This year could be quite good for the Nats, and you have to feel lucky as a fan that we’re blessed with a good team. After all, you wouldn’t change the team you’re rooting for if they sucked. Heck, most of you Nats fans suffered through seriously bad teams for a few years already.
But what if you don’t care about how the Nats are doing? What if all you care about is stupid chotchkies? Well, sorry, semi-Nats fan, you are out of luck. The Nats do have some giveaways going, don’t get me wrong. But they just aren’t as good as what some of the other teams have.
Sure, they have the bobbleheads, which are necessary but ubiquitous. And they’ve got a decent looking t-shirt for the April 5th game against the Braves. A Jayson Werth garden gnome on Aug 5 does not get me all worked up. Unless I’m missing something, besides that garden gnome, the most creative they got is Kids Socks night and Taft bobblehead.
Across the league, however, there are some interesting giveaways. Most of the ones are here because I like them, or like the idea of them… but there are a few that are ridiculous enough that I couldn’t leave them out. So take notes, Nats, here’s a rundown of giveaways throughout the league:
It is worth noting that all of the Rockies bobblehead giveaway are Bobblehead Gnomes. Do not take my noting this as approval of such behavior.
April 5 – Houston Astros – An oldie but a goodie, a gym back is no joke. My Dad was still using a Redskins gym back some 20 years after he got it. And he was using it to carry his gym clothes to work, which is awesome because the was actually the intended use.
April 9 – Los Angeles Dodgers – This Dodgers zip up hooded sweatshirt looks really nice. But it says only in M and XL. You are out of luck, average sized male.
April 13 – San Francisco Giants – What? No. Awful (it’s a “Sports Sleeve”)
April 16 – Detroit Tigers – Detroit is cold in April, and in October for that matter, and they’ve been playing in both recently. These gloves are useful, and that whole “forming the logo” thing is pretty much in right now.
April 19 – Los Angeles Dodgers – The amazing thing about this Dodgers welcome mat is the fact that they resisted the urge to include some sort of Matt Kemp pun.
April 25 – Seattle Mariners – Hat with a beard. Which could be useful if it was in a real cold weather city. Or one that might play games in October. Instead it just looks like a poor attempt to try to make something that would appeal to hipsters. It won’t.
May 3 – Pittsburgh Pirates – A Pirates Fedora because I’m sure people will totally wear this all the time. How this wasn’t devised by the Astros and Kevin Goldstein is beyond me.
May 9 – Detroit Tigers – A trophy honoring Miguel Cabrera’s batting titles. Why would anyone need this or want this? That kind of makes it amazing. And the picture makes it look like it COULD be full size bats.
May 16 – St. Louis Cardinals – On the one hand, the NL championship trophy is a neat little desk piece. On the other hand, wouldn’t it just remind you that your team didn’t win the World Series?
May 16 – Chicago Cubs – Ok, this is just a bobblehead, but it’s a Babe Ruth Called Shot bobblehead, being given away by the Cubs. Talk about embracing your lovable loser status. Can’t see the Yankees giving away a Luis Gonzalez blooper bobblehead. Red Sox Bucky Dent bobble head night? Come to the Nats game, get your Pete Kozma bobblehead!
May 17 – St. Louis Cardinals – Not sure how I feel about the mural that is on the side there, which belongs on the side of a van, but this is super usable.
May 17 – San Francisco Giants – I wasn’t gonna include this one, because there are other fedoras in other stadiums. But I wanted you to see how bad it looks.
May 18 – Kansas City Royals – Another Fedora! It’s Salute to the Negro Leagues day, they are encouraging their fans to come “dressed to the nines” and are giving away this amazing KC Monarchs Fedora.
May 18 – Arizona Diamondbacks – Dad, while you trek out to KC, your wife should go out to Arizona, because the first “10,000 moms” gets some sweet looking slippers
May 18 – Chicago Cubs – This is shaping up to be quite a day across the league. Mom and Dad, let the kids make their way to Chicago, so they could actually see what you used to think was fun, and laugh mockingly at your stone age toys. It’s Cubs Viewmaster Night
May 25 – Baltimore Orioles – They are giving away an Orioles Ripcord bracelet. Is this a thing? Because I don’t know about it.
May 30 – Seattle Mariners – Yet another fedora. Just cause I want everyone to know how many of these are out there, and how much more horrendous the SF one looks than all the others.
May 31 – Houston Astros – This isn’t a silly little t-shirt giveaway. The Astros are giving away jerseys. Not the first to do it, but that doesn’t make it less awesome.
June 1 – Oakland A’s – Normally the bench coach and the hitting coach don’t get honored with giveaways unless they were stars for the team. Well, neither Chip Hale or Chili Davis ever played for the A’s, but their names were an inspiration to the marketing department. This Chip and Chili Dip Bowl is as creative as it gets, folks.
