With Major League Baseball’s 2018 season about to get underway, fans across the country are planning what games to take in. If you’re a lucky one, maybe you have season tickets. But for a large majority of fans, it’s picking and choosing select games in which to enjoy the National Pastime.
While there are always key matchups to consider, as well as what day of the week a game falls on, when it comes to 81 home games, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
What baseball learned long ago was that to bring fans through the turnstiles, it never hurts to offer up some bling.
The folks at Custom Ink, the folks that do T-shirt designs, took a look at the promotion schedule across MLB’s 30 clubs and found a number of special promotion events and free giveaways.
According to Custom Ink, all told, there will be just over 1,800 special event promos across Major League Baseball in 2018. There will be 801 free giveaways, the kind that you traditionally get when you enter the ballpark.
Not every team does the same number of promos, and surprisingly, one league out of the two seems to have really embraced individual giveaways.
Teams in the National League give away 28.07 free items during the season on average — 11% more than teams in the American League (25.33 items). The top five are all NL ballparks. The teams with the highest count of individual giveaways are the St. Louis Cardinals (49), the Los Angeles Dodgers (42), the Chicago Cubs (40), the New York Mets (39) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (35). And six of the top 10 giveaway teams come from the National League.
In terms of total special event promotions, unsurprisingly, the top two play at open-air ballparks. The San Diego Padres lead the way with 172 special event promos, with 25 free giveaways; second is the Milwaukee Brewers, with 136 special event promos and 33 free giveaways. Rounding out the top five are the Kansas City Royals (126), Atlanta Braves (116) and the Atlanta Braves (116).
In the study, the promotional schedules for each team’s home games were compiled and analyzed. Teams were then ranked in terms of number of giveaways, number of jerseys, number of free bobbleheads, most kid-friendly, and more.