January 7 might seem like an ordinary Monday to you, but it’s National Bobblehead Day, a day established by the soon-to-open National Bobblehead Museum. More on the museum later.
The unpretentious little bobblehead is an enjoyable piece of memorabilia, often one of the most popular team giveaways. That was proven last summer when a Javier Baez bobblehead jammed entryways all around Wrigley Field:
Years ago, though, bobbleheads weren’t as elaborate as they are now; none had detail like the Willson Contreras bobblehead given away last year at Wrigley, which had a removable mask and accurately-detailed Venezuelan flag sleeve (photo 11 in the gallery above). Instead, they looked more or less like this:
That’s a 1960s-vintage Cubs bobblehead. The face was common to all teams, which had little bobbleheads (probably half the size of today’s) made in generic versions. It wasn’t until the 1990s that teams began to issue bobbleheads to commemorate players. Like this wacky one I got at a Cubs/Mets game at Citi Field in 2009:
Also in 2009, I attended a Pirates/Cubs game at PNC Park. The Pirates weren’t a good team in those days, so they tried to attract fans by issuing this bobblehead of popular western Pennsylvania native Arnold Palmer, who was celebrating his 80th birthday:
The Cubs haven’t done this, but maybe they should, to commemorate their broadcasters. These are ... well, have a look:
The National Bobblehead Museum recently issued a Pat Hughes bobblehead with a sound chip with Pat’s call of the last out of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, something I’d highly recommend. It looks like this:
The blue shirt version is sold out, but you can still order the red shirt version here.
One of my favorites is this Iowa Cubs “Player To Be Named Later” bobblehead:
Bobbleheads are fun, no doubt about it. Photo 15 in the gallery above shows part of my collection, about half of it, I’d say. And if you enjoy them, I’d recommend a trip to the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170C S. 1st Street in Milwaukee. They recently held a members-only preview opening and expect to be open to the public later this month. Could be a fun side trip if you head up to Milwaukee to see a Cubs/Brewers game.
The Cubs’ promotional schedule for 2019 is not yet out — it’s usually unveiled somewhere around convention weekend — but you can be sure there will be bobbleheads on it, as they’re among the most popular of Cubs giveaways. And as I have written before, it’s way past time for the Cubs to give away more than 10,000 of these, as all other teams do.
Enjoy the humble, unpretentious bobblehead on National Bobblehead Day!