The baseball season is fully underway and that goes beyond the majors. The Minor League Baseball season has been going for a couple weeks now, so let’s talk a little about them.
No, we’re not going to talk about the prospects and interesting storylines coming from there (Dan has you covered in that regard). Instead, it’s time to talk about minor league giveaways and promotions. Every year, minor league teams all across the country try to come up with fun and interesting ideas for giveaways and themed nights to try and get fans in the stands. This year is no different, so how about checking in on what the four Yankees’ minor league affiliates have come up with for 2022?
For the RailRiders, pretty much every day of the week is themed, so there’s always going to be something going on if you go there. Highlights include classics like “Thirsty Thursday” ($1 beer specials) and “Waggin’ Wednesday” (“Bring Your Dog” nights, in which yours truly has participated in during prior seasons).
As far as giveaways go, the most fun ones sound like “SWB Hawaiian Shirt” on July 15th and a “Thor Bobblehead” giveaway on August 6th. I’m going to assume that’s the superhero with the new movie coming out this summer and not Noah Syndergaard.
Also, in maybe weirdly planned coincidences, Peppa Pig will be making an appearance on June the 5th, a day in which the RailRiders will be playing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
We’ve got an amusing-sounding banger early in the season with April 29th’s “Squishy Baseball Giveaway.” Given the history of baseball promotional giveaways, maybe it’s a good thing that the baseballs are squishy.
Like SWB, Somerset is having some “Bring Your Dog “nights, going with the “Bark in the Park” name for theirs. Two of those days fall on June 8th and August 9th, with both coinciding with a giveaway. When you look at the details of any promotional giveaway, it will usually say how many items are being given away and to who (i.e. “first 1,000 fans” or first 1,000 children” if it’s a kids’ item). In the case of the bandana being given away on June 8th or the collapsible dog bowl on August 9th, they go to the first 500 dogs.
Also of note is a Yogi Berra bobblehead being given away on August 5th.
Hudson Valley Renegades
Hudson Valley brought it with some fun stuff in their first year as a Yankees’ affiliate in 2021, and they’re trying to continue that trend in 2022.
April 28th features a number retirement ceremony for...two of their old mascots? June 10th features something they’re calling a dinosaur petting zoo. (The documentary “Jurassic Park” showed us that this was a bad idea, but godspeed, Hudson Valley.)
June 28th is “Backwards Night” in which the description says:
“Balls are strikes, the 9th inning is the 1st inning, when you are safe you are out. Settle in for the most confusing night of baseball as we do it all backwards. !erehT ouY eeS”
MLB’s minor league rules experiments are getting out of hand.
There are lots of other interesting ideas on their schedule that might be worth a look if you live in the area.
Tampa doesn’t have a ton in the way of giveaways this year, but they do have some weekly themed days. They’ve dubbed their dog nights “Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays,” while they also have partnerships with local businesses for free tickets for Wednesday and Thursday games. The only other interesting day on their schedule is July 9th’s “Women in Sports Night,” which should be a nice occasion, especially with Tampa being managed by Rachel Balkovec.