While Minor League Baseball is often associated with the warm nights of spring and summer, fans in many parts of the country will begin the season in chilly climates. To help their spectators get through the cold early-season games, many teams are giving away cold weather gear. In the latest Promotions Watch, we take a look at some of the items fans in various cities can expect to receive at the ballpark, including scarves, blankets, and hats.
Getting back to the ballpark on or shortly after Opening Day always makes for a special occasion, but many fans will be enduring cold weather. The supplies given out by teams this year help fill that need, with soccer-style scarves being one of the most common giveaways in the early stages of the season.
The Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) will be one of the first clubs out of the gate with scarves. On April 8, the Curve will hand out scarves to the first 1,000 fans in attendance as part of Soccer Night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
There will be a few other scarf giveaways to keep an eye on over the month of April. To coincide with their home opener, the Albuquerque Isotopes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will make 3,000 available at Isotopes Park on April 15. Another club in the club in the mix is the Akron RubberDucks (Class AA; Eastern League), who will give out 1,000 soccer scarves on April 16, which will feature a tribute to the 30th anniversary of the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
In at least one instance, fans will even be able to obtain a scarf as the weather warms up, as the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will be giving away 2,000 scarves as part of their soccer night. Fans can expect another cold-weather supply at Southwestern University Park on July 14, when 2,000 fleece blankets will be handed out.
Blankets will also be a common item this year, with some clubs handing them out as standalone giveaways or hosting them close to another cold weather gear promotion. On May 5, the Richmond Flying Squirrels hand out 2,000 Boulevard to the Bay fleece blanket. Along with obtaining that item—which is a nod to Richmond’s parent club, the San Francisco Giants—some fans will be able to partake in a wine specials and tastings from 5:30 to 7:30.
As part of their home opener on April 14, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Class AAA; International League) will be giving away fleece blankets to the first 3,000 fans age 18 and older. Those same fans can expect more cold weather apparel on April 16, when 3,000 knit caps will be handed out.
Much like the IronPigs, the Trenton Thunder (Class AA; Eastern League) are incorporating some apparel giveaways into their initial games. The first 2,500 fans 12 and older will receive a free knit cap on April 7, which is Opening Day at Arm & Hammer Park. On April 9, the Thunder will give out more cold weather gear, this time making fleece blankets available. The blankets will be available to the first 1,000 fans 18 and older.
The Salt Lake Bees (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are getting in on the act, by offering texting gloves. That technology and cold weather-oriented giveaway will be available to the April 23 game at Smith’s Ballpark, which will also feature a post-game kids run the bases.
For one weekend in April, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League) will be offering plenty supplies to keep their fans warm. The weekend will kick off with a knit cap giveaway on April 15, which is Jackie Robinson Day at the ballpark. Teams around baseball will be honoring Robinson on this day, which will be the 69th anniversary of when he broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier. The RailRiders will give out knit hats that feature Robinson’s number 42.
The following night, the RailRiders will hand out more cold weather gear, this time presenting gloves. That promotion is an early installment in the team’s Giveaway Saturdays promotion, which will feature a free item for every Saturday contest at PNC Field.
Whether its scarves, blankets, gloves, or hats, fans will have ample opportunity to get free gear from their favorite teams. So in the early months, head out to the ballpark, enjoy the game, and stay warm!