Minor league team cancels sexist promotion

The Ogden (Utah) Raptors have apparently had second thoughts about its “Hourglass Appreciation Night”, a promotion that offended everyone but the knucklehead who conceived it.

The team removed its press release announcing the event with “hourglass” referring to the shape of women’s bodies. Classy.

The home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth. Since August is the eighth month of the calendar year, and an 8 looks tantalizingly similar to an hourglass, be there a better way to remind the world that baseball needs no clock than to feature 18 hourglass-shaped color commentators?

That’s right! Stars Talent Studio of Salt Lake City will provide a different stunner each half-inning. And the Raptors will video-stream the broadcast booth – well, at least the better looking half of it!

Fans will have the opportunity to pose for pictures with the lovely ladies as we showcase seriously splendid visual appeal: Utah’s legendary mountains, Dodgers and Reds farmhands – and gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!

As you might expect — because not all of America has jumped back to the ’40s — it didn’t go over big on social media.

Two years ago, almost to the day, the team announced a Caucasian Heritage Night which was to include — as the team’s press release said at the time, “Wonder Bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge.” (It was another team in the league — the Orem Owlz — that had the Caucasian Heritage Night.)

[Update 2:40 p.m.]– The team has apologized, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“The Ogden Raptors regret that an unauthorized press release was disseminated over the weekend announcing a promotion that was not approved or scheduled by club ownership or management. This promotion will not take place and steps have been put in place to ensure this will not happen again. The Ogden Raptors offer a sincere apology to anyone who was offended by the promotion itself and the contents of the press release, and in no way supports or condones the objectification of women. It is not reflective of the values of the Ogden Raptors, Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the Pioneer Baseball League or Minor League Baseball.”

  • MrE85

    The sands started shifting on my figure some time ago. I sport the Hrbek look now.

  • Gary F

    I was ten or so, not old enough to fully appreciate the experience. My mom wasn’t happy but my dad had an out of town business associate that insisted that when he was in town he wanted to treat my dad and his boys to a game.

    I attended Halter Top day at Met Stadium.

    • Jim in RF

      I remember that, and I was old enough to appreciate it fully.

    • Rob

      Did the Twins and the visiting team all wear halter tops?

      • Jim in RF

        Remember who Butch Husky was?

  • While mirth is part of the minor league ball ethos, this certainly does cross the lines of good taste.

    • Rob

      In this case, mirth ain’t the m word that comes to most peoples’ minds, and this is a little bit more than just crossing the lines of good taste.

  • Rob

    The guys who came up with this idea need to be put in the batting cage for a few minutes – just slightly downrange from the batter.

  • Jerry

    You would think the line between edgy and stupid would be more clear to marketing departments.

  • chlost

    Thank you to all of you guys who are commenting here-and at the time I am typing my comment, it appears that it is all guys-you seem to understand the negative implications of this “public relations” stunt.
    It seems as though some people (guys?) think up the most obnoxious and inappropriate things, which they have to know will be unacceptable. I can just picture the pitch for this idea to some board of directors or marketing team (again, all guys?). All publicity is good publicity? Or is their target market the people who have no problem with this type of event?

    • Gary F

      It got lots of people talking about it.

    • Rob

      Lots of guys don’t have much of a filter, so it’s likely a matter of sheer cluelessness to start with, rather than intentionally trying to come up with the lamest, most boneheaded idea they can find.
      Then yes, a committee of mostly – if not entirely – clueless dudes approves it. And finally, in true dude fashion they run with it because they don’t understand that all publicity is NOT good publicity.

    • 212944

      Perhaps it is simply old and out-of-touch guys.

      But in America – at least the America I have grown to know over the past half-century – chasing and making a buck is the highest of all virtues. In an era where the default mode is, “Better to ask forgiveness than beg permission” and the profits are always weighed against lawsuit payouts (and the bottom line is the only line), I can’t help to think that they knew the risk but still thought it would be profitable. We’re not just America, we’re MBAmerica.

      As one of my journalism professors always told us … get three sources for facts and always remember to FTM (Follow The Money).

      Or they could actually be that stupid. Lots of that going around.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    A couple of things, what do you expect from a team that promotes their new cap and logo with the following line, ” bringing modern flair to a creature with roots in the Cretaceous era.” Also I suspect that some of the pressure to dump this might have come from the Dodgers. The Raptors are the “Advanced Rookie” league team for Los Angles.

    On the topic of bad ideas in sports promotion, yesterday Mike Veeck was on the phone with Patrick Reusse recalling memories of the late Jimmy Piersall. Veeck told the story that Piersall hated the exploding scoreboard. So they had a stunt planned for Friday July 13, 1979. Piersall would throw out the first pitch but instead of the traditional event they would reenact a time when Piersall turned and threw a baseball at the exploding scoreboard. Well as things would have it the night before was a big promotion at Comisky Park, Disco Demolition Night. Needless to say they cancelled the stunt with Piersall and the scoreboard.

    The moral of the story according to Veeck: know your audience and their tolerance for bad taste and jokes. Obviously the people (ok, guys) in Ogden learned this lesson a little late, but soon enough to bow out gracefully(?).

    • Angels, not Dodgers.

      My takeaway from stories like this is how much the St. Paul Saints “get it.”

      • Jack Ungerleider

        Check the bottom of this page. http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?sid=t530&ymd=20060307&content_id=45769&vkey=team4
        (On this site especially I try to be careful on my facts. 8^)

        I brought up Veeck for that reason. He’s been at this for a long time on many different levels and has the successes and failures that come with experience. It doesn’t hurt that he “studied” at the feet of the master. (Reusse’s first question to him yesterday was “Did your father have any idea what was going to happen when he teamed Piersall with Harry Carey?” Veeck’s answer “I don’t think so.”)

  • lindblomeagles

    When will marketing departments figure this thing out? If you’re going to promote hour glass women, you’d better ALSO be promoting beef cake men, on the same night, at the same time. And both better be getting paid the same amount of money too.