Hold the Peanuts

You might want to bring Rolaids the next time you visit Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids.The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, has introduced the Fifth Third Burger, a $20 monster already being recognized as one of baseball's most heart-stopping concessions.

The patty uses five-thirds pounds of beef, tying it to Fifth Third Bancorp, the Cincinnati company that owns the stadium's naming rights, on an eight-inch sesame seed bun. A cup of chili, five slices of cheese, salsa, sour cream, Fritos, tomato, lettuce and optional jalapenos complete the 4,800-calorie sandwich. It can be cut up to feed four, but more daring fans can eat the entire thing to win a T-shirt.

It is unclear if the company helped develop the marketing gimmick, but the burger recently received attention on "SportsCenter" and "The Today Show."

Fifth Third did not immediately return a call for comment.

Scott Lane, the Whitecaps president, told The Grand Rapids Press that the goal was to come up with something "new and innovative" to add to the sport's "overall experience."

Beats a bobblehead.

Service Center

With bankers in the crosshairs of everyone from politicians to regulators, Synovus Financial Corp. called a time-out to pay tribute to some of its own.The $36 billion-asset Columbus, Ga., company last week honored three of its bankers for service to their communities, presenting them with the annual Chairman awards.

Mark Lane, the chief executive of Synovus' Albany, Ga., unit, Security Bank and Trust Co., received the James H. Blanchard Leadership Award for his positive leadership style and his contributions at organizations such as the Dougherty County Economic Development Commission and the Governor's Office for Children and Families.

"We really felt like the timing of our recognition of the leaders in our company was excellent," said Richard E. Anthony, Synovus' chairman and CEO. "A lot of people want to find a quick fix for these difficult times through government programs or initiatives, but I think the real secret to our success and recovery centers around people."

Meredith Strahle, a personal banker with Synovus Bank in Tampa, got the James D. Yancey Customer Covenant Award for commitment to customer service.

Billy Blanchard, a retail banker at Columbus Bank and Trust in Georgia, received the William B. Turner Humanitarian Award for his work with the nonprofit Young Life, his participation in the United Way and his chairmanship of the Greater Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Advisory Board.

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