Time to finish up the American League with the American League East where the Red Sox finally bring back bobblehead giveaways in 2014. While you’re here check out the AL Central and AL West bobblehead battles. As a reminder, each bobblehead will be rated 1-5 stars based on quality of subject, originality, number available, and overall awesomeness. Teams will be ranked by total stars, so the more giveaways (especially quality ones) the better.
Boston Red Sox (all fans in attendance)
Monday, April 7th, David Ortiz: You couldn’t ask for a better Red Sox player to start the bobblehead giveaways with. This would’ve been a perfect ***** if it had been of Ortiz raising his fist telling Boston to stay strong. Red Sox are going to rate highly giving these away to every fan. ****
Wednesday, April 30th, Dustin Pedroia: And if you were going to pick a 2nd player on the current Red Sox to immortalize on a bobblehead, it would be former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. Better have real dirt stains! ***1/2
Tuesday, September 9th, Pedro Martinez: Come on Red Sox! No bobbling goodness in May, June, July, or August? For shame! You get some redemption with the best pitcher in Red Sox history and the man who asks “Who is Karim Garcia?” ***1/2
Total: 11 stars
New York Yankees (18,000 fans)
Thursday, June 19th, Mark Teixeira: Yankees bobbleheads in 2013 were a murderer’s row (unfortunately not the actual Murderer’s Row) with Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, Yogi Berra, and Mariano Rivera. This years crop? Not so much, starting off with the oft-injured Yankees first baseman. **
Wednesday, July 2nd, Lou Gehrig: I love this bobblehead and is by far the best one in the Yankees crop. It celebrates the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man” speech, it’s a must have, especially if you can get the Twins one to pair with it. ****1/2
Sunday, July 27th, Paul O’Neill: A solid Yankees player that has found a home in the YES broadcasts with the team, so he’ll be in attendance for this one. Don’t think there will be as much excitement for this one than Matsui last year. ** 1/2
Wednesday, August 20th, Joe Girardi: Has Yankees World Series rings as a player and as a manager and is worthy of a bobblehead, but I can’t get too excited for it. **
Total: 11 stars
Tampa Bay Rays (20,000 fans)
Saturday, April 5th, Wil Myers Rookie of the Year: I just like the way that this bobblehead looks. Props to the AL East for having larger giveaway numbers. ***
Friday, May 23rd, Alex Cobb Military Themed: I’m interested to see how this one ends up looking, but it sounds pretty solid. For now, though. ** 1/2
Saturday, September 6th, Evan Longoria 80’s Hair Band: Another Rays bobblehead that I need to see to believe. I want to have faith that this is going to be spectacular though. *** 1/2
Total: 9 stars
Toronto Blue Jays (20,000 fans)
Sunday, April 27th, R.A. Dickey: This Dickey bobblehead would’ve meant more if he had repeated his 2012 performance north of the border, but it’s a good effort and he deserves it. ** 1/2
Sunday, June 8th, Jose Reyes: I can basically say the same thing for Reyes that I said for Dickey, right? ** 1/2
Sunday, August 24th, Mark Buerhle: Let the 2013 Blue Jays disappointment bobblehead train continue! **
Total: 8 stars
Baltimore Orioles (Promotion schedule not posted as of 3/7)
What do you think is the best bobblehead collection in the AL East? Let us know in the comments!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Time for more bobblehead madness. In case you missed part one on the AL West, check it out here. Again, each bobblehead will be rated 1-5 stars based on quality of subject, originality, number available, and overall awesomeness. Teams will be ranked by total stars, so the more giveaways (especially quality ones) the better. Which bobbleheads in the AL Central will be crowned the king? Let’s find out!
