Bobblehead grade: Mike Napoli (Boston Red Sox)

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The Boston Red Sox promotional calendar includes five bobblehead dates – one specifically for kids (Wally the mascot), three for nostalgic fans to relive the 40th anniversary 1975 World Series appearance (Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn) and one for a current player. The Red Sox left it up to the fans as to which current player received a figurine, and the Boston faithful chose bushy bearded first baseman Mike Napoli. The Red Sox handed out the Napoli bobblehead at their June 2 game against the Twins. As is the practice with most Red Sox giveaways, every fan in attendance received one of the figurines. I was not in attendance at the game, but the Red Sox have been nice enough to send me all of their bobblehead giveaways to grade. Continue reading

Bobblehead grade: Luis “El Tiante” Tiant (Boston Red Sox)

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Young Boston Red Sox fans who only know about Big Papi and Pedro and Manny and the recent cast of stars who brought World Series glory to the organization are missing out on many of the franchise’s past greats. That’s why the Red Sox bobblehead lineup this season is so outstanding. Boston has already given away a Carlton Fisk bobblehead commemorating his Game 6 home run in the 1975 World Series, and it recently distributed a Luis Tiant figurine May 21. I must admit I didn’t know much about the man they called “El Tiante.” He retired when I was 4, after all, but I really enjoyed doing some research on him for this writeup. Hopefully this bobblehead motivated even younger baseball fans to look up Tiant and watch videos of him pitching and reading about his rise to major league stardom. Continue reading

Bobblehead grade: Carlton Fisk (Boston Red Sox)

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I wrote Tuesday about the influx of bobblehead giveaways that document big moments in MLB history. Today I will grade another such figurine, though today’s commemorates one specific play. On May 5, the Boston Red Sox gave away a Carlton Fisk bobblehead to commemorate his 12th inning game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. What made that moment special wasn’t just the significance of the home run but the way in which Fisk tried to guide the ball into fair territory by yelling at it and wildly waving his arms. It worked as his ball banged off the foul pole in left field to give the Red Sox the win and force a deciding Game 7. It’s an iconic moment in not only Red Sox history, but baseball history, and it is well deserving of its own bobblehead. Continue reading

Bobblehead grade: Livan Hernandez (Washington Nationals)

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Bobbleheads documenting big moments in MLB history are a trend I can get on board with. It seems teams are doing a lot more of these type of giveaways … probably because they’re running out of players to feature. The Washington Nationals have based their entire 2015 bobblehead schedule on the top five moments in franchise history. Granted, the Nats have only been around for 10 years, but they’ve had some pretty noteworthy moments. Their first giveaway this season was on May 4. It features former MLB pitcher Livan Hernandez throwing the first pitch in franchise history. The cool thing about this bobblehead is it features a moment I actually got to see in person. This may be the first and last time I can boast such a claim. I will attempt to grade this bobblehead in the post that follows. Continue reading

Bobblehead grade: Wally (Boston Red Sox mascot)

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Bobbleheads are meant for children. I’m embarrassed to write this because I have so many of the collectibles nodding around my house, and I’m not quite a child, though I do act like one more times than not. The collectibles end up in the hands of adults more than kids, and I admit there’s something wrong with that. Some teams have created kid-only giveaways to ensure that grown men aren’t bolting from the exits with bags full of bobblehead boxes. We’ve all seen it happen. I have to give credit to the Boston Red Sox for making their first bobblehead giveaway one for kids only. On April 14, the Red Sox gave away a Wally mascot bobblehead, but it was only for kids ages 14 and under. The Red Sox sent me a copy of the figurine to grade (well after the giveaway day), so the following is a kid’s only version of my bobblehead grading system. Continue reading

2015 Major League Baseball team-by-team bobblehead giveaways

With the MLB season getting underway tonight with the Cubs and Cardinals facing off at Wrigley Field, I thought what better time to post the full team-by-team bobblehead giveaways? This list is based on the promotion schedules on each MLB team’s website. If I’ve overlooked something or written something in error, please let me know and I’ll work to get it fixed. Enjoy. Continue reading