The R-Phils have had a manic offseason. Four MiLB Award nominations? An Eastern League Executive of the Year Award?! Not to mention that their offseason only started after an unceremonious exit from the EL playoffs. Boasting the hottest roster in the farm system, Reading is where it’s at. Or was, since most of the players who got noticed will be promoted and the 2013 EL All-Star Game will be taking in boring old New Britain.
But just because another year of minor league baseball has ended doesn’t mean the franchise will start existing as a whole like the transient flashes making up their business. No, if anything, the team will be employing its next move in an attempt to stretch their craziness over as many seasons as possible, whether they feature baseball or not. Most don’t.
Ever since Field of Dreams, the magical Kevin Costner movie that charmed us as adults after confusing us as children, baseball and corn have forged a unique bond. Did you know that Richie Ashburn was born in a corn field during a lightning storm? That’s not true, but he was from Nebraska, so we can probably just assume it’s true. After all, 98% of Nebraskans are born within three feet of a corn stalk*. And lightning is the state animal**.
In that vein, the R-Phils’ next promotion transitions from the warm nostalgia of baseball season to the increasingly frigid horrors of fall.
How much time do you spend at work, getting nothing accomplished because you’re too distracted by a totally natural desire to get lost in the corn? Is this just the way baseball manifests itself in autumn? No, you are a weirdo, and everyone gathers around the water cooler to talk about how weird you are in between discussing the latest episode of Homeland.
But who cares what they think! Especially that guy who keeps saying Homeland “…is okay, but if I want to see Claire Danes at the top of her game, I’ll just slide in my Little Women VHS.” I mean, come on, how is he not the office weirdo?!
Look, this is the time of year for pumpkins, candy, apple cinnamon, newly freezing mornings, hay rides, and corn mazes. And of those iconic fall things, which one could you most easily force into the shape of the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor’s face? If you answered “a pumpkin,” you are such a small-minded ninny that the Reading Phillies would toss your resume without learning your name. It is of course a corn maze. Which is why they are doing that at Mast Farms in Morgantown, PA.
As 1/135th of the R-Phils mascot corps, Crazy Hot Dog Vendor has existed in many forms. First, as the hallugenically generated image of a college student to whom a sketch book was within arms’ length. Then, as the representative of a minor league baseball team. And now, as a corn field uniquely shaped to trap all visitors inside.
Will you navigate the horrible depths of the Crazy Hot Vendor’s mind? Can you steer your group out of the labyrinth of mind-bending husks before darkness settles? OR WILL YOU JOIN THE LEGIONS OF LOST, WHOSE FAMILIES TO THIS DAY MOURN THEIR ENTRANCE TO THE SERPENTINE PASSAGEWAYS LEADING EVER MORE INTO THE CORN?!
“I take my kids to Mast Farms every fall-we love it there!”
–R-Phils GM Scott Hunsicker
*This is also just an assumption
**This is mostly just fabrication mixed with general ignorance