Cleveland Indians (amount of giveaway varies)
Saturday, May 3rd, Orel Hershiser: Interesting choice for a throwback bobblehead as Hershiser had a 4.21 ERA in his three seasons with the Tribe. He is a big name though. This giveaway is for 10,000 fans. ** 1/2
Saturday, May 31st, BrOhio: I have no idea where this is going, but it has potential to be the most creative bobblehead in Cleveland’s crop. They also up the giveaway to 12,500 for this one. *** 1/2
Tuesday, June 3rd, Michael Bourn: Pretty standard stuff here. Back down to 10,000 fans on this giveaway **
Tuesday, July 8th, Jason Kipnis: See, Michael Bourn. But a slightly better player and 12,500 fans get this one. ** 1/2
Monday, September 1st, Michael Brantley: Another average to slightly above average player getting his bobble on. Still 12,500 fans for this one, but still a low number compared to other teams. A lot of quantity, but not much quality from the Indians in 2014. **
Total: 12 1/2 stars
Minnesota Twins (10,000 fans)
Friday, June 20th, Harmon Killebrew 1965 All-Star Game: I had a feeling the Twins would go the route the Mets did in 2013 and honor players that appeared in All-Star Games with the team. The Twins are hosting the 2014 All-Star Game. This would be a huge boost if the Twins also featured the three Minneapolis stadiums to host the All-Star Game as well. Killebrew is one of my favorite players of all-time. ****
Friday, July 4th, Lou Gehrig: This giveaway is with the Yankees in town and corresponds with the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech. Great tip of the cap to history by the Twins. ****
Saturday, July 5th, Tom Brunansky 1985 All-Star Game: Brunansky picked a great year to be the only Twins All-Star and make his only appearance in the Midsummer Classic. The career .245 hitter does have a sweet mustache, but it’s not enough to probably be the worst bobblehead of 2014. *
Saturday, September 6th, TBD 2014 All-Star Game: Fake Vegas odds on who this bobblehead will be. Joe Mauer -2000, Glen Perkins +500, anyone else +1500. If it’s Mauer…….. ***
Total: 12 stars
Kansas City Royals (10,000 fans)
Saturday, June 28th, James Shields: This is going to be tough to dole out stars with a measly 10,000 fans getting each bobblehead. Shields is a solid pitcher, but not a big star. **
Saturday, July 12th, Salvador Perez: Perez isn’t even on Shields’ level, yuck. * 1/2
Sunday, August 10th, Alex Gordon: Gordon is the “star” of the team. We’ll see if they make it with a Gold Glove variation, that’d be a nice addition. ** 1/2
Saturday, August 30th, Mr. Royal: This one could actually be fun! This throwback mascot will get a bobblehead on retro night. I’m in. *** 1/2
Total: 9 1/2 stars
Detroit Tigers (amount of giveaway varies)
Thursday, June 5th, Max Scherzer 2013 Cy Young Award: No picture yet of the the bobblehead, but I’d suspect it’ll be him holding the Cy Young award. Maybe they’ll throw in the WWE Title belt that Scherzer was given for winning Cy Young. This giveaway is for 15,000 fans. ***
Thursday, August 14th, Justin Verlander Mini-Bobblehead: Mini-bobblehead? Can’t give him a normal sized one? I’ll only accept this if there’s a mini-Kate Upton on it too. This giveaway is for just 10,000 fans. Dislike. * 1/2
Friday, August 15th, Miguel Cabrera 2-Time MVP: Apparently to get a normal-size bobblehead you have to win an award the previous season. I want Cabrera to be wearing his Triple Crown crown while holding two MVP’s in his arms. I’d bet it won’t look like that. This giveaway is also for 10,000 fans. ****
Total: 8.5 stars
Chicago White Sox (20,000 fans)
Saturday, May 24th, Chris Sale: Sale is the current and future ace of the White Sox. The extra 5,000 fans that get to take this home compared to the Yu Darvish bobblehead in part one, gives this an extra 1/2 star. ***
Saturday, August 30th, Tony LaRussa: Many people forget that LaRussa started his managing career on the Southside. In his Hall of Fame induction year, I like that they’re giving him a bobblehead. I hope it’s in this classic throwback uniform. *** 1/2
Total: 6.5 stars
That’ll do it for the AL Central. I’m quite disappointed that there were no pictures of any 2014 bobbleheads in this division. The Indians win on quantity, but the Twins win on quality. Unless, it’s Tom Brunansky of course.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Alright guys. The debate is re-opened at my request. It’s been announced that Bryan Mapes, our podcast host, blog father and Braves fan has tested positive for bobblehead testosterone recently.
Rather than strip him of any of his titles, we are going to just re-open one of the most popular debates Three Up, Three Down has ever seen.
Mapes represented the Sid Bream bobble a few months ago, and I was the Vin Scully bobble representative. We posted a picture of each and a poll to decide which piece of memorabilia you would rather own.
I regret to report that it was an overwhelming final tally: Mapes and his three-player bobble-slide won in a landslide over the simple, elegant, perfect bobble of the greatest announcer of all time sitting at his desk.
Speaking of Scully, he is throwing out the first pitch at tonight’s Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks game. They are finally releasing the beautiful Vin Scully bobblehead at Dodger Stadium tonight, and it’s guaranteed to be a hit.
And because I asked for it (Mapes isn’t really on testosterone – he’s just that good at everything, au naturale. Like Ryan Braun…okay, I’ll stop being mean.), we’re giving baseball fans a chance to vote again. It seems only fair to release this poll again, when the Scully bobblehead is actually being given away.
Here again is a picture of each, a short description, and that damned poll:
Vin Scully bobblehead
The greatest broadcaster of all time, perched at his desk, looking as handsome, intelligent and suave as ever. “It’s time for Dodgerrrrrr baseball!”
Sid Bream bobbleslide
One of the most famous moments in playoff history is depicted here, with Bream beating the tag with the series-winning run in the 1992 NLCS. Complete with the umpire signaling a triumphant “SAFE!”
