9 must-have MLB ballpark giveaways for 2024

March 2nd, 2024

Even if you are not a collectibles aficionado, there is nothing quite like a great ballpark giveaway.

First off: Free stuff! But secondly, a great ballpark giveaway says something specific about the bond a fanbase has with its team. From the outside, it might seem strange that Minnesota would give out Joe Mauer sideburns to the first 20,000 fans. But Twins fans knew. The real ones always know.

Thus, as the season approaches -- real, live baseball games are underway in Arizona and Florida -- we thought it would be apropos to look at the most fun, silly, endearing or just emotionally valuable MLB fan giveaways that are already scheduled for this upcoming season.

These items are free for anyone who comes to the game. But in their own way, they’re priceless. (Giveaways are listed in order of scheduled date.)

April 8 (Braves): Hank Aaron Home Run Record Bobblehead
On April 8, during the second week of the season, Major League Baseball will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th homer, eclipsing Babe Ruth to become baseball's new home run king. The Braves will celebrate that anniversary with a gorgeous bobblehead of the moment. For what it’s worth, there are no bobbleheads of the two guys who ran with him around the bases, but if you want to recreate the moment, maybe you’ve got some old G.I. Joes dressed in '70s clothes hanging around or something. Buy tickets >

April 26 (Mariners): Turn Ahead the Clock Jersey
If you are fortunate enough to be too young to remember the 1998 season, one of the odder and more amusing gimmicks that year -- just before Y2K, when we were all very obsessed with the future and what it might look like -- was Seattle's Turn Ahead the Clock jerseys. The Mariners came up with the promotion, with Ken Griffey Jr. helping design a sleeveless uniform that was so strange you might think you dreamt it. (The next season, all but eight teams had a Turn Ahead the Clock game.) Anyway, get to T-Mobile Park on April 26 and pick up your own version of it … though you might not look as great without sleeves as The Kid did. Buy tickets >

May 5 (Rays): Randy Arozarena Luchador Mask
If there was an MLB player who was secretly a luchador wrestler, it would absolutely be Arozarena, right? We have definitely seen him wear one in the dugout during the World Baseball Classic, and it was fantastic.

The Rays All-Star and postseason hero (and Team Mexico star) gets a luchador mask to call his own on May 5. He’ll have to wear it in the dugout at some point, though I’m pretty sure MLB rules won’t let him wear it to the plate. Alas. Buy tickets >

May 11 (Mets): Mr. Met London Telephone Booth Bobblehead
This year, the Mets and Phillies are playing in the London Series, which means America is sending over its most personable ambassador: Mr. Met. (We assume Mrs. Met is heading out there as well.) Thus, we have a bobblehead that would be impossible to explain to anyone who does not watch baseball: A man with a baseball for a head, wearing blue pinstripes, in a London telephone booth. The Phillies do not yet have a bobblehead with the Phanatic in a London telephone booth. Perhaps they are saving that for Gritty. Buy tickets >

May 14 (Red Sox): Triston Casas Yoga Bobblehead
Did you know that Casas -- like many MLB players -- is into yoga? Well, you do now that the Red Sox are giving away a bobblehead of the young slugger in a yoga pose. You probably should have known this: Casas has made a habit of stretching and doing yoga before games … sometimes shirtless. (The bobblehead is, in fact, wearing a shirt.) Buy tickets >

May 31 (Giants): Willie Mays Birmingham Black Barons Bobblehead
If you weren’t excited enough for the Yankees' late-May visit to Oracle Park this year, you can grab a bobblehead of Giants legend Willie Mays in his Birmingham Black Barons uniform to celebrate African American Heritage Day. Mays, of course, began his career with the Black Barons in the Negro Leagues at the age of 17, way back in 1948. (He would win the NL Rookie of the Year Award for the Giants three years later.) The promotion is connected to the Giants-Cardinals game at Rickwood Field -- the very field where Mays played back in 1948 -- three weeks later in Birmingham, Ala. Buy tickets >

June 1 (Royals): Pasquatch Bobblehead
One of the funniest bits at Kauffman Stadium at the beginning of last year? A sasquatch that -- quietly, blink-and-you-miss-him, hilariously -- would roam around the left-field stands after Vinnie Pasquantino homered. It was a nod to Pasquantino’s “Pasquatch” nickname (which he loves), and thus the bobblehead that’s an incredible combination of the two creatures. Snap a picture fast or your friends will never believe you. Buy tickets >

Aug. 12 (Padres): Tony Gwynn Henley Jersey
If you are looking for a definition -- to these eyes, anyway -- of uniform perfection, it’s the 1984 San Diego Padres jerseys, specifically the one that Gwynn was wearing. This season is both the 40th anniversary of the Padres’ 1984 National League championship team and the 25th anniversary of the year Gwynn notched his 3,000th hit (on Aug. 6, 1999), and the club is celebrating by giving out splendid Gwynn Padres Henley jerseys.

Don’t take any specific significance from the day Aug. 12, by the way: Gwynn, on Aug. 12, 1984, actually went 0-for-4 against Pascual Perez. But overall that year, he led the Majors in average (.351) and hits (213). Buy tickets >

Aug. 3 (Tigers): Jim Leyland Starter Pack
Two weeks after Leyland is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Tigers are hosting a celebration and giving away Jim Leyland Starter Packs, which will teach the first 15,000 fans how to look like the Tigers’ legendary manager. It comes with a baseball cap, a fake (?) mustache and sunglasses. (No, it does not come with a fake cigarette.) Buy tickets >