On the field, baseball has certainly changed a lot over the years, but it has also evolved in the stands as well. Long gone are the days of the only giveaways being the occasional hat, t-shirt or, if you’re extra lucky, a bat. Even bobbleheads are in the rearview mirror. Now, most clubs have a promotional giveaway on a daily basis – some of which are downright bizarre. Here are some of the coolest (and not so cool) giveaways this year.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (Sunday, July 10): Kids Pierogy Wind-Up Racers
The Pirates have led the way in interesting promotions over the years, but this is a head-scratcher. It’s kids day, so the toy is understandable, but the pierogy? What’s next, beet action figures?
Tampa Bay Rays – Free Shirt Friday
Tampa Bay often has trouble drawing fans, but they’ve come up with a good fix – free shirts every Friday home game. Twelve times throughout the year, the first 10,000 fans will get a free t-shirt. Nothing special, but a cool tradition.
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Saturday, September 24): Padres “Beat LA” Rally Towels
Sure, the Padres and Dodgers are divisional rivals, but “Beat LA?” Really? This isn’t confirmed, but it’s its’ pretty widely known that a certain Boston basketball team has cornered the market on that rallying cry.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres (Sunday, May 1): Retro ’81 World Series T-shirt
This is probably one of the coolest promotions of the year. Throwbacks are always cool, especially since it’s the 30th anniversary of the championship. What better way to pay tribute to players such as Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia and Dusty Baker?
Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins (Sunday, June 5): Kids Pillow Case
Nothing gets you in the mood for baseball like bedding, especially when it features the likeness of the Royals mascot (a lion). Nothing like going to sleep dreaming of a sub .500 record.
New York Yankees vs. Colorado Rockies (Sunday, June 26): Old-Timers Day
It’s a yearly tradition, but it never gets stale. With so many famous faces in Yankees history, it’s always nice to see them put back on the pinstripes years after retiring.
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox (Sunday, May 25): Weather Education Day with Weather Curriculum Book
This kind of speaks for itself, nobody wants to go to a baseball game to learn about the weather. While it’s an admirable cause to educate America’s youth, doing so at the park is not the way to go.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. St. Louis Cardinals - Sunday, July 3: DJ Kitty Puppet
It’s unclear what the folks at Tropicana Field were thinking here. Your guess is as good as mine.