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Posted: Friday July 30, 2004 2:31PM; Updated: Monday August 2, 2004 3:27PM
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Good, old-fashioned baseball isn't enough to bring people to the ballpark anymore. You also need promotions, giveaways, fireworks or whatever nutty idea you can think of to pack the house. Using the four star, er, bobblehead scale, SI.com's Gennaro Filice rates the best and worst team-by-team promotional slates in the National League. Click here for the American League.
Arizona Diamondbacks
  Best Promotion
Randy Johnson perfect game DVD.
 
  Worst Promotion
Kids calculator.
 
  Notable
In 1999, Shamrock Farms sponsored a weekly promotion called "Grand Slam Sunday," in which one preselected fan could win $1 million by picking an inning during which a grand slam would be hit, as well as the player who would hit it. Attending her first Diamondbacks game, Gylene Hoyle picked Jay Bell in the sixth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Bell delivered the $1 million dollar hack -- his only hit in a 1-for-14 weekend series.
 
  May We Suggest
Randy Johnson life-size measure-up poster.

Atlanta Braves
  Best Promotion
Tomahawk Night.
 
  Worst Promotion
Kids Notebook Night.
 
  Notable
The Braves are the only team in baseball to give away a necktie. It was on Father's Day, of course.
 
  May We Suggest
Leo Mazzone rocker doll: A bobblehead-like figurine showcasing Mazzone's famous dugout-bench rock.

Chicago Cubs
  Best Promotion
Mitchell & Ness Cooperstown authentic collection 1958 Ernie Banks road jersey (100 random winners).
 
  Worst Promotion
Growth chart.
 
  Notable
In 1998, SportsBusiness Journal cited the Cubs' original integration of Beanie Babies into baseball as the sports' top promotion.
 
  May We Suggest
Chicago Bears No. 44 Kyle Farnsworth jerseys for a game against the Reds, commemorating Farnsworth's stick on Paul Wilson last season that would have made Brian Urlacher blush.

Cincinnati Reds
  Best Promotion
Sean Casey bobblehead portraying the first baseman's frequent batting glove-adjustment mannerism.
 
  Worst Promotion
Cap Day (The cap is maroon and does not have the original 'C' logo).
 
  Notable
Cincinnati's most successful promotion was the American Girl doll outfit -- a doll-sized Reds jersey and reds hat.
 
  May We Suggest
Barry's Era. Everyone born during Larkin's playing days with the Reds (he debuted on 8/13/1986) gets in free. It would serve as a celebration of Larkin's 19-year career with his hometown team.

Colorado Rockies
  Best Promotion
Fireworks nights (draw more than Opening Day).
 
  Worst Promotion
EAS baseball cap night -- just a huge company logo on front of cap.
 
  Notable
The Rockies had to switch to many exit promotions after a large portion of last year's seat cushion giveaway ended up on the field.
 
  May We Suggest
Oxygen masks for fans in the upper-deck, mile-high seats.

Florida Marlins
  Best Promotion
Jack McKeon "Jack in the Box."
 
  Worst Promotion
World Champion notebook.
 
  Notable
Last year, the Marlins painted one side of 75,000 dimes teal with a black "F." The dimes, which were randomly handed out as change by stadium venders, could be redeemed for tickets. But the Marlins garnered some unexpected attention, as the secret service called the promotions department to make sure money wasn't being defaced.
 
  May We Suggest
2003 World Series Game 6 DVD. Considering how often Josh Beckett is injured, it's your best chance to see him pitch.

Houston Astros
  Best Promotion
Kids Opening Day. Kids perform "adult jobs," such as ticket vending, groundskeeping, reporting, announcing and filming.
 
  Worst Promotion
Astros Hot Wheels.
 
  Notable
Houston is the only team in baseball that gives out a painted print (Roger Clemens 19 by 25 shot, presented by DeMontrond Hummer).
 
  May We Suggest
Craig Biggio vs. Tal's Hill. Imagine a boxing-style poster, with accompanying video of Biggio's pratfalls on the awkwardly-placed hill.

Los Angeles Dodgers
  Best Promotion
Fernando Valenzuela talking mini keychain.
 
  Worst Promotion
Tommy Lasorda's 55th anniversary commemorative coin.
 
  Notable
The Dodgers will host their 46th annual Hollywood Stars Baseball Game on Aug. 7 before their game against the Phillies. Past players include Keanu Reeves, David Hasselhoff, Sean Astin, Jonathan Silver, George Lopez and Tony Danza.
 
