The fledgling independent league Schaumburg Boomers baseball team is hoping their overture this week to Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. can help make up for any shortfalls in the state legislature's tax-break package aimed at keeping the company in Illinois.
In a letter to Sears CEO and President Louis J. D'Ambrosio, Boomers President and General Manager Andy Viano offered to host "Thanks for Staying! Sears Celebration Day" at the Schaumburg baseball stadium on June 5.
Among the special features of that evening's game against the Gateway Grizzlies:
•$2 off any box seat for all Sears employees
•Free tickets for fans with the last names Sears or Roebuck
•Blue Light Specials at the concession stands (in homage to Sears' Kmart stores)
•The Boomers' mascot to personally deliver a complimentary lunch to Mr. D'Ambrosio and his staff on the day of the game.
Because "Boomers" is a nickname for Illinois' aggressive, native prairie chickens, the only request the team made was that this lunch not be chicken.
"Our vast minor league baseball experience gives us a real leg up in any negotiation," Viano said. "We all know that there's nothing that can't be solved by a plump, juicy hot dog, a hug from our mascot or a chance to get out and run the bases, and that's just the beginning of what we're willing to bring to the table to keep our neighbors happy."
In his letter to D'Ambrosio, Viano wrote, "We know the decisions you make in the coming weeks will impact you and Sears Holding Corporation greatly, but we think our small gesture and spirit of cooperation is worth more money than any governor can throw your way.
"Plus, there are no prairie chickens in Ohio."
The June 5 game intended to honor Sears will start at 6:30 p.m. at the stadium at 1999 S. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg, early in the Boomers' inaugural season.