Sweet Mike Piazza bobblehead, A's. - Marc Serota
There are a lot of bobbleheads out there, but we can always use some more. Here are the bobbleheads that don't exist for the National League teams, but most definitely should.
The Brewers are having George Scott bobblehead day, which is kind of neat. At first I thought it was a George C. Scott bobblehead, but this is even better. Scott was a first baseman for the Brewers for five years, making the All-Star team once and winning five consecutive Gold Gloves with them.
He's also the author of one of the greatest stat lines you'll ever see, albeit with Boston:
An award-winning season! But that's not the point. Scott was a five-year Brewer, and 40 years later he's getting a bobblehead. I love that. Of course Cecil Cooper or Robin Yount will get one from the Brewers, too, but it's the lesser-known stars (or semi-stars) of decades past who need more bobbleheads.
I'm going to botch this, but here's an attempt to get a George Scott bobblehead for the 29 other teams. The only rule is this: A Google search for "(player's name) bobblehead" can't return anything for sale.
That's it. And now that I'm staring at a list of 29 teams, I'm realizing this is going to take forever. So I'll split it up! National League today, American League tomorrow. First up, the Senior Circuit:
The answer to everything is usually Rusty Staub. Bobblehead questions, recipes, Oscar picks. But the Mets have already done the Rusty Staub bobblehead. Good for them.
When I was growing up, though, Kevin McReynolds was a star. At least, he felt like it to an 8-year-old who was 3,000 miles away, and he was probably the first person to make me laugh at the Padres for giving him away too young.
C - Sandy Alomar
1B - Fred McGriff
2B - Roberto Alomar
SS - Ozzie Smith
3B - Kevin Mitchell
LF - Gary Sheffield
CF - Kevin McReynolds
RF - Dave Winfield
That's better than some all-time franchise lists. But now we're off track. The point is that the Mets should have a bobblehead for a player who was a middle-of-the-order hitter during one of the franchise's better stretches.
Here's how hard this task is. Remember the part about how a Google Search can't return anything for sale? Here's a link to a Pedro Feliz bobblehead. It's for the independent-league team he played for in 2011 and 2012 … but it still exists.
Also of note: I need to borrow $27. Hit me up on e-mail if you can help me out.
In the spirit of the George Scott bobblehead, though, the best option is probably a player the youngsters of today haven't heard much about. Chris Short was on the Phillies for 14 seasons. He won 20 games with them, made two All-Star teams, and is sixth on the list of all-time list of WAR for Phillies pitchers. Nary a bobblehead, though.
There are Derrek Lee bobbleheads, but they're for the Cubs. What about a Derrek Lee bobblehead, but with a Marlins jersey circa 1998? The jersey would have the "World Series champs" patch for the 1997 Series win, and it would represent a) the first championship, b) the fire sale that brought Lee in, and c) the second championship (won with Lee's help).
Because if not for that one, you're getting Todd Dunwoody or something, Marlins. Expansion teams are hard for this project.
Also, instead of plastic or ceramic, the bobblehead will be a face drawn on a cotton ball, and the cotton ball will be stapled to a Twizzler. Also, the fans will need to pay for it separately or GTFO.
OH COME ON.
The first result is the saddest link in the Bob Horner-loving world. The second result is a Braves fan clamoring for one on a bobblehead forum. The third result is someone poking fun at a Braves fan. And the fourth result is a link with Bob Horner 8x10s, but no Horner bobbleheads.
Unacceptable. You need to find your Rachel Carson, Braves fans, and fight this injustice.
It's tricky for the Nationals because they have a past before the witness relocation program, but it's not necessarily a past that Nats fans care about. What kind of Nats fan would want a Hubie Brooks bobblehead? An awesome one, that's what kind. But there wouldn't be enough of them.
So get Harmon Killebrew in a Washington Senators jersey, and pretend there's some link. Hey, I have a Joe DiMaggio bobblehead that was given away at a Giants game, so there's some precedent for regional pride over team history.
