Let's Play Ball: What having a Megaphone vendor throw out the first pitch at a Vancouver Canadians game meant to community building

Photo by Kevin Hollett.


On Sunday, July 3, Megaphone vendor Charlize Gordon threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Vancouver Canadians baseball game. It was a great pitch and a fantastic moment that allowed us to celebrate the incredible work that both organizations do for the community.


Charlize won the right to throw out the first pitch by winning Megaphone’s ‘sales pitch contest’. For two weeks Megaphone vendors submitted their best sales pitches, offering slogans they use when selling the paper on the streets that they hoped would help them win.


Once the pitches were compiled, vendors then voted on their favourite pitch. It was a tight competition, but Charlize was the clear winner with this fun and smart sales spiel:


“I’m selling Megaphone Magazine. It is a local production with a lot of great stories from artists you will get to know once you get your copy. It’s all relevant. Every two weeks, hot off the press ... It’s Megaphone!”


The contest allowed our vendors to come together and show off their sales savvy, but also help them give each other tips and ideas on how they can improve their own sales pitches. Whether it’s on the streets or in meetings, our vendors have a community that supports each other so they can all succeed. Charlize’s baseball pitch allowed us to celebrate what our vendors have created. (read Charlize’s story below.)


Photo by Kevin Hollett.

That the Vancouver Canadians gave a Megaphone vendor the opportunity to throw out the first pitch speaks to how supportive the organization is to community groups. Along with producing some great baseball talent on the field, the Canadians help underprivileged youth through the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation and raise money for charities at games through 50/50 draws and $1 root beer floats.


Located in the picturesque and cozy Nat Bailey Stadium, the Canadians have deep roots in Vancouver. The minor league baseball team hosts movie and fireworks nights and have created a family-friendly atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at your backyard baseball diamond when you’re at the game. While the final score of the game is significant, we know it’s not the most important reason why we’re at the game.


While major league sports might have bigger stars and fanfare, the Canadians brand of minor league baseball reminds us why we participate in sports—to be part of a supportive and fun community that helps brings diverse people and groups together.


Many thanks to the Vancouver Canadians for recognizing the valuable service Megaphone vendors provide to the city and for giving Charlize the opportunity to throw out the first pitch.


Photo by Kevin Hollett.

The Pitch by Charlize Gordon


It was quite thrilling to win Megaphone’s contest to throw out the first pitch at the Vancouver Canadians game and I felt honoured that my fellow vendors voted for my sales pitch. I did not know what my role would be at the game so I practiced different versions of my pitch in case I was asked to say it! But, that was not the case.


There was a big crowd an hour before the game and the sun was peeking out from the grey morning. Everyone seemed happy and to be enjoying themselves. I had my Megaphone gear on and thought to myself maybe I could sell some magazines and practice my pitch (but it’s on private property—don’t do it!). I was looking forward to throwing the first pitch so I decided not to.


Megaphone executive director Sean Condon got me inside and I met editor Kevin Hollett who took photos of the big event. We went to the field and took different photos of me with “the ball”.


Then I was directed towards the mound and that was really cool. I threw the ball. It was an outside pitch and the (hopefully) future Blue Jays catcher caught it easily and the crowd cheered. He came up and gave me a hug and then signed my ball. Now it sits on my shelf so I can show it off!


Get on your megaphone

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