I love ballpark promos. Baseball is best when it is a little bit weird, and to have a tradition that is full of such potential weirdness is terrific. So I took a very unscientific look at this year's promos and have ranked the Top 10 entries on this year's promo schedule.
1) Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Weekend
There is no other answer here. Honestly, it doesn't even matter if the objects themselves are good or bad or if the head falls off the bobblehead ("falls off" is my charitable of describing what our Managing Editor does to bobbleheads as part of his reign of terror). By virtue of the fact that these objects will populate bedroom bookshelves and walls and closets with tokens of Griffey's greatness, they are perfect. They're tiny horcruxes holding the winning part of our baseball souls, and we should protect them and guard them appropriately. Because the Kid is the Hall. Let's party.
2) Turn Back the Clock Night
Am I ranking Turn Back the Clock Night so highly so that I might remind you of what the Turn Ahead the Clock Night jerseys looked like?
Well, allow me to answer your question with another: In this, the year of the Kid's coronation as king of Cooperstown, did you really expect anything else? Really though, I'm in favor of any promo that features throwbacks, hats that are either animal based or non-fedora shaped, or tridents. These hats hit on all three.
3) Kyle Seager Bobblehead Night
This is perfect. This is what happens when the glorious rhythmic beats of a person's soul are expressed in a beautiful little swing, and then that beautiful swing is miniaturized and made resplendent in a plastic Sunday alternate uniform. It is also what happens when your "Kyle Seager in a Sassy Time Call Stance Who Says 'Hey Eff You' to Jered Weaver wind up doll" doesn't clear legal. Lawyers are the worst.
How long will you wait in line? pic.twitter.com/JbyDcYQ1fS— Aaron Goldsmith (@aaronmgoldsmith) January 20, 2016
4) Potential Maybe Sorta Hypothetical Mystery Iwakuma Promo
[Scene: Mariners Holiday Party]
Jerry Dipoto: Don't tweet it for the next 45 minutes or so, but we are bringing Hisashi Iwakuma back to the Mariners (fist pump)!
Mariners PR Staff: Wait, did we already cancel the no-hitter bobblehead? Did you do it, or was I supposed to? Maybe we didn't do it?
Mariners PR Intern: Wait, was I not supposed to?
So anyway, I'm sure the team will add an Iwakuma promo, and it will involve his no-hitter. And it will be glorious.
5) Nelson Cruz Boomstick Bobblehead night
Here's the thing with bobbleheads: normally when teams try to make something really weird or different, they end up creating something you're convinced comes alive at night and plots your violent, but very slow, doll murder. The downfall is usually that they mess with the face. We all remember the regrettable Jayson Werth incident of 2015. The key to the weird bobble is to alter the bobblehead's surroundings. The AquaSox did it with Tom Wilhelmsen when they put the bartender in the bar. And the Mariners are doing it here, opting to leave Nelson and his perfectly sculpted eyebrows be, and instead asking the question, "What does a literal boomstick look like?"
Oktoberfest is the slightly more grown up version of College Night, which makes it better, with tastier beer. Also, the steins are great for when you're watching October baseball. Speaking of which...
7) Mariners Bomber Hat Night
Look, these hats are good on their own. But the best part is the sneaky nod toward the possibility of playoff baseball. You know when it is cold? October. You know when playoff baseball happens? October. You know when it might be nice to have a warm hat if you were outside at Safeco watching the Mariners play? October. We've been burned by overly optimistic season slogans before. This is da Vinci code messaging that we're going to make it, you guys.
8) Replica Sock Night
I don't know exactly what these look like, but they appear to be in the late 70's/early 80's blue and yellow, meaning they fit the aforementioned throwback's clause. Also, everyone could always use more socks.
9) Bark in the Park Night(s)
You might wonder, how does a promo that features no giveaway rank so highly? Because it features a giveaway of love to keep in your heart, that's why. You see, there will be dogs. And they will get to bark. In the park. The ballpark. That was confusing, allow me to submit photographic evidence for why this is good.
10) "K" Beach Towel Night
Do you want to show off your Mariners pride at the beach? Would you like to accidentally bean someone trying to whip this towel around your head as you chant "K" in the King's Court? Does your bum sometimes get wet when you sit on Safeco seats after a light rain? Well then I have just the thing.
Dishonorable mention: (Another) Beard Hat Night (please stop); College Night (please drink less); Fedora Night (please stop and drink less)
Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.