Lining the homemade shelves of Bryan Schmuck’s Lee’s Summit basement are roughly 500 Kansas City Royals bobbleheads and countless sports memorabilia. Schmuck recently gave a tour of his collection with some of his children.
“Hey Pax! Pax! Which is your favorite one, Pax?” Schmuck asks his 4-year-old son Paxton.
Pax grins and points to the Royals Slugger bobblehead that stands 3 feet tall. Only 25 were made. One was once listed at more than $1,200 on eBay.
“How about you, Pais?” Schmuck asked his daughter.
The 6-year-old scurries to the far side of room and says “the blue one by Hulk.”
That would be the Royals Captain America Bobblehead from Marvel Super Hero Day at The K, listed around $45 on eBay.
The 42-year-old Schmuck, a father of five, owns every bobblehead given out at Royals baseball games since the team started the tradition in 2002.
His other memorabilia include a 6-by-6-foot piece of artificial turf from one of the six 1980 World Series baseball games. He got the piece from legendary Kansas City Royals groundskeeper George Toma.
About a month ago, Schmuck became a Facebook moderator of “KC Royals Bobblehead & Figurine-trade.sell.” Through this group, he says he’s been able to meet up with other bobblehead fanatics at Royals games.
His hobby is such a part of him that he mentioned it on his first date with his wife, Kristin.
“On our first date Bryan asked whether or not I collected anything,” she recalled. “Initially I thought that was an odd question, but now I understand why he asked.”
His kids are in on it, too, often accompanying him to bobblehead giveaway games or Fanfest.
“My dad was the one who got me into collecting,” said 22-year-old Hayley. “Whenever me or my siblings go to giveaway nights, he gives us some of his extra bobbleheads.”
This January, Schmuck’s passion led him to a special kinship with a Royals fan living in Iowa.
A season ticket holder, Schmuck arrived at Royals Fanfest at Bartle Hall on Jan. 26 at 7 a.m. — five hours before its noon start. He had his three oldest kids with him.
Though he’s usually the first to arrive for Fanfest, he wasn’t this time. Ahead of him was Mike Comstock, who’d driven from his Iowa home the night before, slept in his van so he didn’t have to pay for a hotel room, and claimed his spot in line at 6:30 a.m.
They started talking and Comstock spent both days of FanFest with Schmuck getting autographs. Comstock, 30, said that by the end of the weekend, he felt he shared a close bond with Schmuck.