MLB 2011 Promotions: The 10 Most Awesomely Ridiculous Bobblehead Giveaways
I admit, I am one of the guys who stands in long lines with 2,000 other people to make sure I am one of the first 20,000 people in the door to receive the bobblehead being given away that day. If it is a game I can't get to, and it is a bobblehead I want really bad, I will try to get one on eBay (still bidding on you, Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn bobblehead).
Bobbleheads are basically dolls. No different than a Ty Beanie Baby. Yet, I think bobbleheads are the best promotion a team can do. People go crazy for them. They look great on the shelf in my game room even if it does feel weird to have a Barack Obama bobblehead in a Quad City River Bandits uniform looking at me while I check my Facebook.
This year, MLB teams are giving out over 60 different bobbleheads. Here are the 10 most awesomely bad bobbleheads. I just don't believe these teams couldn't think of someone better to immortalize in bobblehead form.
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There were so many bobbleheads to choose from, I couldn't leave some out without at least giving them an honorable mention.
Cubs - June 17th. Andrew Cashner Bobblehead. If Carlos Silva didn't pitch horribly in the spring, would Cashner even be on the roster?
Indians - August 13th. Mike Hargrove "Human Rain Delay" Bobblehead. The 700 people at this game should love this one about as much as the Drew Carrey bobblehead the Indians gave away three years ago.
Phillies - May 24th. Roy Oswalt Bobblehead. The fourth best pitcher on the staff gets a bobblehead? I know they did Roy Halladay last season, but I'm pretty Cliff Lee was available. This is like the Yankees giving away an Ivan Nova.
A's - April 30th. Ricky Henderson Bobblehead. I understand how good Ricky Henderson was and he is certainly deserved of a bobblehead, I just wonder how many people will be at this game. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ricky bought 20,000 tickets himself so he could line his house with mini bobbleheads of none other than...Ricky Henderson.
10. L.A Dodgers, July 26th: Fernandomania Bobblehead.
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Fernandomania will sweep L.A. the last weekend in July. Fernando Valenzuela was a fantastic pitcher for the Dodgers from 1980-1990. He was a six time All-Star and his popularity was unmatched. He is probably well-deserving of his own bobblehead, I just think it will be very hilarious looking.
9. Milwaukee Brewers, April 24th: John Axford.
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The new Brewers closer, John Axford, will have his very own bobblehead on April 24th. This bobblehead comes complete with its very own Axford handlebar mustache. It is reminiscent of the Derrick Turnbow bobblehead the Brew Crew gave away a few years ago that had Barbie doll-like hair. The way things have started for Axford and the Brewers, let's hope he doesn't go the way of Turnbow, and is still the Brewer's closer on April 24th.
8. Chicago White Sox, June 12th: Roger Bossard.
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On June 12th, the White Sox are giving away a bobblehead of their head groundskeeper, Roger Bossard. Yes, you read that right: Heads Groundskeeper. Apparently. Bossard invented a drainage system that is now used on almost all new stadiums, and good for him. He does keep U.S. Cellular Field always looking pristine. He is probably a very hard working man and is obviously very good at his job. I am happy for him to have his own bobblehead. I just wonder how many of the fans, who were undoubtedly tailgating in the parking lot for hours prior to game time, will be excited for this piece of memorabilia.
7. Texas Rangers, June 20th: Nelson Cruz "Walk-Off" Bobblehead.
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The Rangers had so many great moments last year, I am sure it was hard to pick just one for a bobblehead. I am curious what made them pick a Nelson Cruz "walk-off" over a C.J. Wilson or Colby Lewis playoff commemorative bobblehead, or a Josh Hamilton, or a Neftali Feliz.
Cruz is one of the top sluggers in baseball when healthy. I really hope he can stay healthy for an entire year and see what kind of numbers he can put up, because he is just a pleasure to watch hit. The problem is, I wouldn't even put him on the top five of MVPs for the pennant-winning run from last season. I think the question Rangers fans will be asking themselves prior to receiving this bobblehead is if "walk-off" means a walk-off home run, or if it means Cruz walking off the field after another injury.
6. Tampa Bay Rays, May 29th: Manny Ramirez.
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Manny Ramirez could have a throwback Manny year and pound the ball for Tampa. The Rays better hope he does because they are giving away his bobblehead on May 29th. For a franchise with little cash, this seems like a risky giveaway. Bobbleheads are not cheap. Manny could be gone by May 29th if he wears out his welcome in Tampa like he has done everywhere else. First thing I thought of when I heard the Rays were giving away a Manny Ramirez bobblehead was: "Is April too early for a Roger Dorn night?". The Rays must have asked the same thing about Manny.
5. New York Mets, April 8th: Mr. Met.
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Times are tough for the Mets. With the exception of David Wright, it seems like everybody is either on the downside of their career or hurt. I suppose they realized that Mr. Met is their most recognizable face. Might as well make a bobblehead for a guy in a baseball-head suit.
4. Cincinnati Reds, July 2nd: Dusty Baker "Toothpick Holder" Bobblehead.
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Cincinnati people love Dusty Baker right now. And why not? He managed the Reds to their first playoff appearance this millenium. I think Dusty Baker is a solid manager and he quite obivously knows the game. The criticism of Dusty is that he throws pitchers to death, and "loses" teams after a few years at the helm. If things start to turn sour in Cincinnati this season, like they have in San Francisco and Chicago for Dusty, this would be a very good thing for the people of Cincinnati to break or throw in anger. The only problem then would become, where would they keep all their toothpicks?
3. Chicago White Sox, August 4th: Miller Lite Beer Vendor.
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The White Sox make their second appearance on the list. They have four bobbleheads in total this year. Two are on this list. The other two are Frank Thomas and... Frank Thomas again. Must have ran out of ideas and decided to use the beer vendor. This might make for a cool collectible for beer drinkers, or people who love the ballpark atmosphere.
I have so many questions though. Why didn't Miller Lite sponsor this at a Brewers game at Miller Park? Did they hold some type of Beer Vendor Olympics to determine whose likeness was the bobblehead? Will they give this to kids also? I guess I will find out on August 4th.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks, April 28th: Racing Gracie Bobblehead
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I learn something new every day. Today, I learned the Diamondbacks have some sort of gimmick like the sausage race, involving mascot-looking things in the likeness of Diamondback's legends. Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, Mark Grace and Randy Johnson race at the home games, just like the sausages in Milwaukee.
Instead of giving away an actual Mark Grace bobblehead, against his former team the Cubs none the less, they will give away a bobblehead of the mascot Gracie. Is that telling Mark Grace, who announces for Arizona, that his "racer" is more popular then him? Probably not, but I think an actual Mark Grace bobblehead would be much more classy.
1. Oakland A's, July 17th: M.C. Hammer Bobblehead.
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M.C. Hammer was a bat boy for the A's when he was growing up in Oakland. The A's have decided to commemorate this connection in 2011 by giving away an M.C. Hammer Bobblehead during '80s weekend in Oakland. I am left speechless by this decision.
I feel any of the A's players from the '80s would be a better choice. I can only hope the bobblehead comes complete with parachute pants on the little guy. What a horrible promotion. Actually, on second thought, maybe I should get my eBay account ready to bid for this one.