'Bucks on the Pond' trivia program a smash hit

'Bucks on the Pond' trivia program a smash hit

'Bucks on the Pond' trivia program a smash hit
Twelve Major League ballparks, thousands of dollars handed out, bachelorette parties, ballpark dates, parents and children, Tigers face paint and Royals body paint, visiting members of the British Royal Navy, college roommates, startup entrepreneurs, progressively trickier baseball and cultural trivia questions, and unexpected bonus fun inside the gates.

The hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" debuted in the second half of this season, with shows released every Tuesday and Thursday, including several postseason editions. A Fall Classic episode is coming on Tuesday, but for now, enjoy something new -- the first "Best of Bucks" highlight show.

"What started as a fun idea to host a game show in MLB ballparks has become much more of a celebration of the fans that make those parks so special," said "Bucks" host Jeremy Brisiel.

"From my point of view, I see the incredible collection of people that make going to a baseball game an absolute joy. The first dates, the retired couples, the high school buddies, the international travelers, the husbands and wives and kids, the friends who cheer rival teams.

"All the incredible people who enjoy a baseball game join us and then have to work together to come up with the name of Spongebob Squarepants' starfish buddy."

(It's not Doug, by the way.)

"If they do that," he said, "they go back to their seats even bigger winners. We get a chance to put smiles on the faces of the best fans in the world. I mean, that's my job -- come on."

You might be a part of "Bucks on the Pond" when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating this experience for fans, MLB.com gives people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.

Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.

The difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If contestants last longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.

"We had not heard of 'Bucks on the Pond' prior to our participation, but afterward we looked it up online and watched some videos," Tigers fans Jaclyn Puhlman and Michael Scheuber wrote in an email to MLB.com after they won some bucks in the most recent competition episode -- part of a ballpark adventure in which they watched their Tigers clinch the American League pennant.

"We think it's a great idea and had an awesome time playing trivia. We play trivia every week, but it was a different experience playing it at the ballpark."

Here's the thing about "Bucks" -- it gets fans working together. You've seen it in most, maybe all of the episodes so far. There is a lot of teamwork and a little bit of luck. Which sounds like a certain sport.

Teams visited by the "Bucks" crew in 2012 included the Astros, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.