GATORS BASEBALL BOBBLEHEAD, ZAIRE, PEPPER, MORE TIDBITS By Scott Carter
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The collection is as eccentric as it is impressive. All one has to do is browse around the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum website.
There’s Harry, Marv and Kevin from “Home Alone.” Over there is Al Roker from NBC’s “Today” show. Hey, look, that’s baseball great Willie Mays and Flo from the Progressive commercials.
The Bobblehead Hall of Fame has them all. It unveiled a new addition on Friday, releasing a limited edition bobblehead commemorating Florida’s 2017 national championship in baseball. The bobblehead features Gators mascot Albert perched atop a logo-shaped base with a replica of the NCAA championship trophy.
Forever Collectibles produced the individually numbered bobbleheads and they are officially licensed.
“Florida baseball fans have been waiting patiently for a title, and we’re excited to be able to offer them this bobblehead,” Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the NBHOF, said in a press release.
The Gators, who have made six trips to the College World Series in the past eight years, broke through to win the program’s first title by sweeping LSU in the best-of-three championship series in late June.
Florida, ranked No. 1 in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll, opens the 2018 season at home Feb. 16 against Sienna.
Malik Zaire arrived at Florida in late June amidst the standard hype anytime an experienced quarterback transfers to another school. In Zaire’s case, he opted to leave Notre Dame and test his skills as a graduate transfer with the Gators, who faced uncertainty at quarterback.
It didn’t work out for Zaire or the Gators in 2017. Zaire was essentially a nonfactor, head coach Jim McElwain reached a separation agreement with the school midseason, and Florida finished 4-7.