The seemingly endless off-season is finally at a close with players reporting to camp for the first official workouts. Fans and writers have speculated, analyzed, judged, and scrutinized nearly every move made and not made since the end of the World Series. Most folks are content to wait a week for games to begin, but this humble writer can’t sit idly by leaving any stone unturned concerning the Phillies.
I asked myself, “What hasn’t been put under the microscope yet?”
The answer won’t be found in the clubhouse, on the field, or even in Ruben Amaro’s lair. The teams promotional giveaways, yes those fun things you get for free (minus the price of admission), have received no attention for some insane reason. With an aging roster, and the potential for the team to fall back even further in the division these promotions may be the only thing drawing fans to the games by year’s end!
OK, I may be overstating their significance with this unlikely grave prediction, but how many times can someone write about how old this team is, or the status of Delmon Young’s waistline?
The Top Ten Phillies Promotional Giveaways
1) Toyota Carlos Ruiz Bobble Head Figurine (6/4)
In the world of ballpark promotions, the bobble head is king. The Phillies found themselves in an awkward position last year, trading away Hunter Pence before his porcelain lookalike day. Ruiz is a safe choice, and frankly has earned the right to be enshrined in the long tradition of bobble heads. Barring injury Chooch should be on the field for his special day, as it comes over a month after his 25-game suspension expires.
2) Cole Hamels Bobble Figurine (8/21)
You may be shaking your head at this decision(Pun most definitely intended) but I had to give the edge to Chooch’s figurine. The guy needs a pick me up after his suspension, and Cole will be around for many more cheap promotions.
3) Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Night(s) (4/9 – 4/22 – 6/17 – 8/19 – 9/2 – 9/16)
I grouped the dollar dog nights together because how can any night of $1 hot dogs be better than any other? Any chance for fans to stuff themselves with delicious hot dog meat and condiments without breaking the bank is a glorious thing. One tip for fans champing at the bit for tickets to these games, wear your second favorite jersey. Mustard stains are the worst.
4) X-Finity Fireworks Show #1/#2 (7/11 – 7/12)
Not exactly a giveaway, but who doesn’t love a good fireworks display? One of the greatest fireworks shows I’ve ever seen was put on by the Phillies at the Vet. These shows shouldn’t be any different.
5) Phillie Phanatics Birthday (4/21)
Fans 14 and under will get a Time Travelin’ Phanatic DVD. I imagine this will be somewhat like the Blackadder Movie where Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) travels back in time and alters european history. If the Phanatic is smart, he’ll go back in time to 1964 and keep Gene Mauch from panicking and starting Jim Bunning on no rest. *TBOH welcomes your Phillies time travel submissions*
6) Jimmy Rollins Gold Glove Replica Trophy (4/6)
You too can win a gold glove, sorta. The Phillies have created a smaller not-gold glove for the youngsters, hoping to inspire them to learn how to play short. After all, J-Roll isn’t getting any young.
7) Opening Day Rally Towel (4/5)
Simple. Classic. Tradition. Not to mention the rally towel can double as a bib on Dollar Dog Night.
8) Stubhub Mother’s Appreciation Day Chase Utley Tote Bag (5/5)
A tote bag with every woman’s favorite player. What’s not to love? And if you bring your Chase Utley tote to Trader Joes you’re eligble for their weekly grocery raffle.
9) John Kruk Action Figure (8/23)
The fans who will be playing with these have no idea who the Krucker is.
10) Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority Travel Mug (7/14)
This last promotion made the list with possibly the most random corporate sponsor. Just think about how safe your car will be with the auto theft prevention mug resting inside!
Editors note: I promise there will be actual baseball to discuss soon.