The Major League Baseball bobblehead season officially kicked off two weeks ago when the Brewers gave away a Norichika Aoki bobblehead to some lucky fans. Since then, the Tigers followed suit by handing out "April in the D" Miguel Cabrera mini bobbleheads on April 10.
While these two teams were the first to get in on the action this season, they are not the only teams participating in the greatest giveaway known to fan.
In fact, only the Boston Red Sox are not having any special bobblehead days this season. But when you sell out every game, who needs promotions, right? Actually I am being told the sell-out streak officially ended two weeks ago. Funny, those seats looked awful empty last September.
While some bobbleheads are seemingly very deserving and sought after, others are a bit on the ridiculous side. Edwin Encarnacion? Sure. J.P. Arencibia? Nah. I'd love a Billy Butler bobblehead after his big 2012, but I'll pass on the Royals "Ketchup," "Mustard" and "Relish" bobbleheads.
Let's take a look at the 10 most awesomely terrible bobbleheads given away this year. Some people will likely throw these bobbleheads in a box when they get home to never be seen again, while others will love them for just how preposterous they are.
After their inspiring run in the AL West last season and their exciting series with the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland Athletics have decided to memorialize it with a "Coco Lean" bobblehead.
What is the "Coco Lean," you ask? Well, it is only slightly more ridiculous than the "beast mode" celebration that the Milwaukee Brewers made famous two seasons ago in their own playoff run. The "lean" is a move where the A's players, particularly Coco Crisp, lean back and just sort of wiggle their upper bodies.
Now, this semi-seizure of a celebration is being immortalized forever in bobblehead form. Our national pastime, ladies and gentlemen!
Hanley Ramirez sees you.
Really, he does. Can't you see he made a telescope or binoculars or whatever out of his hands?
Seems like a fool-proof bobblehead.
There is no way that a moody, sometimes accused of being lazy, currently injured shortstop will be a bust in Dodger blue, right?
It is possible that Hanley could return to the MVP-like seasons he put up during simpler times when the Miami Marlins were still simply the Florida Marlins, and there wasn't a new stadium and a home-run statue in center field straight off of a 1994 "Trapper Keeper," but that remains to be seen.
If Hanley can bounce back from his injury and help make the Dodgers a playoff team and World Series contender like their payroll says they should be, this could be a treasured collectible. If he doesn't, it will make for a nice buy for $5 on eBay in a couple of years.
Pop quiz: Who won the 2012 NL Gold Glove at second base?
Answer: Darwin Barney.
Second question: Who is Darwin Barney?
I am fortunate enough, or unfortunate enough, to live in a city that has a ton of Cubs fans, so I am familiar with Mr. Barney. The career .263 hitter is pretty well liked by Cubs fans, so this bobblehead may go over pretty well in Wrigleyville.
Ah, but I forgot one simple, very vital, piece of information about the crowd that will likely attend this bobblehead day at Wrigley. Since it is in June, a lot of fans will be college kids who will be blissfully unaware that there is a baseball game going on or who the guy is on the new doll they just got for walking into this building.
If I had to put a wager on it, I would guess there will be at least 25 Darwin Barney bobblehead heads rolling around the stands on this June day and another 25 or so which are dunked into a glass of Old Style by some bobblehead-hating bros.
"Retro" seems a strange term to describe anything Tampa Bay Rays related. Someone who was born in the Rays first year of existence would probably still be in eighth grade. Can anything about this team, outside of a Fred McGriff jersey, logically be called "retro"?
For the Rays it can.
Tampa has been known to have strange promotions. (Spoiler Alert: This isn't the last time they will be on this list.)
Apparently the Rays got sick of other teams drawing on their history and evoking the nostalgia of the national pastime, so they just created a "retro" jersey, placed it on their third baseman and made a bobblehead. Why not?
Are the camo jerseys themselves not bad enough? Is the A.J. Burnett t-shirt giveaway not bad enough? Why must the Pirates torture their fans by combining the two?
I mean no disrespect to the great men and women serving the country who are required to wear camo every day. They deserve any and every tribute paid to them.
With that being said, the camo uniforms always look terrible. I just hate them, and I think it has to do with how they look with baseball pants. Give me a full camo get-up complete with pants, socks and hats, and then we'll talk.
