Tag Archives: Baseball

#FerrellTakesTheField and Spices Up Spring Training

By: Gina Mason

This year’s Major League Baseball Spring Training is one for the record books and one player is sure to go down in infamy for pulling off one of the most bizarre antics in baseball history. On Thursday, this player was traded to 10 different teams and played 10 different positions during five games in the span of one day. However, this was not your average professional baseball player. This type of accomplishment could only be pulled off by the man, the myth, the legend, Will Ferrell.

The comedian/actor laced up his cleats and hit the baseball field in a stunt of epic proportions to defy the odds of baseball, honor baseball legend Bert “Campy” Campaneris and most importantly, raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer.

Thanks to the brilliance of HBO and Funny or Die, Ferrell played all 10 positions (including DH) for 10 teams in the Cactus League in Arizona as part of an upcoming TV special that will air later this year. Relying on cars and “choppahs” (helicopters) to get from game to game, Ferrell managed to go 0-2 (2K) with one foul tip on offense, he also intentionally walked one batter while pitching, skillfully coached third base with awesome signs, grew an impressive beard and was traded for a Churro Dog and a D-bat Dog.

Prior to the games, Ferrell said that he felt confident going into the day and that “these teams need a clubhouse presence and my presence is a flabby 47-year-old guy that doesn’t know how to play. But I have life experience and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” during a pre-game(s) interview with ESPN’s Mike & Mike.
Not only did Ferrell pull off this crazy stunt, it was all documented via live-tweeting with the hashtag #FerrellTakesTheField.

Here is a recap of the day, thanks to ABC News:

“GAME ONE: Ferrell kicked off the first game by playing shortstop for the A’s. However, his time with the team was short, as he was traded to the Mariners almost immediately. “The A’s announced that Will Ferrell has been traded to the @Mariners for a CATBNL (Comedic Actor To Be Named Later). #FerrellTakesTheField,” the Mariners announced on Twitter. He played second base for the Mariners.

GAME TWO: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
As a kid, Ferrell rooted for the Angels, “before they became the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, Adjacent to L.A., Just Southern California, South, North of San Diego Angels,” he joked. He kicked off game two playing for his hometown team, taking center field in place of Mike Trout and during his time on the field, successfully fielded the ball.
Afterward, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, where he played first and coached third base.
Ferrell also batted, though he struck out!

GAME THREE: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks
In a blockbuster trade, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Ferrell from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two specialty hot dogs — a Churro dog and D-Bat dog — before playing Cincinnati.
It’s unclear if the hot dog he was later seen eating was one he was traded for.
Ferrell lined up in left field for the Diamondbacks.
Ferrell was later traded to the Reds and suddenly grew a lengthy grey beard. He played third base for Cincinnati.

GAME FOUR: San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox
Ferrell was on the move again later, arriving as a member of the Chicago White Sox via helicopter.
He struck out as a White Sox player and was quickly traded to the San Francisco Giants.
GAME FIVE: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Ferrell pitched for the Dodgers before he was traded to the Padres to become San Diego’s right fielder.”

What may seem like an extravagant ploy, the craziness of the day did not go unnoticed and was extremely successful in terms of fundraising. According to @CBSSportsMLB, Ferrell was able to raise $1 million dollars to fight cancer and he will also auction off all of the uniforms and equipment he used during the day for the cause. It seemed as though the players, fans and all involved really enjoyed the comedic relief of Ferrell’s absurdity, but not all appreciated what he was doing. Former NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden found the stunt offensive, ““That’s a lack of respect. That’s a lack of respect for the game and a [lack of] respect for what players have to do to get where they are.”

As a huge Will Ferrell and baseball fan, I loved this stunt and that fact that it raised money for a great cause. Some view the game of baseball as “boring” and I think this spiced it up a little and showed the MLB as an organization may not be so “old school” as many previously thought. While I understand how some view the stunt as “disrespectful” to the game, I think because it was raising awareness for a good cause it was totally acceptable. After all, this was Spring Training not Game 7 of the World Series. I also loved the social media updates from all of the teams involved and hope that baseball as well as all professional sports organizations can take advantage of opportunities like this to generate awareness and give back to charities that need help.

What did you think of this stunt? Did you find it funny or disrespectful?
As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Is Jeter the Next Jordan?

By: Gina Mason

For the last twenty years, the world has watched Derek Jeter make some incredible plays, perform under immense scrutiny and always maintain his composure. Throughout his entire career the man who many lovingly referred to as “The Captain” has been able to successful thrive on the world’s biggest stage that is New York and build an empire of devout fans from all walks of life. Although #2 played his last baseball game on Sunday, his name will not be long forgotten.

What Jeter has established over the last two decades is so much more than just a name in the record books or on the back of a jersey. His name, Derek Jeter is a brand that is now much greater than the individual and arguably even more valuable. Built on the foundation of his playing days, Jeter Inc. is on its way to being the next “Jordan” brand.

Striking while the iron is hot, Jeter Inc. is already in the process of building its empire and cashing in on all of the farewell attention. On Tuesday, Jeter Publishing released the first children’s book, “The Contract” which is a fictional story about a boy named…you guessed it, Derek Jeter. This is just the first of many ventures that we can expect from his multimedia company Jeter Inc. and I have no doubt that his brand will continue to grow into something as big as the Big Apple.

Here are a few reasons why I believe the Jeter brand is going to succeed:

Reputation:
When you think of Derek Jeter, what qualities come to mind? For me, Jeter has always possessed class, was extremely hardworking and driven and was consistently respectful to his fellow players, the fans and most importantly, the game of baseball. Jeter established a reputation not just with Yankees fans, but also with fans and players from around the league all of which had a mutual respect for him (hence the Farewell Tour). From a PR perspective, reputations don’t get much better than Derek Jeter’s and miraculously he was able to live, play and date in New York City while keeping his reputation intact (thanks to a great publicist, some fantastic media training and his charming, quick wit). His personal reputation is the cornerstone of the Jeter Inc. brand and is the most critical factor of the brand’s success. After all, reputation is everything when branding a company, which is why Jeter Inc. is off to a great start.

Established Brand Loyalty:
Over the last 20 years, Derek Jeter came into the homes of millions of baseball fans from around the world and cemented himself as a household name. Jeter has not only been loyal to the Yankees, but to the game of baseball and that is what keeps people coming back for more. Take his Farewell Tour for example, the fact that thousands all of the people from all over the country made trips near and far to get a final glimpse of “The Captain” speaks to the loyalty people have to him and his brand. If his Farewell Tour is any indication of how his brand will fare with sports fans, I think it is going to be a huge hit.

Trust:
One thing that Jeter has always been known for is his clutch performances and staying cool, calm and collected in high-pressure situations. When the game was on the line there was only one player who Yankees coaches, players and fans trusted to come up big in a tight spot and that player was #2. When all else failed, people trusted Jeter to lead them through the tough times and that trust he earned throughout his career will translate into Jeter Inc.

Following in the Right Footsteps:
One of the smartest moves that Jeter has made is following in the footsteps of arguably one of the most iconic and successful retired professional athletes, Michael Jordan. Jordan was not only incredible on the court, but he has been able to monetize his name and success to build an empire with Nike. Aligning himself with “His Airness,” will only make the Jeter brand stronger and more successful.

I’m anxious to see what the future has in store for “Jeets” and Jeter Inc. I’m sure that if he invests himself into the brand the way he did the game, he is going to be extremely successful (and very rich!).

Do you think that Jeter will be more successful off the field? Do you think Jeter Inc. has the potential to be as big as Jordan?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.