Brevard lets the dogs out for one of the minor league's best promos
|When the Florida State League's Brevard Manatees open their outfield gate before the fifth inning for the popular Who Let the Dogs Out promotion, hundreds of kids race onto the outfield.
By Chuck King
As scouting goes, this is an unconventional way to find the next Milwaukee Brewers prospect.
Brevard County, the Brewers’ Single-A Florida State League affiliate, has found a way to take the popular post-game Kids Run the Bases minor league promotion to the next level. The Manatees flood their field with rushing tots during the game.
Dubbed “Who Let the Dogs Out,” the Manatees’ promotion is exceptional in its simplicity. The execution is amazing to see.
In the fourth inning the public address announcer calls for all children that want to join the run to head to the berm behind the left-centerfield wall. Several Manatees’ staffers join the flow, lining the kids up in a quasi-single file line that snakes out of sight behind the berm.
As soon as the final out of the fourth inning is recorded the staff yanks open the gate makes up part of the centerfield wall. As the Baha Men's hit "Who Let the Dogs Out?" blares through the stadium speakers, one staffer races into centerfield trailed by a massive snake of screaming kids. More than 200 joined the mass on Saturday.
“As minor league staffers we take it for granted going onto the field,” Brevard County General Manager Buck Rogers said. “We run on and run off and never think about it. Here’s their chance to get on the field.”
What’s odd is that the players barely seem to notice. Manatees centerfielder Lorenzo Cain managed a few glances at the wilding throng, but for the most part it has become an accepted occurrence – barely a diversion – at Space Coast Stadium.
Kids run out to a cone placed in right field, then back through centerfield, disappearing through the same gate they originally emerged. When the last of the stragglers is safely off the field, staffers slam the gate closed and play resumes.
“All the kids get a chance and if a few adults sneak down onto the field with their kids, well, we are all kids at heart at the ballpark,” Rogers said.
Minor league baseball teams are allotted two minutes between each half inning. The Manatees try to complete the run in 90 seconds. On Saturday play resumed seconds after the gate was secured. The kids raced behind the wall and up into the stands to their parents.
Several kids went straight to the concession stand to get a drink. Rogers headed to the front of the park to check the night’s post-game giveaway - Tetley Tea sample packs.
“The game is going on for two and a half hours, so you may as well show them as much fun as you can,” Rogers said.
Check out my blog for more on wild minor league promotions and minor league baseball.