By Will Leitch @williamfleitch
Going to baseball games is fun on its own, without any extra swag added. But if you get a chance to get some swag … you should get some swag. We are as much a sucker for ballpark swag as anyone. We even have our own bobblehead wall.
Thus today at the Thirty, we take a look at the most fun promotions on every team’s schedule this upcoming season. Every one of these would make the loveliest conversation piece at your home.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Sitcom Night, July 17. This appears to be mostly “Friends”-related -- we now note that most of the star players on this team were barely walking when this show left the air -- but since this is Canada, we hope there are some “Schitt’s Creek” shoutouts, as well.
Orioles: 25th Anniversary of 2,131, Sept. 6. Yep, somehow it has been 25 years since Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-games-played record. Celebrate with a Ripken bobblehead and a reminder of just how old you are.
Rays: Yandy Díaz Beach Tank, May 31. Díaz is jacked, and your 14-and-under child can get a workout tank top with Díaz flexing. There will be a bobblehead of Díaz in WWE gear on March 31.
Red Sox: Manny HOF Series Bobblehead, May 19. Manny Ramírez might not be getting a lot of Cooperstown traction, but they’ll always love him in Boston.
Yankees: Gerrit Cole Top Gun Bobblehead Day, May 23. There are a few "Top Gun" related promotions this year, but Cole's got a little bit of a Maverick vibe, doesn't he?
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: 1920 Cap, July 31. When your team celebrates 100 years since a championship season, you can get a free hat, too.
Royals: Jackie Robinson Monarchs Tee, May 17. There’s no better time to honor Robinson’s time with the Kansas City Monarchs than when the Dodgers are in town.
Tigers: Niko Goodrum Desk Mate Bobblehead, July 17. You have to love a bobblehead that, unlike most bobbleheads, has an actual utility: You can use this to sort all your stray, loose office items.
White Sox: Tim Anderson Bat Flip Bobblehead, May 30. Nothing guarantees you’ll offend your older relatives than having a bobblehead with a guy flipping his bat.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Astros: Still waiting, Astros. You can forgive the public relations department for not having this one ready yet. They’ve been a little busy.
Athletics: Matt2Matt Bobblehead, Aug. 1. A dual bobblehead with Matt Chapman and Matt Olson is everything the A’s are about right now.
Mariners: J.P. Crawford Pajama Pant Night, May 15. When you’re running promotions for the Mariners right now, you have to get creative.
Rangers: Roaring '20s Night, April 24. This features a bobblehead of Joey Gallo in 1920s garb, as “The Great Batsby.”
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Ozzie Albies Chain, April 5. For kids 14 and under, here’s something to make sure you don’t get caught around your neck while sliding.
Marlins: Still waiting, Marlins. They’ve got to end up giving something away for Jeter’s HOF induction, no?
Mets: Mrs. Met as DC Comics' Wonder Woman Bobblehead, May 30. Two great American heroes finally team up as one.
Nationals: Victor Robles Bobblehead, June 3. He didn’t have the instant impact of Juan Soto -- who is younger, but already considered a superstar by our standards -- but all that talent is still in there.
Phillies: Roy Halladay Number Retirement Night, May 29. The Phillies will honor the late Hall of Famer with a retired number and a mini-statue for all fans.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Bob Uecker "Talking" Bobblehead, June 28. Honestly, it would be wrong for a Uecker bobblehead not to talk.
Cardinals: Ted Simmons Bobblehead, June 19. The new Hall of Famer gets the love from Cardinals Nation ahead of his induction into Cooperstown in July.
Cubs: Craig Kimbrel Grow-a-Beard, May 9. Details are still to come on this one, but suffice it to say, we didn’t see a lot of fake Kimbrel beards around Wrigley Field last year.
Pirates: Josh Bell Bobblehead, July 4. To honor the two homers Bell hit into the Allegheny last year, this features him not with a bat, but with a fishing pole.
Reds: Queen City Sluggers Triple Bobblehead, April 25. Three generations of home run hitters are honored with this tri-bobblehead, featuring Ted Kluszewski, George Foster and Eugenio Suárez.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: MadBum Bobblehead, July 18. Perhaps by this point, we will all be used to seeing him in this uniform.
Dodgers: Vin Scully Bobblehead, July 16. The Dodgers are giving away a ton of bobbleheads this year, but this is still the best one.
Giants: "Buster Hugs" Neck Pillow, May 30. When you’ve played with the team as long as Buster Posey has, you have to strain to keep coming up with new promotions.
Padres: Shirts Off Their Backs Ceremony, Sept. 27. Whatever gets us closer to wearing the revived old-school jersey will work for us.
Rockies: Still waiting, Rockies. To be fair: Casting Nolan Arenado promotions too far into the future is asking for trouble.