Yes, Cardinals baseball is great.  But it is is even better when you can go home at the end of the game with a lawn ornament or kitchen appliance.

To maximize your Cardinals fandom experience, I present to you the definitive guide to the 2017 Cardinal promotions.  Since this article should pertain at least somewhat to the actual sport of baseball, let’s call it a “starting lineup” and use some fun baseball analogies and references to boot.

There are over 100 promotions and giveaways this season at Busch, so having a point of reference is important, or else you might just miss Margaritaville night and the Jimmy Buffet cover band.

1) Leadoff is a no-brainer.  Pooches are in the house on May 20th as the Redbirds host MadBum and the Giants.  Special tickets will allow fans to bring their dogs and leave with a Cardinals pet bowl.  Who’s a good little Aledmys Diaz? That’s right, you are. Go on, fetch that grounder up the middle. Aww, good boy.

2) On May 17th, against the Red Sox, the team will be giving away 1967 World Series Championship “Mystery Rings.” Don’t entirely understand why they have the “mystery” adjective attached but I’ve heard the possessor of the ring gains immense, uncontrollable power.

3) In the two spot is June 11th, the day before my birthday (hint hint).  Kids under the age of 15 attending this tilt against the Phillies will get a Rawlings kids baseball glove, a free ticket to Six Flags (if they are under 4 feet tall), a coupon book, free ice cream (I repeat, free ice cream), and a chance to run the bases.  If you’re not going head first into every bag, you are incorrect.

4) Batting clean-up is the single greatest giveaway this side of the Mississippi.  You’re probably sitting at home thinking, geez, my life feels incomplete; I don’t have a Bruce Sutter Garden Gnome.  Well, it’s your lucky day because Friday, April 28th is Bruce Sutter Garden Gnome day.

5) Is it 2009 and are you on the way to a middle school dance, but your grandma just gave you a haircut so you’re feeling self-conscious? Perfect.  On July 9th the Mets are in town and 30,000 fans ages 16 and older will receive a snapback hat.

6) After August 27th you’ll be a bona fide morning person.  If you’re lucky enough to attend the Matinee against the Rays, you’ll receive a Mike Shannon alarm clock of your very own.  Wake up to his coarse, dissonant voice yelling “get up baby, get up, get up…oh yeah!.”  And then you’ll get up and go 3 for 5.

7) The polar ice caps are melting, climate change is crippling our economy, and Dexter Fowler seems to be a waste of $82.5 million.  Luckily on May 16th the Cardinals are giving away tote bags, and you can save our planet.  Next time you’re at Whole Foods you can put your Quinoa chips in the reusable Cardinals tote, and drive the Lexus back home knowing you did your part.  You’ll also get a Bobby Tolan bobblehead that day.

8) Monday, July 3rd against the Marlins is Fireworks night.  It’s really the only reason to go watch a game against the Marlins.

9) In the final spot is the “Adult Mystery Pocket T-Shirt” giveaway May 29th against the Dodgers.  I’m torn about attending this game.  On one hand, pocket T’s are a fashion staple in today’s fast-casual world.

They are trendy, convenient, and aerodynamic.  On the other hand, however, is that I’ve always said the one thing I don’t want in my pocket is a mystery.  I don’t know if they’re going to put spiders, or worms, or rare jewels in the pockets.  I’m not taking any chances.

Well you can now consider yourself “woke” to all the Cardinals have to offer, so get em while they’re hot.  I wish you many happy bobbles and may your ice cream sandwiches not be too melty this summer.  Go Cards.

Photo captured by Scott Kane- USA Today Sports