I recently purchased one of the most unique items in my sports memorabilia collection -- an Ike Davis bobblehead doll, originally given out by the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones.
This is no ordinary bobblehead. It's one in which Davis is hanging upside down, making a catch while reaching over the dugout railing.
Within a few days, the bobblehead snapped out of place, but not to worry. The figurine is built such that you can re-manipulate Davis into any variety of positions as he makes a tumbling catch. My bobblehead collection is rather limited, but this is my favorite one.
That led me to ask a group of fellow Mets and Yankees fans the following question: If you could "bobblehead" anything that best represents your franchise, what would you pick?
The answers are below.
Greg Prince, Faith and Fear in Flushing
Give me the individual who started it all, the Ol' Perfesser, Casey Stengel, lines on his face and all. He's standing with a piece of the Polo Grounds behind him, his arms in mid-flight. You press a button and you hear what all the parents are teaching their kids to say: Not mama, not papa, but "Metsie ... Metsie." You'd just have to find a memory chip big enough to contain the entire spiel.
Adam Garfield, ESPN Bottom Line
The UltiMet Bobblehead would be comprised of these pieces: The jersey would be Tom Seaver, the greatest Met ever. The legs would be in the patented Dwight Gooden leg kick. The face would be comprised with two parts; Keith Hernandez's mustache right above Lenny Dykstra's mouth with a big wad of tobacco in it.
The bat in one hand would belong to Darryl Strawberry and the glove would belong to Rey Ordonez. The cleats would belong to Mookie Wilson, who would have beaten Bill Buckner to first base anyway.
Ted Berg, Tedquarters.net
My bobblehead would be of Lastings Milledge running down the right-field line high-fiving fans (a bobble-high five). And maybe somewhere on the same bobblehead, much smaller, there would be a tiny sad Armando Benitez in the dugout.
Oh, and there could also be some sanctimonious fans, players and journalists all riled up about how Milledge is disrespecting the game, even though clearly it should be a rite of major league passage to brazenly celebrate a late-inning, game-tying home run off Armando Benitez.
It needs to be immortalized in bobble-form because it was an awesome, joyous and harmless moment that should be taken as a lesson in how to not take baseball -- or ourselves -- too seriously.
Joe DeCaro, Metsmerized Online
Here's what I'd love to see...
An exclusive "Jerry Manuel Talking Bobblehead." With the push of a button you can hear Manuel say:
1. "There's no question, no question."
2. "Unfortunately, we're struggling as a whole right now, unfortunately."
3. Manuel's signature laugh after a loss.
Matt Silverman, MetSilverman.com
Up in Maine this summer with a few Mets fans, 11-year-old Liam Butler came up with one for his favorite ballplayer: the David Wright Matador bobblehead.
Wright is posed with his Gold Glove in perpetual backhand and the bobblehead shakes in disbelief after another ball gets by El David. Press the button for three sound effects: "Ole-E!" "Clang!" or Keith Hernandez reprimanding Wright's technique.
Joe Petruccio, My Mets Journal
Behold the Oliver Perez trapped-in-a-box bobblehead (see the accompanying sketch).
Taryn Cooper, My Summer Family
Anyone who is a Mets fan from the TV generation can identify with the view on TV when Robin Ventura hit his grand single in the 1999 NLCS. I would like to see bobble-rain droplets on the players as Todd Pratt tackled Ventura and Ventura's "Get Away From Me" hand gestures as he tried to round second. It was mostly the feeling that "This, too, can happen for the Mets." That's why I'd like to see that bobblehead.
Matt Meyers, ESPN The Magazine
Let's face it, the Mets have always been a bit eccentric. From the early days of Choo Choo Coleman and Casey Stengel to the hard-partying 1986 team, the Mets have had a knack for marching to the beat of their own drum. (And lately, that beat has been way off rhythm, and not in a good way.)
For me, nothing captures this unique charm more than Bobby Valentine wearing a disguise in the dugout after being ejected in a 1999 game against the Toronto Blue Jays. So if I could have any Mets bobblehead, it would be Bobby Valentine rocking the fake mustache and sunglasses from that night.
Mike Silva, New York Baseball Digest
I think Ed Kranpool represents the Mets franchise best. Nothing against Kranpool but he was signed with a ton of promise at age 17, had his development botched very quickly, but still had his moments, yet you have to feel unfulfilled about the final result. For years, Kranpool held many team records only because of longevity than overall yearly performance. Is there a better player to symbolize the combination of hope and results than Kranpool? That is my ultimate bobblehead.
Tristan H. Cockcroft, ESPN Fantasy
You want me to create an "Ultimate Yankees Bobble"? Too easy.
Why, the commemorative Yogi Berra cigar-smoking bobble, complete with individual bobbing rings on each of his 10 fingers, of course!
It celebrates the Yankees' continued greatness over the decades, not to mention that the many diamonds are the perfect parallel to the team's endlessly deep pockets, helping to extend its continued greatness.
Katie Sharp, ESPN Stats & Information
Mariano Rivera, in his classic "crouch position" during his windup, with a mini-New York skyline on his back and a few Yankees players holding on to the tops of the buildings in the skyline.
Why? Every time Rivera jogs in from the bullpen, he literally carries the weight of not only the team but the entire city. While Derek Jeter, A-Rod or Mark Teixeira can fail 70 percent of the time they step up to the plate and still be considered legends, Rivera has to be nearly perfect every time he takes the mound. And for the past 15 years, he has been.
Jon Kramer, ESPN Stats & Information
A Paul O'Neill Yankee bobblehead would have O'Neill next to a water cooler. His head (and leg) would bobble so that it would look like O'Neill is constantly kicking the thing.
Nick Loucks and Steve Rutkowski, ESPN Stats & Information
How about a Derek Jeter hybrid? One half has him jumping into the stands to make a catch, the other is him flipping the ball to Jorge Posada against the Athletics in the 2001 ALDS.
Rebecca Glass, This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes
I'd like to see Mariano Rivera greeting Jorge Posada after a save, in combination with the Derek Jeter jump-throw. Those are the two most classic Yankees images over the past 15 years.
Larry Koestler, Yankeeist
This Mariano Rivera 2009 World Series Champions bobblehead comes pretty close to encapsulating the "ultimate" Yankee bobblehead. What better representation of the franchise's success is there than one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history -- who also happens to be a lifelong Yankee -- hoisting up yet another World Series trophy?
The only flourish that might enhance this particular representation of Yankees glory even further is if Mo was draped in some sort of God-like costume. I'd also love to see a bobblehead of Dandy, the Yankees' banished mascot from the early '80s.
Mark Simon is a researcher for "Baseball Tonight" and a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @msimonespn or e-mail him your bobblehead ideas at WebGemScoreboard@gmail.com.