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Happy Holidays from the Sea Dogs!

Scenes from the 2012 Holiday at Hadlock celebration. Be safe this Holiday weekend!

Bringing Good Tidings and Joy to Those on your List

While I love the Holiday Season, there is often undue stress placed upon finding the perfect gift.  We also all know someone who is incredibly difficult to shop for.  For me, that person is my Dad.  He is, without a doubt, the worst person to shop for because he claims to “like everything!”.  Really, Dad?  Because I was going to get you the unabridged version of Anna Karenina and broccoli.  No one actually likes “everything”.  But seriously, I enjoy shopping for other people.  It is fun for me to think of gifts that they will truly appreciate and enjoy.  Sometimes, that gift does not have to be a material item.  At the Sea Dogs we have worked with many non-profit organizations that do tremendous work in Maine and throughout New England.  This year I have made a few donations in the name of people on my shopping list, because I knew that would be more meaningful to them than another material possession.   Don’t get me wrong, material possessions are wonderful.  I still fondly remember the Barbie Dream House that was under the tree on Christmas morning when I was five.  (It had an elevator!)  But if you’re stumped this year, consider donating to an organization in the name of someone on your gift list.  If you’re not sure what organization to look towards, read on to learn more about an organization that we worked closely with this summer.

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This past summer, the Sea Dogs partnered with the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program to host the first-ever Adventure Series event for veterans and military families in the state of Maine. The Home Base Adventure Series is designed to support family relationships during and after deployments. The program offers military veterans and their families an opportunity to explore a new sport or activity together, meet other military families – and get acquainted with the Home Base Program. The Sea Dogs event this past summer was a big success — over 100 veterans and their families joined us at Hadlock field for an afternoon game and outdoor barbecue. During the opening ceremony, kids and adults helped unveil a large American flag on the field for the singing of the national anthem. Follow @Home Base Program on Facebook and see photos from the event http://on.fb.me/TSz7Zs. This was the beginning of what we hope to be a longstanding relationship with Home Base.

Home Base Tent in Hadlock Field Plaza.

Home Base Tent in Hadlock Field Plaza.

Pre-Game PresentationAugust 19th, 2012

Pre-Game Presentation
August 19th, 2012

Donations made to the Home Base Program support the treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and families affected by combat or deployment-related stress and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – the “invisible wounds of war.” It is estimated that as many as one in three Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience the effects of one of these injuries. Home Base clinicians provide individualized, confidential mental health care, and physical, medicine and rehabilitation for veterans regardless of their ability to pay or their discharge status. Funding also allows Home Base to provide counseling and support of veterans’ families; research to improve understanding and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and TBI; and community and provider education surrounding these wounds. The support of generous donors has allowed Home Base to treat and support hundreds of veterans and families throughout New England; produce new educational materials and disseminate them to thousands of primary care physicians, nurses, educators and first responders not only in New England but nationwide; and employ a team of veterans to find those in need and guide them into care.

There are many ways in which people can support the Home Base Program:

The Home Base Program relies almost solely on philanthropic support from donors. This financial support may be given directly by individual donors, but donors may also host fundraising events that benefit Home Base. http://www.homebaseprogram.org/general-information/for-donors.aspx

A gift of time is always most welcome…the Home Base Program operates several special events which require hundreds of volunteers each year. If interested, email pgoldfarb@partners.org.

You may know an active duty service member, veteran or family that is facing challenges from a military deployment. Let them know that the Home Base Program is there to help them. Visit www.homebaseprogram.org or call 617-724-5202 to learn more.

So whether it be planning a charity golf tournament, operating a lemonade stand, asking an employer to donate to Home Base, volunteering at a special event, or referring a veteran or family in need to Home Base, there are many ways to get involved!

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Special thanks to the Development Team at Home Base for putting together the information on their wonderful organization.  Be happy, healthy, safe and kind as we get closer to Christmas!

Happy Monday!

