By Phil Hecken
Last week I was joined by Joe Mueller, who brought us his version of the Best MLB Giveaways of 2014. Today he’s back with the worst. (Click on most images to enlarge). Here’s Joe.
Worst MLB Giveaways of 2014
By Joseph Mueller
Thanks again for having me! Today I’m going to give the worst giveaway from each team. While some of these are obviously in my mind the worst giveaway from each team there are others that are very difficult to choose. I stay away from the theme tickets, social night at the ball park or any other special at the night which required the purchase of an additional ticket. I also tried to stay away from team schedules and regularly scheduled t-shirts. (Free Shirt Friday, T-Shirt Tuesday) I’d love to hear your own opinion and if you have any questions for me I’ll be happy to respond. I’d love to hear your own opinion and if you have any questions for me I’ll be happy to respond. Now to get into the rankings.
I love tradition especially when it comes to uniforms. I think the Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox all have great sets of uniforms and I don’t want them to change anytime soon. But I’m also a fan of new concepts like the amount of colored of “softball” tops as you will. I actually prefer the black uniforms over the road grays. I’ve tried to give the camouflage craze a chance. There are times when I think that it’s subtle enough and well color coordinated where it works. This is one of the times where it’s a swing and a miss. It’s been done before and it’s not even a jersey worn by the club. Also due to the beer advertisement only fans 21 and older are allowed to receive it. A regular jersey would have done the job and looked soooo much better.
• Atlanta Braves:
I could find no images for this giveaway but according to the Braves it exists. That giveaway would be a Military Patch sponsored by AT&T. So it could have turned out two different ways. Ugly and Ugly.
• Baltimore Orioles:
This pillow is a little to creepy for my liking. I like the idea but I think that it could have been executed better.
• Boston Red Sox:
This is one of the teams where there aren’t really any bad promotions. That could because there are only 4 promotions all year and/or they have really good promotions. If I had to pick one it would be the David Ortiz bobblehead solely on the fact that he killed the Cardinals in the World Series last year.
• Chicago Cubs:
Yes, I know Northwestern is just outside of Chicago but it just doesn’t make sense. Not everyone is a Northwestern fan, heck I’d bet that there are more Notre Dame fans in Chicago than Northwestern. I’d understand a Bears schedule because most Cubs fans root for the Bears but not really sure about Northwestern. Side note: look the team I student equipment manage for is on that schedule!
• Chicago White Sox:
This is a highly controversial issue among the uni-world. When is it too much pink? For some it might be for a day. For some it might be the whole month of October. (ALL FOOTBALL LEAGUES) For others it might not be an issue at all. I’m all for supporting breast cancer research but games like this tend to be more gimmicks. This giveaway is a nice gift but I’m afraid of what it will become. Camo and Stars and Stripes have taken over Fourth of July and Memorial Day. New hats have taken over All-Star Game. Teams now wear their batting practice uniforms for regular games. We’ve already seen the White Sox break out the pink caps. Could it be potentially a sign of teams regularly doing this? Could it also mean the incorporation of a special pink jersey? I don’t know an answer to either of those questions. I could also be reading into this thing way to far.
• Cincinnati Reds:
More camouflage! It’s basically the opposite of the jersey they are wearing this year. The camouflage is in the logo, name and number while the shirt is brown where as the jersey is camouflage and the logo, name and number are brown. It just makes ugly uglier.
• Cleveland Indians:
I have never heard an Ohioan ever refer to Ohio as Brohio.
I̶t̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶b̶a̶f̶f̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶h̶y̶ ̶N̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶S̶w̶i̶s̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶s̶c̶r̶i̶p̶t̶ ̶O̶h̶i̶o̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶O̶h̶i̶o̶ ̶S̶t̶a̶t̶e̶. Well, he played for Ohio State and is from Columbus so now the H makes sense. As for Brohio it was started by Swisher, who is the self proclaimed President. I think it’s stupid plain and simple.
