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Best minor-league baseball promotion? I'm going Soup Nazi

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Some of the greatest promotions that you'll see in sports come in minor-league baseball parks, as they need bodies in the stands and will be incredibly creative to make that happen. Over at MiLB.com, they are conducting voting to crown the top promotion of this past season.

It's down to 12 finalists:

My vote goes to No Soup for You Night. The Orem Owls had the guy who played the "Soup Nazi" on Seinfeld serve soup during one of their games. Seriously. Also, the first 1,000 fans got ladles with team logos on them.

I might be voting for it, so I have an excuse to post a clip from one of my favorite episodes from one of my favorite shows ever ...

The other finalists:

Loek Van Mil growth chart: He's 7-foot-1 and pitches for the Arkansas Travelers, who handed out a life-size growth chart.

Babies on Deck Night: Trevor Gooby, Pirates director of Florida operations, was forced to deliver a baby during a February event. It was commemorated this summer with a Gooby-holding-baby bobblehead.

Presidential Seat Cushion Giveaway: President Obama on one side, Challenger Romney on the other and fans sat on the face of the candidate they did not support. Once again, it's only two choices ... but still a pretty funny idea.

Home Run Derby aboard USS Yorktown: This is really cool. From MiLB.com: "In a truly unprecedented occurrence, the RiverDogs conducted the first round of the SAL Home Run Derby from aboard a storied aircraft carrier. Baseballs were hit into Charleston Harbor, where they were retrieved by volunteers on Jet Skis."

Special Needs Baseball Camp: The Fort Myers Miracle put on the most admirable promotion, hosting a day-long camp for children with disabilities.

Six Months 'Til End of the World Night: Yep, the Mayan calendar supposedly has the world ending this December, so the Frederick Keys went with it.

Taco Truck Throwdown 2: Twenty taco trucks set up camp for a Fresno Grizzlies game.

Tyler Seguin Speed Dating Night: The Boston Bruins hockey player had nine inning-long dates with some randomly drawn female fans.

Float to the Ballpark: I have to say, this doesn't sound overly enticing to me, but to each his own. Fans could take a two-hour raft ride on the Clark Fork River to see the Missoula Osprey play.

What Might Have Been Night: The Northwest Arkansas Naturals were almost named the Thunder Chickens. So, for one night, they played as the Thunder Chickens.

Eastern League Home Run Derby: A derby with more than the usual fare, including dunk tank targets and "an intern catching balls while suspended from a crane."

So what should win? Head over to MiLB.com and vote, if so inclined. I kind of feel like the Special Needs Camp deserves special, separate consideration. It's the most admirable item on here, but it's not a gimmick like these other 11. As for the quirky stuff, after Soup Nazi, I love the USS Yorktown derby. And the presidential seat idea is great.

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