From The Sports Quotient by Jake Eisenberg
The Bobblehead Hall of Fame is set to open in 2016, and when it does it will include the bobblehead version of a definitive sports moment. The Co-Founders, Phil Sklar and Brad Novak, rolled out a Kickstarter to create a bobblehead of Roxanne Chalifoux, the now-famous crying piccolo girl from top-seeded Villanova’s loss to N.C. State (see feature photo). The campaign, set to end June 5, met its $5,000 goal.
Chalifoux’s miniature and bobbling likeness won’t be given away at major league parks, but 25 others will be given away in the month of June. There were 24 bobbleheads given away in the month of May, and 14 in April (plus 5 from March). Read the bobblehead previews for May, here, and April, here.
By the numbers:
- The Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants have scheduled the most giveaways (2), although the Giants will give out four total.
- Three are current managers (and two are the same one!).
- June 6 is the most popular day—there are 4 giveaways that Saturday.
The Giants begin the month (June 1) with a specialKNBR night. Fans who purchase the special package will be able to take part in a pre-party roundtable discussion with Paul McCaffery and Brian Murphy, the radio personalities from KNBR for the Giants. Bottom line: broadcaster bobbleheads are cool.
The Boston Red Sox let the fans decide what they’d get on June 2, and the fans responded with Mike Napoli. Last weekend, Napoli went yard three times and was named the American League Player of the Week as a result. He also has an amazing beard, and it’s featured on his bobblehead.
What exactly are the Philadelphia Phillies giving away? It’s not clear. But, in any case, it’s retro night on June 2 at Citizen’s Bank Park and fans will receive a “Vintage Phillie.” The Phillies nailed the retro description, but it’s a rather underwhelming first bobblehead of the years out of Philadelphia.
The first 20,000 to arrive at Safeco Field on June 2 will leave the park with a Kyle Seager bobblehead, featuring his recent Gold Glove. It’s the bobblehead debut of the All-Star third basemen. He’s batting .275 with 9 home runs so far this season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers third bobblehead of the season will depictKenley Jansen. Jansen, a catcher turned reliever, works with a deadly cut fastball that can top out at triple digits. Jansen began the season on the disabled list, but has four saves in five games since returning.
Also on June 4, the Washington Nationals will roll out a bobblehead for Ryan Zimmerman. The bobblehead is part of the Nats 10-year anniversary commemorative series, and shows Zimmerman’swalk-off home run on Opening Day of the Nationals new ballpark in 2008.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer will be the subject of the Diamondbacks’ second bobblehead of the season on June 6. That title belongs to long-time St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa—he took the job early last season. The best part about this bobblehead is that La Russa isn’t presented the way most of the baseball world is accustomed to seeing him. Instead of in a Cardinals uniform, La Russa is in a Diamondbacks’ collared t-shirt with a dog. Baseball, bobbleheads and dogs—can’t get much more American than that.
Also on June 6, the Cincinnati Reds will continue their “Stars of Queen City promotional series with none other than Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. He played for the Reds for the entirety of his 19-year career, batting .295 with 2340 hits, helping lead the Reds to their most recent World Series back in 1990. Larkin was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012. In other news, his son, Shane Larkin of the New York Knicks,just bought him a boat, so Barry’s doing pretty well.
The third bobblehead giveaway on June 6 is Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber. Kluber is posing without a glove, but is holding his Cy Young Award from 2014. The southpaw got off to a rocky start to 2015, but has since bounced back. In his last four starts, Kluber has a 50:2 K/BB ratio over 32.0 IP with three wins, giving up just four runs (he’s eclipsed 10 strikeouts in three of his past four starts!).
The last giveaway on June 6 belongs to the Royals. Their first bobblehead of the month (of two) will be of outfielder Lorenzo Cain. It’s the second of four commemorative postseason bobbleheads from the Royals, and this one shows Cain’s diving catch during Game 2 of the 2014 ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles.
Next up is Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies—his bobblehead will be handed out on June 7. The shortstop is arguably the face of the franchise, but has been linked with myriad trade rumors. He’s now 30-years-old and in his 10th season with the franchise, but has yet to play a full season. The most games he’s played in a season is 155, back in 2007 when the Rockies won their first-ever National League pennant. But, while he’s play in 43 of the team’s 45 games, they find themselves in last place—seven games under .500.
Also on June 7, the Toronto Blue Jays have their first giveaway of the season. For the Blue Jays, it will be Marcus Stroman, who started 20 games last year—his rookie season—winning 11. Unfortunately, Stroman landed on the 60-day disabled list prior to the start of the season after tearing hisACL. The bubble-blowing, a now-signature Stromantendency, is a nice touch on this figurine.
On Tuesday, June 9, the Atlanta Braves promotion is a David Justice bobblehead. Most may be familiar with Justice from his role in the movie, Moneyball, when he was played by Stephen Bishop, but Justice spent the majority of his career with the Braves, not the Oakland Athletics. In his 8 years in Atlanta, Justice hit .275 with 160 home runs.
