Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Best Kids Clubs in Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training starts this week which is a welcome reminder that winter doldrums will soon be gone and the boys of summer will be hitting the ball diamonds.  Many of us enjoy sharing our passion for America's past time with our children by taking them to the ballpark or watching games on TV to cheer on our favorite baseball team.   Another fun way to catch a child's interest in becoming a fan of major league baseball is to enroll them in a team's "kids club."   Of the 31 MLB teams, 27 have kids programs to encourage children to become fans of the team and develop an interest in the sport of baseball.  All of the program vary in the price of membership and the publications, programs, events, and swag provided to participants who enroll in the team's kids club.  I've taken a look at each of the current kids club programs offered by MLB teams and have ranked my Top 5 below:

1)  Cincinnati Reds - For a $25 dollar membership the Reds have the best swag of any MLB club.  The team calls their children's program the RED HEADS and kids s receive  exclusive member logoed  ball cap,  jersey, baseball cap styled  backpack, dog tags, and sunglasses.  The Reds also host exclusive members-only experiences at Great American Ball Park such as player autograph sessions for the kids during the season.  Membership also entitles your child to receive 4 free ticket vouchers for select Reds home games.  Additional perks include free admission to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, one-day admission to the Cincinnati Zoo and a free meal at Bob Evans Restaurant.  Your child will also receive the RED HEADS official newsletter to keep them informed about the team throughout the year. CLICK HERE for more info about the RED HEADS.  Follow the Reds on twitter:  @Reds

2) Baltimore Orioles - host TEN special games during the season for their "Dugout Team" kids to attend which includes one free general admission ticket, along with exclusive activities and  giveaway items, for each of these games.  Parents can also get $6 upper deck tickets for any Dugout Team designated game. Membership swag includes a Dugout Club hat, drawstring bag, lanyard, and membership card.  Your kid will also receive a subscription to the team's  Orioles Kids  print magazine.  It costs $20 for a new membership and just $17 for renewing a membership in the Oriole's Dugout Team.  CLICK HERE for more information.  Follow the Baltimore Orioles on twitter @Orioles

3) Colorado Rockies - this kids club provide its members with a variety of exclusive special events that provide children with access to the team's players and facilities including  the Rockies Rookies Fest Carnival & Baseball Clinic at Coors Field.  In addition to receiving a monthly e-mail newsletter, Rockies Rookies members get a baseball cap, t-shirt, and drawstring bag.  Members can also purchase up to 32 tickets for select home games at 1/2 off .  Memberships are $17. CLICK HERE for more information.  Follow the Colorado Rockies on twitter @Rockies

4)  Detroit Tigers - OK, I have to support my home town team and favorite MLB ball club on this list.  For the reasonable price of $17, provides a Justin Verlander drawstring backpack, Paws the mascot mini Fathead, bracelet, lanyard, and membership card.  A nice extra touch is that the Tigers will send your child a birthday card on his or her special day.  Members receive three issues of the PawsPrints print magazine during the season.  The Tigers Kids Club also offers discounted ticket pricing and several exclusive membership events during the year.  CLICK HERE for more information.  Follow the Detroit Tigers on twitter @Tigers

5) Chicago Cubs - The price is a little steep compared to some other MLB clubs at $37,  but the Cubs have a decent package for their kids club members providing  a baseball cap, catcher's chest protector backpack, Cubs-themed school supplies kit, stickers, lanyard, and a membership card.  Membership also provides one free Wrigley Field Tour ticket and one free children's admission to Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago.  Another perk is members get front-of-line privileges for Kids-Run-the-Bases at any Cubs game.  CLICK HERE for more information about the Cubs Kids Club.  Follow the Chicago Cubs on twitter @Cubs

In an effort to reach out to younger fans, MLB has also recently launched a website aimed at kids called ClubMLB ( that has instructional videos with tips from coaches and players, video games, league news, game highlights, a souvenir store, and links to the kids clubs for the MLB teams that host them, among other features.  CLICK HERE for the menu of all the MLB teams' website kids' sections.  Some of these teams have kids clubs and others just have information of interest to kids posted online.

Cheering on your favorite sporting team can be a great bonding experience and fun way to spend time together as a family.  Our family is always excited when spring training arrives because that means winter is almost over and the boys of summer will soon be playing again on the ball diamond. Go Tigers!

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