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Padres Abandon Dog Tag Giveaway?

The San Diego Padres have long been hugely supportive of the military. As well as the most obvious sign - their camouflage uniforms - they offer discounts to military personnel, and last year, had six "branch appreciation nights," covering everyone from the Marines to the Coast Guard. But was their latest promotion a dog-tag too far?

Gaslamp Ball points out that the printed version of the San Diego schedule announced April 10 not just as 'Military Opening Day', but also listed a 'Padres Dog Tags for Kids' giveaway. However, the latter no longer appears in the online version; below, you can compare the lines from both.


The pushback may be related to a blog post critical of the concept, which points out the purpose of dog tags in the military is to identify corpses. As the writer asks, "Why do you associate the enjoyable afternoon past-time of baseball with the gruesome world of dead soldiers and camo jerseys?" On the one hand, I can see the criticism, and it's not the first time the Padres have been the focus of a campaign over their tie-ins. Their association with Petco brought down the wrath of PETA, which bought a stadium-plaza brick with a hidden message.

On the other, dog tags have become a fashion item, available in malls across the land. It might just have been easiest for the Padres to quietly can the idea, in favor of the entirely innocuous giveaways on other days, e.g. Padres Hot Wheels™ on Air Force Recognition Day.