Calling all Karens: Ottawa Titans aim to lighten the mood for Thursday’s game

The promotion is a little weird, but it’s also in line with the line of thinking of baseball’s promotional departments.

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The history of goofball baseball themed parties has given us everything from a disco demolition party to a pre-planned funeral party.

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Now comes Karen Night.

The Frontier League’s Ottawa Titans bring their own offbeat drill Thursday (6:30 p.m.) against the Sussex County Miners, asking fans to release some of their inner anger.

A Karen, for those who haven’t seen the outbursts online, is a reference to the widespread meme of a middle-aged privileged person who rails against minor issues, often targeting service sector workers or demanding to speak to a manager.

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In a way, the promotion is a little weird, but it’s also consistent with an uncommon line of thinking from baseball’s promotional departments.

« The goal is to have fun, » Titans general manager Martin Boyce said. « We’ve had more standard theme nights, like Country Night, but we also brainstormed before the season and thought, ‘Why not have a Karen party? We want to celebrate that sometimes people want to go up against the manager and sometimes people get frustrated with queuing. »

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Fans with a Karen in their name will be offered a ticket to buy/get a free ticket if they purchase in advance.

A dunk tank will be set up, allowing spectators to vent their frustrations with Titans employees dressed as “managers” — including Boyce — by throwing baseballs.

The Titans are asking attendees to dress up in their favorite Karen costume to win prizes. If there is enough demand, there will also be a Karen Parade.

« We don’t really know what the best Karen will look like, » Boyce said with a laugh.

Everything is supposed to be light and there are still last minute preparations, including a music playlist in keeping with the tone of the night.

“What could that look like? Maybe music that people in their 40s and 50s could enjoy,” Boyce said.

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Like all promotions, it’s a gamble and the Titans have no idea how the idea will land with the community.

« When we first posted it on Twitter it exploded, the biggest response we’ve had in a long time, but a lot of that noise was coming from outside of Ottawa, » the Titans general manager said. . “Maybe it will help some people know we exist. A lot of people don’t even know there’s a (pro) baseball team or stadium here.

On the diamond, the Titans are doing their part by fielding a competitive team in their first season in the Frontier League.

They entered Wednesday’s game against Sussex County with a 23-8 record, leading the East Division.

AJ Wright ranks second in batting in the league with a .373 average, while Jacob Sanford ranks fourth in home runs (nine) and RBI (33).

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Pitcher Chris Burica leads the Frontier League with a 2.09 ERA.

Winning always helps, of course, but Thursday’s promotion might draw a crowd that’s as interested in the evening’s theme as it is in the game itself.

Boyce has long been a fan of teams that try the unusual, bringing a little humor to the park.

« Sometimes (theme parties) are so successful because they’re so bad, » Boyce joked.

Of course, there have been well-intentioned efforts that have gone off the rails in the past.

– In 1979, the Chicago White Sox hosted the infamous Disco Demolition Night, encouraging fans to bring disco memorabilia. The idea was to destroy everything in Comiskey Park. Apparently no one had realized that the discs could also be used as flying discs. When a disco hell of Frisbees hit the field, play was stopped for safety reasons.

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– The Cleveland Indians promoted a can’t-miss hit to drawing fans in 1974, offering a 10-cent beer night. Spectators came, but this was followed by fights in the stands, a naked fan running for the bases and another spectator who took off outfielder Jeff Burroughs’ cap.

– Poor Boston Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe. In 2002, Boston handed out posters of Lowe, but when he struggled in the game, the posters were sent back onto the field, delaying action by 15 minutes. After the match, other fans set fire to their posters.

– In 2003, the minor league Hagerstown Suns raised eyebrows, and the « new » factor, with their pre-planned funeral party. One (un)lucky fan ended up with something to look forward to – a funeral package worth $6,500.

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– Three years later, the West Michigan Whitecaps dropped $1,000 in single tickets from a helicopter on the field, asking the kids to run to pick up the money. After bill collection was completed, two seven-year-olds went to the hospital after being implicated in the falling dollar.

Karen Night shouldn’t present such problems, and the Titans have another unique promotion planned for later in the season.

On August 24, the Titans will host Pluto Reinstatement Night. It will be a space-themed occasion, with fans being asked to sign a petition to be sent to NASA, advocating for Pluto to be restored to full planetary status. In 2006, Pluto was officially demoted, becoming a « dwarf » planet.

“Why not honor the forgotten planet? Boyce said. « We’re still fine-tuning it, but we’ll do some things with the kids. In the future, we plan to make these theme nights much more common.

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