• Colorado Rockies:
• Detroit Tigers:
I’m not sure what April in the D is. Could those from Detroit please tell me what it is? All I’ve seen is pictures of giant bobbleheads throughout the city. I do like that. I don’t like winter gloves given away before the start of summer. Maybe they should’ve given them away in September? But then they wouldn’t have the April in the D sponsorship. This is another iffy one.
• Houston Astros:
One of the better gnomes because it could actually sit out in your yard like a gnome should be doing. Then again it is a gnome and don’t really see people enjoying gnomes.
• Kansas City Royals:
This one was close. I was on the fence between this poster and the camouflage jersey. Robert Blehert created the poster and has other similar pieces. I personally am not a fan of most of his work. I think in many of his pieces the background is too busy and detracts from the featured image. That would be the case for this poster. While it’s not my favorite I still think that it’s better than the camouflage jersey. The camouflage has seen it’s time and go yet refuses to go. The Royals also haven’t worn jerseys with this specif camo. If you’re going to give away a camouflage jersey at least use a previous or current one.
• Los Angeles Angels:
Is that leopard print? No, it’s more camouflage! If you’re going to make a camouflage something at make it look like camouflage. Bonus: Mike Trout shirsey given away the day before.
• Los Angeles Dodgers:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is coming back in the form of a new movie! The Dodgers hare having a Leonardo mask giveaway. (Because he’s blue) Honestly when I first saw this mask I thought it was just a regular mask not to promote the new movie. Then tanking a further look at the mask it didn’t really make me think of a Dodgers promotion just like the Mets’ loom bandz. Sure it might be in team colors but there aren’t any team identifying marks. There isn’t a logo to be seen on the one picture we have of it. It’s bland very bland.
• Miami Marlins:
Not really a bad promotion but not really a great one either. The Marlins really have a tough time drawing people into the games because they aren’t exactly the best. Last year when I went down to Miami for Thanksgiving I took a tour of the stadium. I remember my tour guide saying that Miami is a very bandwagon town. People go to sporting events when the specific team is good and wouldn’t know what they’d do if they lost LeBron in terms of sports. The Marlins don’t really draw well because they aren’t the best. Because they don’t draw well and there aren’t that many hardcore baseball fans there are pictures of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and other non-Miami greats lining the inside walls of the stadium to help educate casual fans. It was really surprising seeing players which had no connection to Miami or the Marlins on the walls. For me at least it’s surprising Miami doesn’t have a greater quantity of promotions to try and draw fans.
• Milwaukee Brewers:
Another team trying to sell tickets using camouflage and baseball but this time it’s with a bobblehead. From a far it appears to be all the same color but it is definitely camouflage when you look take a closer look. The Brewers also failed to pay attention to the details and made his wrist tape white when it’s supposed to be black.
• Minnesota Twins:
The gnomes have been taking over the giveaways the past few years. I couldn’t give you an answer as to why, but they are. I’m not a big fan of them, especially since they aren’t truly gnomes. They don’t even function as a gnome that you could put outside. It’s not a game I’d specifically go to just for the promotion.
• New York Mets:
Chances are you’ve heard of Loom Bandz. If you haven’t they are little rubber band like things that you use a loom to make a bracelet, necklace or anything else that you can think of. While it’s a fun activity I don’t think they warrant a giveaway. I mean all they are colored rubber bands. Someone isn’t going to ask if they are Met loom bandz. They might complement on the colors but they won’t know that they are Mets’ loom bandz.
• New York Yankees:
Is that a rubber duck? No, it’s a Peep. Do some people like them? Absolutely. Does it make it worth to hand out just because the Yankee jersey is stuck onto it? Absolutely not.
Too many gnomes for my liking. I don’t know where this craze is coming from but it needs to stop. Half don’t even function as actual gnomes where they are able to be stuck out in a garden. Also when the Athletics had such a great giveaway of Coco Crisp a couple of years ago it’s hard to beat.
