Baseball season started in earnest Monday, and there was no shortage of opening day events and promotions to celebrate the unofficial first day of spring. The most popular Opening Day ballpark giveaways included team-branded calendars or magnetic game schedules, which were received by fans of the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and others.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers presented their faithful with rally towels and had bobbleheads of ace pitcher Max Scherzer on hand. The bobbleheads were scaled down versions of a life-size bobblehead of Scherzer that’s outside Comerica Park. The fans in Rock City also could attend festivities that included the 97.1 The Ticket Opening Day Block Party where fans partied with popular local radio personalities.
Perhaps the most iconic Opening Day event, however, was held south of Detroit in Cincinnati, where the 95th Annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade celebrated America’s oldest professional team. The parade, which drew locals in droves, featured more than 200 entrants and an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 participants, including police officers, firemen, local officials and Reds players. “The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade turns Cincinnati, a relatively big city, into the world's largest small town,” www.local12.com reported. “It's the one day everyone puts their hats on and says,’I'm proud to be a Cincinnatian.’”
In Tampa Bay, the Rays teamed up with Budweiser and a couple sponsors to host an Opening Day Holiday Tailgate Party. The event was to promote Budweiser’s initiative to have the federal government declare Opening Day an official national holiday. The event featured music, day-fresh Budweiser beer, Rays players and various promotional activities, which included encouraging attendees to sign the beer maker’s holiday petition. "We are promoting the Budweiser petition heavily and hope that we can get enough signed petitioners to make the Tampa Bay market the leader in the League,” said Bill Gieseking, director of marketing for Pepin Distributing Company, a beer distributor who sponsored the event.
Not to be outdone, Houston Astros fans have the opportunity today to get their pre-game party on at the 13th Annual Opening Day Festival, a free event that included the Astros mascot Orbit, live music performed by the Scooter Brown Band, an interactive vendor expo, local food trucks, drinks and prizes. Attendees were also able to enjoy climbing a rock wall, riding a mechanical bull, bungee runs and more. “Opening day is the best day of the year,” Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth told The Washington Post. “It’s the best day on earth.”