The Sea Dogs’ front office is whole again, with many of us returning home Friday evening from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville.  The meetings were great, Nashville was awesome and even though we stayed for five days, I think the staff saw only about 1% of the hotel.  As I’m sure you saw on TV, the place was enormous and decked out for the holiday season.  The meetings are great because you get a chance to network with other people in the industry who are just as busy as you are during the season. The networking and the idea sharing are by far the best part, as well as (let’s be honest here) the food.

Before we left for the winter meetings we had a big event at the park, Holiday at Hadlock. We spent the week before decorating, planning and lining up entertainment.  The weather that day was certainly in the spirit of the event, dusting the ground just enough to make it festive…if not a bit chilly.  In spite of the low temperatures everyone looked they were having a great time.  Here are some photos from the event in case you missed it:

The artists from Party Palooga painted faces and made balloon animals.

The artists from Party Palooga painted faces and made balloon animals.

Carousel Horse Farm from Casco gave wagon rides around the warning track.

Carousel Horse Farm from Casco gave wagon rides around the warning track.

One more picture because the horses were adorable.

One more picture because the horses were adorable.  When I see this picture I get the Maine Christmas Song stuck in my head.  Anyone who went to school in Maine knows this song.

We filled a pick up truck from Southern Maine Motors with toys for the Toys for Tots program.

We filled a pick up truck from Southern Maine Motors with toys for the Toys for Tots program.

The Kastaways performed with a special guest (the one with the antlers).

The Kastaways performed with a special guest (the one with the antlers).

We also had a S’mores station outside, thanks to Hannaford, free Cookies and Hot Chocolate being handed out by our friends from U.S. Cellular and an arts and crafts station in the Portland Room.  Santa also stopped by to see the kiddos, although because of the snow his Elf Force One Helicopter was grounded.  For a few moments, we weren’t sure how we were going to get him to the park.  But thankfully, the folks from the Bramhall Fire Station came through in a big way, and brought Santa in with style:

The guest of honor arrives.

The guest of honor arrives, thanks to the Portland Fire Department.

Headlight Audio Visual also provided us with a big screen to show movies while families patiently waited to see Santa.  And a big shout out should go to Mad Science, who did a fabulous job entertaining kids as well.  Thank you so much to everyone who passed through the gates and paid a visit to Santa. We have already started planning for next year!

It is officially the holiday season; with Christmas in full swing and Hanukkah beginning on Saturday.  Everyone in our office loves this time of year and we have a blast celebrating with each other.  I even love doing my holiday shopping at the mall and (almost always) consider the crowds as part of the festivities.  In addition to our own shopping times, everyone from our office has already spent a lot of time at the mall as we have a kiosk this year.

Lovely, no?

Lovely, no?

It has been a lot of fun working at our kiosk because you are literally the center of attention.  You inevitably end up seeing familiar faces or meeting new people who can’t wait to talk baseball.  The traffic this weekend at the mall was definitely heavy, and people looked like they were on a mission.  Stop by and see us next time you’re there.

As far as other events coming up, save the date for our Hot Stove Dinner in January.  We have a fun evening lined up that you can read all about by clicking HERE.

And just in case you had a hard time getting out of bed this morning with the dreary weather, here are some of the most summery/warmest photos that I could find on my computer:

The World Famous Lobster Toss.

The World Famous Lobster Toss.

DSC09690

Our Fan Appreciation Game is a can't miss on the schedule each year.

Our Fan Appreciation Game is a can’t miss on the schedule each year.

Guys Catching Lobstersdog

Well said, Mike.

Inside the Clubhouse with Mike Antonellis

The Sea Dogs finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division, and completely turned around their season that saw them 36-54 at the All-Star Break.

Portland finished the season 32-19 and won or split eight straight series at Hadlock Field.

I thought the coaching staff did a terrific job.  It’s not easy with 60 different players, multiple rehab assignments and a completely different roster come August.  One thing was consistent all the season, this was the best group of guys I’ve ever been around.  I’ve called minor league baseball for 16 years, and I never saw a clubhouse so united.  It didn’t matter who came in, it remained that way all season.  Earlier in the year when we were in Binghamton, newly acquired Jason Urquidez told me the coaching staff had a huge factor in creating such a terrific atmosphere.

