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Bionic Gloves Veggie Power Ballpark Tour: Fuel of Dreams!

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*** EDITOR'S NOTE: Joe was back on the road in the Green Machine in 2007. Check out to learn more, and here's what they said about the 2007 tour:


"Road trip of the year. Some fans stop at restaurants to refuel their bodies. Joe Connor stops to refuel his body AND his car. This is a great trip and a great cause." -


“The point of his tour…not necessarily to promote vegetable oil as a fuel, but rather to get people thinking about alternative forms of energy.” - South-Bend Tribune, Indiana
“Between burgers, beer and games of bag toss, some tailgaters found themselves discussing a topic not typically associated with college football — renewable fuels. From a 1984 lime green Mercedes that runs on both biodiesel and vegetable oil, Joe Connor preached the gospel of biofuels and alternative energy.” - The State News, Michigan

“If you’re driving around town today and catch a whiff of what smells like your favorite fast-food joint, but don’t see any drive-thrus in sight, don’t panic. You’re not losing your mind. But you’re probably driving behind Joe Connor.” - Auburn-Opelika News, Alabama


"Ignore people who say it can't be done." - Elaine Rideout


“What you're doing to promote the use of cleaner more efficient fuel is commendable, and I applaud your effort.” - Mike, Schaumberg, IIinois


“You are obviously an inspired man.  I'm very jealous of your baseball tour. Gonna have to do that some day in my grease car. Wonderful job on spreading the word.” - David, Gainesville, Florida


“You can't miss your lime-green car!” - George, Greenville, TN


215 Straight Days, 272 Ballgames, 1 Car Running On...VEGETABLE OIL?


Yep, it happened, but wouldn't have been possible without the great sponsorship team of Bionic Gloves, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, DAVID Sunflower Seeds,, Doc's Sports and Personal Pitcher. Words cannot express enough thanks! We hope you enjoy, below, some pictures from the trip, facts and links to media stories. 


"The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it. The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time." - Rudolph Diesel, early 1900s 




WHO: Baseball Contributing Writer and “Veggie Captain” Joe Connor and a seamlessly talented group of sponsors.


WHAT: Connor promoted renewable fuels by driving his 1984 lime green-colored Mercedes on vegetable oil to nearly a different North American ballpark every day for eight different months of the baseball season, starting March 1 in Tucson, Arizona (first MLB Spring Training game) to October 1 in Anaheim (last day of the MLB regular season). The “uniforms” of the sponsors plastered Connor’s “Veggie Power Mobile."


Vegetable Oil Running A Car?: Connor’s Mercedes is a two-tank fuel system. The car’s existing diesel tank and filter supplies diesel fuel to the engine at start up. Then radiator fluid transfers heat from the engine to the heat exchangers in the fuel system. These exchangers heat the vegetable oil in the fuel filter, lines and fuel tank. The heat reduces the viscosity of vegetable oil so that it is similar to diesel and can be injected into the engine properly. Before the engine is shut down, you switch back to diesel so remaining “cold” vegetable oil doesn’t clog up the injectors the next time the engine is started.


Using vegetable oil as fuel isn't new. When Rudolf Diesel first showcased his engine at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, he used peanut oil. In addition to limiting dependence on diesel fuel, cars running on vegetable oil help both reduce emissions as well as dependency on fossil fuels.


WHEN: Started March 1, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona at Tucson Electric Park between the host Chicago White Sox and visiting Colorado Rockies (start of MLB Spring Training), ended October 1, 2006 (end of MLB regular season) between host Anaheim Angels and Oakland Athletics.


WHERE: 48 U.S. States, three Canadian provinces, more than 200 baseball cities total, including MLB, Minor League, Independent, NCAA, other collegiate and amateur games and tournaments.


Some highlights:

> Witnessing the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh as well as three different Minor League All-Star Games (AA-Eastern League; High-A Carolina-California League; and A-Midwest League)

> Enjoying the 2006 College World Series, plus visiting almost every major Division I program, including in the South Eastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-10

> Tons of Minor League and Independent league games, plus collegiate summer league and high school contests from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Quebec City, Quebec to Key West, Florida to Portland, Maine and Wausau, Wisconsin, and more

> Inaugural World Baseball Classic games in Arizona and California, including the semi-finals and final, plus Spring Training games in both Arizona and Florida

> Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, plus the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St Marys, Ontario, and tons of other baseball-related museums around the U.S.


