Baseball gears up for Rally Monday

Fans gear for Rally Monday

Rally Monday was instituted around Major League Baseball in 2004 as a way to bridge that gap between the regular-season clinchers and the postseason openers, as a way for playoff-bound clubs to recognize their fans while giving local and national business partners a chance to capitalize on the incredible excitement.

"Rally Monday is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of the eight teams in postseason play and acknowledge and thank baseball fans in each market," said Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president of business. "Rally Monday announces that these eight clubs have a shot to achieve their ultimate goal -- to win the World Series."

It has become a virtual holiday on the annual baseball calendar, and basically a chance for a lot of fans to practice the art of yelling and celebrating. Rally Monday is now a firm tradition that only select MLB markets can enjoy each year, a free festival of baseball and music, celebrity appearances, giveaways that typically include Division Series tickets, and a general shared sense of civic pride. Rain or shine.

Live coverage by BaseballChannel.TV will include Phillies and Cubs festivities, the first two Rally Mondays to be held.

Boston Red Sox, AL East champion
Red Sox fans will recall that this whole Rally Monday business started in October 2004, the first official postseason act in a month that would stir a Nation. Now Red Sox fans are accustomed to them, and the latest will be from 4-7 p.m. ET at Boston City Hall Plaza. This event, sponsored by Bank of America, also can be seen by Red Sox fans via NESN on tape-delay basis from 8-10 ET that same night.

This festival will include a number of special live musical performances featuring the songs familiar to all Red Sox fans. Among the bands scheduled to participate are Dropkick Murphys, who will be performing songs from their new album, "The Meanest of Times," and the Standells of Dirty Water fame. Other performers will be announced shortly.

The event also will include a tribute to the 1967 Red Sox on what will be the 40th anniversary of their victory over Minnesota (Oct. 1, 1967) to capture the American League pennant. Representatives of the Red Sox, the City of Boston and Bank of America will join NESN personalities at Monday's event.

This will make the third time in four years that Boston has had a Rally Monday, with the 2004 and 2005 events taking place at Fenway Park. Boston mayor Thomas Menino provided the leadership to bring this one to City Hall. There will be an unmistakable flavor of another postseason in the air for lots of people hoping to leave work early.

Chicago Cubs, NL Central champion
This will be the first Rally Monday for the Cubs, and who knows -- maybe that will be an omen. When they last made that dramatic 2003 run that fell just short of a World Series, it was a year before this event's inception. Now that they have clinched, the Cubs announced that their event will take place at noon CT at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.

"We encourage all of our fans throughout the Chicagoland area to wear Cubbie Blue on Monday and celebrate with us in Daley Plaza," said Jay Blunk, director of marketing for the Cubs. "This year, Cubs fans have proven once again they are the most loyal in professional sports. Monday's celebration is a tribute to them and the heroics of the 2007 Chicago Cubs."

Highlighting the afternoon's events are scheduled appearances from governor Rod Blagojevich, Chicago mayor Richard Daley and these former Cubs playoff team representatives: Andy Pafko (1945), Tim Stoddard (1984), Mickey Morandini (1998) and Doug Glanville (2003). Cubs president John McDonough and Hall of Famer Billy Williams also will be in attendance. Wayne Messmer, the voice of Wrigley Field, will serve as the afternoon's emcee.

Cleveland Indians, AL Central champion
All Cleveland fans need to do is act just like they did at the start of that big and fateful Tigers series recently at Jacobs Field. It was the night the club requested that everyone wear red -- and they did -- and the Indians proceeded to put the AL Central to bed. Now comes the first Rally Monday in Cleveland (there was no such event when the Tribe last made the playoffs in 2001), from 5-7 p.m. ET on Gateway Plaza.

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Fans are encouraged to show their "Tribe Pride" and enjoy the festivities, which feature ALDS ticket giveaways for some lucky fans, rally towels for the first 2,500 attendees, a live performance by Michael Stanley and the Resonators, Indians alumni, club broadcasters, surprise special guests, high school bands, live remotes by area broadcasters, and -- drum roll, please -- a chance to drum with John Adams.

The Jacobs Field Team Shop will be open to allow fans the opportunity to purchase official and exclusive MLB postseason merchandise. Ballpark food and refreshments also will be available, including a Beer Garden, for purchase.

