As always, games with bobbleheads and celebrity guests are the most anticipated. There are bobbleheads for the first 1,000 fans, during seven dates in 2019, including three when celebrity guests come to Canal Park: May 25 - Mayor Goldie Wilson Bobblehead from the "Back to the Future" movie series (presented by Repros), with actor Don Fullilove, who portrayed Wilson; July 20 - Warden Samuel Norton Bobblehead from "The Shawshank Redemption" (presented by Distillata), with actor Bob Gunton; and Aug. 24 - Kevin Malone Bobblehead from the hit television show "The Office," with actor Brian Baumgartner.
The other scheduled bobbleheads include: June 15 - Craig Ehlo Bobblehead on Cleveland Basketball Night; July 13 - Ricky Vaughn Bobblehead on the annual "Major League Night"; Aug. 3 - Clay Matthews on Cleveland Football Night, presented by Serra Auto Park; Aug. 31 - Fan Vote Bobblehead as part of the team's "30 in the 330 - 30-Year Celebration." The 2019 season marks the 30th anniversary of the franchise's 1989 arrival in Canton and fans will have a chance during the season to vote for which player will be made into a bobblehead from the entire span in Northeast Ohio from the Canton-Akron Indians (1989-96), Akron Aeros (1997-2013), and RubberDucks (2014-present).
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS will GO ON-SALE MONDAY, FEB. 11 AT 9 A.M. on akronrubberducks.com or fans can call 330-253-5151 and get season tickets, flex packages, fireworks packages and more.
"We're so excited for the 2019 season and for fans to participate in the fun we have been planning," said RubberDucks promotions coordinator Kyle Hixenbaugh. "We have some fan favorites returning such as RubberDucks Comicon, Princess Tea Party, Bark in the Park, and 'Major League' Night, but the main focus has been to flip the script and create some new, fresh ideas for our awesome fans. With 3 celebrity appearances, 26 fireworks shows, and 21 giveaways (9 T-Shirt Tuesdays, 7 Bobbleheads, 5 Premium Giveaways), this season will be one for the books!"
The list doesn't stop at bobbleheads with five more premium giveaways: Opening Night, April 4, the first 5,000 fans receive a magnet schedule; April 6 - Pop Sockets (first 1,000 fans); April 20 - 6-Pack Coolers (first 1,000 fans, presented by FirstEnergy); May 4 - Faux Backpacks (first 1,000 fans); and June 22 - Kids new alternate orange jersey giveaway to the first 1,000 kids ages 12 and under.
"I'm looking forward to Warden Norton Bobblehead Giveaway (July 20) and Kevin Malone's (Brian Baumgartner) appearance from The Office (August 24)," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "Plus, the return of fan favorites like 'Look, My Hot Dog is GREEN!' (May 3) and the $1,000 Cash Dash (July 19) with Eddie Money-themed fireworks, where it truly pays to be RubberDucks fans!"
The RubberDucks have become known for outstanding, musically-themed fireworks shows. Knowing that nothing brings fans of Northeast Ohio out to the ballpark like fireworks, the team expanded its list to 26 fireworks shows in 2019 (up from a record 23 in 2018), including every Friday and every Saturday starting in May. This year, there's two nights of bonus fireworks on Thursdays with the Maroon 5 fireworks on June 6 and the Peter Gabriel fireworks on Aug. 15. Planned shows include Justin Timberlake on May 3 (presented by the Akron-Canton Airport), Journey on July 12 (presented by National Interstate Insurance), and new Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Def Leppard on Aug. 3 (presented by Ohio Savings Bank).
New in 2019, there will be four fireworks shows selected by WONE-FM listeners: May 4 (presented by FirstEnergy), June 15 (presented by Summa Health), July 13 (presented by Summa Health), and Aug. 24. There will also be special shows on Opening Night, April 4 with AC/DC fireworks, May 26 with MC Hammer fireworks (presented by KeyBank), and Sept. 1 with Harry Potter fireworks.
New in 2019 are the nine "T-Shirt Tuesdays" at Canal Park. At each of the nine night games, the first 1,000 fans will receive a special t-shirts at the gates that are tied to the theme of each game, including a fan-designed one on Aug. 13.