Vote wisely, my friends.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Look, we’ve done the Bobble Battle on Three Up, Three Down once. Mapes destroyed me (though recent reports indicate he has ingested significant amounts of In-N-Out laced testosterone before blogging and will probably be suspended for about 50 minutes – I win by default!) in the Sid Bream Slide vs. Vin Scully bobble poll.
A straight travesty.
That being said, the Dodgers are on a roll in 2012 with bobbles. Scully, Kemp, Valenzuela, and from the end of July, a Kirk Gibson bobble.
But this isn’t a normal bobble. His head nods and shakes and does all that crazy stuff. But it is in commemoration of the iconic home run Gibby hit in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
You all know the story. The Oakland A’s (playing in their first of three straight World Series, in which only 1989 would they be victorious), were the best team in baseball. They sent their star closer Dennis Eckersley to the mound to close out Game 1 of the ’88 series.
Gibson was the Dodgers’ star hitter that year, but had been hobbled by not one, but TWO ankle injuries. He wasn’t supposed to play. He said screw that, grabbed a bat, and made his way in to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a solid at-bat, Gibby finally got a hanging back door slider that he promptly whacked into the right field bleachers for a walk-off homer.
The Dodgers would end up winning that World Series, the last time they ever even appeared in the Fall Classic.
Speaking of classic, you know how the theatrics unfolded after the ball left the bat. A stumbling, limping Gibson making his way around first base and pumping that right arm in rhythmic fashion with a huge smile on his face. Manager Tommy Lasorda jumping up and down on his way out of the dugout to celebrate. Two historic calls by historic broadcasters Jack Buck and Vin Scully (“I don’t believeeeeee…what I just SAW!” – Buck/”In a year that has been so improbable, the IMPOSSIBLE has happened!” – Scully).
It’s not only one of the greatest postseason moments in Dodgers history. It’s one of the most incredible playoff moments in baseball – hell, sports – history! And the manufacturer did it right by adding a BOBBLE ARM to the piece.
The final product depicts Gibson rounding the bases with fist pump in full effect. So is it the greatest bobblehead of all-time? That’s asking a lot. But it’s got to be up there.
So I pose the question, baseball fans. Where would you rank this Kirk Gibson bobble head AND arm on your personal rankings all-time? Have you seen any better than this?
And for what it’s worth…yes. I am currently on eBay looking for a Gibby bobble. Don’t judge.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Is there anything better than getting some free stuff on your trip to the ballpark? Arguably, the most popular ballpark giveaway is the bobblehead doll. The bobblehead has become so popular the Miami Marlins even built a shrine to the figurines in their new ballpark.
There will be quite a few new additions to the museum this season, but none will top the “Sid Bream Slide” or the “Vin Scully” bobbleheads. Jeremy and I will plead our case as to why the one representing our favorite team should be the one you splurge on eBay to add to your collection.
The Case for the “Sid Bream Slide” Bobblehead:
Any true Braves fan and any true baseball historian should want to get their hands on this bobblehead on June 9th. This piece is already being hawked on eBay for the lowest price of $55 plus shipping. The bobblehead depicts one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting play in postseason history. Francisco Cabrera, the light-hitting back up catcher steps to the plate and delivers the unlikeliest of clutch hits. Sid Bream rounds third and is heading for home in seemingly slow motion. The throw comes in from future Hall of Famer Barry Bonds as Bream slides past Mark LaValliere’s tag…he’s safe! Just an unbelievable moment as the Braves were going to the World Series for the 2nd straight year after being in dead last place in 1990. The bobblehead perfectly chronicles the slide, even with Randy Marsh giving the safe call. It’s truly a great moment in baseball lore, plus you’re getting THREE bobbleheads not just one! Take a look.
The case for the Vin Scully bobblehead:
I need some redemption after being spanked by Mapes like a misbehaved child in our jersey draft earlier this season. So without further adieu, this is why you must add the Vin Scully bobblehead to your collection: let me do what any good sport does first, and give Mapes props – that triple bobblehead is EPIC. But not only is it not the best moment in postseason history, but it would be ranked behind about ten of Scully’s personal broadcast calls. Look, all I have to say is if you know sports, you know Vin Scully. He is far and away the greatest sports broadcaster in the world, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees. Just listen to the legend announce one game and you’ll agree with me. Scully has been announcing Dodger games for 63 years, the longest tenured play-by-play man for one team in professional sports history. Bream’s slide was a big moment, but there is no bigger off-the-field figure in baseball than Scully. Go grab his crazy, bobbling head at Dodger Stadium on August 30th. And then send me one. Please?
Which bobblehead are you dying to get your hands on? Let us know! Both is acceptable answer in this case!
-Jeremy Dorn (@jamblinman) & Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)