June 7 – San Francisco Giants – Sergio Romo super hero socks. Because they have capes on the end, they go from being intriguing to awful. Unless you’re RG3, in which case you probably love them. Creative idea, but that cape…
June 8 – Tampa Bay Rays – A grill set with James Loney’s name and number stamped on it. Really? James Loney? This is going to be garbage or a ironic cool thing in 10 years. “Hey, remember James Loney?”
June 15 – Houston Astros – On the other hand, a team Father’s Day Grill Set is a great idea. No worries about the guy on your grill set leaving town next season. Utilitarian and something that is probably a similar level of quality to what you’d buy at a store, who wouldn’t want it to have their favorite team’s logo on it?
June 27 – Kansas City Royals – Another outside-the-box hat giveaway for the Royals… it’s Ladies (straw) Cowboy Hat night, for some reason.
July 2/4 – New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins – It’s the 75th anniversary of his speech, it’s Independence Day, and Gehrig is the best, so another one of Murderer’s Row gets a bobblehead. The speech was on the 4th, but the Yankees play in Minnesota that day – so the Yanks give it away on their last home game before the date, Twins do it for their opponents on the anniversary.
July 13 – Cincinnati Reds – Way more fun for kids than a bobblehead… a stuffed animal. This stuffed animal is not a teddy bear, or dog, or even Mr Redlegs. This stuffed animal is Todd Frazier. No picture available, probably because they don’t want to ruin the surprise.
July 25 – Los Angeles Angels – Gaaaaaaaaaaaah! Turn it off! Was this Mike Rizzo’s idea?
July 27 – Texas Rangers – A little late in the season for a fedora giveaway, wouldn’t you say?
August 2 – Chicago White Sox – A Frank Thomas replica Hall of Fame plaque. Impressively creative and useless giveaway, although without seeing a picture I’d recommend going somewhere else on August 2, somewhere much closer to DC…
August 2 – Baltimore Orioles – Chris Davis Action figure. That’s what it says. Not a bobblehead, not a figurine… an action figure. This is they picture they have, which I assume is an “artist’s rendition”
August 8/9 – Houston Astros – You know the Astros and Rangers have some in-state/Nolan Ryan themed rivalries, so the Astros are taking to another level by attempting to prove they’re more Texan, during a weekend series against the Rangers. On the 8th they’ll be giving out a boot mug for your sarsaparilla or Shiner drinking, and on the 9th they’ll be giving out straw cowboys hats. Your move, Rangers (what’s that? 90+ wins each of the last 4 seasons? Ah, yeah, that’s a good promotion, too)
August 31 – San Francisco Giants – Just because lots of stadiums are doing Star Wars Nights, doesn’t mean you should have this mashup giveaway that will make everyone ask “why does it have that SF logo on it?”
September 19 – Los Angeles Angels – It just says “Oktoberfest Stein”, with no picture. No matter, it is beer/baseball themed, so it is a good idea.
September 20 – Oakland A’s – Same as above, but they call it an “Oaktoberfest Stein”. Get it? Same amount of awesome usefulness nontheless.
September 20 – Baltimore Orioles – No picture, but they’re giving away a knit cap. Which is actually useful in the winter. I like this idea, as long as it’s an Orioles knit cap and not an R2-D2 knit cap with a bird on it.
September 23 – Detroit Tigers – Halfway to St Patricks Day Green Tigers Hat. What? Is this for transplanted Boston Red Sox fans who miss wearing their ridiculous green hats?
Lots of good giveaways there, but Cubs fans get something really special (other than the actual team they watch play). Because they also are doing a throwback toys series throughout the season, with a toy for each decade going back to the 1940s.
June 22 – 40’s throwback – Andy Pafko Lego man
June 22 – 50’s throwback – Mr Potato Head Keychain
July 13 – 60’s throwback – Cubs Etch a Sketch
August 24 – 90’s throwback – Grace the Swan Beanie Baby
September 7 – 2000’s throwback – Build-a-Bear doll
I think the Giants, while getting alot of points for creativity, might have some of the worst giveaways I’ve ever seen. Also, if you think fedoras are outsider gear, you are wrong. Doesn’t mean they aren’t wonderful ways to cover your head, but they’re scream “I have independent thoughts” as much as pants do.
There are some real winners in this lot, too. Some of the less creative things, like a knit cap or something to drink out of, are great and will actually be used by those who receive them.
My favorite is the jersey giveaway, if it is of any level of quality worth wearing. Besides that, I love the grill set, the slippers and the hoodie. And anything that holds beer. Happy travels!