HOW: The tour was a partnership between Connor and sponsors.


WHY: Raise awareness of renewable fuels and celebrate baseball, the greatest game ever invented.

VEGGIE POWER TOUR NEWS (links that remain accessible online):

Print Media/Internet links still active online (also see the two PDF article links further below the fans sound off segment):

Bangor Daily News:

Arizona Driver Magazine:

Pawtucket Blog:

TV/Video links (still active online):

Watch a video of Joe explaining the Green Machine:


What some of the other Media Yahoos had to say:

"Few people believe Joe Connor when he first tells them about his seven-month, transcontinental driving odyssey. Most rolls their eyes and laugh as if it's a joke. When he's driving, Connor often listens to Jimmy Buffett's 'Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.' Connor hopes Americans change their attitude about the way they use energy." - Fort Myers (Florida) News-Press 

"Have you ever wished you could just chuck it all, hop in your car and drive from ballpark to ballpark watching baseball games? The gas could get expensive, but what if you didn't need gas? It all sounds like a fantasy, but for one man, it's a fantasy come true. Each morning, Joe Connor climbs into his Mercedes and goes looking for two things: baseball and vegetable oil." - WBIR-TV, Knoxville 

"Joe Connor is the kind of a guy who any sports fan would just like to sit down and have a beer with. For the past few years, Connor has traveled to baseball venues around the globe, racking up the kind of experiences that most of us just dream of...he is doing it in a unique way, driving a car powered by used vegetable oil. Yep, you got that right…pony up to your neighborhood tavern and see if they have any to spare." - Buffalo Weekly

"High gas prices aren't slowing Joe Connor on his cross-country tour of Minor League baseball parks this summer. He gets the oil for free because the restaurants would have to pay to get rid of it, but he still gets a few weird looks." - Norwich (Connecticut) Bulletin


“Joe Connor drives into a McDonalds to top off himself and his car. Super-size the fries and fill ‘er up with vegetable oil. When he arrives in a new town, he starts knocking on the back doors of restaurants, asking for their left-over cooking oil.” - Grand Rapids Press


"What is lime green and smelly and greasy all over? A 1984 lime green Mercedes powered by vegetable oil. With high gas prices and the need for a hook to get sponsors for his adventure, Connor decided to drive a vegetable oil car around the country." - The Hawkeye


"Pacific Beach resident Joe Connor made the switch and hasn't looked back. Besides the lowered cost, there is another advantage. The lack of petrochemicals means that the level of particulate matter is much less than a traditional diesel engine would produce but with the increased mileage that diesel engines offer over a gas engine." - Beach & Bay Press, San Diego Community Newspaper Group


"The need for sponsorship and the desire to promote alternative fuel sources is why he's driving a car that runs on vegetable oil." - Harrisonburg (Virginia) Daily News-Record


"Watching the show with great interest was ballpark circuit-rider Joe Connor, who is visiting hundreds of ballparks across the country gathering material for his next e-book. Connor arrived at Recreation Field in his lime-green, veg-oil rig and took voluminous notes." - Times Argus

And Finally, The Fans Sounded Off...

“I say Congratulations!  In spite of the challenges, in the end you did what you set out to do, which was no easy task!  I applaud you for your ability to press on despite some difficult challenges and for attempting the trip in the first place!  I admire your willingness to chase after your dreams and make them happen!” -  BH, Edina, Minnesota


“Congratulations on completing your trip, and your dream. It was a great idea!!” - Mac, Fort Myers, Florida


“Even though you are poor right now, I know you will look back on this

trip as one of the best things you did...EVER!!! Those ladies at the party still are talking about the 'vegetable car dude.'" - Rob, Newington, Connecticut


"Dude! AWESOME! You're taking the trip of my dreams. Good luck and hang in there. Take notes. Waiting for the book." - Don


"Congrats on this tour. But you're still a NUTBAG!"  - Bill, Chicago


“It sounds like your trip was one wild ride!  I'm glad you made it back in one piece, or at least not as small of pieces as you could have!” - Jeff, Dallas, Texas

San Diego Newspaper Group Article in PDF

Fort Myers News Press Article in PDF



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