Clubs send online greeting cards to their fans

Clubs send online greeting cards to their fans

The first lip dub video in pro sports, a ballpark time-lapse construction, Jay Bruce's division-clinching walk-off homer call, a personalized scoreboard message and "Felix Navidad" are among the highlights as most Major League Baseball clubs continued what has become a new holiday tradition: The video greeting card to their fans.

Leading the way this time is the club that will be host to the next All-Star Game. The D-backs' lip dub was recorded Dec. 10 at Chase Field and includes managing general partner Ken Kendrick, general manager Kevin Towers, D-backs pitchers Ian Kennedy, Sam Demel and Barry Enright among more than 100 other D-backs front-office employees who participated. Luis Gonzalez, whose No. 20 jersey was retired by the club last season, is the grand finale and the one who delivers the holiday greeting at the end.

A lip dub is a type of video that contains lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song in a single unedited shot that often travels through different rooms and situations within a building. The original audio of the song is usually dubbed over in post editing with the original audio of the song, in this case the same "D-backs Swing" by Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers that is played after each victory at Chase Field since August 2007.

"I am so proud of our employees for coming up with the idea of being the first professional sports team to record a lip dub while also creating a unique electronic holiday card for our fans and business partners," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said. "A positive culture in the workplace that is second-to-none is important to me, and now people around the world can see firsthand how talented and enthused our D-backs employees are on a daily basis."

Marlins fans can see excitement on a daily basis in the form of the 2012 ballpark construction. Watch a time-lapse video from the club and have a "Constructive New Year." By the way, did you notice that the sky is blue in the entire video?

One of the most moving videos was the one made by the Tigers. You'll see what we mean when you get to the "Peace" part. Tigers fans lost Ernie Harwell and Sparky Anderson in 2010, and those Hall of Famers are remembered within a greeting that also highlights upbeat moments.

Another Hall of Famer, Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, has called his share of great moments in franchise history. His latest memorable call is the entirety of Cincinnati's holiday greeting. "Here's Bruce ... and a high fly ball, center field, he hit it a ton ... it's gone! And the 2010 Central Division championship belongs to the Cincinnati Reds. Jay Bruce explodes the first pitch into the grass in straightaway center field ..."

Sometimes the holiday greeting is intended to carry momentum from one year into the next. Consider the Mariners, who present the spine-chilling highlights of American League Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, set to holiday music, and then finish with the words "Felix Navidad." Same to you all. Or the Braves, who deliver highlights of Jason Heyward, Tim Hudson and the 2010 National League Wild Card winners -- while introducing video-greeting newcomer, manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Or how about just putting Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Ubaldo Jimenez into a wrapped holiday present and calling it good? That's what the Rockies did. "The best is yet to come," their video says.

Philadelphia probably could have just played the Cliff Lee re-introductory news conference and called it good as its video. Of course, who could wait for Lee to finally choose a team when you're making something like this? It was a nice touch by the Phillies: "the moments ... the memories ... the chills ... last all winter long." Indeed.

Those Phillies had the best record of the regular season, but the team that bounced them out and won it all was San Francisco. Watch the world champions' holiday video and you might get a few more chills as players like Buster Posey and Cody Ross thank their "amazing" and finally satiated fans.

Same for Texas fans. The Rangers assure you that this is the second most wonderful time of the year.

The Brewers already gave their fans a sight to behold: Zack Greinke joining Shaun Marcum on their pitching staff. Just for good measure, they also gave their fans a video of the Famous Racing Sausages being covered up by snow. Which is pretty realistic in Wisconsin.

Marcum is not in the Blue Jays video. But maybe you remember Brandon Morrow's 17-strikeout one-hitter, and all those record-breaking long balls hit by Jose Bautista and the club. They are featured in Toronto's "hustle" and "heart" greeting.

If you loved the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in "Ghost Busters," then you will love the giant snowman in the Indians video. Even better, you will see your own name on the Progressive Field scoreboard.

Sometimes the ballpark is the star. Minnesota's video focuses on Target Field (with Joe Mauer at bat there). It is all the rage and the sellout streak goes on strong into next season. The Royals have a snowglobe containing fabulously refurbished Kauffman Stadium.

Yankee Stadium is seen in a whole new way. The Yankees' video starts with a football and a pair of boxing gloves, so you know where they are going with this. It is about a growing multipurpose facility in The Bronx, one that also is host to a college bowl game and pugilism. If only Jay-Z and Eminem could have provided the audio track.

Know what you get when you combine a Happy 50th Anniversary and Happy Holidays? The Angels video -- with a rolling wreath.

What do you think of when you think of Wrigley Field? The Cubs video is framed inside the famous marquee sign, and it is pretty thrilling seeing "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks at the start.

Pirates fans are getting to know their new manager, Clint Hurdle, and he follows many of his new players who express eagerness to see fans at PNC Park. As for the Pirate Parrot, let's just say he is better at leading the crowd than wrapping presents.

Mascots are a frequent theme every year. The A's video features their elephant attired in a tangle of Christmas lights. In Washington, Screech digs out of deep snow around Nationals Park in "Off Season's Greetings."

Indeed, snow naturally is a common theme. Dodgers pitchers fire snowballs at you. Baltimore's video features five Orioles -- or are they elves? -- landing on the white stuff. We don't remember snow falling in Los Angeles ... but Angels fans will see some flakes.

Best Loop Award goes to the Astros. Their video is baseballs falling like snow. Remember last year when snow actually did fall in Houston?

Anyone remember those shorts during the breaks between drive-in movies? You know, the hot dog flipping into the bun? Watch Mr. Met grab hold of a light bulb and see if that does not take you back or introduce you to those days of yore.

There is no sign of DJ Kitty in the Rays video. You know how aloof cats can be. Nevertheless, the Rays are Happy with the way their greeting turned out.

The award for the most optimistic card goes to the White Sox. Theirs is a barrage of fireworks, anticipating what they expect now that Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko are in the same lineup for 2011. Here's to the future, whatever it may hold.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Follow @MLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.