At least twice a year I find myself in a rather heated argument with my wife. No we are not arguing over the invalidity of the Designated Hitter and how it should be abolished immediately. If it were as simple a disagreement as that we could resolve our differences and be done. No, this argument is much more sinister than that.
I have been going to Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games for as long as they have been a franchise. I was there that first rainy morning in early 1995 when season tickets were not yet available but for $50 you could put your name on a waiting list that would hopefully result in tickets three years in the future.
When the Diamondbacks made their National League debut on March 31, 1998 I was there along with my wife and infant son cheering the team against the Colorado Rockies. While the D-backs were not victorious that night it didn’t matter; I was hooked as a fan and vowed to follow this team for life.
There have been times with Trina or the kids have taken “for life” not as a sign of loyalty but rather a prison term without any possibility of parole for good behavior. There seems to be a slight difference of opinion between how much baseball is too much. To me 81 games is not enough; to them the baseball season could easily be shortened to 100 games total and not hurt their feelings.
The number of games is not what the arguments with my wife are about. She learned 14 years ago that she was never going to win and get me to attend fewer ballgames. In fact, I think she is just grateful that I only insist on going to the games at Chase Field (although she has begun to realize that 1-2 road trips seem to be creeping into our arrangement).
The problem is that the Diamondbacks like many other baseball teams have stadium giveaways to fans who are the first so many through the turnstiles. She is not necessarily against the idea of stadium giveaways. In fact there are some such as the yarn bags at “Stitch-n-Pitch” and the purse from Mother’s Day that she likes. The problem is the sheer number of giveaways that have accumulated over the past 14 seasons.
Going early to every game I have collected just about every stadium giveaway in Chase Field history. There is one particular set though that draws the ire of my wife – the bobble heads. At first she thought that the bobble head dolls of each player were cute and she agreed to let me set them on top of the roll-top desk in our living room. The first year there were five which were a manageable number that she could live with. The problem came when they started multiplying like Gremlins.
Now some 14 seasons later I have a small army of smiling Diamondbacks bobbing heads atop the roll-top desk. I am constantly reminded that their number has grown to 43 and that’s not counting the non-stadium giveaways or the variations such as the copper colored ones or those with different colored jerseys.
My attempt at empathy didn’t help either when I expressed my displeasure too that I am still missing the Shawn Green and Troy Glaus bobble heads from 2005 because somebody’s kids weren’t a member of the Diamondbacker’s Strike Zone Kid’s Club that year.
It seems she is not upset that I am missing two bobble heads as much as she is frustrated that I have 43 of them. And don’t even think about bringing up the Great Nativity Set Scandal of 2001 when “someone” replaced the wise men in her prized Nativity Set with Diamondbacks bobble heads because “Baby Jesus needed some protection in the line-up”.
I tried to explain to her how impressive the bobble head collection is and how popular it seems to be with guests to our home. Trina counters with the point that “Wow, you sure have a lot of bobble heads” is not necessarily a compliment. Seriously, how can that not be a compliment? And don’t even think about trying to equate a few bobble heads to that Hoarding show on the Discovery Channel. Those hoarding guys just wish they had this kind of collection. Although I am now considering sending an email to the Discovery Channel and asking them if they will please contact me if they come across one of those hoarder characters who has either a Glaus or Green bobble head.
For now we will continue to wrestle with the fact that she is outnumbered 44-to-1 among those who like seeing the bobble heads on top of the desk. And seriously, dust just makes them look more authentic like they are standing on the dirt base paths at Chase Field. Besides, you have to admit that not only does canned air work to remove the dust but it also gets all the bobble heads to shake their heads in unison like some sort of baseball equivalent to synchronized bobbing. So I’ll continue to fight for the right to bobble.