MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Aaron Judge is an outfielder for the New York Yankees – a really good, really big outfielder.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
He’s also a bobblehead. Or better put, he is many bobbleheads. How many? Well, don’t ask us. Ask Phil Sklar, the founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee.
PHIL SKLAR: There’s been over 24 Aaron Judge bobbleheads produced.
KELLY: Sklar says that is a remarkable figure for a guy only on his second season with the Yankees. Most players see many seasons go by before they are commemorated with a small doll with a wiggly skull. But the Hall of Fame is already full – shelf after shelf – with little versions of Aaron Judge.
SKLAR: Everything from the simple bobblehead of him just holding a bat to, you know, one that’s – has him hitting the cover off a baseball with the laces coming off, symbolizing all his huge home runs. We have one now available that – where he’s jumping, leaping over the wall to make a catch.
CORNISH: About six of those bobbleheads came directly from the New York Yankees. Others are from Minor League teams Aaron Judge played for. And still others are manufactured by companies seeking to cash in on a hot player. Bobbleheads serve as a marker of popularity and success.
SKLAR: Bobbleheads – since the first one was given out at a stadium in 1999 by the San Francisco Giants, teams have seen that it’s the No. 1 draw for attendance at a game.
KELLY: Willie Mays was honored with that first baseball bobblehead. These days, all major league sports franchises have bobbleheads of their stars, and that adds up to some 8,000 jiggly figurines in the Bobblehead Hall of Fame. But Sklar says even before sports glommed onto the bouncy head dolls, the concept was out there.
SKLAR: Some Buddhas with the heads that bobble tracing back into, you know, 900. And then as you get to the late-1700s, there’s a portrait of Queen Elizabeth with two Chinese figurines behind her where the heads bobble.
CORNISH: Tomorrow, Yankee Aaron Judge gets yet another bobblehead given out in his honor. And since it’s May the Fourth – you know, May the Fourth Be With You – this one is called Judge the Jedi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.