Who doesn’t love free stuff? Promotional giveaways are common in sports, especially in the MLB. Baseball teams are especially prone to promotional giveaways because of the long season (81 home games). Franchises turn to giveaways to increase attendance and excitement surrounding a team. It’s a win-win: fans get something for free and the team sees an increase in attendance, buzz, and goodwill.
Bobbleheads are one of the most common giveaways in sports. Usually, a bobblehead is simply a figurine of a current player, but teams are starting to get more and more creative. Some teams have embraced pop culture and mixed it with bobbleheads. For example, on May 4 the New York Yankees gave away a bobblehead of Aaron Judge dressed as a Jedi for Star Wars Day. In July, the Pittsburgh Pirates are giving out an Incredible Hulk bobblehead. Teams are also experimenting with new types of bobbleheads, earlier this season the Arizona Diamondbacks gave out a bobblehead that plays audio of Diamondbacks’ radio call from last postseason. The Minnesota Twins are putting out three separate bobbleheads of their outfielders that all can stand on their own, but with all three you can put them together to form a miniature outfield.
But it isn’t just bobbleheads that teams are giving away. MLB teams are giving away all kinds of stuff. From hollowed out bats, to foam fingers, to rally towels, to hats, to… beard growing plants? The Red Sox gave away a statue of Craig Kimbrel where plants grow to form him beard. It’s like a sports version of a Chia Pet. The Miami Marlins are giving out pool floaties. The Seattle Mariners are giving out wine-stopper with Robinson Cano atop of it. In the world of baseball giveaways, things get a little weird.
‘Tis the season for free stuff at your local ballpark. It’s worth noting that minor league baseball teams also have promotional giveaways that are worth checking out. So go checkout a game and come back with a pennant, bobblehead, or maybe even a nutcracker.