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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers’ High A affiliate makes headlines with clever 2023 promotion

(HIckory Crawdads)



The answer to the most important question is yes.

Yes, the Hickory Dickory Docks promotional hats are available in a presale.

The Rangers’ High A affiliate announced Wednesday one of the more creative promotions in all of minor-league baseball for 2023. The Hickory Crawdads will become the Hickory Dickory Docks on Aug. 17-19.

The idea, based on the Hickory, Dickory, Dock nursery rhyme, has been batted around for a few years, Hickory general manager Douglas Locascio said, and he and his staff are finally pulling it off with help from the apparel company Brandiose.

The hats feature the logo of a mouse running up a clock, plucked from the prose “Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock.” The clock is set on 8:28, and 828 just happens to be the area code in Hickory, N.C.

The Rangers’ Double A affiliate, Frisco, hasn’t announced its full promotional schedule but is planning to hold Bad Choices Night in 2023. The RoughRiders have already invited Cory Youmans, the local fan who snatched Aaron Judge’s 62nd home-run ball and quickly turned down an offer of $3 million for it.

The ball later sold at auction for $1.5 million.

Also invited, former Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett, whose premature TD celebration in Super Bowl XXVII resulted in a Buffalo TD, and former MLB infielder Robin Ventura, who, well, you know.

Fan Fest details

The countdown to spring training begins in earnest Saturday, when the Rangers hold Fan Fest for the first time since 2020.

Thanks a lot, COVID and the lockout.

The one-day baseball kickoff runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Globe Life Field, and most of the big names will be on hand for Q&As, a Wiffle Ball home run derby, photo opportunities and, of course, autographs.

Manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Chris Young are among those who will participate in Q&A sessions in the StubHub Club. So will Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Jake Odorizzi, Corey Seager and Ivan Rodriguez.

Autographs will be signed throughout the day, though the schedule has not been released. There are rules. Lots of rules. Don’t shoot the messenger, especially about the second and fourth rules.

• Tickets to autograph sessions will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Photos and personalized autographs are not permitted.

• Players will sign a limited number of autographs per session and will not sign beyond their allotted times.

• Fans will receive an autograph ticket once they are in line. One autograph per person per player.

• When autograph session lines are at a designated capacity, the line will be closed, and no further guests will be permitted to enter that line.

• Exit and re-entry to autograph lines is not permitted.

• The video boards and concourse televisions will post who is signing during each session one hour prior to the start of that session.

• Fast passes are sold out. Those holding fast passes can butt to the front of the line.

Here is who will be signing (autograph fast passes are sold out): Joe Barlow, Bruce Bochy, Brock Burke, Jacob deGrom, Dane Dunning, Nathan Eovaldi, Mitch Garver, Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, Taylor Hearn, Jonah Heim, Jonathan Hernandez, Spencer Howard, Josh Jung, Nathaniel Lowe, Mike Maddux, Mark Mathias, Jake Odorizzi, Martin Perez, Ivan Rodriguez, Josh Sborz, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Josh Smith.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Tickets can be purchased in advance here or beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at the North ticket office. Parking in lots B, C and D is free.

The Rangers say there will be on-field activities in addition to the home run derbies with team alumni. Fans can get a look at at the Rangers and visiting team clubhouses, and Chuck Morgan is available for pictures in the public address booth on the main concourse.

Texas Rangers 50th Anniversary book signings with Jeff Russell 11 a.m.-noon and Tom Grieve 1 p.m.-2 p.m. will be held in the Grand Slam Team Store.

Concession stands will be open.

Rolen to Hall

Scott Rolen was the only player elected for induction in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, appearing on 76.3 percent of the ballots cast by eligible voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Rolen had only five votes to spare.

The Gold Glove-winning third baseman will join Fred McGriff, elected by the Veteran’s Committee, this summer in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rockies first baseman Todd Helton narrowly missed out on getting in.

The former Rangers player who received the most votes was Andruw Jones (2009), who appeared 58.1 percent of the ballots. Seventy-five percent is required for enshrinement.

The Rangers had a very timely tweet the Rolen annoucement, saying it’s only one year until Adrian Beltre gets the call to the Hall. Beltre will be eligible for the first time as part of the Class of 2024. Another potential ballot first-timer, Twins catcher/first baseman, Joe Mauer is also on the ballot.


Doggy video!

Like the Wilson hounds when the ice dispenser overflows. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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