A home for giveaways

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Boxes, on top of boxes, on top of boxes can be found scattered throughout Hammons Field.

With more on the way each and every week.

It looks like someone is moving out, but more are on the way each week.

“There is not just one area in this ballpark, there is about four,” Springfield Cardinals General Manager Dan Reiter said.

On a typical summer day thousands of Cardinals fans will walk through the front gates at Hammons Field to see a baseball game. Those numbers are heightened when there is a giveaway such as hats, rings and bobbleheads. But what happens when there is no game? What happens to these bobbleheads?

“We have to store it. If we are lucky we can give it away this season in kind of an abridged season,” Reiter said. “If not we are going to have a lot of boxes to store until the 2021 year.”

Because of the bulk and production time, orders are filed 120 days in advance. Meaning some that were supposed to be given away in May and June are already arriving.

“Right now, our job is to be adaptable,” Reiter said. “We are going through a lot of scenarios of what happens with this number of games, this number of games, what happens if you don’t play.”

The team plans the giveaways around three categories.

“Functionable, wearable and collectable. and they all bring out distinctive groups,” Reiter said. “Lucky for us, all of them help our crowd sizes.”

And also helping to put a smile on the faces in the crowd.

“There is so much pride when the item shows up, and you see the lines, people have seen them for years waiting to get inside,” Reiter said. “For all of us, there is so much pride knowing that we care about the items and our fans care as well.”

But if there is no baseball at Hammons this summer, the team will have a leg up on next summer.

“The Hiland Dairy bat and ball set that is behind me, Vision Clinic was going to give out the first Springfield Cardinals Yadier Molina bobblehead, Mercy was going to give away a purse and polo, It’s important for us to give out those unique Springfield items if we do play,” Reiter said. “If not, my planning for 2021 became a lot easier.”

As they try to make it a memorable one at the ballpark.

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