#5: Starting a game at 5 a.m.
The Saints game on May 8, 2005 set a record for the earliest start time for a professional game, with the first pitch thrown at 5:35 a.m. The promotion was centered around Mother’s Day, and drew a crowd of 2,253 to Midway Stadium. One of the giveaways was free cereal. The game ended in a 6-6 tie with the Sioux Falls Canaries, who left their hotel at 4 a.m.
#4: The game that had no umpires
Everyone who has played or coached baseball has had their share of run-ins with umpires who they didn’t like. On May 11, 2013, the Saints took care of the problem when they played the Gary Southshore Railcats with no umpires present. Balls and strikes were called by the catchers, with fielders making calls on the bases. If a play was close, a jury of Little Leaguers had the final decision. Despite the antics, the Saints pulled out a 4-3 win on a walk-off error.
#3: 2008 US Senate Recount
Minnesota’s 2008 US Senate election was one of, if not the closest, in the state’s history. It took until June to decide a winner. Incumbent Norm Coleman ® led after the initial Election Day counting, but his margin of victory was well under the 0.5% that triggered an automatic recount. When the recount was finally finished, Democrat Al Franken overtook Coleman and won the seat. The Saints decided to poke fun at the recount on May 23 when they gave out 2,500 bobbleheads that had the face of Franken on one side and Coleman on the other. During the game fans were asked to turn their bobblehead to either Coleman or Franken, and had attorneys present to count the votes.
#2: Tweeting Weiner Boxer Shorts
One of the political stories of 2011 was that US Congressman Anthony Weiner had used Twitter to send indecent photos of himself. The Saints poked fun at this on July 23 when the first 1,501 fans 18 or older received a pair of underwear that featured a hot dog posing for a photo that’s being taken by a blue bird who bears a remarkable similarity to the Twitter logo. The promotion continued even after the Congressman resigned from office.
#1: St. Paul Raccoons
It was a story of the little raccoon who could, and it captivated not only the area, but viewers all around the world. After the furry critter was rescued from the UBS building in St. Paul, it was honored on June 26 when the Saints changed their name to the Raccoons, and wore special jerseys for the night. They also gave out raccoon masks to the first 1,500 fans in attendance. The Saints could have used the raccoon, as they lost the game 5-2 to the Sioux City Explorers.
The Saints will add to this list this week when they host a six-game homestand that will feature among other things a tribute night to the Fighting Saints. Tickets for all games can be found at saintsbaseball.com