Between last year’s dismal record and the low expectations for this season, the Orioles were always going to have a tough time trying to get people to come to Camden Yards in 2019. Maybe that’s why it took them until late February to come up with some promotions and giveaways. That schedule was finally released on Wednesday morning.
The year 2019 means that 30 years have passed since the Orioles had the magical “Why Not?” season in 1989. The current O’s will be honoring that team on Friday, August 9 against the Astros, with a team reunion as well as a “Why Not?” t-shirt for the first 20,000 fans 15 and over. I have it on good authority that Wade Miley will not be around to ruin that game like he did the 50th anniversary of the 1966 championship three years ago.
One of the many signs that this is going to be a weird season is that the only player-focused giveaway is a Brooks Robinson bobblehead that will be given away to the first 25,000 fans 15 and over at a June 16 game against the Nationals. With a roster lacking established performers, and not knowing when the next wave of exciting talent to arrive, the O’s are left with things like “Hot Dog Race T-shirt” - given away the next night, June 17, also against the Nationals.
You will have two chances to watch a classic baseball movie at Camden Yards this year. The May 11 game against the Angels, a 4:05 start time on a Saturday, is A League Of Their Own Movie Night, with a post-game showing of the movie. In addition to a “There’s No Crying In Baseball” t-shirt for the first 20,000 fans 15 and over, there will be a special ticket package that includes the ability to watch the movie on the field and a Rockford Peaches hat.
Later in the summer, Field of Dreams Movie Night arrives after a 4:05 game against the Red Sox on Saturday, June 15. Hopefully the game that precedes the movie isn’t a rainy mess, as happened with last year’s The Sandlot Movie Night.
Some other theme nights that don’t come with a movie screening afterwards: Star Wars (May 4), Game of Thrones (May 21), Bark at the Park (May 29, September 10), Yoga at the Yard (June 1), Margaritaville (June 11), LGBT Pride (June 12), Father’s Day Catch on the Field (June 16), and O’stoberfest (September 20).
You can buy a special package for each of the theme nights that includes an exclusive item. As of the release of the schedule, only the BB-8/Trey Mancini bobblehead for the special Star Wars Night ticket has been unveiled. There’s supposed to be a Game of Thrones bobblehead for that night and a “It’s 7:05 Somewhere” t-shirt for the special Margaritaville package. That last one made me chuckle, I have to admit.
For the Orioles fan who has a whole lot of giveaways and is looking for something that the team has never been given away before, you might be most interested in either the Dashboard Hula Bird from August 10 against the Astros, or perhaps the Sherpa Blanket from September 21 against the Mariners.
Newer versions of some familiar giveaways are on the schedule, like you would expect. There’s a tote bag on April 20 against the Twins, a floppy hat on June 28 against the Indians, and a Maryland flag replica jersey on June 29, also against the Indians. Gary Thorne’s favorite giveaway, the Birdland Hawaiian shirt, gets a new incarnation on July 13 against the Rays.
Recurring stand-bys like Friday Night Fireworks from June to August and Kids Run The Bases after every Sunday home game are back as well. The full schedule is on the Orioles website.