Ze Plane! Ze Plane!

Just when you think that you have seen about everything there is to see at a baseball game is the day you go to the ballpark and something completely new and unforeseen happens and you are left with the realization that no matter how many games you watch you will never stop being amazed at this game.

Last night’s contest between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers was already full of intrigue as is naturally the case whenever one of the teams is the division leader. Granted there was not as much intrigue as there was this time last year when the Diamondbacks were in first place and the Dodgers were nipping at their heels only to overtake the snakes after a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium. There was still enough excitement in the air to keep me riveted to the television during the telecast.

The key word there was “air” as we would see in the top of the sixth inning. For those of you who weren’t around to see the game, someone was able to smuggle in a remote-control airplane into Dodger Stadium and began flying it around the field during the game. I have to give credit to this fan, I have been through security on numerous occasions and there are times that I thought I would end up having a full cavity search and all I wanted to bring in was a camera. I have no idea how they were able to bring in not just an airplane but the remote control to fly it.

The plane was very disruptive stopping the game several times during Mark Reynolds at-bat. The pilot was very good getting the plane to actually do tricks while flying around the stadium. Finally he made one miscalculation and the plane crashed into the fence in front of the Diamondbacks dugout.

Now if the story had ended there it would still have been funny but here is where it took a turn that not even the marketing team for the Arizona Diamondbacks could have imagined. Let me start with a little back story.

Tattoo-Fantasy-IslandWhen the 2009 season began, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced their promotional schedule which included five bobble head nights. Bobble heads are by far the most popular of the stadium giveaways and there are typically fights over these little bobbing heads as people clamor for a chance to get one.

This year the Arizona Diamondbacks introduced a new twist by making the final bobble head giveaway be one where the fans could vote for who they would most like to see in bobble head form. I wrote about this in Bobble the Vote. The result of this vote was that the fans selected Augie Ojeda.

The Diamondbacks commissioned the Augie Ojeda bobble head and scheduled its giveaway for September 12 taking the place of the Tony Pena bobble head since Pena was traded to the Chicago White Sox. By the way I am seriously searching for a Tony Pena bobble head if anyone happens to know of where I can find one please let me know. They can’t all have been destroyed.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Arizona Diamondbacks, namely Typhoon Morakot, the shipment of Augie Ojeda bobble heads has been delayed meaning they will not be available for the September 12 game. The Diamondbacks will had out 25,000 vouchers to fans who will be able to pick up the bobble head at a future date.

Rather than lamenting the loss of a bobble head; the Diamondbacks are taking this and running with it producing a marketing campaign called, ”Where in the World’s Augie’s Bobble Head?”. In a cross between Where’s Waldo and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, fans are asked to try and put Augie’s bobble head in various locations.

AugieKongVisiting the web site you can download a graphic image of the Augie Ojeda bobble head and “Photoshop” his image into different locations. The Diamondbacks will choose the most creative entry and a lucky winner will be given an autographed bobble head.

Now that we have the appropriate back story let’s go back to last night’s game. The remote control plane crash landed against the fence in front of the Diamondbacks dugout. Augie Ojeda emerged from the dugout and stepped on the wing of the plane trapping it. He then ripped the wings off and proceeded to destroy the plane into little bits throwing it away all while the fans at Dodger stadium rained boos upon him for ruining their fun and amusement.

The sight of Augie Ojeda and the plane brought two images immediately to mind. The first was a vision of Hervé Villechaize who played Tattoo the midget that would announce the arrival of a new plane to Fantasy Island. All Augie would have had to do was stand at the edge of the dugout yelling “Ze plane! Ze plane!” and pointing at the remote-control wreckage and both benches would have lost it rolling with laughter.

The second vision I had was of King Kong who climbed to the top of the Empire State Building holding Fay Wray fighting off attacking planes in the pivotal ending to the classic monster film. Instead of a giant monkey, we had our very own Augie Kong. I knew what I had to do. I ran to the computer and began working in Photoshop to create my own entry to the Diamondbacks contest.

I can only hope that the sight of an Augie bobble head atop a sky scraper will be enough to secure me a winning entry in the Where in the World is Augie’s Bobble Head contest. Otherwise I will be like the other passengers as I get on the plane dejected because my trip to Fantasy Island didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned.


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