"There is something every night for fans of all ages," said Pfander. "Kids will love Akron Children's Hospital Sunday Family FUNdays and the whole family will love the record 26 fireworks nights, including the two bonus shoots on Thursday in 2019, as we will be shooting every Saturday from May through the end of the season!"
It all kicks off on a fun-filled Opening Night, Thursday, April 4 vs. Altoona Curve at 6:35 p.m. Fans will also be treated to AC/DC-themed fireworks show and 2019 magnet schedule giveaway (first 5,000 fans). In addition, Opening Night is a "Thirsty Thirsty" at Canal Park, presented by Budweiser, with $1 beer and soft drink specials.
All the action starts on that Opening Night, from 4-6 p.m. during the first of four Main Street Festivals in front of the stadium in 2019. These festivals get fans in the mood with live music, face-painters, inflatables, and many more ways for the family to get ready for the fun of the game. The others run from 5-7 p.m. on June 14, July 19 and Aug. 23.
The RubberDucks will be home for a few holidays in 2019. The team will be home for Memorial Day Weekend (May 24-27) with fireworks slated for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then on July 3, the Kickoff to Independence Day celebration with special Wednesday night fireworks Lynyrd Skynyrd-themed show, which will be the perfect lead-in to the Canal Park special event Fourth on the Field on July 4. Finally, the regular season wraps Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 30-Sept. 2) with a special Harry Potter-themed fireworks show on Sunday, Sept. 1 and Fan Appreciation Day during the 1:05 p.m. Labor Day start, Sept. 2
This will also be a big season for replica jersey auctions, a great chance for fans to get a game-worn jersey and meet a possible Cleveland Indian. These include: June 14 - Akron Screamers, when the team will wear custom uniforms and hats in honor of Canal Park's monster 21-scoop sundae, The Screamer; July 20 - 1940's Prison Style for "The Shawshank Redemption" Night; Aug. 3 - Cleveland Football Replica Jerseys; Aug. 30 is the annual patient-designed jersey for the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Annual Celebration Event with the Akron Children's Hospital; and lastly on Sept. 1 - Fauxback Jerseys.
The RubberDucks are also using the promotional schedule as a chance to help the local community. Games with community ties include Portage County Reading Program (April 8), Summit County Reading Program (April 10), Stark County Reading Program (April 22), Medina County Reading Program (April 24), Military Appreciation Night (May 24), and Teacher Appreciation Night (June 13), Women's Equality Day (Aug. 25), and The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Celebration (Aug. 30).
Some games on the calendar has the RubberDucks partnering with local non-profit organizations for its "Charity Begins at Home" program to raise funds and awareness. This year includes working with Two Men and a Truck (April 8), the MS Awareness Day presented by the Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness (May 5), Julie Billiart School (June 16), and the Optimist Club of Akron (July 21).
The following are reoccurring nightly promotions throughout the 2019 season:
- SUNDAYS - presented by Akron Children's Hospital and KIDJAM! Radio, powered by The Summit
- Family FUNday - Fans can come early to play catch on the field, and post-game Kids Run the Bases
- MONDAYS - presented by 94.9 WQMX
- Charity Begins at Home Mondays (CBAH) - Each Monday is a Charity Begins at Home night. The RubberDucks team up with a local non-profit organization to raise funds and awareness for its cause.
- TUESDAYS - presented by Acme Fresh Market and 1590 WAKR
- T-Shirt Tuesday - Every Tuesday night game, the first 1,000 fans receive a different themed T-Shirt giveaway tied to that night's promotion
- WEDNESDAYS - presented by Summa Health and Sunny 101.7
- Wellness Wednesday - Every Wednesday home game will be filled with fun ways to get active and stay healthy.
- Craft Beer Night - Every Wednesday a local brewery will feature its products at Canal Park
- THURSDAYS - presented by Budweiser and ESPN Cleveland
- Thirsty Thursday - Presented by Budweiser, featuring $1 draft beer and soft drink specials every Thursday game!
- FRIDAYS presented by Akron Beacon Journal and 98.1 KDD
- Fireworks Friday - Enjoy post-game fireworks after every Friday home game!
