PEORIA - Appearances by former Chicago Cubs stars Ron Santo and Ferguson Jenkins highlight events on the promotional schedule of the Peoria Chiefs' minor league baseball team this year.
In addition, the Chiefs have planned four jersey auctions, eight fireworks shows, on-field performances by seven acts, five bobble head giveaways, a collectors series baseball giveaway and many other giveaways and nightly promotions.
Jenkins, a Hall of Famer, will help the Chiefs start their schedule with a two-day appearance beginning opening night April 13 when the Swing of the Quad Cities visit for a 6:30 p.m. contest.
Jenkins will throw out a first pitch and then sign autographs for $20 with the proceeds benefiting the Fergie Jenkins Foundation which supports various American and Canadian charities including the Red Cross, Special Olympics and YMCA.
Jenkins will return to O'Brien Field April 14 when the Swing again face the Chiefs at 6:30 p.m.
Santo, now a Cubs radio broadcaster, will be in Peoria June 10.
He will be available to sign autographs during the game for a limited time with all proceeds benefiting the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR).
The Chiefs will host Paint O'Brien Field Orange Night with the Fighting Illini on June 1.
Players will wear special orange uniforms that will be signed and auctioned for charity after the game.
In recent years, the Chiefs have worn special jerseys on five occasions with the jerseys later signed by players and auctioned for charity. May 18 will see the Chiefs in green Irish jerseys.
The Chiefs will wear Hawaiian jerseys July 15 as part of Jimmy Buffet Night with all proceeds going to the Pediatric Research Center.
On Aug. 12, the Chiefs will wear red jerseys as part of Firefighters Night with proceeds going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
The team's fireworks shows will be April 29, May 20, June 3 and 10, July 3, 15 and 29, and Aug. 12.
Among the acts appearing at O'Brien Field will be Jake the Diamond Dog on May 5-6 and June 10-11, the Fabulous Blues Brothers on May 19, Birdzerk on June 1 and Aug. 4, the Zooperstars on June 2 and Myron Noodleman on June 3 and Aug. 25.
Skyy Dogs USA come to Peoria on June 4 and Reggy on July 4.
The five bobble head giveaways will be: Ron Santo (June 2), Yadier Molina (July 14), Chiefs manager Jody Davis (July 28), Kerry Wood in a Chiefs uniform (Aug. 4) and Harry Caray (Aug. 11).
The baseball giveaways include a headshot and stats of four Chiefs from last season: Grant Johnson (June 22), Ryan Harvey (June 29), Sean Gallagher (July 6) and Eric Patterson (Aug. 24).
Post-game concerts will take place June 30 by the Grammy winning group Avalon and July 15 by Coco Loco.