Most Dark Time”; the time in between the Event that Shall Not Be Named and Pitchers and Catchers reporting.  Do not despair, New England.  We have:

  1. February 19-Boston Red Sox Pitchers and Catchers report
  2. March 11-Spring Forward!  No excuses not to run outside anymore.
  3. April 12-Opening Day at Hadlock Field.

Hang in there, New England.  Baseball season begins in mere days.  Just enough time to kick start your post-winter work out and get few layers of spray tan applied.  In 66 more days I expect to see your bronzed faces lighting up the stands at Hadlock Field.

Be Still My Beating Heart, is that a Seal with Roses?

Since my lungs have finally stopped burning from my ten minutes of pick up basketball on Sunday, I thought I would put together a few words about a fun promotion that we have coming up.  “But Liz, we’re still waiting on your dazzling post about the coaching staff and how important they are to a season and all of the promotions involved”.  Don’t worry loyal readers, (Mom and Dad) that will come soon enough.  I didn’t realize that this promotion was upon us.  It’s only two weeks away.  So, all you procrastinators out there…you still have time, and we still have some inventory left.  Would you like to hear about it?  Read on.

The promotion is of course, Our Valentine’s Day Package.   Before you start rolling your eyes about how Valentine’s Day is just a commercial holiday and only good for the discount candy on February 15th, go easy on Cupid just listen.  For $100 you can simultaneously

1). Impress or embarrass your significant other

2). Create a memory that will last a lifetime

3). Plan five date nights

4). Take care of not one but two presents for the day (roses and a Sea Dogs hat)

5). Create a permanent memory

This promotion is so fun because while a lot of leg work is involved on our end, I have seen the final result and it is awesome.  No, no one has ever purchased this package for me (cough, cough…) but I have been there when the whole shibang is delivered and it is enough to melt the heart of any Scrooge.

This package is hand delivered (“Flipper Delivered”) by Slugger the Sea Dog within a 50 mile radius of Hadlock Field.

Slugger snapping a photo after a delivery.

Slugger himself will bring your Valentine a dozen roses, a hat, a five game pack of tickets for two and snap a photo with the loveable sea creature to commemorate the moment.  The games in the package have been picked perfectly, the first being Opening Day.  Opening Day in baseball is simply made for drama and gallantry.  (“Sweetheart, you look chilly, here—take my jacket.”  Boom.  Automatic brownie points.)  It is also the start of something new, a new season, a fresh start, which is always exciting.  On Opening Day all of the past is behind you and you have a long spring, summer and hopefully fall to look forward to.  Can you think of a more perfect way to start a relationship?   The second game is the fire works day in May.  I love fire works games, which is saying a lot since the staff has to pick up all of the plugs after the game. (Plugs:  little cardboard thingys that hold all of the exlodey stuff that make a fire work a fire work and make a huge mess in the outfield.  It’s the kind of task that makes you wonder why you stressed yourself out in college).  Fireworks epitomize romance.  Who knew watching exploding colorful shells in the sky would make someone wish they had a hand to hold.  Does that say romance or does that say romance?  The third game is in June and is our brand new Renew Your Vows night.  On this night we are inviting all the marrieds in the crowd to join us on the field and take the plunge all over again.  We have a phenomenal second honeymoon package that we are raffling off to one lucky re-newly married couple courtesy of Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.  If you haven’t been to this property yet check it out.  They have given us a two-night stay for two and a three course dinner in their restaurant, Sea Glass.  Oh and after the married tighten up that knot on the field, White Doves of Maine will be releasing their specially trained doves into the sky, signifying something spectacular and unbelievably romantic.  The final two games in the package are in late July and late August respectively.  These always phenomenal games to attend.  Summer is in full swing, the tourists and locals mingling in the rows of seats.  Not only are the games exciting but the people-watching is excellent.  So, if the date has gone stale by the third inning, amuse yourself with the drama on the field or the social interactions in the stands.

Baseball is the perfect sport because it is so flexible; it can be serious, fun, heartbreaking, heartwarming, mind numbingly boring or edge of your seat exciting.  It can be a great night out with a significant other filled with romance, or a night out with the guys filled with bromance.  Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, grandparents and grandkids, employees and employers can all attend games and find something to talk about.  Our Valentine’s Day package encompasses all of that flexibility.  It is touching without being too serious, cute without being schmaltzy.  It can say “I love you”, “I like you”, “I love to embarrass you”, “I love that you love baseball” or just “I’m thinking of you”.    I’ve talked a lot about romance, but Slugger can deliver these packages to a mother, a father, a baseball fan, a friend or a fan of cuddly sea creatures.  It is scientifically proven that dogs melt the hearts of men and women alike.  Why do you think L.L. Bean puts some many of them in their catalogues?

Little known fact:  A few years ago Assistant General Manager Chris Cameron purchased one of these packages for his then girlfriend, Sarah.  This past October they were married.  That is what we call results.

Who wouldn’t want to see this guy on 2/14/12?