Ooh, this is even worse than the Bob Horner slight. Pinson was a young star for the Reds, spending 11 years in Cincinnati. Most similar comp to his age-20 season according to Baseball Reference? Mike Trout.
The Reds gave out a Jonny Gomes bobblehead in 2011. Felipe Lopez has one, too. But no Vada Pinson. For shame, Cincinnati. For shame.
I can't ...
With a team like the Pirates, who have a rich, century-long history filled with Hall of Famers, there are a lot of options. Promotional people like their gimmicks, and a double bobblehead would be better than just one of some person from the history books. Like Marge Schott and Schottzie! That's a double bobblehead, alright.
And if I were a Pirates fan, I'd climb over other people to get a Paul Waner/Lloyd Waner bobblehead. You could even put something like "Big Poison (the good one)" and "Little Poison (the good one's brother)" on the base, so we can all stop being confused.
The most underrated pitcher of all time? Jeez, that's probably worth a book, not an offhand mention in a column about bobbleheads. But there isn't a Rick Reuschel bobblehead out there, and that's pretty telling. He pitched 12 years for the Cubs, winning 20 games and finishing third in the Cy Young race in 1977. He's second in career WAR for the Cubs, just behind Fergie Jenkins. He has as good of a Hall of Fame case as Jack Morris, if not better.
And, here's the kicker: Cubs fans would care. They'd probably want one of those bobbleheads. So it will probably happen some day.
I'm sick of chiding the different teams for their slights. It's time to take action.
The Diamondbacks are an expansion team so desperate for history that they're willing to co-opt shared players for their horrifying foam-costume races. Randy Johnson is a half-Mariner! Matt Williams is more than a half-Giant! Mark Grace is a full-Cub, and … hold on, I just got an e-mail saying you can have him. Enjoy.
So if there has been anyone worth bobble-heading, the Diamondbacks have probably already been there. Jay Bell has one, Matt Williams has one …
Oh, hello, beyond-creepy, still-wrapped Craig Counsell bobblehead. We were just talking about you. And I was going to mention Tony Womack scoring the winning run in the 2001 World Series, but he has one already. And it just sold for $100 on eBay. What a country.
But the answer has to be someone from that World Series team. Byung-Hyun Kim would have a good claim, then, especially since they could put the bobblehead in an awkward, sideways throwing motion. Those are always fun.
Let me help you out, intrepid Google searcher: No.
But there isn't even a Dante Bichette out there. How can you expect to get Hall of Fame votes in 2013 if you don't have your own bobblehead?
Dante Bichette bobbleheads are in design! Sneak peek: twitter.com/Rockies/status…— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) December 11, 2012
The only franchise home-run leader in baseball to not have a bobblehead is Nate Colbert. That seems like something of an oversight, and a nice '70s-themed promotional night would seem like a good time to give one away.
Also, remember that list up there of the players who left San Diego before they turned 30? The Padres' all-time franchise leader in home runs is Nate Colbert. Adrian Gonzalez was just two away, but then he was traded. So it goes. So it goes.
(Khalil Greene is ninth on the Padres home-run list.)
Here I thought I was going to be clever and suggest a "Tommy John bobble arm", but the damned things actually exist. Stupid independent leagues. Always one step ahead.
Instead we'll go with Willie Davis, a 14-year Dodger and two-time World Champion (and All-Star). He also has a higher career WAR than Willie Stargell, Harmon Killebrew, and Yogi Berra. Which might make you rightfully skeptical about WAR as the end-all of baseball arguments, but it's a good shorthand for this: Dude was good.
Last, but not least, as a means of apologizing to the Padres fans for being rude*, I'm thinking the Giants could make a commemorative bobblehead of the young outfielders the team donated to the rest of the league in the 1970s. George Foster on the left, Garry Maddox in the middle, and Gary Matthews on the right. The caption on the base can be "Whoops!" or "The '70s, man … look, we don't know either."
Next up, the American League! First, I'll have to do some research and see if they've made a Derek Jeter bobblehead yet. Gimme a sec.
* lol there aren't any Padres fans reading this lol