  May We Suggest
Cesar Izturis Toga Party: Everyone sporting their finest white linens gets in free. Free hot dog for additional leaf headwear.

Montreal Expos
  Best Promotion
Youppi rockers.
 
  Worst Promotion
$5 Day (People pay to attend Expos games?).
 
  Notable
Owned by Major League Baseball, the Expos have a very tight promotions budget to work with.
 
  May We Suggest
1994 World Series rings marking the 10-year anniversary of the strike-shortened season, when Montreal's 74-40 mark was the best in baseball.

Milwaukee Brewers
  Best Promotion
5-Day 5-County Celebration.
 
  Worst Promotion
Brewers Kids school binder.
 
  Notable
Every home game on Tuesday, Miller Park is occupied by some of baseball's most dedicated fans: the Buckethead Brigade. Fans grabbing a $15 seat in Loge section 232 receive a T-shirt and rally towel and play a part in a 500-1,000-person group of cohesive Brew Crew fanatics.
 
  May We Suggest
Ten-cent beer night! Or has that already been done elsewhere?

New York Mets
  Best Promotion
International Week (Pakistani-American Night, Black History Night, Asian Night, Hispanic Heritage Night and Concert, Irish Day and Green Cap, Jewish Heritage Day and Italian Night).
 
  Worst Promotion
Mets ice cube tray.
 
  Notable
Stemming from the success of their International Week, the Mets also hold an Oktoberfest German Night, which features specials on German beer brands.
 
  May We Suggest
Hello Kitty Kevin Mitchell model. (You might have to Google "Kevin Mitchell" and "girlfriend's cat" to get the significance.)

Philadelphia Phillies
  Best Promotion
Stackable nesting doll of the Phillies' starting rotation.
 
  Worst Promotion
Phanatic Nesting Doll, only because they limited the item to children 14 and under, even though the Phanatic has a place in every grown man's heart.
 
  Notable
Promotions planning is done by a panel of many front office people, including the Phanatic. According to Events Director Kurt Funk, the Phanatic is "the guy that straddles the line in terms of the entertainment part."
 
  May We Suggest
J.D. Drew piggy bank for when the Braves visit. Uh, better make that an exit promotion.

Pittsburgh Pirates
  Best Promotion
Skyblast (Fireworks, laser light show, dancing, singing performances and videos).
 
  Worst Promotion
Rally Parrot Night. Come on, fellas. Come original.
 
  Notable
For their Beach Party weekend, the Pirates close off Federal Street directly in front of the ballpark and bring in 200 tons of sand to create a regulation size volleyball court, a giant kids sandbox and a beach-front area for the music stage, which features tropical and reggae acts.
 
  May We Suggest
Randall "The Sausage Smacker" Simon T-shirts.

St. Louis Cardinals
  Best Promotion
Lou Brock Bobblehead.
 
  Worst Promotion
Run the Bases Days. It's listed as a "Season-Long" promotion, yet there are only two occurrences, and they're two months apart.
 
  Notable
The Cardinals and Twins are the only teams in the majors giving out fishing lures.
 
  May We Suggest
Seven-piece Reggie Sanders Nesting Doll, featuring the journeyman in every Major League jersey he has worn.

San Diego Padres
  Best Promotion
1984 Cub Buster's pins/1984 Throwback uniforms.
 
  Worst Promotion
Padres Swinging Friar 3-D puzzle.
 
  Notable
Acknowledging their neighbors to the South, the Padres held an "Opening Day for Mexico" on April 18. Festivities included famous Mexican singer Jose Jose, the Baja California Symphonic Orchestra and many red, white and green pennants.
 
  May We Suggest
Matt Bush signature muzzles.

San Francisco Giants
  Best Promotion
Slumber Party. Participants attended the Giants-Dodgers game on June 24 and then slept over in the outfield of SBC Park. Features included dinner, showings on the scoreboard video screen of "The Sandlot" and "Little Big League," arcade games, air hockey and breakfast with Giants alums Tito Fuentes and Greg Minton.
 
  Worst Promotion
Clappers (it's pathetic when you need to give away an artificial device to create noise).
 
  Notable
The Giants started the current bobblehead craze in 1999 by reintroducing the baseball toy in the form of Willie Mays.
 
  May We Suggest
Juan Marichal bat day.

Click here to see the best and worst promotions in the American League

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