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A Word From the Webmaster

The BallhawkFest 2016 Selection Process

I often get emails to the effect of "I really think you should have BallhawkFest in [ Cincinnati/Chicago/Boston/Atlanta/San Francisco/Milwaukee/etc ]"

My response to all of these requests, without exception, has been this:

"Good idea, but I don't think it's doable. After all, if we get about 15 ballhawks to show up to New York or Philly or Baltimore, the hub of the ballhawking community, it's doubtful we could scrape up more than 5 or 6 people in a more isolated location."

And now that we've had five BallhawkFests and exhausted all of the northeast ballparks (DC, Baltimore, Philly, New York), my initial thought is to simply start the rotation over again in 2016, going back to Baltimore where we started BallhawkFest back in 2011.

But before we go that route, I want to give our friends at other ballparks one final chance to convince us that their city is BallhawkFest-worthy. So this season, for the first time ever, I will be accepting official BallhawkFest proposals. I hope to receive at least a handful of proposals and then award BallhawkFest 2016 to the most deserving city (or if I don't get any good Baltimore).

Anyone (and I really mean anyone) is welcome to submit a proposal. The proposal should written formally in Microsoft Word and contain the following sections:

  • Proposed Date - The date you are proposing for BallhawkFest, including the teams that are playing. Also include some factors indicating why this date will work well (probable low attendance, probable good weather, good power hitters from both teams, fan-friendly players from both teams, etc.
  • Event coordinators - The one or two (preferably two) people who will work with me to iron out the details of the event.
  • Core attenders - Minimum five people besides the coordinators who are 99% committed to participating on the given date. Keep in mind that I will most likely follow up with the people on this list to check their level of commitment
  • Home Run Derby Field(s) - One or two softball/baseball fields in the area that could be used for the Home Run Derby. The ideal field should be in decent condition and have a fence approximately 300-320 feet from home plate. Before listing these field names, please check on field availability and cost.
  • BallhawkFest Luncheon restaurant A good restaurant that can be used for the BallhawkFest Luncheon. Please check to make sure they can accommodate a large party.
  • Reasons for Choosing This Ballpark - List of reasons why your ballpark is better than others vying for this year's BallhawkFest. Some good reasons might be early gate opening time, consistently low attendance, good ballhawking stadium layout, or fan-friendly ushers. List anything and everything that could potentially set your ballpark apart from the others.
  • Sponsor(s) (optional) - A company or companies who have agreed to contribute financially to BallhawkFest. Any contribution from a sponsor is helpful to the event, so include any contribution no matter how small.
  • T-Shirt Design (optional) - A design saved on that can be ordered in bulk for the event.
  • Marketing Strategies (optional) - A list of efforts that are planned to give BallhawkFest 2016 visibility to ballhawks, baseball fans, and the media. This could include podcasts, social media campaigns, or press releases.
  • Unique/New Ideas (optional) - Any ideas you have for making BallhawkFest 2016 unique. Be creative and think outside the box to propse some new ideas to make BallhawkFest 2016 a fun-filled event.

The proposals are due by March 1, and the final decision will be made sometime before Opening Day.

Looking forward to another action-packed BallhawkFest!

Alan Schuster is a contributing columnist to

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