- Electric Blue Fridays presented by FirstEnergy
- SATURDAYS presented by your Northern Ohio Honda Dealers and 97.5 WONE:
- Giveaway Saturdays - Every Saturday features a premium giveaway to the first 1,000 fans! Saturdays also include celebrity appearances and post-game fireworks starting in May through September.
2019 Akron RubberDucks Promotional Schedule Highlights:
April 8 6:35 "This Is Way Better Than Macaroni" Benchwarmers Night - Portage County Reading Program - Two Men and a Truck (CBAH)
April 9 6:35 T-Shirt Tuesday (First 1,000 Fans) - Netflix and Chili (A Celebration of Netflix Scenes and Beans)
April 20 2:05 "Show Off Your 6-Pack" Amateur Bodybuilding Day - 6-Pack Cooler Giveaway (First 1,000 Fans)
April 24 6:35 "Fore" Golf Night - Medina County Reading Program
May 2 6:35 Thirsty Thursday - Bring Your Own Wolfpack - Hangover Night 10-Year Anniversary
May 4 6:35 "May The Fourth Be With You" - Star Wars Night - Faux Backpack Giveaway (First 1,000 Fans) -
WONE-FM Listener-Selected Fireworks presented by FirstEnergy
May 21 6:35 T-Shirt Tuesday (First 1,000 Fans) - "I AM A DUCK" - Mighty Ducks D2
May 25 6:35 "Honesty, Decency, Integrity. " Quack To The Future Night - Goldie Wilson Bobblehead (First 1,000 Fans)
presented by Repros - Don Fullilove Appearance - Huey Lewis and The News Fireworks presented by KeyBank
June 6 7:05 Thirsty Thursday - American Gladiator Night: Pros vs. Joes - (BONUS: Maroon 5 Fireworks)
June 11 7:05 T-Shirt Tuesday (First 1,000 Fans) - Dad Bod Appreciation Night
June 14 7:05 "I Scream For Ice Cream" The Akron Screamers - Akron Screamers Jersey - The Beach Boys Fireworks -
Main Street Festival (5-7 pm)
June 15 7:05 Cleveland Basketball Night - Craig Ehlo Bobblehead (First 1,000 Fans) - WONE- FM Listener-Selected
Fireworks presented by Summa Health
July 1 7:05 "PLAYOFFS?!" Major Meltdowns - Highlighting The Best Sports Meltdowns
July 11 7:05 Thirsty Thursday "There's Love In The Air" - Date Night
July 13 7:05 "Give Em' The Heater, Ricky!" Major League Night - Ricky Vaughn Bobblehead (First 1,000 Fans) - WONE-FM Listener-Selected Fireworks presented by Summa Health
July 20 7:05 "Salvation Lies Within" The Shawshank Redemption Night - Warden Norton Bobblehead (First 1,000 Fans)
presented by Distillata - 1940's Prison Jersey- Bob Gunton Appearance - Jailhouse Rock Fireworks
Aug. 1 12:05 Play Hooky - Businesspersons Special (12:05 p.m. start)
Aug. 3 7:05 Cleveland Football Night - Clay Matthews Bobblehead (First 1,000 Fans) presented by Serra Auto Park - Replica Cleveland Football Jerseys - Def Leppard Fireworks presented by Ohio Savings Bank
Aug. 24 2:05 "It's Probably The Thing I Do Best" The Office Night - Kevin Malone Bobble Chilli (First 1,000 Fans) - Brian Baumgartner Appearance - WONE-FM Listener-Selected Fireworks
Aug. 30 7:05 The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Celebration -
Patient-Designed Jerseys - Cheryl Crow Fireworks
Aug. 31 7:05 30 In The 330 - 30-Year Celebration - Fan Vote Bobblehead - Imagine Dragons Fireworks
A complete 2019 Akron RubberDucks promotional schedule is attached with the release and available on www.akronrubberducks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2019 season, powered by FirstEnergy, starts on Opening Night, Thursday, April 4, at 6:35 p.m. vs. Altoona Curve.
For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks. Tickets packages for the 2019 season can be ordered online or by calling 330-253-5151 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.