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A tour of Major League Baseball teams promotional calendars

I had the luxury growing up, that my dad did the shipping for the Oakland Athletics. This meant that a week before every promotional giveaway I got to go into my dad’s warehouse and get the mini bat, or baseball card set, or commemorative pin. Sadly my dad sold his company before the Bobblehead and collectable craze hit, so I wasn’t able to cash in.

So with the start of the baseball season upon us I’ve decided to pack up the family (mostly because I need the kids to get a few of the giveaways) and drive and fly all over the country to get the best and most unique giveaways from all the MLB parks so I can have a piece of Americana; and then sell that piece of Americana on E-bay. (Username: APsCollectibles)

Come along with me as I see what I can get for free just for going to a baseball game. (I wonder if I can expense this with ArizonaSports.com)

We will not be going to Boston or Colorado as they either aren’t doing giveaways or they felt no need to promote them on their web site. Too bad two great parks.

April 1st: Mariners @ A’sMagnetic Schedule
No place better to start then the place where I grew up attending games. I get my little magnet calendar for my fridge, which might be useless this year since I’m probably never going to be home.

April 3rd: Twins @ Blue JaysJose Bautista Bobblehead
After opening day we’re heading north of the boarder for the happiest bobblehead you have ever seen. I know he jumped like 50 homers from 2009 last year but Jose, act like you’ve been there before big guy.

April 8th: Nationals @ MetsMr. Met Bobblehead
There are two things I love…Mascots and Bobbleheads. Citi Field here we come for the Mets home opener…no magnent schedule on opening day here!

April 9th: Reds @ D-backsMagnetic Schedule
We’ll come home cause New York is a little too cold still in April and grab our D-backs Magnet Schedule to put next to our A’s one on the fridge. This was an easy choice, especially when you consider the Angles were giving away a Ski Cap, because I need to keep my head warm when it’s 75 degrees and gorgeous everyday.

April 10th: Cardinals @ GiantsBuster Posey ROY Pin
I chose Buster Posey a little early in my Fantasy Baseball draft, so I feel obligated to get the Buster Posey Pin. What ever happened to the Pin give away? There used to be like four or five a year and there was always the older lady that had every one of them in her hat.

April 16th: Giants @ D-backsAll-Star Game Pin
Another Pin, and a cool moment for Arizona to host the game. Plus I like the logo. But who could have sponsored this giveaway? I wish they wouldn’t be so subtle.

April 17th: Twins @ RaysDavid Price Arm Sleves The first item I’m confused by. Is this cool? Are kids wearing these things to school? I feel so out of the loop.

April 23rd: Indians @ TwinsEnergy Efficient Light Bulb Umm What? What is the point of this? Does it have a logo on it? Is this the first ever you must stay until the end of the game give away? I want to go to Target field, but it’s my birthday, I’m not getting a light bulb. Let’s choose a different game.

April 23rd: Phillies @ PadresPadres 6pack Tube Cooler I almost chose to go to Pittsburgh for the Andrew McCutchen Action Figure (How cool would it be to say that you have your own action figure). But Come on it’s my birthday, who doesn’t want to go to San Diego for their birthday and who doesn’t want to get something that was obviously invented by an alcoholic architect. “How can I sneak beer into the office? I’ve got it; I’ll insulate my file tube and throw a strap on it. PERFECT!”

April 24th: Reds @ CardinalsStan Musial Bobblehead
My first trip to New Busch Stadium the next day for a Stan Musial Bobblehead. Rule #1 with Bobbleheads is if you can get one of a hall of famer, get it. Despite the Brewers sweet mustached Bobblehead of John Axford for the same day, I’ll be in St. Louis.

April 28th: Cubs @ D-backsRacing Gracie Bobblehead
Back home for what I assume is the only Bobblehead of something that has never won anything. I’m sure Mark Grace is very excited about this… we’ll just have to see if he can actually win the race that day.

April 30th: Rangers @ A’sRickey Henderson Bobblehead
My dad was at the game where Rickey broke Lou Brocks record… I still don’t know why he didn’t take me out of school for that one. I’ll just have to settle for the bobble head…this one not going on Ebay.

May 1st: Angels @ RaysJoe Maddon Bank
Back to Tampa for the second time for a weird one. I’m not sure how I’d feel waking up in the middle of the night with this staring at me from atop my dresser.

May 6th: White Sox @ MarinersKansas City Athletics Hat
I could either go to Anaheim for a Troll Doll (Not even a jeweled troll doll) or Kansas City for this cool KC Athletics hat. Kansas City it is. (Doesn’t hurt the Royals are playing the A’s either)

May 17th: Brewers @ DodgersClayton Kershaw Bobblehead
Ahhh Chavez Revine, game time is 7:00pm, gates open at 5:00pm, factor in traffic and heavy crowd for Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead day, and I will plan on leaving on the 15th to get there in time.

May 19th: Angels @ MarinersFranklin Gutierrez Fly Swatter
I’ll just let the description from the web site do the work here: “Franklin Gutierrez finished the 2010 season with a perfect fielding percentage in centerfield, chasing down fly balls and scaling the fences to rob home runs. The first 20,000 fans take home a fly swatter because nothing, not even a fly, is safe in centerfield with Franklin on the prowl.”

May 21st: Twins @ D-backsAll-Star Game Garden Gnome
Gnomes and Special Events teamed together is a winner in my book!

