From The Bakersfield Californian by Theo Douglas
Put him in, coach — Mayor Harvey Hall is ready to play.
It’s been two years in the making but Friday is finally Mayor Hall Bobblehead Night at Sam Lynn Ballpark, when the Bakersfield Blaze square off against the San Jose Giants in the second of a four-game series.
Will the Blaze win? Shake your bobblehead and all signs point to yes — or, at least, Hall’s head does.
The first thousand ticketholders get their very own action figure of Bakersfield’s longest-serving mayor and everyone present qualifies for random giveaways each inning, ranging from a Cuisinart gas grill to an Xbox One video game console.
Blaze players will win too — $50 from Hall for each home run they’ve hit during home games for the first half of the season.
Left-fielder Tyler O’Neill leads the line-up with eight home runs.
As for the real mayor, he’ll start the night by landing on center field in a Hall Ambulance helicopter — Bakersfield’s version, arguably, of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, when actor Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth II spoofed a helicopter jump overhead.
Medevac 1 pilots have already practiced sticking the landing at Sam Lynn. Hall will alight, a flight nurse will hand him the ball, and he’ll wing it over the plate.
Imagine getting a strike from the mayor. That’s gotta hurt.
Unlike its real-life inspiration, though, Hall’s bobblehead has a limited wardrobe. Its only set of clothes is a painted-on Blaze uniform.
No, really: it’s painted on, with the number 72 — Hall’s old racing number when he drove at Bakersfield Speedway and Mesa Marin Raceway.
If you want a purple seersucker suit for your bobblehead, to match the real-life version Bakersfield’s mayor of 14 years wore to last week’s State of the City lunch, you’ll have to sew it yourself.