Next Thursday, March 28th, celebrates one of America’s Pastime’s greatest traditions – Opening Day. Regardless of any given ballclub’s roster and forecast, baseball fans everywhere excitingly anticipate this event as their team has a clean slate going into the beginning of a long season. This day also marks special importance for us, because three Season Opener’s ago, the Dugout Mug was introduced to the public…
I vividly remember April 3rd, 2016 as if it were yesterday, where we attended the festivities outside the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field. Despite the small market franchise, the place was buzzing! With the weather sublime, fans were out enjoying their Sunday and camaraderie amongst others that happens so naturally in an environment like that. While Randall (founder of Dugout Mugs®) was off creatively trying to gain interest as only he could, his significant other, Courtney, and I more conventionally walked all through the masses with our Dugout Mugs in hand.
From all the eyes on us and looks of bewilderment, it was as if I were strolling around dressed like Winnie-the-Pooh (t-shirt, no bottoms). Once the realization set in that we were actually drinking from them, celebrity status happened. People approached from left and right, determined to know what we had and where to get a baseball bat mug. It was such a cool and eye-opening experience. Doubts were erased, intrigue confirmed, and opportunities for the Dugout Mug seemed to expand as vast as nearby Treasure Island Beach.
Since then, it’s become a tradition of ours to attend every Home Opener in St. Petersburg. We thoroughly enjoy getting back to the roots of where this whole journey and process began. This year marks a milestone of sorts because Dugout Mugs products are now available inside the Rays Team Store. What a reward that will be to see! The game itself also has its appeal as last season’s Cy Young Award winner opposes the Runner-Up, something that’s only happened a couple times in Opening Day history. A company consisting of a few former pitchers has to appreciate that!
On a personal level, deeper connections are made. My dad had tickets for him and I during the (Devil) Rays inaugural 1998 season, and I’ll never forget that first game in team history sitting next to the right field foul pole. Baseball seems to always relate to past experiences and life in general, where everything ties together and, in this case, comes full circle.
If you are near The Trop on the 28th, come find us! We’ll be out there amidst the tailgating---reminiscing on fond memories, creating new ones, and promoting our brand. Dugout Mugs is far more than the best way to enjoy your favorite gameday beverage; it’s a representation of belonging and togetherness that brings about pure joy in all of us. There’s always room for one more in our Dugout.
This was written by Jonathan “Jono” Cornelius - the most recent addition to Dugout Mugs®. You can grab our MLB Opening Day Dugout Mug® - Baseball Bat Mug by clicking that link. After clicking that link, it will automatically take 50% off that bat mug at checkout.