May 22nd: Rockies @ BrewersCasey McGehee Bobblehead
Normally I wouldn’t worry about getting a bobble head of an emerging 3rd base talent from the Brewers who could be the key to my fantasy season, but when I saw that McGehee’s bobblehead was sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Casey was standing on a wheel of cheese, it was cheesy enough for me to fly to Milwaukee right after getting my Gnome.

May 24th: Blue Jays @ YankeesYankees Grass Seed Planter
How do you pitch this idea to the bosses? “Alright, you know how no one has a front yard in New York, what if we give them a bowl with a Yankees logo on it and some grass seeds!” This is probably the most confusing promotion, but I can probably get $20 bucks for it on E-Bay.

June 11th: D-backs @ MarlinsMarlins Thundersticks
NO! THAT’S A BAD MARLINS MARKETING TEAM BAD!
I can’t do it. I’m going to Pittsburgh for the post game Huey Lewis and the News concert.

June 12th: A’s @ White SoxRoger Bossard Bobblehead
You might be saying who is Roger Bossard? By the picture of his bobblehead he’s a groundskeeper. With a little more digging (I went to Google) he is the head groundskeeper for the White Sox. I’m sure his family will get plenty so they won’t have to buy any on Ebay. Which is why I’ll pass and just stay in Pittsburgh for the Pirate Parrot bobblehead on his little four wheeler. Once again I love Mascots and Bobbleheads mixed together.

June 28th: Nationals @ AngelsDan Haren Bobble Head
This is the third team Dan Haren has had a bobble head for, is that some sort of a record? And I have to be there so I can own all three as well.

July 3rd: Indians @ RedsBronson Arroyo Plush Doll
Yes, a Plush Doll of Bronson Arroyo. Who doesn’t want to have that to snuggle up to on all the plane rides around the country?

July 10th: Mets @ GiantsBuster Posey Bobblehead
Buster Posey is going to lead me to a Fantasy Baseball championship so I’m going for his bobblehead. And if he fails to bring a championship he will have another bobblehead on Ebay.

July 16th: Nationals @ BravesB-52’s Postgame Show
I mean do I need anything else but Rock Lobster.

July 17th: Angels @ A’sMC Hammer Bobblehead
Yes that MC Hammer. You might wonder why the A’s are having a Hammer Bobblehead, but the man who you can’t touch was actually a bat boy for the A’s when he was a kid and got the nickname ‘Hammer’ in the Oakland clubhouse. I just can’t wait to see if it has parachute pants.

July 20th: Phillies @ CubsCubs Chip and Dip Platter
Really, this is the best the Cubs can do. Good thing my old college roommate is a Cubs fan. Merry Christmas Brad!

July 29th: Rays @ MarinersSeattle SuperSonics Appreciation Night
This is the worst promo night ever! Why would you celebrate a team that left for OKC? Would anyone be surprised if seven people showed up to this? WHY BRING UP THE MEMORIES!

July 30th: Astros @ BrewersMiller Lite Bobblehead
If this isn’t Bernie the Brewer I’m going to be very cheesed off.

July 31st: Rangers @ Blue JaysRoberto Alomar Bobblehead
Celebrating Roberto’s Hall of Fame induction and they picked a great pose for a bobblehead. I like when teams choose something other than a standard stance for the pose (more on this in a few games).

August 4th: Yankees @ White SoxBeer Vendor Bobblehead
We’re into August and here is another Beer Vendor bobblehead. I think we’ve really hit a wall with the bobbleheads when we’ve had two mascots, a rapper, and two beer vendors this trend might have jumped the shark.

August 5th: White Sox @ TwinsKent Hrbek/Ron Gant Bobblehead
Damn these bobbleheads they keep luring me in! And if you can’t figure out why this bobblehead is the best bobblehead ever, read this.

August 10th: Pirates @ GiantsAT&T Giants Slumber Party
I’ve never done this but it’s a tradition now at AT&T Park so I might as well do it on this epic trip. Go to the game, then hang out, bring your sleeping bag and tent watch a movie on the jumbotron and sleep out on the grass right by the Bay. Yeah I might be most excited for this.

August 20th: Marlins @ PadresDierks Bentley Post Game Concert
Pretty much San Diego and Deirks Bentley is the right combination for me. The giveaways are winding down now so it’s all about finding some good perks to buying a game ticket.

August 23rd: White Sox @ AngelsRally Monkey Chia Pet
We take a short drive up the coast and a weird giveaway at the Angels game. All I can image this looking like the dessert from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Hey Short Round give me your hat!

August 26th: Tigers @ TwinsJim Thome Wind Up Walker
Who would win on a race to first base, the real Jim Thome or his wind up walker?

August 27th: Astros @ GiantsTim Lincecum Bobblehead
As long as his hair is included I’m in for yet another bobblehead. I think I have 55.

September 23rd: Rockies @ Astros50th Anniversary Hat
It doesn’t really fit with all the other weird or collectable items that I’ve purchased I know. Except for some reason the Astros are celebrating their 50th anniversary just one year after celebrating their 45th Anniversary. Now the 45th was for the name “Astros” and the 50th is for the Franchise, but why confuse the public like that. Plus for my last Promotional day why not go on Oktoberfest as well.
Okay so that was a simple 40 some-odd games traveling all over the country collecting bobbleheads, Chia Pets, and various other random items. Time to go start some auctions and then try to go convince the bosses to fund this bad boy. I think I have a shot.