The Padres’ promotional schedule was finalized on Friday and the results are encouraging. The Padres get a well-deserved bad rap for ignoring the fans’ opinions and doing uninspiring promotions and giveaways (as well as fielding uninspiring uniforms).
At least on the promotions front, they have taken a step in the right direction in 2018. Let’s appreciate the fact that the Padres seemed to have upped their game this season. Here are a few notable promotions on the 2018 slate.
Saturday, April 28th vs. Giants
1998 will be a theme for a lot of fun nights at Petco Park this season. This night, fans will receive a hoodie displaying the classic 1998 white home, pinstriped jerseys.
May 10-May 13 vs. Cardinals
There are a couple of enormous weekends on the slate. This is one of them. There will be a series of 1998 commemorative bobbleheads given out each day. As this is the 20th anniversary of the 1998 Padres who went on to win the National League pennant and play in the World Series, the schedule is littered with 1998 celebrations. Bobbleheads are always popular and these will be special. Thursday will kick it off with Tony Gwynn’s (the day after his birthday, a nice touch). It displays his iconic left-handed swing, donning the classic ’98 road greys. Now that I think about it, the pose reminds me of his home run at Yankee Stadium in the World Series.
Friday night features Ken Caminiti patrolling his “hot corner” at third base. Fitting, as he was a 3-time Gold Glover. That night is also a Party in the Park Beerfest night, if you are into that sort of thing. (Cue game show voice), but that’s not all! It’s also Nurse Appreciation Weekend, giving away Padres-themed scrubs all weekend long. Also, it is Teacher’s Appreciation Night, and that giveaway is a pencil holder. Quite a lineup.
Sunday will have Greg Vaughn’s version, displaying his powerful swing while donning the widely-liked navy and orange alternate top. Of course, the kids will run the bases after the game as well. As it is also Mother’s Day, they will be giving out a Padres-themed wristlet (seems to look like a coin purse but that’s what they called it).
Friday, June 1 vs. Reds
One of my personal favorite nights as a nerd myself, this is Star Wars night at Petco Park. There will be another Party in the Park before the game as well. “Han Myers” will grace us with his presence in bobblehead form, featuring Wil Myers dressed in the garb of intergalactic swashbuckler Han Solo. My hunch is there will be Star Wars-themed events happening throughout the game.
Wednesday, June 6 vs. Braves
Another 1998-themed day, the Padres will be donning throwback uniforms on the field for “Wayback Wednesday.” My personal hope is that it’s the navy alternates, but you really can’t go wrong with the white and navy pinstriped tops either.
On top of that, they will be giving away replicas of the 1998 National League Championship trophy.
Saturday, June 30 vs. Pirates
Aside from all the 1998 festivities, with the recent news, 2018 is also about Trevor Hoffman and his Hall of Fame induction. Fans in attendance of this game will get a Hoffman 500th Save Commemoration bobblehead. It looks like it also lights up. There will also be a laser show after the game. Also, it is Irish Heritage night, featuring a cap giveaway referencing the colors of the Irish flag.
Wednesday, July 11 vs. Dodgers
Another Wayback Wednesday that has a sweet giveaway. This time, along with getting to enjoy watching the Padres wear an actually interesting uniform, each fan will receive a replica white home pinstripe Tony Gwynn jersey. What Padres fan doesn’t want one of those?
Saturday, July 14 vs. Cubs
Not to be outdone by the giveaway earlier that week, Saturday night yields fun “Cub Busters” shirts. This is in honor of the 1984 National League champion team, who mounted a furious comeback against the Chicago Cubs to advance to the World Series after being down two games to none.
Saturday, July 28th vs. Diamondbacks
Another Trevor Hoffman giveaway will be passed out. This one will commemorate his retirement. It has him in a car waving, much like his actual retirement ceremony. There will also be another laser show after the game.
Wednesday, August 15 vs. Angels
Sounds like Padres fans better get out to these Wayback Wednesdays this year as they have a solid lineup of giveaways. This one will be a replica of the Padres’ National League championship ring. Although they did not win the World Series in 1998, they got some sweet hardware on their way there. No word on whether or not this will be a ring you can actually wear on your finger but it’s a cool gesture nonetheless.
August 16-August 19 vs. Diamondbacks
This is the other big weekend of 2018. This weekend will be dedicated to Trevor Hoffman’s enshrinement into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. By the time this weekend comes, he will already have been inducted. Thursday starts out with a Hoffman replica jersey (looks to be circa 2005).
Friday, everyone will be given a Hoffy Table Book. Saturday will be perhaps one of the most popular giveaways all season. It will be a replica of his plaque that will be in Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame. There will also be postgame fireworks. Sunday rounds it off with a replica of his impending statue, which was just announced.
That isn’t the end of the promotions and not all of them were covered here. You can still expect the heritage nights with themed hats, the cooler and towels, and other common ones. What is noticeably absent is fedora night. I am not sure anyone is devastated, especially when it has been replaced by some solid upgrades like these.
Promotions are not the sole reason why people come out to ballparks, but they certainly make for a nice time and are especially exciting for those young kids Major League Baseball seems obsessed to attract. This is a good start, Padres.