Baseball Stadiums: Georgia’s Summer Promotions

Summer is right around the corner as the school year finishes with Memorial Day weekend, and that means baseball season hits full stride, too.  For parents and baseball fans looking for inexpensive and fun ways to spend their summer evenings, Georgia’s four minor league teams offer a variety of promotions.  Minor league baseball is known for regular promotions like “Thirsty Thursday” or “Two-for-One Tuesdays,” but I wanted to focus on some of the unique promotions and giveaways that provide fans with a real reason to attend a game.  Whether you want to check out your local team or make a road trip, there are tons of reasons for fans to flock to ballparks in Rome, Savannah, Augusta, or Gwinnett.  Here’s a rundown of the promotions (team-by-team):

Gwinnett Braves

Friday, May 24: Dudes vs. Foods Night

Dudes Vs. Foods 2012 (credit Leslie Watts, Gwinnett Braves)

Dudes Vs. Foods 2012 (credit Leslie Watts, Gwinnett Braves)

Saturday, May 25: Mini Bat Giveaway

Friday, June 7: Father’s Day Fun plus Post-Game Fireworks

Saturday, June 8: 5th Anniversary Bank Giveaway

Sunday, June 9: Public Safety Day / Touch-A-Truck

Friday, June 21: ‘80s Night / Powder Blue Jersey Auction

Saturday, June 22: Jason Heyward Bobblehead Giveaway

Thursday, July 4: Red, White, and Blue Thundersticks Giveaway plus Post-Game Fireworks

Friday, July 5: Beach Party

Saturday, July 6: Kris Medlen Bobblehead Giveaway

Friday, July 19: Outdoors Night

Saturday, July 20: Notebook Giveaway / Camouflage Jersey Auction

Friday, August 9: Football Night

Saturday, August 10: Craig Kimbrel Bobblehead Giveaway

Friday, August 16: G-Braves Baseball Cap Giveaway

Friday, August 30: Fan Appreciation Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Four for the Road

Friday, May 24: Dudes vs. Foods Night.  If you’ve ever wanted to test your chops, or perhaps stomach, as a competitive eater tonight is your night.  Maybe you’ll take home the Yellow Mustard Belt!

Friday, June 21: ‘80s Night / Powder Blue Jersey Auction.  If you remember the Atlanta Braves playing in powder blue jerseys during the ‘80s with Dale Murphy patrolling the outfield and Bruce Benedict behind home plate, you will want to attend this game.  Following the trip down memory lane, fans can bid on game-worn throwback jerseys and own a piece of the 1980s.  Proceeds from the auction support Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation.

Friday, July 5: Beach Party.  There’s no need to pile the family into the minivan and trek to the coast, you can make the trip to Lawrenceville and have the beach brought to you.  Themed contests will allow fans to experience the beach without the three-hour drive.

Saturday, July 20: Notebook Giveaway / Camouflage Jersey Auction.  If you don’t have enough camouflage in your closet, here’s your chance to watch the G-Braves play in camo jerseys and bid on them after the game.  I’m sure there will be some Duck Dynasty fans in attendance, too.  Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Savannah Sand Gnats

Thursday, May 23: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway SSG-BSE-PINK-13-1B

Saturday, May 25: Girl Scout Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Sunday, May 26: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Tuesday, June 11: Marco’s Feed Your Face: All-You-Can-Eat Pizza

Friday, June 14: Sand Gnats T-Shirt Giveaway

Saturday, June 15: Boy Scout Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Thursday, June 27: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway / Military Jersey Auction

Saturday, June 29: Coastal Health District Healthy Heart Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Sunday, June 30: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Thursday, July 11: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway

Friday, July 26: Johan Santana Bobblehead Giveaway

Sunday, July 28: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Thursday, August 8: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway

Sunday, August 25: TailsSpin Bark in the Park

Four for the Road

Thursday, June 27: Military Appreciation T-Shirt Giveaway / Military Jersey Auction.  Admission is free for active duty or retired military personnel with an ID and the first 100 active duty service members will receive a free armed forces T-shirt.  The Sand Gnats will wear military-inspired jerseys that fans can bid on following the game.  Proceeds benefit local military charities.

Saturday, June 29: Coastal Health District Healthy Heart Night.  Not every promotion allows fans to leave the stadium with a new item.  Sometimes the promo focuses on local charities or promoting awareness, and that’s the case here.  Fans can kick off the day with the Home Run 5K Trot at 8 a.m. before the evening’s game.

