The staid game of baseball has a wacky underbelly, visible when the teams hold giveaway nights. Fans have become used to (and perhaps grown callous of) bobbleheads, free food or dance competitions. A new promotion by the Seattle Mariners, Free Compost Night, might pique the interest of green fans, though; the team is giving away bags of compost made from the trash generated during the ball games.
The compost, made of recycled paper, food and other garbage strewn around Safeco Field, will be processed by local Cedar Grove Composting, and given out at several games during the year. (If the Mariners don't play better this year, the compost might also contain little pieces of well-chewed mitts and bats.)Of all of the baseball giveaways, this one might be the most meaningful. However, that bar isn't set particularly high. Witness some other minor league giveaways over the past decade:
On Pre-planned Funeral Night, the Hagerstown Suns gave away a free funeral with the works: casket, viewing at a funeral home, cremation and burial. (Somehow this seems similar to Free Compost Night.)
The Boston Red Sox's affiliate, the Lowell Spinners, gave Bubble Wrap to its attendees to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bubble Wrap. During the third inning of their July 17, 2010, game, everyone simultaneously popped their wrap, setting a world record.
On May 20th of last year, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs held a disco night. Fans went home with more than just Bee Gees tunes stuck in their ears, though; the first 3,500 received baseball-sized glittery disco balls of their very own.
The Fort Myers Miracles commemorated the infamous Mike Tyson- Evander Holyfield fight, in which Tyson bit off part of Holyfield's ear, by giving fans plastic ears that they could fit over their own.
As you can see, taste has little to do with successful giveaways. The Hudson Valley Renegades gave away 3,000 inflatable toilet seats on Toilet Seat Night last year. In 2008, the St. Paul Saints gave away a bobblefoot doll of a figure seated in a toilet cubicle whose foot would wander out the way Sen. Larry Craig's did in an airport restroom, where he was accused of signaling his desire for a sexual tryst.
In this light, compost seems like an extremely tasteful giveaway.
Free Compost Night Might Be Baseball's Best Promotion Yet