Archive for the ‘Independent’ Category

This Week in Bobbleheads – Week 22

Where has the 2009 baseball season gone?  It seems like yesterday when teams had just started to break camp in AZ and FL and further disperse their minor league talent to respective cities and now this week begins 40 man roster expansion in MLB with minors races and playoffs to follow.  Here’s what’s coming up:

Chicago Cubs 8/31/09 Billy Williams – First 10,000 – One of the more popular cubbies of all-time. Williams was better known for hitting than for defense, but he made crucial catches in two different no-hitters by Cubs pitchers: Ken Holtzman in 1969, and Milt Pappas in 1972.

Lowell Spinners 8/31/09 Gary DiSarcina – First 1,500 – Lowell honors their 2009 manager after sporting an impressive MLB career mostly with the California Angels.

New Hampshire Fishercats 8/31/09 Ted Williams – First 2,000 – Another copycat from Lowell, this time of the Splendid Splinter flying a plane from his war days.

Trenton Thunder 8/31/09 Chien-Ming Wang Figurine – First 2,000 6 and up – This will be the 2nd statue of the most famous Taiwanese pitcher in MLB history thusfar.

St. Lucie Mets 9/1/09 Slider (Mascot) – First 250 – This time Slider will go to the adults.

Portand Seadogs 9/1/09 Jon Lester – First 2,000 – Boston’s #2 starter played a major role while he pitched at the AA level, thus he gets this honor.

Albuquerque Isotopes 9/3/09 Manny Ramirez – First 3,000 – This is the Isotopes 2nd opportunity to get a Manny bobblehead to their fanbase that honors the rehabber.

Hudson Valley Renegades 9/3/09 Paint Your Own Bobblehead – First 3,000 – Nobody really knows who it will be or what colors they will have, but how many different ways can you paint a raccoon?

Wisconsin Timberrattlers 9/3/09 Brett Lawrie – First 1,000 – Lawrie was the 2009 fan’s choice winner and a rising star to boot.

Delmarva Shorebirds 9/4/09 Matt Wieters – First 1,000 – Interesting that this is the only affiliate that is giving out Wieters that he has never actually played a game at.

Lansing Lugnuts 9/4/09 Carlos Marmol – First 1,000 – Marmol is now back in his closer role with the Cubbies and was always very popular at this affiliate.

Charleston Riverdogs 9/5/09 Paint Your Own Bobblehead – First 1,000 – Are you a budding artist? Then show off your skills when you come to the Joe for the Paint-it-Yourself Bobblehead giveaway. The first 1,000 fans this Saturday will receive a free plain bobblehead and a set of paints to decorate their player in their favorite team colors.

Cleveland Indians 9/5/09 Travis Hafner BobblePen Holder – This time Pronk is able to store pens instead of swinging his huge bat; interesting concept!!!

Wilmington BlueRocks 9/5/09 Andrew Layman – First 1,000 – The 2009 fan favorite bobblehead of the Rocks denotes their Asst. GM which becomes their 2nd front office bobblehead after Chris Kemple was honored a few years ago.

New York Mets 9/6/09 Frankie Rodriguez – First 25,000 – Krod comes to the Mets after setting an MLB record for saves with Anaheim and also sporting 2 bobbleheads while in their system.

Potomac Nationals 9/6/09 John Lannan – First 1,000 – The PNats will try again to distribute the Chaminade grad after an earlier rainout.

Vancouver Canadians 9/6/09 A&W Root Bear (Mascot) – First 500 – Ahh I got it now…Root Beer, Root Bear…HA HA.

I’m debating making a trip for the final long weekend of the minors season and just looking to calculate distances and midpoints. Anyone who is interested in helping me plan feel free to get in touch with me.

Advertisements

Meet The New Hampshire Road Warriors

tractor at holman

It’s a banner day: Nashua, New Hampshire made Deadspin.  Wheee.

