And now, Joe Maddon as Mr. Potato Head ...
UPDATE, 12:43: Maddon said he did indeed play with Mr. Potato Head as a kid, both on real potatoes and the plastic version. He considers this promotion "part of a lot of the crazy stuff that we do that's also highly complimentary at the same time. ... Let's just say I'm happy to be lionized as Mr. Potato Head. And also knowing that my Polish grandmother used to eat potatoes on a daily basis so it was always big in our household.''
DEVELOPING: Among the Rays promotions for this season will be a Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head, on Aug. 2 vs. the Angels.
Here is the Rays release on the promotion schedule:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL-The Tampa Bay Rays 2014 promotion schedule will feature premium giveaway items on 18 Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. The Rays will also bring back the popular Tampa Bay Times Ticket Tandem program from last season. Through this program, fans have the opportunity to purchase a special ticket for Friday games that includes an exclusive, limited edition keepsake.
In its "Franchise Issue" last September, ESPN the Magazine wrote: "No one did giveaways better than Tampa Bay (in 2013). Action figures! Garden gnomes! Utility belts! The Rays send fans home with more free goods than just about anyone."
The Rays 2014 schedule is again filled with unique treasures, all on weekend dates. Included this year are the Wil Myers Rookie of the Year Bobblehead (April 5 vs. Rangers), DJ Kitty Plush Hat (May 10 vs. Indians), Chris Archer Christmas Stocking (July 27 vs. Red Sox), Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head (August 2 vs. Angels) and Evan Longoria '80s Hair Band Drummer Bobblehead (September 6 vs. Orioles).
Sundays will once again be Family Fun Days presented by the Tampa Bay Times. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party featuring mascots and entertainers. For the second year in a row, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 & under. Activities include the Grand Slam Alley, Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Raymond's Art Studio and Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card. Extra entertainers will also be provided on Sundays including face painters, glitter tattoo artists, magicians, mimes, stilt walkers, jugglers, and balloon artists.
Kids promotional items on Sundays include a Desmond Jennings Baseball Buddy (April 6 vs. Rangers), Ben Zobrist Wiffle Ball Set (June 22 vs. Astros), Yunel Escobar Basketball Hoop (July 13 vs. Blue Jays) and Matt Moore Kids Plate and Cup Set (August 31 vs. Red Sox).
On Mother's Day (May 11 vs. Indians), the first 10,000 women will receive a Rays Sun Hat and to celebrate Father's Day early (June 8 vs. Mariners) the first 10,000 men will receive a James Loney Grill Set.
Ticket Tandem items include an Alex Cobb Military Bobblehead (May 23 vs. Red Sox), Don Zimmer Snowglobe (July 25 vs. Red Sox), Joe Maddon Wine Glasses (August 1 vs. Angels) and Raymond Gnome (August 29 vs. Red Sox).
Regular season single-game tickets will go on sale on March 1 exclusively through raysbaseball.com. However, the Rays are offering a new Flex Pack which allows buyers to select their games now. Flex Packs are available in three-, six-, or nine-game packs and can offer savings over 50 percent off regular pricing. In addition to substantial savings, Flex Packs also offer fans the flexibility to select the games they want to attend and special rewards throughout the season. Introductory pricing starts at $49. Flex Packs and are on sale now through raysbaseball.com.
Rays Season Ticket Holders will continue to have access to the best seat locations and receive exclusive benefits including the opportunity to purchase postseason ticket packages. Season Ticket Holders also receive larger bonuses on funds loaded to their Rays Cards as part of their Gold member status, with select premium seat locations receiving Elite member status. Reservations for 2014 ticket plans may be made by calling 888-FAN-RAYS, online at raysbaseball.com or by visiting the Rays Executive Offices at Tropicana Field open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.