Friday, July 26: Johan Santana Bobblehead Giveaway.  Most minor league teams honor former players who reached The Show with a bobblehead, but the Sand Gnats are doing something unique with this giveaway.  The team celebrates its affiliation with the New York Mets by honoring two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star Johan Santana with his own bobblehead, although he has never played for the team.

Sunday, August 25: TailsSpin Bark in the Park.  The last Sunday of each month fans can bring their family pooch to the park, and this is the last chance to bring your best four-legged friend to the stadium this season.

Rome Braves

Myron Noodleman (credit Rome Braves)

Friday, May 31: Beach Towel Giveaway

Saturday, June 1: Mystery Bag Giveaway

Sunday, June 2: National Cancer Survivors Day

Friday, June 7: Ladies Night

Saturday, June 8: Appearance by Zooperstars

Friday, June 21: Retro Braves Night

Saturday, June 22: Parrot Head Paradise Night with Post-Game Concert: The Swinging Medallions

Thursday, July 4: Celebrate America Night plus Post-Game Fireworks

Friday, July 5: Appearance by BBoy McCoy

Friday, July 19: Craig Kimbrel Bobblehead Giveaway

Saturday, July 20: Post-Game Concert: Slippery When Wet

Friday, August 2: Appearance by Myron Noodleman

Saturday, August 3: Post-Game Concert: The Tams

Friday, August 16: Tribute to the King – Elvis Night

Saturday, August 17: Back to School Puzzle Giveaway plus Post-Game Fireworks

Four for the Road

Friday, June 7: Ladies Night.  Female fans will receive a night of pampering at the park.  So bring your mom, wives, girlfriends, or the cute girl at work and impress her with an opportunity to be pampered while watching the America’s Pastime.

Saturday, June 22: Parrot Head Paradise Night with Post-Game Concert: The Swinging Medallions.  Fans of Jimmy Buffet already picked up on the theme of tonight’s game, and fans can bid on the special Parrot Head Paradise jerseys the Braves will wear tonight.  After the game, fans can enjoy the sounds of The Swinging Medallions, the Party Band of the South.

Friday, August 2: Appearance by Myron Noodleman.  There are a variety of entertainers who visit minor league ballparks and arenas throughout the year, but everybody’s favorite nerd is among one of the best entertainers out there.  Tonight is your only chance to catch him at a game in Georgia this season.

Friday, August 16: Tribute to the King – Elvis Night.  Here’s proof that you don’t have to be in Memphis to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, as the Braves pay tribute to Elvis.  Enjoy music from Elvis along with King-themed trivia, and fans dressed as Elvis can enter a Look-a-Like contest.

Augusta GreenJackets

The GreenJackets take a different approach to promotions.  Instead of numerous giveaways or appearances that take place on almost any night of the week, the club reserves giveaways for Saturdays and highlights daily deals the rest of the week.  Here’s the rundown of daily deals followed by the Saturday night specials:

Mondays: Feed Your Face Mondays (All-you-can-eat on select items until 6th inning)

Tuesdays: Two-for-Tuesdays (Two-for-one pricing on soft drinks and draft beers)

Wednesdays: BI-LO Baseball Bingo (Play baseball bingo for prizes)

Thursdays: Thirsty Thursday ($1 soft drinks and $1 draft beers)

Fridays: Fireworks Friday (Post-Game fireworks show)

Saturdays: American Family Insurance’s Saturday Family Night (special giveaways)

Sundays: Kids Day! (Children under 12 can participate in pre-game and post-game activities)

Saturday, June 1: Tim Wakefield Statuette Giveaway

Saturday, June 8: Bark in the Park

Saturday, June 22: GreenJackets Baseball Cap Giveaway

Pablo Sandoval Statuette

Pablo Sandoval Statuette

Saturday, July 6: Appearance by the Inflatamaniacs

Saturday, July 20: Military Appreciation Night

Saturday, August 3: Pablo Sandoval Statuette Giveaway

Saturday, August 17: GreenJackets Team Photo Giveaway

Four for the Road

Saturday, June 1: Tim Wakefield Statuette Giveaway.  The club inducted former the

Boston Red Sox knuckleballer into its Hall of Fame this season, and honor him with a miniature statue.  The two-time World Series champion played for the club as a first baseman in 1989 in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system before converting to a full-time pitcher the following season.

