Last week we linked to a blog post from San Diegan Kap Fulton titled Tell the San Diego Padres: Stop Using Children as Instruments of War. While the title is a bit misleading, Kap was appalled that the Padres would offer "Dog Tags For Kids" as a promotional give away.
Dear San Diego Padres,
I am again appalled that you have decided to sell children on the concept of war-through-baseball. "Dog Tags for Kids" on military opening day? You do realize, I’m sure, that Dog Tags are used to identify the corpses of dead soldiers. Why would you giveaway these items to children?
We took a poll and while only a few of you participated, 22% of you agreed with Kap. The rest thought that the tags served to support the military.
Admittedly at first I thought Kap was overreacting, which is to say he was doing a good job blogging. Then I read a little bit about the history of dog tags to see if they served any other purpose. It turns out they serve one primary purpose.
They serve to identify Marines who fall in battle and secure a suitable burial for them.
Identification tags are issued today as they were in 1916. They secure the proper interment of those who fall in battle and establish beyond a doubt their identity.
I started to see the issue from Kap's point of view, maybe he was right, giving dog tags to kids is a little macabre. That's not to say that I would have any problem letting my hypothetical children wear them, because kids wouldn't view them in the same way. Plus wearing an identification bracelet or dog tag seems like a good idea for kids if they get lost.
In any case, the Padres might have taken notice of the 127 people that signed Kap's petition and reconsidered.
We received this anonymous tip a few days ago:
That nutjob who complained about the dog tags for kids might have actually got the padres to reconsider. I don't see mention of the dogtags on the website anymore.
At the time I never actually looked at the online version of the promotional schedule to see if the promotion was there, but it's not on there now. We can tell you that it was on the printed 2011 Promotional Lineup that was handed out at FanFest.
Here is a comparison for your consideration:
The top line (white) is from Padres.com and the bottom (gray) is from the printed version. As you can see, the promotion isn't listed.
Are the Padres no longer offering replica dog tags to children as a promotion? We have no confirmation yet, but I guess we'll find out on April 10th at the latest.