Mission Report (compiled by Gator):
West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball Game
2nd Annual Star Wars Day
When: Saturday, July 14th 2007
Where: 5/3rd Ballpark near Grand Rapids
Attending: SELLOUT Crowd of 11,000!!
Charity: Make-A-Wish Foundation www.wish.org
High Rez version here: http://www.berlinraceway.com/LORI/5799.JPG
On Saturday July, 14 2007 the West Michigan Whitecaps (Class A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) welcomed back the 501st Legion for their 2nd Annual Star Wars Night. What made this years event unique was that the Whitecaps players each wore a Star Wars baseball jersey, during the game. The jesreys were designed by 501st member, Scott "Crow" Withers (TK-1491) and approved by LucasFilm!
The day started early with a special team photo (seen above) of the players in their new jerseys and all of the costumers in center field. Then while the players warmed up, we received our mission orders from the ballpark staff and the event coordinators, Donavon Larabel (ID-0338) and Brent Ashcroft (TD-1044). We were then able to take a couple quick photos and a small break in the cheap seats.
As the fans made their way into the ballpark, we greated them out by the ticket windows and along the concourses. You could tell it was going to be an electrified and very busy night.
The ceremonial first pitch
was thrown out by Darth Vader, or also known as the south-paw from Illinois, Mike Plesha (SL-0356). The pitch was a bit outside, but what can you expect from a White Sox fan.
Darth Vader then lead his Clonetroopers out on the field for the National Anthem. Another special treat for the fans this year, was that the National Anthem
was performed by Brien "Skinny" Skinner (CT-8595) in full clone armor.
Duing the game the fans to treated to on-field antics by several troopers including Brooke Merva (TD-1148) and Jason Ujvari (TD-1703) that performed the YMCA
for the sellout crowd. Further fan interaction was avaliable along the concourses, out in the center field party deck and at our Make-A-Wish Foundation photo booth. For over 2 hours we posed for photos with the fans and accepted donations to Make-A-Wish.
We were very fortunate to have a Make-A-Wish Family represented at this event. Carissa, her Mom, Dad and 2 sisters were with us for the entire game. Carissa is 15 years old that suffers from Cerebral Palsy w/ complications, and while she does use a wheelchair and is not able to communicate verbally, she has the biggest and most beautiful smile.
Over the cours of the night we took and printed 115 photos and sold Make-A-Wish bracelets at our table. The team then auctioned off ten of the game-worn jerseys with proceeds going to MAW. After the game, the winners were brought onto the field, where the players took the jerseys off their backs and signed them. Besides the three jerseys going to LFL for their archives, all the remaining jerseys were sold at cost plus a $30 donation to the charity. The grand total ended up being $3,044.25 raised for Make-A-Wish!
During the entire game the crowd reacation was fantastic. The kids had a blast meeting the Star Wars characters, getting autographs, putting on temporary tattoos, and collecting our trading cards. The loudest ovations came after the Clone trooper finished playing the National Anthem and when the Whitecaps tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with 2 outs. The home team won in the bottom of the 11th inning after the other team’s catcher dropped the ball while trying to tag out a runner at home.
After the game, our costumers led the fans in dances to more songs like “Y.M.C.A.” and “Walk the Dinosaur” for 20-30 minutes. The fireworks display followed and was accompanied by scores from John William’s Star Wars music. To cap off what is a night to be long remembered, the fans were allowed onto the field to watch A New Hope on the score board video monitor.
34 total costumers + 19 NCS
0338 Donavon Larabel- Imp. Officer/Event Coordinator
0654 Phil Font- Vader/TD
0866 Roger Rehman- NCS
1044 Brent Ashcroft- TD/Event Coordinator
1148 Brooke Merva- TD
1332 Tiffany Murphy- Stealth Trooper
1703 Jason Ujvari- TD
2124 Eric Vedder- TB
2125 Robert Amid- TI
2275 Carl Nelson- Royal Guard
2280 Robert Brang- TK
3433 Lou Rodriquez- Tusken
5037 Jon Leopold- AT-ST Driver
8192 John Blizzard- Clone Commander
8595 Brien Skinner- Clone Commander
8875 David Gates- Boba Fett
9296 Michael Karp- Clone Trooper
9531 Sean Watkins- TD
Richard Bishop- Clone Trooper
Dave Raimondo- TB
Kelli Hepler- Death Star Construction Crew
0356 Mike Plesha- Vader/TK
1781 Richard Markle- Vader/TI
1182 Brad Trimble- TB
3688 Richard Bueker- Gamorrean Guard
Candie ? (Richard Bueker's girlfriend) - NCS
Karen Larabel- Jocasta Nu
Rachel Orange- Beru
Jason Orange- Owen
Shannon Trombley- Fleet trooper
Scott Scharke- Jedi
Andrew Weston- Jedi
Joel Aldrich- Jedi
Jason Hetherington- Jedi
Linda Pellerito - Jedi
Steve Bishop - video/photographer
Sudie Pazarek (spelling??)
Additional picturs can be found here:
http://s60.photobucket.com/albums/h11/S ... 7-14-2007/
http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e154/ ... 416f58.pbw
Videos can be found here: