Hartman: Reds Triple-A affiliate planning the best team promotion - ever

I haven’t seen every special promotion ever held by a professional baseball team, but I am having a hard time imagining one better than one the Louisville Bats have planned for later this month.

On May 26, the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate will be known as the Louisville Mashers instead of the Bats.

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What’s a masher?

It could be a baseball player on a hot streak at the plate, but in this case it is what you call your baseball team when you want to pay homage to the bourbon culture (and drum up some positive press of course).

Why bourbon? That’s what Louisville does best!

(Mash is the mix of grains that is fermented to create bourbons and various other spirits.)

The name is cool, but the visuals drive this one over the top:

Yes, you can buy the hats, but they were on backorder last time I checked.

The follow-up question on this side of the state line is obvious: What would a similar promotion look like for Dayton’s minor-league team?

Bourbon and Louisville are a perfect match given the state’s history with that wonderful corn-based liquor.

There’s always the aeronautical angle, but it would feel a little less original since the University of Dayton’s teams are already called the Flyers.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of inventions to choose from.

We could go with the electric starters or the cash registers, both of which could lead to some cool sound effects at the ballpark at least.

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What about the Dayton Poets to promote Paul Laurence Dunbar?

The Dayton Funk could pay tribute to the city's association with that music scene, but then the risk some folks might think it refers to a foul odor instead of cool jams.

But hey, if there is not a singular theme that would fit the Gem City as well as Mashers matches Louisville, that just means there are more possibilities to explore.

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