Friday, June 8, 2018


Cleveland Indians Kids Club
The boys of summer are back in full swing on ball diamonds across the country. So that means it is time for A Geek Daddy's annual list of my favorite KIDS CLUBS sponsored by teams in Major League Baseball (MLB).  These Kids Club programs can be a great way to create a sense of attachment between a child and a pro team as they often involve newsletters and other special communications which let kids feel connected as well as gear and swag to show off their fandom.  Plus discounted or free tickets to get kids into seats at ballparks to watch games are often part of the deal.

Twenty-five of the 30 MLB teams have official Kids Club programs.  These range in price from FREE to more than $50 dollars and every participating team's program is unique. Some Kids Clubs are really great and go to great effort to enhance a child's fan experience with a baseball team.  Unfortunately, there are also a few that seem more focused on pulling money out of parents' wallets than providing a quality product that increases children's interest in the game.  With that in mind, I've researched all of this year's MLB Kids Club and compiled a list of five of my favorite ones.

A Geek Daddy has selected these Kids Clubs based upon these factors - price/value, coolness/wow factor, originality, quality of materials/swag, special events, and branding for the program. To show there is no bias this diehard Tigers fan hasn't included Detroit on the list. So going from fifth place to the best we have:


For Tribe fans ages 6 to 14 will be sportin stylish Indian swag that includes a quarter-zip short sleeve pull-over, backpack, baseball and a $10 credit to use on food or souvenirs during a ball game at Progressive Field.  Members also get to skip the line when it comes to visiting Progressive Field's Kids Clubhouse fun area and the Kids Run the Bases activity after Indians' Sunday home games. During every Sunday game MVPs can participate in a meet and greet with team mascots Slider and the Hot Dogs. There is also a pregame parade before select games where all MVPs at the game get to march around the warning track and wave to all the other fans at the ballpark that day.

MVPs are automatically entered into monthly drawings to be randomly selected by their ID numbers to receive exclusive merchandise, autographed items and other prizes. Winners will be selected at random based on member ID numbers.  All MVPs are also automatically entered to be the Play Ball Kid, Honorary Grounds Crew member or Honorary PA Announcer as well as to win a spot in the Kids Starting Lineup at an Indians game.  By attending games, kids can also scan their MVP badge to earn prizes based upon the number of games they attend during the season.  The only disappointing aspect of this program is that they don't offer free or discounted tickets to games for children but there is still a lot of value to being a member of the TRIBETOWN MVPS Kids Club.


The Mariners made the list this year because their FREE Kids Club program for children 14 years old and younger provides some real value to the children enrolled in it.  They receive in their Welcome Pack a membership card with lanyard along with a drawstring backpack and a team branded wiffle ball. Junior Mariners also receive newsletters throughout the season.  Not bad for not having to pay anything!

A Junior Mariners membership can also be upgraded to MVP status for $25.  This includes a baseball cap, backpack, and arm sleeve along with everything included in the free level welcome pack. MVP members are also provided with discounts for buying tickets to Mariners games and are invited to exclusive autograph sessions with ball players from the team.


The Phillies get A Geek Daddy nod for having the most impressive swag item being given out to Kids Club members.  Each member gets a Phillies batting helmet toothbrush holder stand. How cool is that?!  Junior Phillies also receive a duffel bag, exclusive poster, a pizza from Pappa Johns, and two complimentary tickets to the team's designated Kids Club game in September.

The Phillies also have a Kids Club devoted to their team mascot called the Phanatic MVP Club that costs $15 to join or $10 if you enroll in it along with the Junior Phillies.  Phanatic MVP Club members also get some nice swag receiving a hat, pillowcase, poster, membership card, and two complimentary tickets to the Phillies designated Phanatic MVP Club Day game.  Both clubs' members are also eligible to win prizes throughout the season and purchase discounted tickets to games.

Philadelphia fans with newborns can also share their passion for the game with their baby through a special club for $40.  The Phillies Newborn Club provides moms and dads with personalized Phillies birth certificate, PhanaVision Birth Announcement photo, team branded pre-walking sneakers, a Rookie of the Year bib, a birthday card from the Phanatic on the child's first birthday, special discount price on tickets to take baby to his or her first game, and a photo of the line-up card from that game.  This is one way to get a kid rooting for a team at an early age!


These Kids Club member allow children under 15 years old to get one FREE ticket to every Sunday home game the Diamondbacks play throughout the season.  Plus Kids Club members earn prizes for the number of games they attend throughout the year.  Prizes include baseball hats, sunglasses, water bottles and t-shirts.  Those who get the t-shirt can wear it to games to cut to the front of the line for Kids Run the Bases activities. All those free tickets are a nice perk for a program that doesn't charge an enrollment fee.


Last year's World Series Champs also get top honor's in this year's list of top Major League Kids Clubs.  They do a nice job of balancing out the perks of their program so that it is exciting for kids and provides value to parent.  Buddies Kids Club member receive an impressive swag pack that includes a membership badge, lanyard, backpack, ballcap and socks. Their badge also provides a one-time 15% discount to the Astros Team Store and front of the line access to Kids Run the Bases events. They also receive a voucher good for four free tickets to a selection of over 20 home baseball games this season.

The team also hosts some fun, exclusive events for their Buddies Kids Club members including player autograph sessions, a baseball skills clinic that takes place on the field of Minute Maid Park, chances to watch Astros batting practice from the field, or the chance to join in a parade around the outfield warning track to greet all the fans in the stadium before the start of a game.  They also have a Behind-the-Scenes game where members are randomly selected to work for the Astros for a day doing jobs like groundskeeper, PA announcer, and more.  The combination of goodies and activities that provide kids with an exceptional experience with their membership is why the Astros have a top notch Kids Club.

Major League Baseball

While Kids Clubs are a great way to attract attention to a team throughout a season they can from time to time be a nice way for families to specifically avoid overspending at the ballpark. As every parent knows, once you get there children are going to beg for some souvenirs of your outing to the baseball game. A Kids Club membership can provide a great memento from attending a game that won't bust the family budget compared to stadium prices on other things.  We've done this a few times when attending games in Toronto, Minneapolis and even once when seeing our hometown team play at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Major League Baseball

Cheering on your favorite baseball team can be a great bonding experience for parents and kids to do together.  MLB Kids Clubs can be a nice way to introduce your children to the team you cheer for and encourage them to join you as a fan.  Of course we've only highlighted a handful of the Kids Clubs that are available to join. I also want to give a shout out to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis who routinely appear on this list from year to year and again this season are providing some outstanding Kids Club benefits. Check out your favorite team's website and see if you like what they have to offer.

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