May 14, 2008

Manny’s 500th Homerun!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jameslutes @ 12:36 pm

Okay, so Boston Red Sox Outfielder Manny Ramirez hasn’t hit his monumental 500th home run yet, but I wanted to blog about it before the term ended. As you can probably guess, Manny Ramirez will in all likelihood hit 500 home runs in the next month. For those of you who aren’t aware of the significance of this achievement, let me put it into historical perspective.

Hitting 500 home runs is an elusive milestone for almost every professional baseball player. Since professional baseball was first introduced to America in 1877, only 23 players have ever hit 500 or more home runs. 15 of these 23 players have already been inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, and seven of the remaining eight are virtually guaranteed admission. Some of Major League Baseball’s most celebrated athletes, such as “the iron man” Cal Ripken, or the “Yankee clipper” Joe Dimaggio, never even came close to reaching this milestone. So, this is why I’m so excited one of my boyhood idols is going to be the next member of what is affectionately known as the 500 home run club.

The Boston Red Sox organization recognizes the historical significance of Manny’s 500th home run, and has utilized it for a massive public relations effort to generate nationwide interest in the Red Sox franchise. For starters, the Boston Red Sox’s Web site has devoted an entire page to “the countdown to 500.” This page provides links to Manny Ramirez’s career statistics, numerous news articles concerning the event, the team’s upcoming schedule, and even expert predictions of when and where the 500th home run will be hit.

Another apparent tactic of the Red Sox’s promotion of the achievement is to increase the appeal of Manny Ramirez himself. Manny’s casual, laid back demeanor and his good sense of humor have always made him a target of public affection in the baseball world. Part of Manny’s charm is his ability to get away with shenanigans that get most players benched. People usually describe Manny’s lovably unprofessional high jinks as “Manny being Manny.” Well that phrase, “Manny being Manny,” is now being exploited by the Red Sox marketing machine to increase Manny’s celebrity. This tactic of expanding Manny’s appeal is a clever way to influence sports fans to follow the Boston Red Sox.

Personally, I couldn’t be happier with the amount of exposure Manny’s countdown to 500 home runs is receiving. It’s allowed me to follow Manny’s every move on and off the field for the past two months, and given me the chance to experience the excitement of his 500th home run.


1 Comment »

  1. It is great to see the Boston Red Sox use a story to create publicity around their brand. Manny Ramirez is also helping himself as a brand as well as his team. Let’s hope he gets those 500 home runs!

    Comment by sessary — May 14, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

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