Los Angeles Angels, AL West champion
Tim Salmon, Chuck Finley, Bobby Grich and Jim Abbott, along with Angels broadcasters Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc, are among those scheduled to be on hand for the Angels' Rally Monday event at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Gates open at 5 p.m. local time, and showtime is at 6:30. Admission and parking are free, and it's open seating.

The event will feature the English Beat Band starring Dave Wakeling to get things started, along with the USC Marching Band. The Golden Knights U.S. Army Parachute Team will descend from above Angel Stadium of Anaheim and onto the outfield surface.

Everyone in attendance will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win ALDS tickets and other merchandise. Food and beverage concessions will be open for dinner or snacks. The Team Store and other merchandise stands will be open throughout the Big A so fans can pick up their 2007 West Division champions gear, and you also can buy it at angelsbaseball.com.

This event will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display set to music over Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Then the real fireworks begin a little later in the week.

Arizona Diamondbacks, NL West champion
The D-backs are headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2002, so this will be their first Rally Monday. They will host it along with Tempe Marketplace from 6-7:30 p.m. MST, and the first 2,500 fans receive a 2007 postseason Rally Towel to bring to Chase Field later in the week when the other guys come to town. All fans who attend the event at The District Stage near California Pizza Kitchen, located in Tempe on Loop 101 and Loop 202, have the chance to win NL Division Series tickets.

Arizona TV broadcasters Daron Sutton and Mark Grace will host the festivities, with former players Matt Williams and Jay Bell, D-backs' in-game hosts Vanessa and Mike, the Rally-backs entertainment crew and team mascot Baxter making guest appearances. Popular local band EastonAshe will perform live at the event. The event will air live for fans in the Phoenix area on KTVK-TV Channel 3 from 6:30-7.

The event will take place on The District Stage of Tempe Marketplace near California Pizza Kitchen. Conveniently located in Tempe on Loop 101 and Loop 202, the retail destination spot features plenty of complimentary parking and is just minutes from the surrounding communities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.

Philadelphia Phillies, NL East champion
Now that the Phillies have won their first division title since 1993, the club will conduct its first Rally Monday outside City Hall from noon to 1 p.m. ET. The Center City celebration will give fans an opportunity to salute a franchise that on the final day of the regular season reached a postseason for the fourth consecutive decade.

Manager Charlie Manuel, coaches and players will attend the event. Scott Palmer and Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas will be the co-hosts. Entertainment will be provided by the Phillie Phanatic and Mr. Greengenes, a local band. The Phillies Ballgirls will also join the party. Plus, there will be plenty of prizes for fans including postseason tickets, game-used bases and baseballs, and the popular white rally towels that became synonymous with this past week at Citizens Bank Park.

San Diego Padres, NL Wild Card contender
The Padres still have to win at Colorado in the 4:37 p.m. PDT play-in tiebreaker game in order to return to the postseason, but the club has announced that it will host its own free Rally Monday event at PETCO Park's "Park at the Park" -- featuring the broadcast of that all-important game that will give Padres fans the ultimate viewing experience.

The ballpark's Gaslamp, East Village and Downtown gates will open at 4 p.m. PDT, and the game telecast from TBS will be shown on the Park at the Park video board. The event will include Rally Towels for the first 2,500 fans and "Mission October" cheer cards for all guests. There will be prize giveaways and the San Diego-based band Pound Dog will entertain before the game and between innings. There will be activities for kids, including an inflatable "jumper" and face-painting/balloon clowns. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The Padres also reminded their fans that tickets for potential NLDS games at PETCO went on sale Saturday morning, and that seats remain available for each potential home game. They are available via padres.com or padresbeisbol.com.

Colorado Rockies, NL Wild Card contender

In advance of the tiebreaker game against the Padres at Coors Field, the Rockies have scheduled a Rally Monday event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT on 21st Street between Market and Blake Streets in Denver.

The event will feature musical guest Opie Gone Bad, the 850 KOA Rockies Radio team of Jeff Kingery and Jack Corrigan, Dinger the mascot, and Reed Saunders, the Voice of Coors Field. There will also be Rockies season highlight videos, interactive games for fans of all ages, Old West BBQ, Rockies Rally Towels, MLB merchandise, contingent NL Division Series ticket giveaways and more.

The Yankees, winners of the AL Wild Card, have not announced Rally Monday plans. Individual club participation is not mandated by Major League Baseball.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.