Have you ever been to a sporting event and got a free bobblehead doll? What about a free T-shirt? Probably many of us have. But what about a free novelty salt and pepper shaker? Believe it or not, some people have. We’ve gathered a small collection of various novelty salt and pepper shakers that were given away at baseball and basketball games as strange as it might seem.
Just to be clear – these are not shakers bought by fans at the gift shop or online store. All these shakers below have been documented to be given to spectators for free who attended certain games. Often to the first “x” number of fans to arrive to the stadium.
Sunday June 4th, 2017 Hartford Yard Goats, a Minor League Baseball team gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots named Chompers and Chew Chew to the first 1,800 fans.
Many of these stadium giveaway shakers were also sponsored by various companies. The Hartford Yard Goats set were funded by Red Robin and was advertised as much on the backs.
Saturday June 4th, 2011 the Charleston RiverDogs, another Minor League Baseball team, gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots named Charlie T. RiverDog, Chelsea, and Bark (the anthropomorphic tree) to the first 1,000 fans.
You would think that if the advertising / public relations department of these teams had hundreds and sometimes even thousands of these shakers made for each fan that they’d be easy to find. Well, that is unfortunately not always the case. Imagine the number of fans that simple throw these shaker sets into the trash. That is where my bobbleheads end up. This set stills eludes our collection.
Saturday January 17th, 2015 in a basketball game versus Marquette, Xavier University gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots Blob and D’Artagnan to the first 3,000 fans.
Saturday February 23rd, 2019 George Mason University in a basketball game versus Duquesne gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots named The Patriot and Gunston.
Thursday August 22nd, 2013 the Minor League Baseball team Trenton Thunder gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots named Boomer (Thunderbird) and Strike sponsored by NEJA to the first 1,500 fans 6+ of age.
Wednesday April 10th, 2013 the Minor League Baseball team the LeHigh-Valley Ironpigs were suppose to give away novelty salt and pepper shakers of their mascots named FeRROUS & FeFe to the first 3,000 fans ages 18 and over; however, the shakers apparently were not made in time and fans instead were given a voucher. Secondarily, this set is now one of the easier sets to find.
Monday August 26th, 2013 the Reading Fightin Phils, a Minor League Baseball gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz to the first 2,500 fans age 15 and older.
Sunday June 22nd, 2014 the Major League Baseball team the Miami Marlins gave away jerseys depicting players Jared Saltalamacchia and Jose Fernandez to their fans (unknown number).
Monday August 20th, 2012 the Minor League Baseball team the Richmond Flying Squirrels gave away novelty salt and pepper shakers depicting their mascots named Nutzy and Zinger to the first 1,000 fans age 15 and older.
Friday June 24th, 2016 another Minor League Baseball team the Midland Rockhounds gave the first 1000 fans novelty salt and pepper shakers of their mascots named Juice the Moose and Rocky Rockhound.
Numerous Minor League Baseball teams have given out replica jersey salt and pepper shakers as promotional items during certain games of the years. These are a few I've been able to document:
- Nashville Sounds AAA (7/16/15; first 4,000 fans)
- Camden Riversharks (5/1/15)
- Harrisburg Senators (4/26/15; sponsored by Metro Bank; first 1,000 fans)
- Wilmington Blue Rocks (6/24/14; first 1,000 fans)
- Camden Riversharks (8/22/14; sponsored by Campbell Soup; first 1,000 fans)
- Lakewood Blueclaws (7/24/14; first 2,000 fans)
- Springfield Cardinals 2019 (7/14/19; first 2,000 fans)