Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Giveaway Season For Twins

The winter is ending and baseball is nearly back, which can only mean one thing. The Minnesota Twins are looking to bring warm thoughts to Twins Territory with the unveiling of their 2016 promotional schedule. With bobbleheads once again the highlight, there were plenty of contenders for the year ahead.

With Minnesota having introduced plenty of youth to Target Field a year ago, and top prospects like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton gracing us with their presence, the resin dolls had no shortage of suitors. A season ago, it was players such as Brian Dozier and Phil Hughes, along with manager Paul Molitor, that were given the nodding headed honor. There's some fresh appearances for the season ahead however.

The first bobblehead date in 2016 will come during the first month of the summer on June 18. After exploding onto the scene a season ago, Miguel Sano will be given the honor. To date, Sano has not been cast as a Twins bobblehead, and I believe his only honor of record is in a Beloit Snappers giveaway. Following his torrid offensive 2015, it was probably expected that he play a big part of the promotional schedule.

At the time of his giveaway, Sano could likely be well on his way to a 30 home run season, and hopefully in the midst of a productive right field stint. If his body is anything to lend an idea, Sano's statue is going to be the biggest of the season.

Following the Sano giveaway, the month of July gets very busy. First, the Twins will turn to 2015 free agent acquisition, Ervin Santana. Despite missing the first half of the season due to a PED suspension a year ago, Santana turned it on down the stretch. July 2 will be the Santana bobblehead day, and Minnesota will be hoping he looks every bit the ace they pegged him as by this point.

No doubt the height of the bobblehead calendar, Torii Hunter will be honored during Twins Hall of Fame weekend on July 16. Fellow Hall of Famer, John Gordon, will join Hunter center stage in the middle of July. The pair will don collectable pins handed out to fans, while Hunter is the recipient of his first Twins bobblehead since 2006 (his Gold Glove giveaway). Expect this to be easily the most sought after bobblehead of the season.

Rounding out the group, the Twins will once again turn back the clock. On July 31, Minnesota will do another vintage bobblehead giveaway. Much like last year's version, fans can expect the vintage offering to have a different look as well as a dated feel to it. While not an actual picture, the promotional schedule was accompanied by this image of the vintage offering.

Looking at who may have been left out, there are certainly a few options. Joe Mauer has not graced a resin nodder for quite some time. Although his production has decreased, he remains Minnesota's own and would have been a welcomed addition. There is also the possibility that Byron Buxton was considered. Despite a slow start a year ago, Buxton remains one of the game's best young prospects, and his 2016 should be huge.

With meaningful baseball just around the corner, expect fans to flood Target Field throughout the season after returning to relevancy in 2015. The announcement of the promotions and bobbleheads should only add to the excitement. The list in its entirety can be found here, and there's even a Sano Globe offering.

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