Saturday, July 6: Appearance by the Inflatamaniacs.  Fans who watched last summer’s “America’s Got Talent” should remember the Inflatamaniacs.  The judges quickly booted the quartet, but fans can expect them to bring their best stuff to Lake Olmstead Stadium.  The diverse group makes its only scheduled appearance in the region tonight.

Saturday, July 20: Military Appreciation Night.  The club has not announced any special jerseys or promotions for the night, but with Fort Gordon just 25 minutes away from the stadium it is sure to be a special night to honor America’s armed forces.

Saturday, August 3: Pablo Sandoval Statuette Giveaway.  It cannot be easy miniaturizing a player nicknamed Kung Fu Panda because of his girth, but the GreenJackets have done it to honor another member of their inaugural Hall of Fame class.  Sandoval split time between first and third base while playing in Augusta during the 2006 season.  He has gone on to help the San Francisco Giants claim two World Series crowns, and earned World Series MVP honors during the 2012 Fall Classic.

Whether you hit the highways for a road trip or just visit your local ballpark, you’re now equipped with information about some of the most unique promotions coming to a stadium near you.  Enjoy some of the most cost-friendly family entertainment available and catch the stars of tomorrow in your own backyard!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteven Ericson claims Pittsburgh, Pa., as his ancestral home, but grew up in Marietta.  He loves baseball and getting his photo taken with team mascots.  When not at a ballpark, you can find him visiting presidential sights and state capitols. Read his blog at


Georgia Grown: Lane Southern Orchards

What: Lane Southern Orchards & their Sweet Georgia Peaches

Where: Fort Valley, Georgia

cooked cobbler w ice cream 6The Story: Since 1908, Lane Southern Orchards has planted, grown and harvested over 3,000 acres of the best-tasting peaches in Georgia.  The sweet, Georgia peach can be enjoyed from mid-May through August.  This friendly agricultural operation offers over 300,000 visitors annually a chance to see a real working farm.  You can take a tour of the Farm in June & July, the peak of Peach Season, and get a behind the scenes look at the peach orchards.  Follow this informational tour with a self guided tour on our elevated catwalk and watch how we grade them and see how the peach makes if from the trees right to your family’s table.

Breads 2You don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy this sweet, Georgia Treat.  Our peaches are frozen and used year round in our famous peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach bread and bread pudding served daily in our Peachtree Cafe.  If you want to take a taste of Lane Peaches home to enjoy later, our frozen cobblers and peach slices are now available at our Roadside Mark.  Lane Southern Orchards’ family-friendly atmosphere keeps folks coming back to the farm year after year.

Lane Southern Orchards is open daily year round.  Visit their Peachtree Café for a yummy snack and stop by their roadside market for local, fresh produce, gift items and our gourmet items.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Yatesville, Georgia. Photo by Sherri Leigh Fenley Wear. Submitted via Facebook.

Yatesville, Georgia. Photo by Sherri Leigh Fenley Wear. Submitted via Facebook.

South Georgia. Photo by @mysoulcandance_celisa. Submitted via Instagram.

South Georgia. Photo by @mysoulcandance_celisa. Submitted via Instagram.

Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia. Photo by Laura Sorrells. Submitted via Flickr.

Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia. Photo by Laura Sorrells. Submitted via Flickr.

10 of Georgia’s Famous Final Resting Places


Famous writers, actors, sports figures, musicians and creators are interred in Georgia’s cemeteries. Here are 10 of our state’s most famous final resting places.

1. Ty Cobb– A professional baseball player that was both loved and hated, Ty Cobb dominated major league baseball in its early years. He died July 17, 1961, at Emory University Hospital after a battle with prostate cancer and is interred in his family’s mausoleum in Royston.

Margaret Mitchell2. Margaret Mitchell – The writer best known for her novel Gone With The Wind was hit by a drunk driver on Peachtree Street in Atlanta the evening of Aug. 11, 1949. She died five days later at Grady Memorial Hospital without ever having regained consciousness. She was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta where her husband was buried beside her only a few years later.


3. Joel Chandler Harris – The author best known as the author of the Uncle Remus died July 3, 1908, from acute nephritis and cirrhosis of the liver. He is interred at Westside Cemetery in Atlanta.

Bobby Jones4. Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones Jr. – Perhaps the greatest golfer to ever live, Jones was restricted to a wheelchair in his final years after developing syringomyelia. He died Dec. 18, 1971, three days after converting to Catholicism. He is buried in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery.

