Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Baseball Goes Caps

I'm still not a fan of these Washington Capitals Winter Classic jerseys, but to each their own, right? The Capitals donned these jerseys in 2015 during their Winter Classic appearance at Nationals Park against the Chicago Blackhawks. With my interest in the Winter Classic events waning, I had to hit the internet to remind me that the Capitals won 3-2 over the Blackhawks as Troy Browuer scored the game-winning goal on the power-play with 13 seconds to play. I don't remember this game standing out for any reason, but one baseball team wants to honour the event and team with their crossover promotional jersey.

The Class-A Carolina League Frederick Keys baseball team decided to don jerseys inspired by the Washington Capitals' Winter Classic look as they play the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Friday night. Dubbed their "Summer Classic" jerseys, the Keys are the Class-A affiliation of the Baltimore Orioles and are based in Frederick, Maryland, some 50 miles away from Washington, DC which is home to the Capitals. With the Capitals in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it appears that the minor-league ball team is throwing their support behind their NHL neighbours.

Normally, I'm entirely against crossover promotions between sports because it dilutes the logo and importance of one of the two teams. This one, however, might work despite the Keys using the design of the Capitals. The Keys are named for Star-Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick County. The Star-Spangled Banner is, of course, the US National Anthem, and the capital of the United States is Washington, DC. It all ties together, so this is one of those promotions that works on a good level for the Keys.

Does it really need Washington's Winter Classic look? No, not really. The red-white-and-blue works for the promotion, but the Keys really could have used any other design. The fact that the Capitals are in the Eastern Conference Final is merely coincidental, so the Keys may not have even had this opportunity had the Capitals fell short once again.

Either way, the Keys will have former Washington Capital Mike Knuble at the stadium to throw out the first pitch on Friday as they celebrate the success of the Capitals. Where this promotion deserves some kudos is in the charity department. As per the Keys, the team auction off the jerseys following the game with proceeds benefiting Play4TheCure, a charity "dedicated to raising funds for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through competitive sports featuring recreational sports clubs, middle schools, high schools and collegiate sporting events." There is absolutely zero problem with that, and kudos to the Frederick Keys for teaming up with Play4TheCure.

Washington could go up 3-1 in tomorrow's game in Tampa Bay, so Friday could be a big night for the Keys. We'll see what happens in both tomorrow's Capitals-Lightning game and Friday's Keys-Pelicans game as both teams look for wins!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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