By Randy York
You can say this about Nebraska: Even though the world sees us as a football state, we can connect the dots of October to baseball, a sport still considered the national pastime in the hearts and minds of millions. Thirty Major League Baseball teams recently combined to draw nearly 74 million fans through their collective turnstiles, an average attendance of more than 30,000 fans per game through an entire season of 81 home games for each franchise.
Nebraska’s baseball team, which sent Alex Gordon (pictured above and below) to Kansas City Royal fame, will play a seven-inning scrimmage Tuesday at noon at Hawks Field. Husker players will wear Halloween costumes with a trophy at stake when they celebrate a fall fun-fest for fans who will vote for the costume they like best. Voting will end in the bottom of the sixth inning, enabling the winning player to be announced at the end of the game.
"The prize is a trophy which will serve as bragging rights for next year,” said Lonna Kliment, who coordinates marketing for Husker baseball. With sunny skies and a temperature expected to reach 75 degrees, Tuesday is an ideal time for downtown Lincoln workers to join in the fun. Need another reason why this event will rock? Because Husker coaches have decided to wear costumes and be part of the competition as well. Head Coach Darin Erstad even issued a challenge, tweeting last night that he hopes his players bring their A-Game because it would be a shame if their coaches ended up with more votes.
Gordon Hitting for a Worthy Cause
Tuesday’s Costume Contest will be a fun, wacky way to help Husker fans prepare for Tuesday’s opening game in the 2014 World Series. First pitch is 7:07 p.m. CT on Fox. The American League Champion Kansas City Royals host the National League Champion San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium, and there’s a compelling reason for Husker fans to support Gordon, the Royals and a worthy cause all at the same time.
Team Jack is teaming up with Kansas City and asking Husker and Royal fans everywhere to pledge a certain dollar amount for every hit that Gordon gets in the World Series. All funds go directly to pediatric brain research in honor of Team Jack’s and Alex’s combined effort. “Playing in the World Series is going to be the honor of a lifetime,” Gordon said. “I’m so thankful to my coaches and teammates for this opportunity. I’m also thankful I’ll be able to use this national platform to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer.”
Pledges Apply for Entire World Series
Funds from Gordon’s World Series hits will benefit families fighting against the disease. To simplify the campaign process, pledges made online will be for the entire World Series, regardless of when the donation is placed. The campaign is a creative way to help a great cause while tuning into the World Series. Contributions will help a devoted Husker support a cause that’s near and dear to his heart and important across the country and around the world.
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