Minor league baseball theme nights are becoming more the norm than the exception, so it’s a breath of fresh air when one comes along where there’s a genuine connection to the team. The Louisville Bats—whose name is a wink and a nod to the fact that they play in the hometown of Louisville Slugger—will take to the field in Batman-themed jerseys for Superhero Night May 23 in a game against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
It seems like an obvious connection. They’re called the Bats and they’re going to wear Batman uniforms. But the baseball team has more of a connection to the Caped Crusader than a mere name. First, when the Bats were featured in the Story Behind the Nickname series on this website, their senior vice president Greg Galiette twice referenced Batman as an inspiration for the team’s identity. Second, the team’s blog is actually called The Bats Signal. So while Superhero Nights might be a dime a dozen in the minors, the Bats are one of the few teams that can claim the theme is brand appropriate.
It’s been 13 years since the Bats adopted their Batman-ish logo (2002, the same year they dropped the word “River” from their then-nickname RiverBats), but this is the first time the team is hosting a Superhero Night.
Batman won’t be the only Spandex-clad vigilante on hand. The team is encouraging fans to dress as their favorite superhero, and according to their website, the game will feature appearances by Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Bat Girl, Robin, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Thor, Black Widow, Supergirl, Shazam, Black Adam, Tony Stark, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Rogue, Wolverine, Black Cat, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Jean Grey, Phoenix, and Storm. (Full disclosure: I copied and pasted that list. I don’t even know who some of those are. Also, I know some of them do not wear spandex.)
The jerseys will be auctioned off starting May 27 to benefit the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville.