Cartoons and Power Outages


During today’s afternoon baseball game the Rays had one of their annual Park and Recreation days. If you are unaware of this special day for Rays fans, it is the time of the year where 5,000 plus youngster from all over the Rays viewing area get to come out to the ballpark for an afternoon contest and get the best gift ever from the Rays………. Rays Thunderstix!  Now if you are one of those people who complain about the cowbells and their constant clanging, you would have a field day during the Thunderstix days.

Sure they have a lighter sound, but the constant pounding of the two stix together, or off the kid next to you tend to get on your nerves after 7 innings. And the greatest thing about this promotion, the stadium looks full and the only ones who really complain are the people who clean up the Trop after the kid tornadoes tend to wreck havoc and trash everywhere. This is not to mean that kids can be a bit…well, messy, but more to the fact that once a Thunderstix is not usable, it is discarded like a old useless Popsicle stick to the floor of the stadium.

I mean as you leave the game the carnage you see all over the stadium floor of damaged and forgotten Thunderstix can be kind of overwhelming to someone who values collectibles. But to most of these kids they are just props to keep them occupied and happy for at least half the game before they get their hot dogs, cracker jacks and soda. I actually love these days more for the facts it is the one time during the entire year you can sit behind 10 rows of kids and even if they all stand up, you can still see the field. It is not like when adults, who tend to be above 5 feet tall occupy those same seats and become instant black-out elements at any time during the game.

But things did get a bit testy for a few moments when a few of the Trop’s banks of lights flickered and the umpires decided that we needed to wait for 20 minutes until the light came back full force again. You could see up in the Raysvision booth that they were scrambling to find some suitable entertainment for the young crowd and actually brought out a Bugs Bunny classic “Baseball Bugs”, where the frisky rabbit takes on the Gas-House Gorillas in a game of baseball.

But for some reason the Rays forgot they had the best cartoons in the business, and it featured players and people that the kids have seen over and over on television and on the Trop’s big screen. The Rays came up with a cartoon based on the “Defenders of the Game” which featured Carl Crawford, B J Upton, Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Carlos Pena. They even had special places for Rays Manager Joe Maddon and Rays Senior Advisor Don Zimmer. What a special cartoon moment that would have been as even the players were sitting on the dugout steps and near the bullpen grass checking out the action on the screen above rightfield.

Raysvision and the Rays had a captive audience that they could have used to parlay their “Defenders of the Game” scenarios for a long time, but instead went with a old Bugs Bunny cartoon. Now do not get me wrong, I love Bugs, and the cartoon they did show is a sure baseball classic, but at least they did not show that Rockey the Mudhen “Infield Fly Rule” buzz kill video that sometimes pops up late in the games on Sundays. Kudos to the boys in the booth for not subjecting us to that baseball definition video one more time.

And even during his post-game interview Maddon spoke about the Bugs Bunny cartoon about how the guys were enjoying it and that it seemed to go over well with the mostly kid crowd. Maddon did ask via the assembled media in the clubhouse if they can maybe get some Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote videos for the next rain delay/power outage. Because we do not have rain delays, but power outages in Tampa Bay, and we do not have to wait for a tarp or a grounds crew to signal the go ahead to resume play.

So with that recommendation by Maddon I decided to try and find some alternative cartoon if the Raysvision crew could not find a baseball-related Warner Brothers cartoon. I decided to dig into the dusty cartoon vault really deep and into the dark recesses of the bowl to see if they did have any cartoon with the road runner and the coyote that might have a baseball background. I could not come up with a single episode, but I did come up with a few where  the coyote had decided that a baseball bat would be a good weapon of choice against that pesky sprinting bird.

The “Defender of the Game” cartoons can be found on Youtube right now from the first episode , to the final one after their second season. They are classic cartoon where the Defenders tackle the evil Umpreror, and then Doctor Stats. They are pretty tongue-in-cheek cartoons, but are fun to watch during a power outage/rain delay. But there are other variation out there like a classic Woody Woodpecker cartoon called, The Screwball” where he tries to get into an outdoor baseball field. Then you have the old 1948 classic cartoon “Baseball Brawl” which featured woodland animals as players in the baseball game. 

