He’s sold the franchise to a group led by Derek Jeter, but the massive bobblehead collection of former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria isn’t part of the deal. Instead, the 900 nodders will pack their bags and take up residence at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
ESPN has reported that Loria originally bought 600 items in the collection from a Houston Astros employee several years ago, adding to his own collection of a few hundred.
The collection has been on loan to Marlins Park, displayed as a “bobblehead museum” in the stadium concourse since the park opened in 2012, but will now find a permanent home in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The collection has been a popular attraction at the ballpark. Displaying more than 600 bobbleheads at any time, the entire museum structure moved ever so slightly, causing the heads to constantly bobble. When Hurricane Irma approached last month, Marlins employees packed the bobbleheads in bubble wrap just to be safe.
An art dealer, Loria appreciated their hand-crafted nature.
“Bobbleheads have been an integral part of the baseball landscape since the 1960s, and serve as an example of baseball’s contribution to popular culture in America,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the Hall. “We are thrilled to have this marvelous collection of baseball art that Jeffrey built. Bobbleheads are of great contemporary significance to the game we all love.”
The diverse collection of bobbleheads includes such players as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Giancarlo Stanton. The Museum will designate an exhibit space to house the collection.
“There is only one location for this collection to be permanently housed: The Hall of Fame,” said Loria. “I am very proud to be working with Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark and Museum President Jeff Idelson to create a special opportunity for the Museum’s hundreds of thousands of annual visitors.”