Minor league baseball has always been a family-friendly option because the small stadiums and affordable prices make it a good activity for small children. The Brooklyn Cyclones took that to another level on Sunday by celebrating children who weren't even able to make it to the game by virtue of not being born yet.
The Cyclones held "Bellies and Baseball" night on Sunday, with all sorts of activities geared toward the mothers of the next generation of baseball fans. There was a pre-game Lamaze class in center field, a buffet geared toward pregnancy cravings like pickles and ice cream and any mother who went into labor during the game would get free tickets for life.
That's not the only route to a lifetime of free baseball, however. The Cyclones are offering free tickets for life to any child born to a mother who was at the game given the name Brooklyn or Cyclone. Show a ticket stub and a birth certificate and the ticket stub from the game and the tickets are all yours. Shouldn't the tickets go to the kid, though?
That could wind up being a money-losing decision for the Cyclones. While it's doubtful that we'll see too many Cyclones coming into the world, there could be more than a few Brooklyns. It's got some currency thanks to Brooklyn Decker (Andy Roddick's wife/SI swimsuit model) and David Beckham's son, and was the 47th most popular name for girls in 2008.
It's a good promotion idea, so it wouldn't be surprising to see other minor league outfits give this a try. Some, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs come to mind, would be hard-pressed to find any takers, but the Eugene Emeralds and Reno Aces could actually find some takers among their fanbases. Not that you'd have to limit things to the minors. The Angels, Rays and Marlins wouldn't be reaching too far, and you'd probably get a fair number of kids named Yankee and Red Sox if those teams offered up their expensive tickets as a rationale for baseball-loving parents.
Hopefully whichever team picks up the torch and goes forward next will exapand the fun. Ultrasound pictures on the jumbotron! A honorary captain for each team whose belly must be rubbed for luck before each at-bat! Get an epidural and your next hot dog's free! Let's go for broke here, people.