• Philadelphia Phillies:
The concept is great. Give the kids a promotion to make them look like the mascot while also making it possible for them to see. By see I mean it’s not a mask that the put on and it’s pitch black. The problem is that the execution is pretty bad. The top of the glasses appear to be some material super glued onto the inside of the glasses. I’d expect the material to fall of after a couple of uses. The nose is a little better but I’m not sure how it’s secured onto the glasses. So after a couple uses or one heavy duty use one would expect to have green glasses which say Citizens Bank.
• Pittsburgh Pirates:
I can’t decide if this is a bad giveaway because it’s of a player who got traded a couple of months after this was giveaway or if it’s because I hate these jerseys. I just hate that awful gold color. I know it’s supposed to be a throwback but it’s not a good one. At least they haven’t brought back either of these jerseys.
• San Diego Padres:
Unlike the divisional foe Arizona Diamondbacks the Padres actually have a camouflage jersey and wear it for Sunday home games. I’m glad the Padres decided to giveaway a jersey they actually use. What I’m not so thrilled about are the jersey inadequacies. The United States of America is missing from the left sleeve and the interlocking SD logo is missing from the right sleeve. The biggest flaw in the giveaway jersey is the style. For games the Padres wear button up jerseys while this promotion is a pullover. It’s the small details which add up to make this the worst Padres giveaway in my opinion, well also the camouflage.
• San Francisco Giants:
While I’m not opposed to sports sleeves there are times where they can go too far. While this was given away to kids 14 and under it doesn’t excuse the ugliness of the sleeve. I also highly doubt kids wear the sleeve for compression but rather because it looks cool. It would have been much better just a plain black sleeve with the Giants logo. Honorable Mentions: ‘Merica & Camo. This is one of the cases where it goes too far. A simple Giants logo would have just been fine but rather it had to be covered with flames so the little kids that this promotion is given to can throw their arms out.
• Seattle Mariners:
2010 is calling and would like it’s terrible hat designs back. While the Mariners never wore a hat exactly like this there were teams that did. The piping is terrible and is really not unnecessary, almost like the St. Louis Blues old jersey. This style of hat should be retired and never come out of retirement, unless on Willie Mays.
• St. Louis Cardinals:
Being from St. Louis and a Cardinals fan has taught me a lot. One of the things is to appreciate a nice jersey and the details. I remember reading how much Bill Dewitt III, the Cardinals president, cares about the uniforms. The Cardinals pretty much threw everything out the window and decided to be “cool” and giveaway this monster of a jersey. The Cardinals decided to give the jersey away during the fourth of July weekend, so you’d expect them to give it away on the 4th, right? Ha! Well you’d be wrong, they gave this away instead. (I think they knew the ring would be a bigger ticket seller) The next head scratcher was the decision to make the jersey gray. It might just be me but I prefer either a throwback, alternate, or home jersey given away. Then they decided to include the flag in the logo, which just makes it look ugly. The last thing is the mesh armpits. Why? To imitate the New Era Cool Base technology? It’s doesn’t work and doesn’t even look similar. I really hope this was a one time thing because they are just plain awful.
• Tampa Bay Rays:
“Because handing out basketball items at a baseball game makes sense.”
• Texas Rangers:
While there has not been any images of what the giveaway will look like I decided to come up with my own. In all seriousness it will most likely be this camouflage. It needs to stop.
• Toronto Blue Jays:
When I think of cowboys I think of the west. I think of Montana, Utah, California, New Mexico. What I don’t think of is Toronto. I’d prefer if the cowboy hats stayed out in the west. I’d also prefer if it’s called a cowboy hat to have it look more like a cowboy hat than a straw hat.
• Washington Nationals:
Another gnome not able to be used as an actual gnome. I hope this trend ends just like the camouflage.
I’d like to thank Phil and Paul for having me again! It was a pleasure. I hope you all enjoyed it and I’d love to respond to your comments. If you’d like to reach me I can be found here. I also write regularly for mlpromotions.com and would love if you came to visit me over there. We will be releasing a big article about all the giveaways at the end of the baseball season so stay tuned for that. Again thanks for having me!
