Fun Fan Giveaway Ideas for the 2013 MLB Season

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2013

Fun Fan Giveaway Ideas for the 2013 MLB Season

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    After a while, giveaways at the ballpark begin to get stale.

    You can only have so many magnetic calendars, bobbleheads and fatheads.

    Baseball might be a sport steeped in tradition, but that doesn't mean that giveaways at the ballpark can't be innovative.

    One team has gotten creative this year, and we'll recognize them as having the "Giveaway of the Year" on our list.

    But before that, let's take a look at five giveaway ideas for five teams that would bring a smile to the faces of their fans.

Atlanta Braves

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    The Giveaway: Upton Brothers Boxing Puppets

    Already licensed by MLB, boxing puppets offer way more in terms of entertainment value and fan interaction than plain old bobbleheads do.

    Besides, can you think of a better way to pay tribute to the sibling rivalry that already exists between B.J. and Justin Upton, playing together on the same MLB team for the first time?

    Skipper Fredi Gonzalez might want to keep a pair of these around so the brothers can get past butting heads (which is bound to happen—they are siblings, after all) in harmless fashion.

Boston Red Sox

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    The Giveaway: Something

    Despite having one of the most expensive tickets in the game and on the heels of the disaster that was the 2012 season, Boston continues to refuse to hand out promotional items to a loyal fanbase that, frankly, deserves better.

    In the words of the immortal Carl Spackler: "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know."

    Something would be more fun and entertaining than nothing.

Miami Marlins

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    The Giveaway: Jeffrey Loria Plush Toy

    The most reviled owner in baseball, Jeffrey Loria, actually made some sense in his first comments of the spring (via ESPN):

    We had to turn back the clock for the moment and push the restart button, and get these young players in here and get them together and look where we are in another year or so. We didn't break up the 1927 Yankees. We broke up a losing ballclub that was going nowhere.

    While he's correct in his assertion that the 2012 Marlins were a losing club and by no means being mistaken for the 1927 Yankees, that does little to appease an angry fanbase that is left with Giancarlo Stanton and not much else to cheer for during the 2013 season.

    Well, according to Loria, that angry fanbase doesn't really exist, as the Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post explains:

    Loria said he has heard very little negative reaction lately. He said he attended a food and win festical on Saturday and was “probably approached by 20 or 30 people all of whom congratulated me and said, ‘You had to do what you did.’ To a person.” 

    You'll excuse me if I have a hard time believing that Marlins fans are congratulating him.

    This is a fanbase that is frustrated and would love nothing more than for Loria to sell the team, something he says he isn't interested in doing.

    Marlins fans need a way to let out the anger and rage brewing inside of them.

    What better way than the Jeffery Loria plush toy?

    Want to stick the Loria doll with pins like a voodoo doll? Go right ahead.

    Feel like smashing him with a hammer? Be our guest.

    Set the doll ablaze? Run it over with your car?

    The avenues for fans to unleash that pent-up frustration on a Loria doll are limitless—and harmless to everything but Loria's ego.

New York Yankees:

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    The Giveaway: Grounds Crew Chia Pets

    This is an idea that the Yankees' High-A affiliate, the Charleston River Dogs, pulled off back in 2010, when they gave fans a Chia Pet in honor of head groundskeeper Mike Williams.

    The Yankees have long incorporated the entire grounds crew at Yankee Stadium into the action, with the unit performing a tightly choreographed version of the Village People's "YMCA" in the middle of the fifth inning.

    A Chia Pet in honor of the grounds crew that comes with the same grass seed used in the Yankee Stadium outfield makes a whole lot of sense.

Washington Nationals

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    The Giveaway: Interactive Bryce Harper Keychains

    It wouldn't be very big, and it would work the same way that the flashlights people have dangling from their keys do.

    Push a button, but instead of a beam of light, you get Bryce Harper's legendary response to a reporter: "That's a clown question, bro."

    Admit it—you're already playing out all the inappropriate times you could use something like this.

    Your wife asks if the garbage has been taken out? Your husband asking if dinner's ready?

    Kids, Mom and Dad want to know if you cleaned your room?

    An officer asks if you know how fast you were going?

    The possibilities are endless.

Giveaway of the Year: Seattle Mariners

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    Actual Giveaway: Mariners' Beard Hat

    Date/Opponent: Friday, Apr. 26 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Part winter accessory, part fashion statement.

    You can't lose.

    It's a brilliant idea, and whichever member of Seattle's marketing department came up with this one is due a raise.

    Without question, this is the best giveaway at any ballpark in the major leagues this season..