Bobblehead Days are without a doubt one of my favorite big league promotions. Free programs are alright, free hats are nice but don’t always fit, and I can find the information from those complimentary schedules online. Nothing quite sits on your shelf like a ballplayer with an oversized, wobbly head. Our current bobblehead craze can be traced back to May of 1999, in which the San Francisco Giants gave away 20,000 Willie Mays bobbleheads to fans as a promotion (Bobblehead dolls existed prior to 1999, but had not been popular since the 70s, according to the folks at Pop Culture Spot). Since then, it is common for each MLB season to feature multiple bobblehead giveaways.
Bobbleheads can be representations of retired players or mascots, although they are most commonly made in the image of current players. I recall one of the last games I was able to attend in the 2011 season; August 14th at Miller Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was Craig Counsell bobblehead day. Now, Counsell is definitely my favorite Brewer (I have a soft spot for old utility men and/or scrappy defensive ballplayers), so I was excited to get this piece of memorabilia. Milwaukee Brewers fans know that he doesn’t start every day (especially this season), but to my surprise he was in the lineup. As I remember back to that day, most of the details escape me, but I recall one situation late in the game where the score was close and Craig Counsell was up to bat. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if he came up big on his bobblhead day?’ crossed my mind. He didn’t, he struck out for his third K of the day and went back to the dugout. It was still a nice thought.
All of this got me thinking – how well do players perform on their own bobblehead days? Do players that don’t normally start, happen to start on those days? These things could be purely coincidental, but I’d be interested to see what happens. Periodically over this offseason I’ll take a look at each team’s 2011 promotional schedule, and see what happened surrounding each and every bobblehead day. Team by team, I’ll post what I find.
Craig Counsell was 0-for-3 with 3 K’s on his bobblehead day. What about the others?