Saturday, July 4, 2020


major league baseball
Baseball is getting back into the swing of things so it is time for the annual ranking of my favorite MLB Kids Clubs this season. The pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into the normal routine of many aspects of life, but Major League Baseball is coming back with an abbreviated season that will be soon be played in stadiums without fans. Joining the kids club for your favorite pro baseball team can be a fun way for young fans to stay connected with the sport during this unique season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic there have been some changes to MLB kids clubs in 2020. Some teams like the St. Louis Cardinals have decided to cancel their kids club programs this year. Others like the Detroit Tigers are focusing on e-mail newsletters and providing their members with swag. Then there are teams like the San Francisco Giants that are putting more of a focus on providing summer baseball themed activities that entertain and educate children who are staying close to home due to the pandemic.

This dad blogger was somewhat disappointed that teams weren't incorporating more virtual meet and greets with players and coaches as well doing autograph and promotional item giveaways to make up for the cancelled live events and perks that are a big component for many of these kids club programs.  Also it would have been nice to have seen update their swag packs with children's sized masks sporting a team's logo or mascot on it. Especially because many of these kids club programs aren't free to join. That being said maybe some of the teams that haven't cancelled kids club will modify benefits now that their staffs are getting back to work and the 2020 season finally gets going.

baseball fan

With young fans not able to go to stadiums to watch games, kids clubs can be a great way for young fans to stay connected with their favorite team. Who doesn't get excited about getting a package full of fun stuff in the mail. Many of these kids clubs have some great gear that children can enjoy while watching a ball game on television or listening to a radio broadcast. Newsletters are also nice to let kids feel like they have an inside scoop on what is going on with players and team mascots.

I've researched all of this year's MLB Kids Club and compiled a list of five of my favorite ones for 2020. A Geek Daddy has selected these Kids Clubs based upon factors that include price/value, coolness/wow factor, originality, quality of materials/swag, and branding for the program. Ranked from fifth place to Number One we have:

kids club

Many of the teams that are continuing to send out kids club swag packs with their memberships tend to have similar content this year. They tend to include a jersey or t-shirt, sling bag, and a pair of decorated socks. Our hometown team has one of the nicer looking of these swag packs, so the Detroit Tigers slipped into fifth place in this year's ranking of the top 5 MLB kids club programs.

kids club

The Mariners have one of the best FREE kids club deals that includes team newsletters and some fun swag for children to get. You normally need to pick up the swag at the ballpark during a game though and I don't see them mailing it out at no charge now. So that perk may have gone away. We'll give them a pass on that though because their $25 membership package is a good deal. It is full of cool items that help make it fun for young fans to cheer on the team from home as the Seattle Mariners play through the pandemic. What kid wouldn't like to add a Mariners ballcap, bobblehead and sunglasses into their summer fun!

kids club

Speaking of fun stuff to enjoy while cheering on a team from home, the Brewers Kids Crew has some great swag with that in mind. It included headphones for listening to a game being streamed online or broadcast on the radio. A wall flag for decorating a bedroom is sure to be a hit! Plus a t-shirt to show your team pride is included as well. This is a swag pack that is sure to delight young Brewers fans!

kids club

The Reds Heads are consistently included in this annual ranking because they have an emphasis on affordability, quality and wow factor when it comes to Cincinnati's kids club. This year is no different with its swag pack that includes a backpack, bobblehead, collectible trading pins, and jersey.

Kids Club

Instead of having a focus on swag, the Giants are providing FREE virtual experiences for young fans. Their Junior Giants at Home program provides kids with a no cost online summer camp experience where AmeriCorps ambassadors provide online age specific baseball skills training sessions that also include video tutorials and messsages from team manager Gabe Kapler and his coaching staff. Also included are segments on character development and bullying prevention.

The San Francisco Giants also are promoting a variety of activities on their website to promote summer learning from home. They are heavily promoting Major League Baseball's summer slugger program, a baseball themed digital education course that is free to families aimed to help elementary school aged children who may be lagging behind because of pandemic related school cancellations. The Giants also have their own free geometry learning session for teens easily accessible on their team website. Plus the team's kids section is chock full of entertaining activity sheets that include trivia, puzzles, games and coloring pages which are free to download.

While I still HATE the Giants for beating the Tigers in the 2012 World Series. Yes I hold a grudge! The team has absolutely earned a Geek Daddy nod of approval for their Junior Giants at Home efforts! They are putting other teams to shame in how they're interacting with kids during this public health crisis.

I wanted to give an honorable mention to one other team that like the Giants is focusing their kids club this year on educational efforts. The San Diego Padres have a wonderful resource center of summer activities and educational learning opportunities on their website that is updated weekly. Whether or not your local team is promoting it, I highly recommend parents with 8 - 11 year old kids at home check out the MLB Summer Slugger program to help avoid the summer slide and reinforce some lessons that might not have been as focused on as they should have with the pandemic school closings.

There you have it, my 2020 listing of the Top 5 Kids Clubs sponsored by Major League Baseball teams. Now it is time to play ball! Enjoy the season everyone!

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