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Around the MLB Horn

MLB Bobblehead Promotions

A new season of professional baseball is here again. The 2011 baseball season will kick off for most as early as April 1st. For me, well, I will be in Oakland California enjoying Opening Day at the Oakland Coliseum.

When I go to a baseball game to ball hawk I like to hope for the best possible odds. Fighting large crowds of people is always something a Ballhawk has to endure no matter what baseball stadium he/she goes to. We all consider the weather, and most importantly, something that doesn't always get taken into consideration, is the give-away, and the promotional nights that most Major League teams have at the stadiums. Lets face it. Awesome give-away nights fill seats. Its just the name of the game. But what give-away fills the most seats? What give-away is most desired? What give-away is the most sought-after? When I was a kid it was photo-baseballs, and bat nights that filled the house. Now its that beloved bobble-head figurine!

Bobble-heads are collectors items. All ages come to the stadiums on bobble-head nights to add to their ever growing collection of unique and rare bobble-heads. I for one am not a collector of those cute little bobble-heads. I have one, and I gave it to my mother. It was the Bret Saberhagen Cy Young Bobble-head that the Royals gave away last season. My mother doesn't even know what a Cy Young award is let alone who Bret Saberhagen is. But it doesn't take away from the cute factor of Bret's little head bobbling around as you walk by him as he's perched by her jewelry box.

So in this column for MyGameBalls.com I thought Id put together some Bobble-head history facts, and then list the current bobble-heads that will be given away to fans this year. Depending on who you are knowing this information could either save you a headache of going to the game fighting large crowds to be first in line or create more excitement while shagging baseballs during BP. Either way. Knowing is half the battle.

Some of the first bobble-heads ever created for the Major Leagues were in the 1960s. These bobble-head dolls were made out of papier-m?ch?. Each baseball team received these dolls, and they all looked the same minus the uniforms. It wasn't until the 1960 World Series where player specific dolls were created, and sold during the World Series. Those players were Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, and Roberto Clemente. Unfortunately, since the dolls were constructed out of papier-m?ch? most have not survived.

From the 60's to the 90's the bobble-head went through many dramatic changes. The dolls were constructed out of ceramic after the failed papier-m?ch? didn't work out. Unfortunately, the ceramic nodders were expensive to produce, and fans weren't taking much of an interest. It wasn't until 1999 when the San Francisco Giants handed out 35,000 Bobble-heads of Willie Mays that really captivated the audience. The new bobble-heads primarily made out of plastic were cheap to construct, and the fans loved them.

After the year 2000 bobble-heads became such a craze that you could even contact a company to have them customize a bobble-head for you. Bobble-heads became so advanced that they even had matching scars, tattoos, hair color, eye color, and lifelike facial features.

So here is the 2011 list of bobble-heads that you can get for free during the season. With paid admission of course.

    Baltimore Orioles

  • Buck Showalter June 25th
  • Brian Matusz August 6th
  • Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Racing Gracie ( Mark Grace ) April 28th
  • Kirk Gibson August 6th
  • Chris Young August 27th
  • Fan Voted Bobble-head September 24th
  • Chicago WhiteSox

  • Frank Thomas April 12th
  • Frank Thomas April 29th
  • Roger Bossard June 12th
  • Beer Vendor Bobble-head August 4th
  • Mark Buerhle August 20th
  • Chicago Cubs

  • Starlin Castro April 5th
  • Tyler Colvin April 19th
  • Geovany Soto July 14th
  • Cleveland Indians

  • Mike Hargrove August 13th
  • Cincinnati Reds

  • Joey Votto April 30th
  • Dusty Baker July 12th
  • Jonny Gomes July 23rd
  • Kansas City Royals

  • Willie Wilson June 4th
  • The Angels of Anaheim

  • Kendrys Morales May 24th
  • Dan Haren June 28th
  • Angels Gnome August 18th
  • Houston Astros

  • Michael Bourn April 10th
  • Hunter Pence April 30th
  • Chris Johnson May 14th
  • Bill Brown/Jim Deshaies broadcasters June 11th
  • Bret Myers July 13th
  • Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Clayton Kershaw May 17th
  • Don Mattingly June 1st
  • Hong Chih Kuo June 14th
  • Andre Ethier July 17th
  • FernandoMania July 26th
  • Milwaukee Brewers

  • John Axford April 24th
  • Casey McGehee May 22nd
  • Zack Grienke June 12th
  • Craig Counsell August 14th
  • Randy Wolf September 25th
  • Oakland Athletics

  • Rickey Henderson April 30th
  • McHammer 80's theme July 17th
  • Ray Fosse August 16th
  • New York Mets

  • Mr Met April 18th
  • Seattle Mariners

  • Felix Hernandez April 9th
  • Ichiro Suzuki May 6th
  • Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Neil Walker May 21st
  • Texas Rangers

  • Nelson Cruz June 20th
  • San Diego Padres

  • Bud Black May 7th
  • Toronto Blue Jays

  • Jose Bautista April 3rd
  • Roberto Alomar July 31st
  • San Francisco Giants

  • Cody Ross June 4th
  • Aubrey Huff June 25th
  • Buster Posey July 10th
  • Tim Lincecum August 27th
  • Saint Louis Cardinals

  • Stan Musial April 24th
  • Matt Holliday August 28th
  • Washington Nationals

  • Jayson Werth
  • Ian Desmond

The most expensive bobble-head today is The Beatles Bobble-head, and its priced at $32,000 dollars.

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Wayne Peck is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.

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