Tap-In Question: What are the best and worst promotional giveaways in Orioles' history? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: What are the best and worst promotional giveaways in Orioles’ history?

Sometimes, silly is good.

Sometimes, sticking with a pattern is good.

And sometimes you get toward the end of an offseason and you just don’t feel like writing the same thing again – or striking up the same old conversation at the bar.

This, inadvertently, was “greatest week” at BaltimoreBaseball.com.  In the last few days, I’ve offered my opinion on greatest radio announcers in Orioles’ history and made you come to the bar and debate who is the Greatest Of All Time in the annals of Baltimore sports.

So, I’m sort of, kind of going back to the well again, at least tapping in – pun intended – to the “greatest” thing. Even though today’s subject matter is highly insignificant.

On Thursday, the Orioles announced their promotional schedule for 2017. It includes bobbleheads of Zach Britton and Jonathan Schoop, a Manny Machado Starting Lineup figure, a scaled-down replica of Camden Yards, an O’s welcome mat and various caps and T-shirts.

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People love free stuff. And it’s amazing how many people will show up at Camden Yards for a T-shirt or a floppy hat. I’d criticize that motivation, but, frankly, I loved those promotions as a kid – and I still think some of the giveaways at Camden Yards these days are pretty enticing.

The Showalter Gnome was genius; the replica statues truly were collectibles and I’m a fan of the O’s golf umbrella. There’s always one of those in my car trunk.

Sure, some giveaways haven’t worked out. That “newsboy cap” last year was terrible; it only fit those with gnome-sized heads. And the first fedora they gave out a few years ago seemingly was made of construction paper. And let’s not forget the bluish-purple Brian Roberts bobbleheads that were nixed before the promotion occurred, or those seat cushions that became projectiles to protest umpiring decisions at Memorial Stadium.

My favorite giveaway of all-time were those black, wooden bats the Orioles presented in the 1970s. Times have changed. I’m not sure the Orioles would sign off on giving away weapons these days, but at age 8, nothing was cooler than Bat Day.

Well, I guess Halter Top Day back in the 1970s would rival it – and that one is even less likely than Bat Day to return. When I first mentioned the giveaway halter tops in a piece I had written several years ago, I remember the Orioles’ late Public Relations Director, Monica Barlow, asking if I were joking. When I said, “No, your organization really gave out orange bra-like tops to women once a year,” she was aghast, to put it mildly. I still laugh when I think of her reaction.

So, there have been some good, some bad and some bizarre. Let’s discuss this not-so-hot topic today over a cold beer.

Tap-In Question: What’s the best and worst Orioles’ promotional giveaways in club history?

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