For years, stadiums have given away items as a way to draw more fans to games. There are the basics, such as shirts and hats. Arguably the most popular of the bunch, though, are bobbleheads.
This will be the 20th season in which the Dodgers will give out bobbleheads to their fans. It all started back in 2001, when the team gave out a Tommy Lasorda bobblehead on April 4. Since then, the Dodgers have given out 142 bobbleheads, according to their website.
However, not all of these have been stadium giveaways. Some have been part of exclusive ticket packages, season ticket holder perks, as well as the Dodgers’ annual 5k run. Nevertheless, they’ve given away quite a bit.
Originally, the team would give out only three a year. Oh, how the times have changed. Last year, the Dodgers had 20 (TWENTY!) different bobbleheads that were given out. That is by far more than any team in baseball. As of now, the team is giving away at least 18 for the upcoming season.
Growing up, my parents would take me to every bobblehead game. I loved collecting them, and to this day, I have well over 150 different kinds. They vary from Dodgers, to the NBA, to other MLB teams as well. I even have a collection of Seinfeld bobbleheads.
I love bobbleheads, so I thought this would be a fun little series to write about. Over the next week and beyond, I’ll be publishing articles where I rank the 10 best bobblehead giveaways in team history.
If you have a collection, or even only a few, share in the comments what your favorite Dodgers bobbleheads of all-time are!
Back to where it all began. Here’s the original Tommy Lasorda bobblehead that was given away in 2001. Although it’s pretty plain, the detail in his face is great. The first series of bobbleheads were this style, a truly huge head on a smaller/thicker body. In 2018, the Dodgers paid tribute to this original series with a Clayton Kershaw version.
In my opinion, this is by far the best one the Dodgers have ever done. So, why isn’t it on the list? This Sandy Koufax was an exclusive for season-ticket holders back in 2012, I believe. They only made 1,955 of these, so it’s a rare one.
It’s a very famous picture, as it shows him next to his locker, holding four baseballs with a big zero, representing his four career no-hitters. The detail is phenomenal. It looks exactly like the photo, and even has the locker and everything. One day I’ll get my hands on this beauty.
The Dodgers have done a few bobbleheads with multiple players on it, but this is one of the best. Back in 2012, they paid tribute to “The Infield”, which consisted of Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes and Steve Garvey. These four played 833 games together, which is still an MLB record for most games ever played by an infield. If I were to guess, that’s a record that will likely never be broken.
The only downside to this bobblehead is how small it is. Nevertheless, still a great one.
Hanley Ramirez “I See You”
During his tenure with the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez became a fan favorite not only because of his stellar play on the field, but with what he did with his hands. Usually after a home run or getting on base, Ramirez would put his hands to his face, making a glasses type of look with his fingers.
This became known as “I See You”. In 2013, the Dodgers paid tribute by doing it in bobblehead form.
One of the original three back in 2001 was Kirk Gibson. Since then, he has had two more, and they’re both equally as awesome, so I’m including both.
The first one is the most recent, which was given away in 2018. It recreates his historic walk-off home run from the 1988 World Series. Here, he’s raising his fist into the air.
This next one comes from 2012, which also paid tribute to his walk-off home run. Instead, this one shows the other memorable moment, as he pumped his fist to try and give himself enough gas to make it around the bases.
What made this bobblehead so fun was the fact that on top of it being a bobblehead, his arm bobbled as well!
Lemme take a selfie
Though these are technically two bobbleheads, I’m going to combine them into one. This is definitely one of the more clever ideas the Dodgers have had. Years ago, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez would take an imaginary selfie with each other, usually after one of them did something well, like a home run or scoring a huge run.
It instantly became a fav favorite, and the Dodgers honored it by giving each player a bobblehead of the respected player taking a selfie. They gave out a Turner one in June, and then the Gonzalez one in September. If you collected both, you could put them side-by-side, and it looked as if they were taking a selfie together.
This is the second bobblehead Manny Ramirez got with the Dodgers, and the two actually connect to each other.
On July 22, 2009, the Dodgers gave away a Manny Ramirez bobblehead. It was one of him at the plate swinging a bat. On his bobblehead night he didn’t get the start, but he came up in the sixth inning to pinch hit.
With the bases loaded and the game tied at two, Ramirez connected on the first pitch he saw, sending it over the left field fence to give the Dodgers a 6-2 lead. The stadium erupted into “Manny! Manny!” chants, prompting Ramirez to run up to the top steps of the dugout for a curtain call. He gave not one, but two curtain calls, as he gave another when the inning ended.
Just two months later, the Dodgers gave out this Ramirez curtain call bobblehead.
What’s your favorite Dodgers bobblehead? Leave a comment below!
Also, is there a bobblehead you’d like to see the Dodgers eventually do? Whether it be a certain play, or a certain moment in Dodgers history. Let me know!