5. Otis Redding – The man who has “The King of the Soul Singers” inscribed on his tomb was killed Dec. 9, 1967, when the plane he was flying in crashed in Lake Monona, Wis. He was entombed on Dec. 19 at his home in Red Oak, 20 miles north of Macon.

6. Duane Allman – In 1971, the man that Rolling Stone would rank as the No. 2 guitarist if all time and the co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band was killed at the age of 24 in a motorcycle accident. Following his death on Oct. 29, Allman was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.

7. John Herndon (Johnny) Mercer – Among his other professional singer and songwriter accomplishments, Mercer was a co-founder of Capitol Records. He died on June 25, 1976, in Bel Air, Calif. Mercer was buried in Savannah‘s historic Bonaventure Cemetery.

8. Uga – Since 1992, each of the University of Georgia’s mascots has been interred in a mausoleum near the main entrance to Sanford Stadium upon their death.

Path9. (Mary) Flannery O’Conner – One of the best known Southern writers in history, O’Conner developed lupus at a young age and died at 39 at Baldwin County Hospital. The woman whose book Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction is buried in Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville.


10. Juliette Gordon Lowe – The founder of the Girl Scouts of America developed breast cancer in 1923 and died four years later on Jan. 7, 1927. The 66 year old, buried in her Girl Scout uniform, was laid to rest in a plot in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah.

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.

Gems on Georgia’s Backroads


Pecan Trees

One of my favorite things about traveling to and through Georgia is getting off the interstate for a much more interesting ride down a two-lane highway. You never know what you’re going to find, like a beautiful pecan orchard or a vintage Ford truck just waiting to be photographed. Here are a few of my favorite stops on the backroads of Georgia.

LanePackingFort Valley: You aren’t a true Georgia visitor until you’ve eaten some of our produce, especially freshly picked peaches right off the tree. There are roadside stands all over the state with bushels of peaches for sale, but the mecca of peaches is located in Peach County (Yep, we love peaches so much we named a county after them) at Lane Southern Orchards. Right outside of Fort Valley you will find some of the best peaches you’ve ever eaten. You can get baskets full of them, or if peach preserves or homemade peach ice cream is more what you’re craving, they’ve got that, too. If you visit during the week, you can take a peek at the packing plant and watch peaches being inspected and sorted. And if you stop by any other time of the year, you can find other fresh goodies like pecans, tomatoes and strawberries. There’s always a good reason to make a pit stop here!

Whistle Stop Cafe

Whistle Stop Cafe

Juliette: If you’ve ever seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, you’re going to want to stop by Juliette. Located just a little bit north of Macon is the little town where the movie was filmed, and the best part is that it is still home to the Whistle Stop Café. A lot of the residents who were in involved with filming are still in Juliette and love to tell stories about it while you wander through the shops in their downtown. Make sure you leave time for lunch at the café, because these really are the best fried green tomatoes you’ll ever eat.

Thomaston: Every family has a restaurant or two that they visit so often it becomes a family tradition. For my family, that restaurant is River Bend. It’s been around for 40 years, and after you visit just once you can see why. Right outside of Thomaston on a hill overlooking the Flint River sits River Bend. They’re only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but you know you’re in for a treat when folks start lining up at the door about an hour before they open. Order a plate of fried catfish or shrimp, and you’ll be stuffed before you know it. Their hush puppies are to die for! It’s always nice to take a little stroll and enjoy the view after supper, too.

Warm Springs Batmobile

Warm Springs Batmobile

Warm Springs: Best known for FDR’s Little White House, Warm Springs is a great stop if you’re traveling through West Georgia on Hwy 41 or Hwy 85. The town is full of antiques, shops and curiosities. There is a motorcycle museum called Art in Motion that is definitely worth the price of admission. You could spend the better part of an afternoon checking out old Indians and Harleys. There are also items from classic movies and animatronic toys on display. If you’re lucky, you’ll visit Warm Springs during one of their festivals like the Spring Fling. If not, make sure you get a snack at Mac’s Barbecue. The pulled pork sandwich is one of my favorites!

Camping in the Giant TentAnna Lee Mikell is a Southern girl raised in Georgia and South Carolina. She loves Southern food, photography and SEC football. You can often find her searching for old records at the flea market or sipping sweet iced tea.

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