But the end result is that during the outage, the cartoon did bring about some sense of order to the stands and kept the kids occupied with harmless fun for everyone. And that is the special problem that can surface on a day like today with a crowded house of pre-teens all coming out to watch a baseball game.

But in the end, everyone left with a smile both in regards to a Rays victory, and from the classic baseball cartoon they will be telling their parents about tonight. And who knows, that might transfer into a Family Fun Day this Sunday where the family of four can come to the ballpark with FREE parking and discounted food and tickets. I guess the cartoon could be called a community ticket experience now.




What fun it was at the game! And the cartoon? AWESOME!!!! Great job sweeping the Jays. And sorry that ‘Los was not voted into the ASG.


I actually had a feeling after the 2 pm MLB Final Vote update that the race was over.
But I still plugged away hoping something might happen.
I love the old Bugs Bunny cartoon, but once you have seen it 50 times, it is time for another one.

Rays Renegade

Great job Rays, I am happy that the Rays were able to sweep the JAYS (hey that rhymes.) I voted Los but was sad to see him not be on the all star team! Inge??!! What? Fans are horrible voters.

I actually think that Brandon Inge was going to be the Tiger’s lone rep before Edwin Jackson got picked as a pitcher.
He is hitting more for power than Miguel Cabera, but is not hitting over .300 like Cabrera.
Cabrera might have gotten the edge in the player’s voting, so he made the squad over him.
If Carlos did not get in, I wanted Inge there.

Rays Renegade

I have taken kids to the Parks and Recreation day every summer for the last 3 years (not this year).

The kids love it.

I can remember them giving away Aki Thundersticks one year. I think my eardrums are STILL recovering!

I have a great time hanging with the kids at the ballpark. That’s what it is all about and I am glad to say our hometown team puts it on every year.

Love the Rays cartoon. That was fun to watch before games last year. Cool stuff.

My two daughter do not like baseball becuase it is so slow, but thye love hockey and hockey players lol.
Most Season Ticket people try and give up the tickets for these games because the kids drive them nuts, but that is part of the fun too.
There were 2 seasons of the Rays ” Defenders of the Game” series, and I believe thye put them all up on Youtube for the kids to enjoy at home too.

Rays Renegade

I remember they gave away action figures of Carl Crawford too.

Alas, I was too old to get one of those. And too moral to steal one from a kid. ;)

Thanks for bringing up the memories…

Heck I still have my seat cushion from the first game in 1998.
The best giveaway I ever got was one time in Cleveland when they gave out Drew Carey bobbleheads.
Now that was a fun giveaway during a Rays road trip.

Rays Renegade

What a great way to bring kids into the game and make them fans forever. Very smart marketing by the Rays. As we all know, once a fan of a team….always a fan of the team.

I agree with that so much it is silly.
But for some reason here in Tampa Bay the kids have to fight the parents loyalty challenge most nights.
You know, the parent is a fan of some team up north because their father or mother came from that region, and they have to support that team even if they now live in the sunshine and no where near the North Church or the harbor.
But kids can be bold and also relentless at asking for things, so that might be a plus for future Rays attendance.
All I know is the Park and Rec days can be murder if you are hungry or need to use the bathroom, but after that as long as a players doesn’t come over and talk to you, you can be at peace most of the night.

Rays Renegade

I like those cartoons, renegade! And sorry about Pena not going to the ASG, I still think he deserved it as much as Inge.

Thanks 3R’s,
Yeah, Pena getting tossed by the wayside at about 2 pm yesterday was a bit of a let down, but he is still focused and ready to do whatever he can.
But people forget he was tossed around by some great ballclubs that did not need him before he found a home in Tampa Bay.
You hate to say “maybe next year”, but we learned some valuable lessons this season.
If he gets a shot again, or any Rays player, we will try and get an NL team and stack vote the way they did in Detroit and Philly.
That proves that stacked/combination voting forces can make a huge difference in the outcome.

Rays Renegade

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