After a three-day break from bobblehead giveaways, the Los Angeles Angels present their second of the season on June 12. It’s Kole Calhoun bobblehead day, and it comes just 10 days after the Angels gave away a “Kole Calhoun Visor,” giving fans the opportunity to sport the outfielder’s hair. This bobblehead shows Calhoun making a nice catch over-the-shoulder catch, but it also doesn’t make sense. A closer look at this one will show that his right arm (more specifically, his elbow) isn’t rotated along with his hand. Ouch.
The following day brings one of the best bobbleheads of the month, Joe Maddon, and he seemed pretty happy with it. The first-year manager of the Chicago Cubs is presented on the steps of the dugout with his signature glasses. Maddon has his team sitting at second place in the NL Central, and his bevy of young players paints a bright future for Wrigleyville.
Also on June 13, the Giants will hand out a trifecta of postseason heroes for the second time this season (see last month). The first 40,000 fans to arrive at AT&T Park will receive one of three bobbleheads: Jeremy Affeldt, Travis Ishikawa orJoe Panik. Affeldt pitched 11.2 innings in the 2014 postseason without giving up a run. Panik was instrumental in the Giants’ Wild Card win over the Pirates, going 3 for 5. Ishikawa who hit a walk-off, three-run home run in Game 5 of the ALCS to send the team to its third World Series in five years, gets his second bobblehead of the year (his first was last month on Japanese Heritage Night).
Next, on June 14, the Milwaukee Brewers will give away their 10th bobblehead of the season in Carlos Gomez. Gomez has become the face of the franchise after twonearly-identical 20/20 seasons. He’s on his way to a third straight this year, already with 5 steals and 5 home runs in 31 games played. On the bobblehead, Gomez is sporting his All-Star jersey from last year (his second straight All-Star appearance).
On the 18th, the New York Yankees have their second bobblehead promotion of the season and it couldn’t be a better candidate. It’s former catcher Thurmon Munson, and he’s sporting his signature mustache. The Yankees are infamous for their anti-facial hair policy—except for the mustache—and current players are taking advantage of it. Munson was the first team captain since Lou Gehrig, leading the team to two consecutive World Series rings in 1977 and 1978 beforetragically dying in 1979.
The second manager to be honored with a bobblehead night (June 19) this month is Paul Molitor, the first-year manager for the Minnesota Twins. The St. Paul native only played three years with the Twins—spending most of his career with the Brewers (wink wink). Molitor has the Twins in second place in the AL Central with a 29-19 record.
The Cincinnati Reds have their second bobblehead day of the month and sixth of the season on June 20, when 25,000 fans will receive aBrandon Phillips bobblehead. Phillips has been a consistent .300+ hitter and presence in the middle infield for the Reds for the past 10 years. He’s also been a consistent presence on highlight reels with his many web gems. Don’t forget this one, either.
Also on the 20th, the Royals will give out their secondhorizontal bobblehead of the month. This time, it’s Mike Moustakas. The bobblehead shows his incredible catch in Game 3 of the 2014 ALCS, when he snagged a foul ballwhile falling into a dugout suite. This is the third bobblehead in the Royals’ postseason commemorative series, and they’re all pretty awesome to say the least.
The Texas Rangers will give away a Prince Fielderbobblehead on June 23. Fielder only played 42 games last season—his first as a Ranger—and has already eclipsed that mark this year. In 49 games, he’s top 5 in the majors in hits (72), RBIs (38) and batting average (.364). The Rangers had a Prince Fielder bobblehead giveaway last year, but it didn’t go so well, as they misspelled “Arlington” on the figurine (E-Rangers).
Fielder’s former team, the Detroit Tigers, have a bobblehead night of their own on June 25 for designated hitter Victor Martinez. V-Mart came in second to Mike Trout in AL MVPvoting last season, posting career highs in hits and home runs with a .355 average. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Martinez will be playing on his bobblehead day. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19 with left knee inflammation, and there’s currently no timetable for his return.
The second-to-last bobblehead of the month belongs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, their second giveaway of the season. The first 20,000 fans in attendance at PNC Park on June 27 will receive a Starling Martebobblehead. Marte is hitting .278 with 10 home runs through 47 games this season.
Remember when the Twins gave away a Paul Molitor bobblehead? Well, within 10 days and just over 300 miles apart, Paul Molitor will haveANOTHER bobblehead giveaways (two in ONE MONTH), when the Brewers give their fans a bobbling version of the 2004 Hall of Famer on June 28. Molitor spent 15 seasons in Milwaukee, collecting 2281 hits and batting .301. The Twins’ bobblehead shows Molitor in his new managerial role, while the Brewers depict the former infielder as a player, sliding into a base. Advantage, Brewers, and bonus points for scheduling the promotion for a game against the Twins.
Only five teams have yet to give out a bobblehead this season: the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles. Check back next month, when teams will hand out 25 more of baseball’s greatest giveaway.