Why One Minor League Team Hopes To Start Getting DirtyPlay
Vinnie Longo is the assistant general manager with the San Rafael Pacifics baseball club, which is probably a big job, even when you’re working for an independent, minor league team, right?
"I’m also the radio broadcaster, which means director of broadcasting," he says. "I’m the director of media relations. I work in sales for the team. I do a little bit of design work, as well."
I’m glad Longo has found the time to talk to me, because he’s got a great promotion out there in San Rafael.
"It’s called 'Get Dirty With the Pacifics,'" he says. "And what we’re doing is, in order to increase awareness and to do our part to kind of help out the drought in California, if we draw half-capacity in our ballpark — which is 500 fans — if we draw half-capacity then that night we will not wash our uniforms in order to conserve water."
"You know, we do have road games, obviously, interspersed," Longo says. "So it's not going to be like they're going 100 games straight without washing their uniforms."
"There’s no danger," I ask, "of the players getting together and saying, 'Yeah, this promotion’s OK, but we better not slide because we’ll get our uniforms especially dirty?'"
"No," he says. "They love playing baseball to play the game of baseball. They love getting dirty. Just to give you a little bit of background: a couple of years ago, we did a promotion where we became the first men’s professional baseball team to wear dress uniforms in the style of 'A League of Their Own.' We did that to support breast cancer awareness. They played full-on without pants on underneath their dresses. They did wear sliding shorts. But this is a good ballclub, and I’m not worried about that at all."
"I want to suggest a way in which this promotion might actually work for your guys on the field," I say. "Hypothetical situation, OK Vinnie? It’s late in the season. You’ve got a string of home games. You’ve had over 500 people several days or nights in a row. And an opposing player gets on base, and he gets a little bit of a whiff of the first baseman’s uniform. Maybe takes a little bigger lead than he otherwise would take. Gets himself picked off."
"I like it," Longo says. "I’ll mention that to our pitching coach. He’ll put a bug in the pitcher’s ear. I like that."
"And the pitching coach’s uniform is going to be dirty, also, right?" I ask. "Because, nobody gets a washed uniform in this promotion, I assume?"
"Well, our pitching coach is also one of our frontline starters," Longo says. "So his uniform will definitely be dirty."
The San Rafael Pacifics play their home opener on June 7. Assuming adequate attendance, the Pittsburgh Diamonds will be the first outfit to find out what it’s like to play against baseball’s dirtiest team.
This segment aired on May 7, 2016.