My awards – these were easy, just one vote.

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The Clean Up Begins!

The 2012 season came to a close yesterday, but the work does not stop for the Sea Dogs Front Office!  As the team packs up and moves out, the front office staff is busy today buttoning up a few projects and thinking of new ideas for next year.

For me, (for today at least) that means organizing the HUNDREDS of pounds of non-perishable food items that were dropped off at the ballpark thanks to Travelers.  Their support of the games on September 1st and 2nd  (Not to mention their $2,000 donation to Good Shepherd Food Bank) brought in an unbelievable amount of food that will be picked up by Good Shepherd this week.

Nick Auresto of Travelers presents a $2,000 check to David DiPerri of the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

That $2,000 from Travelers can be leveraged to feed so many families!

Travelers’ support of Good Shepherd was incredible, matched only by the support of the fans.  Seriously, my office looks like a Hannaford right now, with just a tiny path to my desk.

It is also worth noting that Travelers brought Red Sox great Fred Lynn to the park, where he could not have been more gracious!  Below are some of the photos from his visit:

Thank you to Travelers and thank you to the best fans and best community members in all of New England!

Check out our Radio Broadcaster’s Field of Dreams piece.

Inside the Clubhouse with Mike Antonellis

Today the Sea Dogs hold their annual Field of Dreams game…At around one o’clock, the players will emerge from a cornfield in centerfield.  This is my favorite day of the year!

With yesterday’s win, the ‘Dogs are 32-17 since the All-Star Break…If they win out and New Britain takes their final two games, the Rock Cats clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern League.

Congrats to the Pawtucket Red Sox on clinching the Wild Card in the International League…Dan Butler clubbed two homers in a 2-0 win…Josh Fields pitched the ninth for the save.

The rosters for the 20th anniversary season of the Arizona Fall League were announced this past Wednesday.  Four Sea Dogs and five Red Sox farmhands are among the players initially selected. Each Major League organization will eventually have seven players represented in the league. Right-handed pitchers Brock Huntzinger, Chris Martin and Ryan Pressly along with…

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UNUM Sea Dogs’ Hall of Fame Inductions

The game is going on as we speak, but real quick, here is the link with some great content about our Hall of Fame Inductions tonight:

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120831&content_id=37650184&vkey=news_t546&fext=.jsp&sid=t546

 

Check it out for Mr. Burke’s tribute video as well as the interview with Adrian Gonzalez.

Last Homestand!

As the season trucked on through August, my blogging went the way of my visits to the gym…infrequent and short.  BUT  I am here to tell you about the tremendous line up we have for our last four games of 2012.

Tonight, being Friday, is of course Flat Screen Friday with David Munster’s TV Sales & Service.   This is bittersweet; bitter because it will be your last chance in 2012 to win a beautiful television at a Sea Dogs’ game but sweet because David Munster’s is giving away FOUR of them tonight.  (Four!) Three 32 inch and one 42 inch Panasonic TVs will be up for grabs.  Obviously the 42 inch TV will be the grand prize.  You can sign up tonight in the concourse, and remember, only one entry per person, entrants must be 18 or older, and you have to be present to win it.  Also, bring a photo ID!  We’re talking about a pretty major prize here, so I need to make sure that you are you.

Tonight we are also inducting two more fine Sea Dogs legends into the UNUM Hall of Fame.  The presentation will begin pre-game.  You will want to catch the videos and interview that we have for the inductees, as it’s a great way to honor people who have made what the Sea Dogs do both on and off the field possible.

Saturday‘s game is presented by Travelers, and will feature an appearance by Red Sox great Fred Lynn.  Travelers has been a wonderful partner this year and VERY generous.  On Saturday they will be making a $1,000 donation to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Making an appearance at Saturday’s Game. Signing autographs for fans!