Thank you Joe! Great job this summer — while we may not all agree with your choices (although I think you’re pretty spot-on), you certainly put a lot of effort (and justified your choices) into this. Three cheers (except for the Pirates — the mustard rules!).
Readers? What say you? Have any of you gone to games where these giveaways were part of the promotion? Did you actually go to the game because of one of them? Let’s hear it!
Yesterday afternoon, the Fresno State Bulldogs introduced the chrome helmet you see above. According to the team, “The chrome helmet is the highlight of the new uniforms unveiled Sunday and its debut will be a part of Fresno State’s `Night in Navy’ game when the Bulldogs take on in-state rival San Diego State on Oct. 3 in front of a national TV audience on CBS Sports Network.”
In addition to the new helmets, the team also revealed (but did not unveil) a schematic of a new blue uniform (top shown) below:
Per the team, “Fresno State will be dressed in its new navy jerseys and pants for that game (October 3) and also encourages the fan base to wear navy to that game in an effort to duplicate the blackout game in 2013 that saw a sold-out Bulldog Stadium completely covered in black. This year, Fresno State is looking to deck out Bulldog Stadium in navy.”
The team also has a “new look” for 2014, some of which can be seen in this video:
If you can’t handle the music (besides muting it), or want to see some stills, check out my album:
(If you can’t see the slideshow, click here).
I like the look of the new uniforms (although I’m not so enamored of the new chrome helmet — that’s as played out as the matte helmet these days). Especially when you look at their 2013 uniforms. Addition by subtraction with these. Except for the black uniform (which doesn’t look like it was upgraded).
Some of you will probably not like these changes (*coughJimVilkcough*), but I think they’re actually upgrades. Considering how Nike has ruined some unis with their custom fonts, I think this one actually works well.
Well done, Bulldogs. Well done.
Click to enlarge
And now a few words from Paul: I mentioned this on Saturday, but for for those who missed it: Colored plastic markers like the ones shown above, about the size of a poker chip, appear throughout the streets of New York and Boston. They’re precisely the kind of inconspicuous landscape detail I love, so I’ve written an article about them for a new design website called reForm — check it out here. Thanks.
for the Ticker
Got a note from Andrew Nash, who has a nice project I thought was too good for the ticker. Click on any image below to enlarge.
I saw you showed some Cornhole boards of the Buffalo Bills and Syracuse Orange, so I thought I’d pass along some of my previous projects to ring in college football season.
Great stuff, Andrew. Believe it or not, dear readers, I have NEVER played cornhole. It’s just not a “thing” (or at least it wasn’t growing up) in the Northeast. I played a “bean bag toss” type game, which was similar, but it wasn’t cornhole. One of these days, I hope someone invites me to play.
OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Reader Matt Shepardson found it humorous that the mothership confused the Cubs and Sox in their headline yesterday morning. … Yesterday, the Colorado Rockies retired Todd Helton’s #17. Here is a closeup of the patch (thanks to The Emblem Source). … There’s a whole lot going on here: mesh paneled cap, red pinstripes, big collar for Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves (nice find by Ben Fortney). … The Houston Astros all went high cuffed yesterday, to honor longtime Astros scout & coach Gordy MacKenzie, who died Tuesday. More pics here (thanks to Brian van Manen for the tip). … Tyler Maun is pretty sure “The Player” statue at Coors Field has its stirrups on backward. “Never noticed,” he says. … Speaking of things we may have missed, Kody Sherlund just noticed the Mariners’ blue jerseys have a different number font than their other three jerseys — the navy jerseys are also the only ones to have a number on the front. … “Oh, joy! It was military day at the American Legion Worlds Series,” says Trés Lawless. “This features camo jerseys (although with stirrups) and camo sleeves. Pinch me, it must be a nightmare.” … Holy shit. A pitcher in the UnderArmour High School All-American game appeared to be wearing UA temporary neck tattoo.
