Minnesota Twins affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings will take the field as the Rochester Plates for a night as homage to a hometown favorite.
The Rochester Red Wings, Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, have announced a re-branding taking place August 10th. They are changing their name to the Rochester Plates, but only for the night. The promotion is part of the Red Wings’ promotion as a salute to the “Garbage Plate”, a dish that originated in Rochester, New York.
Sales will be up and it will be a fun night at the ballpark.
The change comes complete with a new uniform set that is sure to be a hit with fans. Fans are able to purchase Rochester Plates apparel before the big event and it is sure to sell well, like similar promotions in Minor League Baseball.
The event will be more than just jerseys and a name change. There will be contests revolving around the dish, along with servings of the dish at concession stands. It will be Garbage Plates to the core.
The Red Wings took to Twitter to announce the name change and show off the fancy new duds on Tuesday night. There has been much fanfare and media coverage. The hats are black and include a garbage plate logo with the contents of the New York dish on home plate with an “R” written in mustard on top. The jerseys include the different garbage plate contents with “Plates” written across the chest and a fork with the city name underlining the new moniker.
The Origin of the Garbage Plate
The Garbage Plate is a dish proudly served in different parts of New York with different arrays of ingredients. Rochester is where it originated, which is the reason for the promotion. It follows the tradition of eastern United States cities just mixing a bunch of foods together and making it a meal (see Primanti Brothers sandwiches that originated in Pittsburgh).
According to the Rochester Red Wings’ press release, the origins of the Garbage Plate, and reasoning for the celebration, are as follows:
"This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Garbage Plate which originated at Nick Tahou Hots just around the corner from Frontier Field.“When my grandfather opened the business in 1918 they called it ‘Hots and Potatoes’, then in the 80’s we started to get a bunch of college kids who came in and didn’t know what it was, so they would just say ‘Gimme a plate with all that garbage on it’ and the name stuck,” recalled Alex Tahou owner of Nick Tahou Hots.*For those not from Rochester: A Garbage Plate is two burgers (or two hot dogs) served on a bed of mac salad and home fries and topped with meat hot sauce and onions.Over the years, several local establishments have put their own spin on the Garbage Plate."
It is an interesting, and quirky, way to get proud Rochester residents to come out to the ballpark and root on their hometown team.
It won’t be the first MiLB name change promotion.
While this is sure to be in the running for MiLB’s Promotion of the Year, it is not the first time a team has changed their name in Minor League Baseball. Probably the most famous instance has become a recurring theme night with huge profits. The Giants’ Triple-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies will become the Fresno Tacos for the third time in 2017.
Their tradition has sold merchandise to all 50 states, along with Mexico, Canada and other countries overseas. The name “Tacos” stems from the abundance of taco food trucks in Fresno, along with their Hispanic population. Because of the success and fame of the promotion, the Taco promotion will be back July 28th and 29th during Taco Truck Throwdown 7, which will feature over 30 different Taco trucks and over 16,000 fans per game.
Last season, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (already known for their hats featuring a bacon strip design) introduced themselves as the Lehigh Valley Cheesesteaks on June 10th, 2016 for their Salute to Phialdelphia Night promotion. The promotion included picking if the team would wear hats with the “wit” (including onions) or “witout” (excluding onions) design. The cheesesteak dish was chosen becasue the Iron Pigs are the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate and they play just an hour and a half away from the City of Brotherly Love.
Not all name changes are food related. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Short Season Single-A team of the Indians, became the Mahoning Valley Packards for a night on August 12th of last season. The name comes from the Packard automobile, which has a presence in the Mahoning Valley as the founder of the company, James Ward Packard, was born in nearby Warren, Ohio. The National Packard Museum is located in Warren, as well. The proceeds from the specialty jersey auction that night went to the museum. The promotion was complete with a ticket package involving specialty “Packards” gear.
It should be a hit.
Overall, the Plates should be a hit in Rochester. There will be cool new merchandise, great concessions, zany history and an unforgettable night at the ballpark. Minor League Baseball promotions make the game into an experience, which is exactly what will happen at Frontier Stadium. Fans will be sure to attend and the town will be proud of their history and favorite dish.
The next big Twins prospects will get to don these incredible uniforms and will be remembered for it by the home crowd. Sure they are Red Wings most of the time, but for one night it will be different. Go Plates!