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March 07, 2019

Best (and worst) promotional giveaways for 2019 Phillies home games

If Bryce Harper isn't enough to get you to Citizens Bank Park, how about a Chase Utley bobblehead or replica 2008 World Series ring

Phillies Promotions
Citizens Bank Park Contributed image/Visit Philly

Citizens Bank Park will have more netting to protect fans from stray foul balls starting next season.

The Major League Baseball season is entirely too long — why are you booing me already? — which leads to baseball teams luring fans in through giveaways.

To be honest, it’s not a bad idea. Everyone likes free stuff, and sometimes you end up selling the free stuff for money.

But when the well of ideas runs dry, these giveaways can get pretty weird, and sometimes they’re downright bad.

RELATED: 6 shops selling the coolest Bryce Harper and Phillies merch

The Phillies open the regular season against the Braves on March 28, which is pretty soon. Since Bryce Harper is driving ticket prices through the roof, you’ll probably want to look at buying tickets for games this summer sooner rather than later, and you don’t want to get stuck with an awful giveaway when you could’ve had something great.

That’s why I, a Phillies fans but also a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, am here. I know all about giveaways. Often times, they were the only reasons anyone in Pittsburgh went to a hockey game before Sidney Crosby arrived. I have so, so many dumb things from those games, which makes me feel qualified to judge the dumb things the Phillies are going to give away. Below I’ve singled out a few good giveaways, and a few bad ones.

You can see the full list of promotion and giveaway nights here.

Let’s begin.


March 30: Short-sleeve hoodie (fans 14 and under)

Phillies short sleeve hoodie giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' short-sleeve hoodie giveaway.

I was going to put this under “worst” until very recently. Beyond the age restriction, the short-sleeved hoodie fad is bizarre to me. What weather is this for? Also, baseball welcoming this genre-less article of clothing into its Very Serious World doesn’t seem to line up. It feels like the “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme.

But then Bryce Harper was photographed wearing a short-sleeved hoodie:

Forget everything, give me six. I'm probably a kids XXL.

April 7: Nemours Knit Hat (fans 14 and under)

Phillies knit hat giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' knit hat giveaway.

Giveaway apparel usually sucks, because it’s designed by someone who doesn’t care, and it’s riddled with advertisements. This hat, though? This hat looks very good. It uses the big capital “P” instead of a liberty bell. It’s got good striping *and* a good heather pattern. The pom-pom — well, the pom-pom I could take or leave, but you get the idea.

Plus it’s being given away in early April, when Philadelphia weather is still entirely unpredictable. It was 44 degrees at 1:05 p.m. on April 7 last year. That’s borderline knit hat weather!

It’s a shame only the kids get this giveaway. I would definitely wear this hat.

June 21: Chase Utley Bobble Figurine

Phillies Chase Utley bobblehead GiveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' Chase Utley bobblehead giveaway.

Here’s the thing: I have roughly a million bobbleheads from those lean Penguins years. Bobbleheads are usually bad and dumb, and look nothing like the person they’re depicting.

This bobblehead, on the other hand, looks amazing. It generally resembles Chase Utley. It includes a hat to avoid a very bad bobblehead rendering of hair. Utley is dressed the way he was when he yelled “World F*****g Champions!” during the Phillies 2008 parade, which is the exact message the team needs to send to the next generation of Phillies fans:

The only way this thing could be better is if it had an audio recording embedded in the base that looped Utley swearing. I would pay $1,000 for one of those.


April 28: Citizens Bank Phanatic Hooded Towel (fans 14 and under)

Phillies Phantic towel giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' Phanatic hooded towel giveaway.

What in the world is a hooded towel? What is this? I don’t like it.

May 4: 2008 World Champions Replica Ring (fans 15 and over)

Phillies world series ring giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' replica World Series ring giveaway.

You might like this, but here’s the thing: I don’t care. I feel about this ring the way I feel about touching the Stanley Cup: If I wasn’t part of the team when the team won, I don’t want your stinking participation trophy. I didn’t earn this ring, and therefore, I don’t want it.

Also, this is a safety hazard. Imagine if the Phillies stumble out of the gates while their new stars try to find a rhythm. There could be some very irritable fans on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon who decide these new rings are the perfect projectiles. You thought the Flyers’ wristbands were bad?

Good luck, grounds crew!

June 9: Men’s Golf Vest (men 15 and over)

Phillies golf vest giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' men's golf vest giveaway.

This is such a cliche Father’s Day gift, and it celebrates such an underwhelming sport. I love watching the Masters and falling asleep at 4 p.m., but I’d much rather play basically anything else.

Golf doesn’t seem very Philadelphia to me, either. This should be a Phillies-branded basketball (if you’re going to combine sports, combine ones the city cares about!), which you can then take to any number of South Philly playgrounds to face three guys wearing too-big Sixers jerseys from the early 00s.

That said, I’m definitely going to attend this game and acquire this vest, and then I’m going to wear it during my family’s miniature golf tournament down at Wildwood because my father beats me every year and I’m sick of it.

July 18: MLB Network Retro Tote Bag

Phillies tote bag giveawayContributed image/Phillies

The Phillies' tote bag giveaway.

I’m almost on board with this bag. Reusable bags are good: They are good for the environment, and they earn you a little raffle ticket at the Center City Trader Joe’s. Those are good things!

But I don’t want another tote. Everyone gives out a tote these days. I officially have too many totes! What are we all carrying?

Also, the MLB Network logo is way, way, way too big. Count me out.