It’s no secret that the Cubs have had trouble filling Wrigley Field consistently. The attendance regularly sits above 25000 or so and every now and then you’ll here them announce paid attendance of 30000+, but then you look on TV and it’s a sea of green as the stands are almost completely empty because those are the tickets the scalpers bought and couldn’t foist onto walk-up fans. I guess until the prospects come up to complement Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro plus whatever pitchers the Cubs don’t trade away, it’ll stay this way for the rest of the season and through probably most of next season until after the Super Two cutoff date.
The 16th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game will take place at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13, at Target Field in Minneapolis, and it can be seen live on MLB.com and MLB Network, and followed live on MLB.com’s Gameday.
Yeah, now you know what you’re doing that Sunday! Back to Cubs games, though…
As you may know, the Cubs aren’t that good this season. As you may also know, attendance is at least indirectly associated with the proficiency of the sports team. So its not surprising to see all those empty seats on TV as I noted in the intro.
However! Let’s give the marketing folks a round of applause for at least making it sort of worth our while to attend games by providing assorted promotional trinkets that actually look interesting. Before Monday night’s game with Anno (in which I got nothing, thanks Cubs), I got this:
Aside from the fact that I needed the day off from school away from all the ratchet kids, I really really wanted a Babe Ruth bobblehead. And yes, I paid full price for those $20 tickets for myself and my family (because I’m still cheap and don’t feel like paying for the expensive seats, see?).
What other promotional items did I miss though? Well, in April I probably could have used that magnetic schedule they gave away during the Phillies series. The Joe Tinker bobblehead was kinda cool too, but the one thing I really regret not ditching school for was the Chi-Feds replica jersey. Then again, I wasn’t ready to use up my accumulated sick days yet. But still, that was a sweet giveaway! I did get the Babe Ruth bobblehead in May as I said, but that Cubs fedora would’ve been nice too. Early on in June, I was really tempted to bug out of work on D-Day to get the AAGPBL bobblehead but the wife wasn’t able to get out of work and we didn’t have anyone to watch the kid anyway, so bah. The Ernie Banks bobblehead was, of course, cooler than words because Mr. Cub is all that is cool.
So now, let’s think about what other games I would actually want to go to this season just based on the promotional giveaways. It just so happens that most of these are against teams that are actually interesting, so there’s a bonus!
Against the Braves (July 11-13): On the Saturday, they’re giving away a replica Billy Williams retired number flag which would be fun to have hanging in the house. The following day, they’re giving away an Etch-A-Sketch, with little Cubs symbols on the knobs, but that means I have to bring my kid and he’s gone for the month to visit his grandparents in California…boo.
Against the Cardinals (July 25-27): There’s a Jack Brickhouse bobblehead on Friday and an Ernie Banks statue on Saturday, but once again what I really want is on Sunday, the Cubs Magic Baseball. But that’s only for kids, and my son is still in California. Anyone have a kid I can borrow for an afternoon? Totally not creepy.
Against the Rockies: On Tuesday, July 29, there’s this mobile power device thing that would be extremely useful for someone like me who uses his smartphone almost constantly. I hope it does what I think it does. And honestly the Wrigley Field folks should have more than one phone-charging station in the entire ballpark, they should also make outlets available for us patrons, I don’t mind bringing my own charger but you gotta let us sap some of that electricity, Cubs!
Against the Rays (August 8-10): I have no idea what the “First Night Game Bobblehead” is as they have no picture, but if the Rays were actually good this year I might want to skip my Friday softball game to find out. The headphones on Saturday seem nice, and again, the boy won’t be home in time for the toy on Sunday.
Against the Giants (August 19-21): I kind of want the floppy hat on Tuesday, but Wednesday is the Star Wars Night with the Jedi Rizzo bobblehead. Oh so tempting…but I have to save my money for…
Against the Orioles (August 22-24): On Friday, my college buddy might be in town as he is an Orioles fan and wanted to check out the interleague series at Wrigley Field. This is probably the best bang for our buck as we can get a Kerry Wood 20-K Bobblehead that day.
That is probably the last chance I’ll get for a promotion anyway. School starts up in September and I really need to save my sick days for when I’m burnt out second semester. Unfortunately the Cubs forget that some of us can’t play hooky anymore and so they scheduled a Friday afternoon giveaway for the Greg Maddux bobblehead, and a blanket a couple weeks later for the Friday game against the Dodgers. A blanket, as you may guess from Chicago weather reports, is something that can be very useful at Wrigley Field during the early months of the season. But maybe I’ll sneak a game in on that Saturday as they’re giving away a tumbler set.
I hope they give away texting gloves again next season, I could use some of those.