What’s a minor league baseball team without the fun, kooky, and sometimes over-the-top promotional nights? The Hartford Yard Goats announced their promotional schedule for the upcoming season Wednesday night.
The biggest news: Bye-bye peanuts and Cracker Jack. The Goats announced they will no longer serve peanuts to better accomodate fans with allergies. The team said in a press release:
“While many teams throughout professional sports have peanut-free sections, and/or peanut-free games, the Yard Goats are the first to stop selling the common allergen completely at their home venue in order to create a safe environment for individuals with peanut and tree nut allergies.”
But the team has new additions too, plus returning favorites from seasons past.
The popular “Whalers Alumni Weekend” will take place July 12 – 14. The players will bring back the Whalers-themed, hockey-style jersey for the weekend. The festivities will also include a mini hockey stick giveaway and autograph session with Whalers legends.
The team is also making time to honor baseball legends Jackie Robinson (June 8) and Roberto Clemente (Aug. 23).
The Goats the will also honor top Rockies prospect and former Yard Goat Brendan Rodgers with a Mr. Rodgers-esque “Mr. Brendan Rodgers” bobblehead giveaway on May 29.
The Hartford Yard Goats will play as Los Chivos de Hartford three times: April 16, May 17 and July 15. The name translates to “The Goats of Hartford” and is part of a multicultural fan initiative from Minor League Baseball.
They’ll take on another identity for the team’s “What If Night,” donning a name from the list of team name finalists. They’ll play as the Hartford River Hogs (a play on Hartford’s Hog River) on Aug. 11.
Many minor league teams host a “Star Wars Night”, but Hartford is making an entire weekend out of it. “Star Wars Weekend” will take place July 26 – 27.
During games, the Goats are known to play those viral video clips of actual screaming goats. This season, the team takes it even further with the Screamin’ Goat jersey; you can expect to see the players sporting them on July 27. The screaming goat concept has been in the works for four years, said Yard Goats President Tim Restall. He said the idea was born while the team was still in New Britain and had already announced the move to Hartford and name change.
Steamed Cheeseburger Night, which garnered plenty of attention for celebrating Connecticut’s unique burger style, will also return April 27, June 7 and Aug. 13 . Other returning promotional nights include Bark in the Park Night (that’s right, bring your dog!) on April 29, Pink in the Park (May 16), Wizarding Night (Aug. 25), and Pride Night (Aug. 27).
The Yard Goats, Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, will play their home opener April 11 at Dunkin Donuts Park.