When you were back in your primary school days, did they ever have one of those school-wide fundraisers where they gave you a big catalog and you were supposed to try to sell as many different things to your relatives in order to raise money for the school? I distinctly remember being in middle school and the guy from the fundraiser company came in to try to hype up students to sell stuff.
The top prize, if someone sold enough, maybe like ten thousand dollars worth of stuff, was that they would get stuck in this phone booth full of dollar bills. A fan would blow around the money and the winner had a minute to grab as much money as they could. That was mighty exciting sitting in that assembly, contemplating the catalog, only then everyone went home and realized that you were going to get your mom and dad to buy like one thing and your aunts to buy like one thing and that was it. Nobody was getting in that booth full of money. There would never be a booth full of money.
I found myself remembering this as the Orioles announced the 2014 version of the Vote Orange rewards program on Friday. Online voting is scheduled to begin at 8:30pm tonight. It's boring. You can also vote with paper ballots starting Sunday. In order to encourage you to flood the ballot box more than the most corrupt election process you can contemplate, the Orioles have unveiled these awards - for paper ballots only, if you register at the booth on Eutaw Street.
- 50 ballots - Entered to win an autographed photo each phone game (winner's picture on Jumbotron in 7th inning)
- 150 ballots - Vote Orange button
- 500 ballots - Vote Orange t-shirt
- 1,500 ballots - Entered to win one of 10 autographed baseballs by a current Oriole (10 randomly selected fans)
- 3,000 ballots - Two (2) field box seats for Orioles vs. Mariners on August 2, and an Autograph Prize Pack
- 7,500 ballots - Entered to win one of three (3) autographed 2013 All-Star jerseys by Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, or Manny Machado (three randomly selected fans)
- 10,000 ballots - Two (2) field box seats for Orioles vs. Indians on May 23 and on-field passes for post-game fireworks (first 15 fans)
- Top Five voters - 12-person catered suite for 2014 season (top five fans)
- Top voter - Meet and Greet with a 2014 Orioles All-Star
The 10,000 ballot tier is the booth full of money tier. Paper voting does not open until Sunday. Its reward takes place on May 23, which means you have exactly ten home games to vote 10,000 times. That is 1,000 paper ballots submitted for every home game between Sunday and May 22, if you attend every game.
As for all of the other ballot tiers, there are 23 home games between Sunday and the end of paper ballot voting. To get a t-shirt, you would only have to submit 22 paper ballots for every home game. That is for one measly t-shirt. Do you want to be one of those entered to win a baseball that is, in all likelihood, signed by Josh Stinson or Ryan Flaherty, who count as current Orioles? You'd better vote 65 times per game.
If you want to aim higher, there's always those field box seats against the Mariners. That's 130 ballots per game, every home game between Sunday and May 22. And as for the autographed jerseys, you'd better be ready to vote 326 times per game for every game between Sunday and May 22.
Note that these are all per game averages; you don't have to vote at every game. If you miss one, though, you're going to have to make up those ballots later. Good luck with that.
At least if you want that button as a consolation prize, you've only got to vote six times per game. I'm sure it's a very lovely button.