Mr. Lynn will throw out an honorary first pitch before the game, and if he throws a strike, Travelers will donate an additional $1,000 to Good Shepherd, bringing their grand total of donations to $2,000 on the day.  I have no doubt Mr. Lynn will come through in the clutch.  To put Travelers’ $2,000 donation in perspective, each $1 donated to Good Shepherd can provide four meals for a family in Maine.  Please join in the cause as well; bring in a non-perishable food item to the Travelers Fan Experience booth located down the third base side of the concourse (also where Mr. Lynn will be), and receive a ticket for April or May of the 2013 season.  I’ve seen a tentative view of our 2013 schedule, and there is a lot of room for some really fun promotions, so start planning your games for next season now and help a Maine family in the process.

Also on Saturday the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a 2012 team card set, and on your way into the park you can enjoy The Kastaways final performance of 2012.  They rocked the house in August at L.L. Bean‘s KidsFest, so you definitely want to make it out to catch them live one last time.  The Kastaways’ Facebook page just recently reached 500 likes, a milestone they celebrated by donating their paychecks to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.  Feeling left out because you haven’t liked them yet?  No problem.  Go here and take care of that:  https://www.facebook.com/TheKastaways

Sunday is a day the entire staff looks forward to, our Field of Dreams/ Fan Appreciation Game made possible by NextGen College Investing Plan.  A cornfield magically appears in centerfield, and the team emerges from this donning the throw back uniforms of the 1926 Portland Eskimos.  The image itself is beautiful, and is only made more special as the players go INTO the stands and personally thank the fans for their support all season.  On Sunday we’ll also be granting a few wishes for some Make a Wish Kids before the game.  And, as usual for our Sundays, kids can run the bases after the game thanks to Prime Motor Group.

Our Fan Appreciation Game is a can’t miss on the schedule each year.

Monday is  your last chance to catch the Sea Dogs in 2012 with a Labor Day 1pm game.  Before this game we will be handing out our team awards thanks to Irving Oil and Creative Awards.  Irving Oil has done an amazing job partnering with the Special Olympics, and since 1999 has raised over $2 million bucks for various state chapters in New England.  Learn more about this great program here: http://www.theirving.com/default.aspx?pageid=281.

Then the season is over!  It’s always so sad, like the end of a school year.  But never fear, we will have plenty of fun events throughout the fall, winter and spring to talk about.  And I promise, in addition to getting back into the gym, I will get back into the blogging to keep everyone updated on the outside the lines happenings of the Sea Dogs.

Cool Giveaway for a Hot Day

Dead River is giving away Slugger Snow Globes to the first 1,000 fans into the park tonight!

 

Join us tonight for a special Christmas in July game!  Gates open at 5:30pm and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Slugger Snow Globe thanks to Dead River Company.  Game time is at 7:00pm .  Santa will be on hand to deliver the first pitch, as he does some promotional work with us here tonight, prepping for his next appearance here in December for our Second Annual Holiday at Hadlock!  (Holiday at Hadlock will take place on December 1st, 2012…mark your calendar now!)

 

If you can’t make it tonight, join us tomorrow for another 7:00pm game for our second Bark in the Park to benefit Planet Dog!

Bring your Boots for Some Day Baseball

Get ready for L.L. Bean Day at the park today, and bring your Bean Boots for our Boots for Biscuits Parade around the warning track at 12:15.  All fans sporting their Bean Boots who participate in this parade will be handsomely rewarded with a Sea Dog biscuit.  You do not have to wear your boots for the entire game!

Wear these!

Also, L.L. Bean will have a game set up in the front plaza and give away various prizes throughout the game so it will be a very fun and festive atmosphere.

After the game all kids 16 and under can run the bases of Hadlock Field thanks to Prime Motor Group.

Do this!

Watch this! (Photo by Jim Allen)

Gates open at 11:30am with the game beginning at 1:00pm.  Hope to see you all out today!