NFL News: “(Saturday) night while watching the Falcons-Texans, I noticed that Jadeveon Clowney (#90 Texans) was wearing Nike’s,” says David Westfall. “I thought he had signed with Puma. Turns out that because Puma isn’t endorsed by the NFL, he can’t wear cleats with the Puma logo on the field (so dumb).” … Thanks to Brinke, we can now see what the new 49ers locker room looks like. … Derrick Linn saw this couple as he was walking to the Colts game Saturday. I’ve seen a few of these now, and they’re no longer original or witty. … Sweet find from Bill Abbate, who writes, “I was going through a box of stuff in my attic and came across this sticker from the first season of the WFL. I was going to intermediate school at the time and one of my friend’s fathers was an assistant coach with the WFL Houston Texans. I am sure that is how I ended up with this.” … McLeod Bethel-Thompson of the 49ers was wearing sleeve stripes that go all the around instead of the truncated stripes. Notes submitter Lendel Martin, “Haven’t seen anyone wear them like this before but it looks better then the normal jersey.” … More 49ers news: Brian Belcher notes this 49ers graphic with a white facemask before their preseason game (that sound you just heard was THE Jeff pounding his head into a brick wall). … The Packers Eddie Lacy had an Incredible Hulk undershirt on Saturday. Asks submitter Johnny Okray “Is that legal?” … This custom Eagles jersey honors old Nintendo game system.
College Football News: Apparently, the University of Maryland has even more new uniforms (or perhaps we’ve seen those already, just not on a field yet. With them, it’s hard to keep track). … Oh, dear. Chris Mycoskie notes that McNeese Athletics warns us of a “One of a kind blue & gold camo” uniform coming soon. … Air Force will be wearing USAF and Squadron patches on their uniforms this year. … Baylor’s new McLane Stadium will open August 31st (thanks to Baylor Pride). … Whoa, check out this jersey rip! 1980 South Carolina vs Georgia. Herschel Walker after 2nd carry of the game (thanks to John Reynolds). … As a follow up, it’s interesting to see that Walker’s replacement jersey was simple red with no sleeve stripe or NOB (via Tanner Dabbs).
NBA News: Has the “honorary” (or “memorial”) patch craze gone too far? Apparently, Pacers President Larry Bird thinks that it has (h/t Chris Flinn).
Hockey News: A question for the hockey wing on hockey pad legality: “Came across this website and I wasn’t sure if you’d seen these before or covered these,” writes Ronnie Yates. “I don’t really know much about hockey pad design legality and was wondering if you think they’d be able to wear this at the NCAA / pro level?” … Admirals Roundtable recently made a list of the top logos in the American Hockey League (AHL). You can find the top 10 here, which also is linked with the rest of the countdown (thanks to Daniel Lavender). … The Tulsa Oilers have plastered fans’ selfies all over new jerseys.
Soccer News: Reader Laurence Holland noticed during the Arsenal-Crystal Palace match yesterday that Palace has switched to using Cooper Black on their training tops (see interim manager Keith Millen this season as opposed to last). He adds, “Another (small) step on the ’70s stalwart’s journey back to typographical respectability, I guess. Maybe we’ll see it as the number and NoB font for Palace’s cup matches, when they don’t have to wear the Premier-League-wide typeface?”
Grab Bag: Reader William F. Yurasko found this neon REDUCE SPEED sign for sale on ebay. Says William, “I’m hoping somebody will buy, ship and store it for me.”
Whew! That’ll do it for this fine Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend.
I’ll be heading off the Shea with Paul today for the Mets game versus the Cubbies. We’re both hoping they’ve decided to keep these things in the closet. Could be very ugly, otherwise. So, everyone please play nice on the boards today, since the teachers will be away for a portion of the day, OK? OK?
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Phil, we may not agree much on uniform looks/tastes but I totally agree on this. … I hate all the ads and all the extra crap going on. If you want to go to the arena/ball park watch the damn game. If you want to be entertained go to a movie, go to an amusement park, or go to the arcade (they still have those, right?).”