Madison, WI – August 1, 2008. In an unprecedented move, the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League plan to offer actor Gary Coleman a contract to appear in tonight’s game. Coleman is scheduled for an appearance at the “Duck Pond” and when he arrives in Madison, he will be offered a contract by Mallards General Manager Vern Stenman.
Specifics of the offer will not be made public until after an agreement has been made. Although Coleman appears to be a perfect fit to start at shortstop, the team will use him as a designated hitter to bat lead-off at the start of the game.
“As the Mallards prepare for the playoffs we feel that we need a special player to help put us over the top,” said Stenman. “Gary brings a lot of intangibles to the field and I feel like his presence would help invigorate our club as they get ready for a run at a championship. You can’t coach a strike zone like Gary has and I anticipate him being a force at the top of our lineup.”
Manager C.J. Thieleke is excited about the possibility to work with the star.
“I feel like he could develop a couple different strokes to rule the Northwoods League,” said Thieleke.
Coleman’s representative John Alcantar, who will be accompanying him on the trip, is curious about the possibility.
“For Gary, this will be about his level of comfort when he shows up at the park. If he feels good about what the Mallards have to offer, I think this could be a lot of fun,” said Alcantar. “There are no guarantees here, but regardless, people of Madison will have a great opportunity to meet Gary and he is excited to throw out a first pitch prior to the game.”
The Northwoods League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league in the country and league rules prohibit players from being paid to play in the league. This may complicate the Mallards ability to meet all of Coleman’s demands.
“We don’t think the fact we can’t offer him any money will keep us short of agreeing to a deal,” said Stenman. “But even if the two sides cannot agree to terms we will not be offering a financial package to stay retired.”
“We feel that if Gary has a positive first impression, he will be excited to take the field. Playing in the Northwoods League is all about the love of the game, and we feel that he embodies that spirit,” added Stenman.
Great tickets are still available for tonight’s 7:05 game vs. the Eau Claire Express. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Mallards Slinky courtesy of Covance. Visit Mallardsbaseball.com for more details.