SportsPulse: Now that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have signed we can finally look ahead to actual baseball. Here are the storylines that will define the MLB in 2019.
From $1 hot dogs to “Game of Thrones”-themed nights, promotions at the ballpark are getting more unique each year.
This year is no different at Major League Baseball games.
Here are some highlights on what to expect. (Click each team name for a full list of their promotions.)
The D-backs planned four Friday night firework shows and fans can enjoy a pregame car show with all the classics on April 28. Fans can also celebrate Mother’s Day on May 12 and be one of 10,000 fans to receive a Mother’s Day charm necklace.
Kids will have all the fun this season in Atlanta, with free games and giveaways for kids 14 and under on most Sundays. The first 5,000 kids that get through the gates can get a head start on school shopping with a Braves lunchbox on July 7 and backpack on July 21.
Purchase special tickets on May 4 to celebrate Star Wars night and receive an exclusive bobblehead. The O’s will also show “A League of Their Own” after hosting the Angels on May 11 and give away “There’s no crying in baseball” t-shirts to the first 20,000 fans prior to the game.
The 2018 World Series champions are ready for 2019 and are giving away commemorative items on most Tuesdays through the season. They kick things off with a 2018 World Series ring for the first 7,500 fans that arrive on April 11, and a Mookie Betts MVP hat on April 30.
The Cubs channel the force within by giving away Cubs and Star Wars blankets to the first 10,000 fans on April 13. Plenty of handy items will be given away throughout the season, including tote bags, barbecue mitts and more.
The first 20,000 fans to arrive on Opening Day will receive a free commemorative T-shirt to kick off the season, and the first 10,000 to arrive on Thursday nights receive a different shirt each week. Marvel fans will also receive a Spider-Man bobblehead on July 27 and get to enjoy a post-game firework show.
Reds players and mascots will walk the red carpet in a pre-game parade for kids to celebrate Opening Day. The Reds chose six Hall of Famers to give away as bobbleheads for the first 20,000 fans throughout the season, including Ernie Lombardi and Ken Griffey Jr.
Cleveland kicks off its season with an Opening Day block party and magnetic schedules for every fan in attendance. The team will give away red, white and blue tote bags during All-Star week for the first 10,000 fans who arrive at each of the three games.
The Rockies offered a Star Wars ticket package for its Aug. 3 game against the Giants. Fans that purchase this will receive a Star Wars-themed Rockies t-shirt, special seating arrangements and more.
Trapper and floppy hats will be given away this season. The Tigers will celebrate 100 years in MLB with a Detroit Stars replica jersey, given to the first 10,000 fans who arrive during their series against the Royals on Aug. 10.
Fans will get to stretch it out in the outfield on Mother’s Day with a post-game yoga class. The Astros celebrate Orbit’s birthday on June 9 with various mascots attending a pregame event and signed posters for fans.
Students with valid student IDs can also watch games from the Outfield Plaza on Wednesdays for just $8 while enjoying discounted food and drinks. To celebrate the final season of “Game of Thrones,” fans who purchase special tickets receive Royals Ice Dragon bobbleheads.
The first 30,000 fans to attend most games during a promotional night will receive giveaway items, including tote bags, tops and hats. Fans will receive a Mike Trout bobblehead to honor his 2018 Silver Slugger award, and a Shohei Ohtani blanket to honor his Rookie of the Year award.
Most promotions will end after 40,000 fans arrive, and the items do not disappoint. Hooded sweatshirts will be given away on April 3 and May 11. Dodger Stadium will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day and will give fans Robinson jerseys before hosting the Reds on April 15.
Kids will be the ultimate winners in 2019. The first 5,000 fans 14 and under to arrive at Marlins Park will receive ballcaps, jerseys, baseball gloves and more throughout the season. Batting gloves will also be given away on May 5 for all the aspiring Silver Sluggers.
Every fan in attendance on April 21 will receive a free ticket to Noah’s Ark Water Park in Wisconsin Dells. Fanny pack enthusiasts can also pick up a new bag on June 23 before the Brewers host the Reds.
The Twins made a smart decision to give away 30,000 puffer vests so fans stay warm on Opening Day. Fans can receive four variations of a Joe Mauer as a bobblehead throughout the season. Fans can also take home a Mauer baseball cap with his jersey number on June 15.
Fans will take home a bobblehead of 2018 Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom on April 7 and of Noah Syndergaard sitting on the Iron Throne from “Game of Thrones” on April 27. To keep up with the theme, the Mets will be handing out Robinson Canó “Obi-Wan Canóbi” bobbleheads to the first 25,000 fans to arrive on May 25.
The Yankees will not celebrate the final season of “Game of Thrones” like their neighbors in Queens, but may the force be with the first 40,000 fans who arrive at Yankee Stadium on May 4 and receive a CC Sabathia Jedi bobblehead as the team holds its annual Star Wars Day.
Aside from free parking on Tuesdays, the Athletics’ list of giveaways is limited. Opening Day fans take home a “Win for Hero-Town” rally towel, candles will be given away, and a few bobbleheads will be added to the mix.
Giveaways will include hooded T-shirts, hats, hooded towels, and more. Other promotions include $1 hot dogs on Tuesdays, a 2008 World Series replica championship ring on May 4, and women take home a fleece pullover on May 5.
Friday night games for the Pirates will include a different free shirt each week for the first 20,000 fans to arrive for at least nine games. The team also celebrates its Star Wars Night on May 4 and will give out Jameson Taillon bobbleheads.
The Padres will keep most of their giveaways and promotions available for all fans in attendance, including a hat to commemorate Opening Day 2019. A 2019 calendar with Padres players and puppies will be given away on March 31. Fans will also get receive a poncho fleece blanket on April 20.
The Giants will give away various bobbleheads throughout the season, including one of Evan Longoria for the first 30,000 fans on April 6. The Giants will also celebrate Peanuts Day and distribute Peanuts-themed Woodstock bobbleheads to the first 20,000 in attendance.
The Mariners will give away four player bobbleheads and host six firework shows in 2019. Seattle named a street after former player Edgar Martinez, and they will give away a replica street sign to the first 40,000 fans who arrive at T-Mobile Park on Aug. 11
The Cardinals will have a busy weekend of promotions on Opening Day weekend, giving away magnet schedules, mystery Hall of Fame car parade bobbleheads and even 30,000 windbreakers to fans 16 and over.
The Rays will be giving away three bobbleheads, fanny packs, umbrellas and more. Cy Young recipient Blake Snell will appear in bobblehead form on March 30 and a replica jersey will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis on July 20.
Fans will have the opportunity to take home a bobblehead nine times if they are within the first 15,000 to arrive. The Rangers will also give away a copy of their yearbook to the first 20,000 fans on July 14, along with $1 ice cream for kids 13 and under.
Toronto will have plenty of opportunities for fans to get free gear, including t-shirts and jackets. The Blue Jays will have various Star Wars characters and games at the stadium for Star Wars night on August 30. The first 15,000 fans to arrive will receive a themed hat.
The District kicks off Opening Day weekend with T-shirts, lanyards and more. Trea Turner will be on a bobblehead on May 15, and Ryan Zimmerman will have a Marvel superhero theme for his on May 25.