PEORIA – It started as an inside joke.

But the Peoria Orange Barrels exist as part of a Peoria Chiefs promotion approach that is a work in progress for the upcoming 2022 High-A Central League season.

The Chiefs have cut out three games in the new season in which they will play as the Peoria Orange Barrels – with logos and colors representing the orange construction barrels on the roads of central Illinois.

“It started when it was announced in 2020 that the Murray Baker Bridge would be closed for a planned bridge replacement,” Chiefs general manager Jason Mott said. “Everywhere I went I saw orange barrels and we started joking around the team saying we should change our name.

“Then we thought about it and realized it was something we could do as a tribute to progress and construction workers, and we could have fun with it.”

Meet the leaders:Peoria coaching staff for the 2022 Midwest League baseball season

As such, the Chiefs will be dressed in construction barrel-themed orange and white jerseys with a special logo and matching caps, and will play as the Peoria Orange Barrels in games on May 28, July 15 and September 3.

They will do the same for another special jersey theme – Peoria Pork Tenderloin, a nod to the popular sandwich found in variations in central Illinois restaurants.

These jerseys feature a giant net as a logo, and you’ll see them in matches on April 30, June 17, and July 30 (Night of Agriculture).

The Peoria Chiefs in 2022 will don two alternate uniforms, taking on the personas of the Orange Barrels and the Pork Tenderloins.

The jerseys worn during these two special theme nights will be auctioned live and online at the end of the season.

Likewise, they will rebrand and play as Peoria Distillers for all of their Thursday home games in 2022.

“Our approach to promotions is definitely strengthened for 2022,” Mott said. “We have old favorites and special appearances, and some things that are different as well. It’s fun to step into the offbeat world.

“For example, we’re going to have Zero-K Night. Runners know all about a 5k run. You start, you finish, and in between you run about 3 miles. Well, our start and finish will be at the door when you enter Dozer Park. We will be giving everyone a T-shirt and a medal. Congratulations, you just ran a 0K. The race started and ended in one step.

Peoria High grad and Pittsburgh Steelers center Kendrick Green will be invited to the Chiefs game on May 13.

The team will turn back time May 25-28 to honor its 2002 Midwest League championship and mark Dozer Park’s 20th anniversary.

There will be 20 nights of postgame fireworks and bobblehead giveaways that include the Cardinals’ top prospect and 2021 Chiefs third baseman Jordan Walker.

There are more details on the Chefs Promotional Plans on their website.

Peoria High School graduate Victor Solomon is among five finalists who will face off this week on the culminating episodes of "The voice" on NBC.

Memoirs of Chiefs

New Chefs Director by Patrick Anderson his wife, Larissa, is the softball head coach at Mizzou, which entered a college World Series game in 2021. … The Chiefs will host a concert at Dozer Park on July 2 featuring Peoria High grad Victor Solomon — who finished fifth in NBC’s “The Voice” last year. Christian pop artist Jordan Feliz will also perform and there will be fireworks after the concert. Tickets start at $25 and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. … The Chiefs open the 2022 season with a three-game series at Wisconsin starting April 8. Opening day at Dozer Park is April 12 at 6:35 p.m. against Great Of The Lakes. … The Chiefs will wrap up their Education Day games, with three 11:05 a.m. starts for area students on April 27, May 11 and June 15. … The Chiefs’ playing hours are 6:35 p.m. most nights. There are 11 Sunday games, nine of which will kick off at 1:35 p.m. Games on April 26, May 10 and June 14 start at 6:05 p.m. later than a match can start with a day. next game imminent. … The schedule is 132 games, divided into blocks of six-game series, a format implemented last season.

Dave Eminian is the Journal Star’s sports columnist and covers men’s basketball for Bradley, the Rivermen and the Chiefs. He writes the sports column Cleve In The Eve for Contact him at 686-3206 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.