MIAMI (AP) — Free tickets, autographed baseballs, even access to a 12-person suite, the Florida Marlins will happily give any of them away to fans.
Just help send the Marlins to the All-Star Game.
The Marlins have unveiled a slew of promotions designed to coerce fans into becoming ballot-stuffers for the next few weeks, all with hopes that one of baseball's poorest-drawing teams can find a way to overcome the fact that there's a lot more voters punching cards in other stadiums around the National League.
"Other teams do this," said Sean Flynn, the Marlins' vice president of marketing. "We're not the only team."
Still, they are one of the more aggressive at the ballot-stuffing initiatives.
"Let's get some of those guys in there," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Some in-stadium promotions include giving away two tickets for filling out 200 All-Star ballots, available at any of 30 locations around Sun Life Stadium. For the in-stadium offer, there's two caveats: All eight Marlins on the ballot must be voted for every time, and the ballots need to be turned in by the conclusion of the sixth inning.
The Marlins are offering smaller prizes for 50 or 100 completed ballots, such as a Hanley Ramirez figurine. Ramirez was the only Florida player to be listed among the top-five leaders at any position when the first numbers were released this week.
Think 200 is too many times to vote for freebies?
Then go online and vote 25 times — you'll get two tickets that way, too.
And don't want to be bothered by voting during games?
Take ballots home. Return 1,000, you'll get a Marlins prize pack. For 5,000, an autographed baseball. For 20,000, a meet-and-greet with Marlins players.
Then comes the biggest prize — the person who fills out the most ballots gets suite access. Flynn said two people filled out more than 40,000 cards and turned them in to the Marlins in 2009, when Ramirez made a late surge in the balloting and was the NL's starter at shortstop.
In all, the Marlins said they got around a half-million ballots filled out through promotions last season.
"I think 500,000 ballots is pretty significant and I'm sure it had something to do with Hanley catching up," Flynn said.