Minor League Baseball

Newark Bears Jump on Flu As Chance to Spread Wings

Friday, May 26, 2006

Soooo many reasons to love minor league baseball . . .

First, the Newark team is nicknamed the Bears. Bears! In Jersey! Just like in Tony Soprano 's back yard.

And then there's the Bears' special promotion tonight. The team, which competes in the independent Atlantic League, is having "Bird Flu Awareness Night," featuring a pregame chicken-wing eating contest.

"With a mild form of the Avian Flu influenza [sic] found in a bird market in Camden County recently, the Newark Bears cautiously welcome the Camden Riversharks to town," the team's Web site announces. "Present anything 'chicken' related at the Newark Bears' box office -- a rubber chicken, a can of chicken soup -- and receive FREE admission."

Frankly, we haven't been this excited since Mike Veeck 's genius idea to give away a vasectomy on Father's Day a few years ago in Charleston, S.C. Sadly, that one was nipped in the bud when the mayor and a local bishop who was a season ticket holder complained.

-- Cindy Boren

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