On Monday, a solar eclipse will hit the United States for the time since 1979. It'll reach the West Coast shortly after 9am local time, then make its way east across the country.
The eclipse will miss all MLB ballparks Monday, though it will pass over several minor-league parks, and you can bet those teams are using the rare event as a promotional item. In fact, one West Coast team is playing an early morning game Monday.
The Single-A Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants) in Oregon will hold the first ever "eclipse delay" in baseball history at 10:17am PT, in the middle of their game. The event has been dubbed "EclipseFest," because of course.
The Single-A Columbia Fireflies -- Tim Tebow's minor-league team with the Mets earlier this year -- will also host an "eclipse delay" on Monday afternoon, when the eclipse reaches the East Coast. So to will the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees).
Comedian Bill Murray, who co-owns the RiverDogs and has the official title of "Director of Fun" with the team, spoke to MiLB.com's Ben Hill about the upcoming eclipse over he weekend. From Hill:
"I think if they want to experience the end of the world, they want to experience it here at Joe Riley Stadium," said Murray, conflating the moon's temporary blocking out of the sun with the total annihilation of the planet we call home.
Murray then shared his advice on how to prepare for a apocalypse.
"I think the phone lines should be burning up, trying to make peace with people that, you know, maybe you owe an apology to or a thank you to," he said . "I think thank yous are probably better. Apologies will probably just stir up a lot of mud and debris."
The RiverDogs will, of course, wear special jerseys for the eclipse:
All told, seven minor-league ballparks are in the eclipse's "path of totality," and all have some kind of promotion planned. Not all have a mid-game "eclipse delay" scheduled, however.
Here's the minor-league ballpark eclipse map:
Minor league clubs look for every promotional opportunity, and a solar eclipse is right up their alley. It's not at all a stretch to say these teams have been planning for the eclipse for years.