I love passport programs.
Basically, programs that give you a passport and you have to collect stamps for yourself or to complete a challenge. It’s a good concept, in theory, because it gets people out doing things to collect said stamps.
In my actual passport, I only have one stamp – Ireland. When I went into the Bahamas last year on a cruise, I couldn’t find where they would stamp at one of the ports, which is too bad as I really would have liked to have had it done.
But I digress.
One passport program I am in is the National Park program. There you have a passport and when you visit parks, you can get to certain spots and get a stamp. It’s a really cool program and I’ve blogged about it in the past.
The newest one is even cooler – baseball.
When at a recent game, I discovered this minor league baseball passport. It has 25 spots for you to get stamps from parks you visit and write in any details about the game. Though I keep a scorebook at games I go to, this is a new way to keep track of places I’ve been.
I first saw this passport at a game in Allentown (Lehigh Valley IronPigs), but one wasn’t open. I ended up not buying it because I didn’t want purchase it and find out a bunch of places I planned on hitting up this year didn’t have the stamp available. So, I skipped. I checked at the next stadium and they had no idea what I was talking about.
Then, I hit up Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and they had it – and had one unwrapped. That was huge because it allowed me to see the list of teams who were involved with this program and a lot of the places I hope to hit this year are on it, so I bought it.
Of course, they stamped my passport there and my first game is in the book. What’s nice is I plan on hitting several more stadiums this summer, so it will be nice to get them stamped (as long as the teams still have the stamps etc.) and to get some of it filled up. And though I’ll probably hit places more than once this summer, I’ll only stamp once so I can keep it as a record of stadiums I’ve hit.
There, apparently, is a Major League one, too. However, I’m not sure I would get that one because I don’t go to MLB games, outside of Philadelphia, too often. So I thought the minor league version would work best for me.
It’s disappointing I didn’t know about this at the beginning of the year as there’s at least one stadium I won’t be back to this year… but maybe next year. Still, it will be a cool item to see if I can slowly fill up and look back at in years to come.
At a recent game, a couple asked me about the passport as I was getting it stamped. It’s definitely something that fans can get into using. Every stadium I have gone to, so far, has the stamp and stamped my passport. Not everybody appears to know about it, but those who need to know do.
I did notice that several places didn’t have places to get a stamp (though the majority of the minors seem to be in there). I can’t imagine it costs all that much to have the stamp made, so it baffles me that a minor league team would skip it. In the same light, it appears the originator of this program didn’t include independent league teams, which is a real shame. Independent teams do a lot with customer service and fan promotions, so I have a hard time believing an independent team wouldn’t jump on this.
My only other issue with this passport is not being able to find an active list of participating teams on the website. It’s marketing 101 – if I want somebody to buy it, I need to answer every question I think they might have. As a consumer, my first question was – where will this be stamped? I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just AAA teams with a few lower-level teams in. This way, too, if one was to reach out to minor league teams, it could be noted and updated on the website.
But, overall, I am pretty pleased with the passport and I look forward to filling it up and maybe even getting a second one!
You can find more information about the Minor League Passport at its website.
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