Randy Vickery is a transplanted Atlanta Braves fan who lives in Chicago, and this National League Division Series has him feeling just a bit out of place this week. But that is par for the course there this year. In mid-July, the chairman of the Freeborn & Peters law firm arrived at his offices beside the Sears Tower and was greeted by a six-foot, honest-to-goodness Los Angeles Dodgers Bobblehead.
"Having the Dodger Bobblehead in front of our building and the other Major League clubs' figures throughout the city of Chicago created a lot of buzz," Vickery said. "I think it certainly added to the spirit and the excitement of the All-Star Game. When people saw the one here, the conversations among colleagues and clients ranged from 'Why is that big baseball player in front of our building?' to 'Does this have something to do with the All-Star break?' to 'My son would love that.'"
Everyone loved those All-Star Bobbleheads that were strategically placed around the Windy City for the July 11-15 Midsummer Classic festivities there, and now everyone can love a big bobble for keeps. MLB.com Auction -- in conjunction with the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events, the White Sox (host team for the All-Star Game) and Forever Collectibles -- is accepting bids through Oct. 31 for each All-Star Bobblehead. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Major League Baseball Charities, Chicago White Sox Charities, and City of Chicago Youth Baseball Charities.
Weighing 160 pounds each, these All-Star Bobbleheads are themed around logos and colors specific to the history of its respective Major League club, reflecting the city each one represents as well as one representing each league. For example, notice the special splash of green on the Red Sox doll, representing Fenway Park's legendary Green Monster. That life-size Dodger that stood outside Vickery's offices on South Wacker Drive has a distinctive "1988" on the back, evoking memories of Kirk Gibson's "Miracle Homer" to win that year's World Series. Look for ivy leaves on the Cubs doll, a special monkey theme for Angels fans, and a Detroit version covered in Tiger stripes.
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There are 29 All-Star Bobbleheads available now for bidding at the MLB.com Auction, and each doll would be an interior decorator's delight for that office lobby or home foyer in need of a special baseball touch. And, yes, the heads move.
Whether you want one for indoor or outdoor, the bobblehead on which you bid will be offered in an "as is" condition. They braved the elements in Chicago, and they also braved a lot of curious pedestrians. The Reds bobblehead actually now has an elaborate face in the image of "Kiss" rocker Gene Simmons, thanks to an enterprising street painter. You won't find the Yankee bobblehead, because someone who apparently does not appreciate pinstripe history literally knocked its block off. "I keep the head as a souvenir in my office from All-Star weekend," said Christine Reilly, the White Sox's director of advertising and community relations. Click on the information describing each doll for specific information about its condition.
"Based on the huge demand for the bobblehead dolls we've given away in the past two seasons, we know these life-sized versions will draw interest from tourists and Chicagoans alike," Rob Gallas, White Sox senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting, said before they hit the Chicago streets. "It's fun to take a popular baseball giveaway item, make it life-sized and show it off around the city."
Every baseball fan, whether you live in the city where your favorite team plays or root from afar like Vickery, can bid on an All-Star Bobblehead and then show off an extraordinarily unique form of loyalty. "The love of the game and the team is handed down from parent to child," Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said. "I think our residents, and our millions of summer visitors, are going to enjoy this display."
Now they are displayed at the MLB.com Auction, ready to be shipped by ground. If you don't have room for a new member of the family, then you can always find a bobblehead that is just a bit smaller at the MLB.com Shop.