Bobbleheads are still a popular promotional item at your local big league park. And why not? Who doesn't love a bobblehead? I have an Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Cameron in my office, along with Mark Messier, who played some other goofy sport in which the players slide around on ice. A good bobblehead list should focus on the current roster, but if a team wants to commemorate its history, that's fine as well, especially if they can find a creative way to do so.
With that in mind, here are my rankings for this season's bobblehead giveaways (lists generated from the promotional schedule on each team's website):
That's a nice list of stars, but Griffey's Hall of Fame bobblehead puts the Mariners over the top. The Mariners are certainly milking everything out of Junior's Hall of Fame induction: There's the bobblehead night on Aug. 5, his jersey retirement ceremony and replica Hall of Fame plaque giveaway on Aug. 6, and then replica jersey day on Aug. 7. I will forgive them, though: Without him, there may not even be a team in Seattle.
OK, I made that last one up. Rizzo's bobblehead celebrates his tarp catch. Let's just hope next year they don't do a bobblehead of that creepy mime from spring training.
OK, the Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman bobblehead -- honoring that great moment in Braves history when Freeman got stuck in a snowstorm for five hours, finally to be rescued by Chipper on his ATV -- may now be my second-favorite one ever, behind only the "Kent Hrbek pulls Ron Gant off first base" bobblehead commemorating the infamous play from the 1991 World Series. That alone almost pushes the Braves to No. 1, but while they're celebrating the final year at Turner Field, it's not a good sign when the only active player you have is "to be named."
Good list, mixing the team's present with its past. Missed opportunity though: A Chase Utley sliding bobblehead. (I kid, I kid!)
These are billed as commemorative postseason bobbleheads, so that's cool, but if that's the case, how can you not have an Eric Hosmer Mad Dash one?
If you're Joe Panik, are you ticked off that you only get a backpack instead of a bobblehead?
Ruth, Mantle ... Gregorius. One of these names is not like the others. The website said Yankees Peanut, but I wonder if it's supposed to say Yankees Peanuts as in the Charlie Brown characters. But maybe Yankees fans just really like their peanuts.
They could be ranked higher, but I have a couple of issues here. The Wainwright/Molina one depicts the final out of the 2006 World Series, so that's a neat one; no problem there. But the Rosenthal one comes with a sound chip; I don't want my bobbleheads talking to me. Good lord, no. Then there's the Eddie Gaedel one. He's the 3-foot-7 slugger who Bill Veeck let bat in a gimmick stunt. I love the idea of an Eddie Gaedel bobblehead ... except he played for the Browns, not the Cardinals. He has nothing to do with the Cardinals. Would the Red Sox have a Bucky Dent bobblehead?
These all have tie-ins to the 2015 season, like Keuchel winning the Cy Young and Correa winning rookie of the year. Springer's is the must-have, though, because it's sponsored by Nolan Ryan Beef. Is there anything more Texas than Nolan Ryan Beef?
The Jays are celebrating their 40th season with a couple of all-time great trio bobbleheads. But how could they miss out on a George Bell/Lloyd Moseby/Jesse Barfield "Outfield of the '80s"? Or Rance Mulliniks/Garth Iorg "Awesome Third-Base Platoon," or "Couple Having Sex in the SkyDome Hotel With the Curtain Open"?
Extra credit if the Piazza Hall of Fame bobblehead features frosted hair.
Very solid group, but the unfortunate Pollock injury dampened the April 23 giveaway.
The Scherzer bobbleheads are billed as a two-piece set, honoring his two no-hitters. And, hey, Dusty Baker joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only guy to be honored by two teams this year! Take that, trivia monsters. But no Bryce Harper? Say it ain't so.
Update: The Nationals DO have a Harper MVP bobblehead on May 11. My apologies for missing that. They can probably just mass produce that one and keep the extras in storage for the next decade.
"Raise the Jolly Roger" is the signature call of Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown when the Pirates win, and the bobblehead features the Pirate Parrot mascot. Which is much better than the alternative idea: The Pirate Parrot throwback selling cocaine.
I'm guessing Tigers fans have seven or eight Miggy bobbleheads by now.
I was going to criticize the Reds for jumping on the Griffey bandwagon, considering he has fewer career WAR with the Reds than Hal Morris. But I'll give them a pass since it's a dual bobblehead, featuring Griffey with both the Reds and Mariners. Now, about that Star Wars thing ...
You know, with all these movie-themed tie-ins, I want to see a team get more creative. How about the Nolan Arenado "Unbearable Lightness of Being" bobblehead?
That's the Indians' Hall of Fame for Thome, not the Hall of Fame Hall of Fame. Demerits for not having a Francisco Lindor giveaway.
OK, they're doubling on two guys here, so you have to dock the Rays for that, but the Kiermaier Claus one is kind of cute. Because when I think of Christmas, I think of Tropicana Field in July.
Look, if you're going to celebrate Marlins All-Stars of the past, you have to include Paul Lo Duca, Carl Pavano and Gaby Sanchez. And can we verify these aren't simply leftovers from previous years? (I kid, I kid!)
The Beltre one is cool because it comes with a removable helmet, but the dog will probably just eat that anyway when it falls, and that excellent idea is canceled out by dots. I mean, is the dot race that popular in Arlington? Am I missing something? And it's a dot connected to a pair of human legs, not a bobblehead. Does the dot bobble? Maybe I should just put the Rangers last. But I really love Adrian Beltre.
I'm guessing the Sano bobblehead won't feature him playing right field.
Hey, Greg Vaughn is in the top 100 of all time in home runs.
Well, if you're going to do just one, you may as well do the 2016 American League Cy Young winner.
I think this is an indication that they weren't too sure who would still be on the roster in July.
28. Baltimore Orioles: Orioles bobblehead
I assume this is an old-school vintage one, which is fine, but how about an old-school Frank Robinson to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his Triple Crown season?
I may not be the target audience for Hello Kitty, but I'm still subtracting points.
30. San Diego Padres: None
The Padres are hosting the All-Star Game, so this seems like a missed opportunity. I mean, who wouldn't want a Johnny Grubb bobblehead?