If you live in the United States or Canada (or many other parts of the world), yesterday was Mother's Day. If you're a mother, I hope you had a lovely day. (If you're not a mother, I also hope you had a lovely day, but that you maybe went out of your way to do something nice for a mom that you appreciate, too.)
I know that some people dislike the perceived commercialization and/or in-your-face aspect of this holiday, but I think most folks would agree that being a decent mother (or any type of parent) takes an absurd amount of hard work and that these people should be recognized for their sacrifices and their patience and their grace. Of course, we should try and do this for deserving individuals everyday, but life can be busy and hard and we're all forgetful and take things for granted. Setting aside one special day each year to try extra hard to remember to say "Thanks" or "I love you" to someone that we care about probably does more good than harm.
In any case, many MLB teams took advantage of this holiday and gave away promotional items in honor of Mom. Below, I've ranked each of these giveaways, from the worst to the best. Like all lists that you encounter on the internet, this is 100% objective because my opinions are right and if you disagree with me you're wrong.
Here we go!
The worst teams: Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals
These teams did not appear to advertise any promotions/special events for Mother's Day. I'm not saying that they necessarily hate your mother, but they certainly didn't try and do anything nice for her. Shame.
Special mention: Toronto Blue Jays
Yesterday, the Blue Jays gave away replica Josh Donaldson jerseys. I'm not sure why this was the giveaway they scheduled for May 10th, but it was. However, instead of pretending that Josh Donaldson is in any way appealing to your mom, they instead opted to give away a Mother's Day "experience". Here is some of the text describing their promotion:
Bring mom down to the ballpark on Mother's Day for a great afternoon of baseball and family fun!
Once inside the ballpark, bring mom to the 200 level WestJet Flight Deck and let us pamper her at our Mother's Day Oasis. We are offering hair and makeup touch-ups, polish changes as well as a stress fix hand and back massage all courtesy of AVEDA salons. They can also relax at the oxygen bar or lounge in some of the outdoor patio furniture courtesy of Andrew Richard Designs.
Awkward wording aside, I don't know that it necessarily counts as "quality time" if you drop your mom off with some strangers and then go watch a baseball game; however, I know many ladies who enjoy being "pampered", so maybe this is a pretty nice thing to do.
This is a bag. I don't even think it's "nice enough" to be called a tote. I suppose that it does have some utility, but it looks like the kind of thing that you'd get for free with a phone book or after spinning a little wheel down at the farmers' market. I would suggest trying a bit harder next year, Pittsburgh.
Another bag!? Disappointing. Although this one does appear to qualify as a tote. Also, unlike the Pirate's bag, this one looks like it'll probably last at least two or three months before falling apart. But is that leopard print filling in Chicago's logo? That's... awful.
There were actually three scarf giveaways yesterday, but this one was by far the worst. I imagine that this logo is supposed to be celebrating the Giants 2014 World Series victory, but it looks more like a misshapen black blob. Paired with San Francisco's orange, this looks like something that Fred Flintstone would wear. No thanks.
This is actually a pretty cute idea. People with loved ones often times have pictures of themselves with said loved ones. And where might you put that picture? In a picture frame! However, the actual product is kind of... funny lookin'. Maybe this looks better in person, but that sunburst and especially that mascot (Raymond, who is creepily making eyes at you) do not look well done at all.
I feel like what this "wristlet" (a word that I've never encountered before) lacks in imagination, it makes up for in execution. The stitching that matches the team colors and the little logo are nice and I especially appreciate the baseball zipper pull/charm. Maybe it's because there's no real sense of scale here, but the aspect ratio of this little purse seems kinda off to me. Could you put a phone in there, or is it just for cards/cash/coins? I have no idea!
This is maybe the most original (bizarre?) item that any team came up with. These tumblers are mildly insulated and have a "photo sleeve insert", which I assume means you can insert your own pictures if you want... to showcase your smiling kids or a cat or a picture of the the tumbler (if your mom is particularly meta). I don't know how much use these would get on a regular basis, but I suppose they'd be handy if mom wanted an ICEE or a way to discretely drink booze on the front porch.
I actually think that this scarf is pretty nice. The colors are bright and the pattern is simple but iconic. That being said, it's the Angels so I can't put them too high on this list. Also, using this advertisement of a headless woman to promote a holiday that's supposed to focus on supporting/celebrating women seems like probably not the best move.
HANK! This is so cute. If you haven't read about this little rescue pup, you haven't been paying much attention to the softer/squishier side of baseball for the past year. This would make an excellent addition to any bobblehead collection. I will say that I did bump this down a little because I'm not a huge fan of gratuitously adding the color pink to something to make sure that everyone knows it's for a lady.
Another scarf! But this one is my favorite. I appreciate that this incorporates the Rockies colors but does so with an interesting design (who doesn't love chevrons?). I might be tempted to rank it as number one, except Colorado's logo seems like it'd tend to be sideways when you wear the scarf ? (Unless I'm woefully ignorant about women's neckware - I do apologize if this is the case!) Maybe you can finagle how the scarf is laying around your neck to get the logo to be upright, but that sounds like a lot of work.
Just in time for the summer warmup, the Mariners gave away these floppy sun hats. Although the Phillies did have a similar giveaway last year, I still really appreciate this idea. Mom gets something that is moderately fashionable (it is Triple Crown season, after all), displays her team's colors, and also prevents her from sunburning her nose; what's not to like? The Mariners even got the weather to cooperate with their giveaway yesterday, as radiant sunshine filled Safeco throughout the afternoon.
This is my favorite of all of these giveaways because it looks like a nice, well-designed shirt. It's something that is clearly made for a baseball fan, which is what a lot of moms are (especially those attending a ballgame on Mother's Day); there is no gimmick associated with this item. It also seems like it'd probably get the most use out of any of the items included in this list. If you live in the greater Phoenix area, you're probably going to be wearing a tee 300+ days a year. Good job, D-backs.
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So there's the list. The Mariners, unsurprisingly, did very well. This shouldn't be particularly shocking because 1) I'm extraordinarily biased and 2) Kevin Martinez and the whole Seattle Mariners marketing department does a great job of interacting with their fans and coming up with good ideas for events/giveaways/promotions. We're lucky to be fans of the Mariners for a lot of different reasons.