The Indians have released their promotional schedule for the 2013 season. The on-field product should be greatly improved from last year, so there should be more fans going through the turnstiles no matter what, but many still like to find a game when they can get a little something extra, so I've broken down the possibilites and highlighted a few personal favorites, one of which might even determine when I make my annual pilgrimage to Progressive this summer.
The home opener is Monday, April 8th against the hated Yankees. All fans in attendance will receive a magnetic schedule, so you can be reminded of when the next game is every time you go to the fridge for your favorite Great Lakes refreshment (I'm quite fond of the Eliot Ness, myself). The Rally Alley will also be back in 2013 and open for Opening Day. Rally Alley is a stretch of Larry Doby Way (just behind the stadium) that is closed off for two hours before many games. It includes live music and other entertainers (sometimes clowns, so beware of that) and is sometimes visited by former Tribe players. It is free to the public, you don't need a ticket to the game. So if you're near Progressive, you might want to drop by. The Rally Alley will also be open before all Friday and Saturday games from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Other promotions include:
- Fireworks: After most Friday and Saturday night games between Memorial Day and Labor Day the sky will light up in a spectacular display set to music (no word on the lineup yet, but Death Metal is always a popular choice, so buy tickets ahead of time for that one).
- Photo Days (pictures with players and other team personalities): April 13, May 18, June 22, July 27, August 8, and September 9. A picture of yourself (and/or the kids) with an All-Star will be a cherished momento for years to come. Or, you may someday wonder who that guy wearing #78 in a picture with your daughter is. Either way, you're a winner!
- Student ID Nights: May 8, June 19, July 10. Half-price tickets in certain sections for anyone who can prove they're a student (or is still carrying around their ID even though they graduated three years ago). If you're at least a decade removed from formal education, attending one of these games is a great way to make yourself fear for the future. Watch out for roving packs of bros (especially near Nick Swisher).
- Dollar Dog Nights: Friday is the day to go if you're trying to see if you can eat nine hot dogs in nine innings. True story: A few years back a big group of my friends attended a Brewers game and attempted that very thing. Less than a third of the group was successful. A woman sitting nearby thought it sounded like fun and played along. She successfully completed the challenge and then ordered one "for the road." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Wisconsin!
- Kids Fun Days: Sunday afternoons, after the game is completed, kids can go on the field and take part in various activities, including taking a run around the bases. If your child can beat Mark Reynolds from home to first they win a prize package consisting of nothing, because of course they can beat him.
- Puppypalooza: June 17 and September 9. Bring your dog to the ballpark, there will be so many butts to sniff! I have never attended one of these games. Do people just bring small dogs, or are there mastiffs running around? Do the dogs ever fight? Has one ever gotten on the field? Do cat people protest not getting a game of their own?
- Free hats (first 10,000 people): On May 18 fans get a red cap with a frozen custard logo on it. I'm against the red caps and custard is ice cream for weirdos, so I'll be boycotting this game. On July 6 fans get a replica cap from 1904. I'm assuming that means the brim will be really, really short, as was the style of that era. On September 7 fans get a winter beanie. I'm hoping it has a big pompom on the top, but I'm betting it doesn't. The man is always keeping you down, never giving you a winter cap with a big pompom on it.
- Free shirts (first 10,000 people):
May 4 it's a red t-shirt in the style of the mid-70s' uniforms. That's a good look!
May 29 it's a shirt in the style of the 1917 road uniforms. T-shirts weren't a thing back then, but your great-grandfather isn't around anymore to tell you that, so it's cool.
June 15 you get a Jason Kipnis replica home jersey. I guess it might have buttons and everything, which is pretty fancy.
July 13 you get a 1902 replica road jersey. It's blue, made of wool, and probably doesn't say anything on it. Words on fabric didn't exist until William Howard Taft commissioned a suit coat with "More Cushion for the Pushin" in 1911.
July 27 you get a Michael Brantley replica home jersey. With season tickets you would now have enough shirts to cover every workday of the week!
August 24 you get a Nick Swisher replica home jersey. It's probably sleeveless, because that's just how Nick rolls.
There are other good promotions too. Here are my three favorites:
#3) May 20 - Weather Education Day: All fans get a "weather education booklet," which sounds like one of the three or four most exciting objects in history, up there with the Ark. It will be SO ironic if this game is rained out.
#2) August 10 - Rocky Colavito replica Hall of Fame plaque (first 10,000 fans): This will be Colavito's 80th birthday, and it's very cool that the team will be honoring him. It's possible he'll be in attendance, which would make it even cooler. Colavito isn't in the Baseball Hall of Fame, so the plaque may be a replica from his induction into the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.
#1) June 1 - Albert Belle bobblehead (first 10,000 fans) - It's already been announced that the figurine will depict Belle flexing and pointing at his bicep, as he did during the 1995 playoffs against Boston. No word yet on whether the bicep will also bobble, but my god do I ever want one of these. I just might scoot out to Cleveland that weekend and lineup outside the stadium two hours before the game.
There you have it!
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