St. Paul Saints implement own bounty system

Fri, Mar 23

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may have hammered the New Orleans Saints, but that isn't stopping the St. Paul Saints baseball team. In response to the NFL team's now notorious bounty program, St. Paul's independent minor league team will hold its own bounty program Sept. 1, collecting money for "each bone-crunching hit" against the opponent that night.

Only in this bounty program, every hit helps concussion research.

For every base hit that night, the Saints will donate money to the new concussion research program at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. A single is worth $100, a double $200, a triple $300 and a home run $400. Knocking the opposing pitcher out of the game is good for $50 and a Saints pitcher "punching out" an opposing batter is good for $10. After the game, the Saints will deliver the money to the hospital in an armored truck.

The Saints will also pay tribute to "Dog the Bounty Hunter" during the game, and the first 1,500 fans will receive a football helmet piggy bank.

Saints media director Sean Aronson said he hopes the American Association commissioner does not come down hard on the team, but the Saints will accept whatever punishment comes: "When we come up with these ideas, we show no fear."

"This is for a good cause, and we hope people will really jump on it," Aronson said. "What we would love to see is a national or local sponsor match the amount."

Now entering their 20th season, the Saints are famous for their promotions, often spinning off someone in the news. One of their most memorable was the bobble-foot doll giveaway in response to Sen. Larry Craig's arrest in a bathroom stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

"Someone else makes a mistake, and then we have fun with it," Aronson said.