One of the cool things about being a baseball fan is that if you go to a bunch of the right games, you will get a bunch of free stuff. The Orioles released the schedule for their free stuff for the 2017 season on Thursday morning, featuring the standard mix of bobbleheads, t-shirts, and other potentially cool things.
You can’t actually buy tickets for any of these games yet, since single game tickets won’t be on sale until next week, but at least for the ones that really interest you, you can circle the dates on your calendar and make sure to be there for them.
Potential highlights include a Maryland flag script replica Orioles jersey, individual bobbleheads for Zach Britton and Jonathan Schoop, and a new design for the hoodie giveaway that was popular last season. The Maryland flag jersey is the only one that will be given to all fans.
Much like last season, all of the high-profile giveaways are concentrated entirely on weekend game dates, holidays, or games against the Red Sox.
If we are so fortunate to have the Orioles in the playoff chase in August and get the usual round of Tuesday night attendance whining from beat writers whose jobs are to be at the stadium, maybe this will be the year they realize what is going on. The Orioles want more people to go to the games that cost more money to go to.
The complete list of giveaways:
- Mon. 4/3 (Opening Day) vs. Blue Jays - 2017 schedule magnet, all fans
- Sun. 4/9 vs. Yankees - Orioles kids’ fedora, all fans 14 and under
- Sat. 4/22 vs. Red Sox - Orioles welcome mat
- Sat. 5/6 vs. White Sox - Orioles tote bag, first 20,000 fans 15+
- Mon. 5/8 vs. Walgreens - Orioles t-shirt, design unknown, all fans
- Tues. 5/9 vs. Walgreens - Birdland yard flag, first 20,000 fans 15+
- Sat. 5/20 vs. Blue Jays - Maryland flag script replica jersey, all fans
- Mon. 5/29 (Memorial Day) vs. Yankees - Orioles Memorial Day t-shirt, all fans
- Fri. 6/2 vs. Red Sox - Orioles floppy hat, first 20,000 fans 21+
- Sat. 6/3 vs. Red Sox - Manny Machado Starting Lineup figure, all fans
- Sun. 6/4 vs. Red Sox - Youth bat and ball set, all fans 14 and under
- Sun. 6/18 vs. Cardinals (Father’s Day) - Orioles greyscale cap, all fans 15+
The word to describe this hat is U-G-L-Y, as in, you ain’t got no alibi.
- Wed. 6/21 vs. Indians - Orioles t-shirt, design unknown, all fans
- Sat. 7/1 vs. Rays - Zach Britton bobblehead, first 25,000 fans 15+
- Sat. 7/22 vs. Astros - Orioles infielders bottle stopper set, all fans 21+
- Tues. 8/1 vs. Royals - Orioles t-shirt, design unknown, all fans
- Sat. 8/5 vs. Tigers - Jonathan Schoop bobblehead, first 25,000 fans 15+
- Sun. 8/6 vs. Tigers - Exclusive Orioles Topps baseball card set, all fans
- Sat. 8/19 vs. Angels - 25th anniversary Oriole Park at Camden Yards replica ballpark, all fans
- Mon. 9/4 (Labor Day) vs. Yankees - Orioles t-shirt, design unknown, all fans
- Tues. 9/19 vs. Red Sox - Orioles knit cap, all fans
- Sat. 9/23 vs. Rays - Orioles hooded sweatshirt, all fans 15+
- Sun. 9/24 vs. Rays (final home game) - Oriole Bird bobblehead toothbrush holder, all fans 14 and under
It’s nice that the Orioles are making some of the more popular ones to be giveaways for all fans. Last year’s hoodies were very popular and they were a limited giveaway. This year, if you go to the game, you’ll get a hoodie. Same for things like the replica ballpark, the Maryland flag jersey, and the Machado Starting Lineup figure.
Hopefully, the Maryland flag replica jersey is of significantly better quality than the Jim Palmer 1966 replica jersey giveaway from last year. If not, an exciting-sounding giveaway will probably be speedily consigned to the bottoms of drawers and the backs of closets, seldom to be seen in public again, if ever.
In the same vein, we can hope that the t-shirt giveaways will go back to the better quality shirts they used in recent years rather than the cheaper ones from the last couple of years that shrink the first time you wash them.
You’ll have to fight the Washington fans for the limited number of Birdland yard flags, similar to how things went for the Orioles Hawaiian shirts a couple of years ago. But it’s kind of the Orioles to help the bandwagon-jumpers keep their giveaways current, if you think about it.
There are five post-game fireworks nights, all Fridays: May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, and September 22.
Every Sunday home game will continue to have post-game Kids Run The Bases for all kids 14 and under, at least as long as it’s not like 100 degrees outside or something.