With that off my chest, can anybody explain to me how the Pirates fans, who have suffered so much over the last two decades, are subject to having A.J. Burnett as the face of their pitching staff?
A.J. Burnett bobblehead day is the worst thing to happen in the stands of PNC Park since Taylor Lautner filmed his disaster of a movie, Abducted, there.
Oh man, am I excited for this one.
I'll admit right away that I am a very big Indians fan. It has not been an easy life, but I have lived it.
Growing up, I loved the 90s Indians teams with Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome and yes, Mr. Albert "Joey" Belle.
This bobblehead should be a doozie. Rumor has it, it won't be posed in a traditional standing with a bat on the ground or a regular hitting stance, but instead will feature Albert kissing his bicep. How awesome is that?
I am going to be purchasing one of these on eBay. Scratch that, I am going to be purchasing two of these on eBay.
One for my personal collection, and one to glue to my dashboard for when I chase down unruly trick-or-treaters.
The fact that the Rangers are giving away a Nolan Ryan bobblehead makes perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is the getup they have "The Ryan Express" in.
Instead of just wearing a Rangers uniform, or the business casual clothes we see Ryan sporting at Rangers games today, they have accessorized this bobblehead with not only a Texas Rangers cowboy hat and holster, but also with a sweet duster.
Nolan Ryan's 2013 bobblehead looks like a mixture of a hero from an old western. Think Clint Eastwood and Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when he breaks out his bitchin' duster.
Look out, Robin Ventura, Ol' Nolan is ready for a showdown at sunset.
This should be great.
The Yankees have four fan's choice bobblehead giveaways this year.
I guess considering Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are still around, it should be pretty safe to assume they will be two of the four.
Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia are my picks for the other two, but it remains to be seen.
What if the Yankees throw a curveball at the fans and don't put any of those big four on the ballot? The Yankees are not the deep team they were a couple years ago.
Who's next? Injured Curtis Granderson or Mark Teixeira? Brett Gardner? Vernon Wells? Ichiro? Kevin Youkilis?
Now it gets really ugly. Travis Hafner? Francisco Cervelli? A-Rod?
Maybe the roster isn't as bad as the media is making it seem, but it seems awfully strange that the most storied franchise in sports may be resigned to giving away a bobblehead of a guy who is years past his prime and is a liability in the lineup as well as defensively at times.
See what I did there? You don't even know which of 15 different guys I could be referring to in the preceding paragraph. Usually the Yankees would have 20 guys good enough to be considered for a bobblehead day.
I can't wait to see who wins. Hiroki Kuroda bobblehead day should be a hit.
Also, a note on the fifth bobblehead the Yankees are giving away this year. It isn't of a Yankee. Instead they went with another fan favorite of angry New Yorkers: Snoopy. Yes, that Snoopy. The dog.
I am as confused by this as you are.
According to the Mets website, this is going to be given away as part of a "Stitch n' Pitch" offer going on. Fans are encouraged to help knit and crochet hats and scarves to give away to needy children. It sounds like a great idea.
Well, it sounds like a great idea until you realize these fans have been turned into grandmas just by entering the gates of Citi Field.
The Mets took it a little further this season by offering up a bobblehead of Mr. Met knitting. I can only assume he is knitting a hat and hopefully sitting in a rocking chair.
Some teams have mascots who do crazy slam dunks. Others have mascots who dance on dugouts and make fun of the umpires.
The Mets have a mascot who knits.
After taking the bobblehead world by storm last year with their classic DJ Kitty bobblehead, the Rays have done it again.
The Rays are a good baseball team. They develop talent as well as any other team in baseball. They have super-utility man Ben Zobrist. Desmond Jennings is an exciting young outfielder. Matt Moore and Alex Cobb are both pitchers with tremendous upside.
Yet, they are giving away a bobblehead of David Price's dog.
The funny thing is, Astro Dog will probably bring out more fans to "The Trop" than anything to do with the actual baseball players on the Rays.
Should be a fantastic year for bobblehead collectors. I know I am not the only one who has the motto "Live Every Day Like It's Bobblehead Day" tattooed across my back.