FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Fort Myers Miracle are drawing on current events to draw fans. The Minnesota Twins Class A affiliate wanted to help heartbroken Ohio State football fans get over the resignation of their longtime coach, while spinning the scandal into ticket sales.
"Our number one job is entertainment and put butts in seats," said Miracle promotions manager Gary Sharp.
So when Jim Tressel stepped down in disgrace at Ohio State, the Miracle decided to have a little fun with it.
"Rest the Vest" night gave fans a chance to turn in Tressel's trademarked sweater vests.
The promotion even drew national attention. Ohio State student Kylee Cramer was visiting Southwest Florida and heard about "Rest the Vest" from a friend back home. She stopped by the ballpark to drop off her red OSU logo sweater vest before heading back to school.
"Jim was a big guy around Ohio State, everyone loved him, so it kind of stinks," Cramer said. "A lot of tradition there, everyone always wore them to the games."
"Longtime Buckeyes supporters and season ticket holders have said, 'I think its hilarious, I love it.' Other people have said, they're showing their passion for Buckeye football, which is perfectly fine," Sharp said.
The entire Buckeye scandal got the Miracle treatment. Fans who showed off their tattoos got free stuff, a nod to accusations involving OSU players getting gifts from a tattoo parlor owner.
Sweater vest donors got to test drive cool cars, like ones allegedly purchased for players.
While only a handful were actually willing to part with their beloved sweater vests, the night provided a little release at the baseball field for OSU football fans.
"Time to move on, no other choice," Cramer said.