For those who don’t like clicking links, the city of Nashua locked the American Defenders of New Hampshire out of Holman Stadium yesterday afternoon due to a number of unpaid bills.  The team and city could not reach an agreement on an acceptable payment plan, so the few remaining home dates have been rescheduled as road games.

As the title suggests, the situation calls to mind the old Pennsylvania Road Warriors from the Atlantic League, who played entire seasons on the road in the early 2000s.  I don’t recall the exact problem with the Road Warriors – lack of funding to build a stadium, maybe – but that’s not the point.  The point is that I remember what those teams were like: full of young guys who were willing to play for next to nothing, managed by one of the nicest guys in the game, and they almost never won.

You’d think I would be sad about what appears to be the death of professional baseball in Nashua, but I’m really not. Dan Duquette can blame it on the people of the city all he wants – the fact of the matter is that the ownership did an extremely poor job of a) selling the team to potential fans and b) understanding the situation they were getting themselves into.  They wanted a quick, easy buck, and when it didn’t work that way (because people in the city have been burned often in recent years and needed to be won over), they threw in the towel and refused to pay, hoping to make the mayor and the people of the city the bad guys who just wouldn’t support their team.

It was inevitable that we would get to this point.  For at least two, maybe three years now, Nashua baseball has been an exercise in futility, with owners who seemed to think that insulting potential fans was the best way to draw them to the ballpark.  Surprisingly, it didn’t work.  The newest group, Duquette and Company, wanted us to believe that they weren’t like the rest, that they meant what they said and said what they meant.  But in the end, as WGAM’s Rich Keefe pointed out yesterday, “It was just lipstick on a pig.”

The only thing that really bothers me is that this will renew the chorus of the idiotic minority who claim that professional baseball “stole Holman Stadium from the kids,” because they used to play high school football and baseball there before the Pride arrived.  Never mind the fact that the presence of the Pride resulted directly in renovations being made to refurbish and somewhat modernize the ballpark, or that a beautiful new football stadium, Stellos Stadium, was built down the street from Nashua High School South, or that in the years I worked there (2003 and 2004) there were over 130 non-Pride events at Holman.  Why worry about facts?

Oh well.  Professional baseball in Nashua is finally gone, probably never to return (unless they can further improve the stadium, pay off the Red Sox to waive territory rights, and lure a low-level affiliated team to the city; oh yeah, it’s that easy).  Sure, the NECBL might drop a franchise in there, and there will be plenty of high school baseball to be seen, but if you want to see the pros play (and say what you will about the quality of the Defenders, they WERE professionals; probably in the A range, but professionals nonetheless), I don’t know what to tell you.

Oh,wait, yes I do…

There’s a game in Manchester tonight.

This Week in Bobbleheads – Week 21

Nice week for me, Melancon bobblehead on Wednesday in Trenton, Lowrie bobblehead in Wilmington on Friday, capped off by having Melancon sign the afformentioned giveaway for me last night in front of his mom and fiancee during my Scranton roadtrip. Pretty amazing I must say. Here’s week 21:

San Francisco Giants 8/25/09 Carlos Santana – Santana the popular hispanic musician is being given as part of a Latino night promotion, complete with guitar.

New Hampshire Fishercats 8/26/09 Jonathan Papelbon (Bobble Leg) – First 2,000 – Once again the Fishercats dig deep into Lowell Spinners history and copycat another bobblehead from them while sticking on a local sponsor. That’s just wrong.

Albuquerque Isotopes  8/27/09 Manny Ramirez – First 3,000 – Probably some Dodger leftovers but at least he rehabbed there before being reinstated from his PED suspension.

Lowell Spinners 8/27/09 Micky Ward – First 1,500 – Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He was coached by former New England Olympic Champion John Peverada (of Portland Maine). He started off 14-0 in his professional career, but after a stretch of defeats in the early 1990s, Ward hung up the gloves for a period of three years. He returned in 1994 with a vengeance, winning nine straight fights and earning some fights against big name fighters like Arturo Gatti.

Norfolk Tides 8/28/09 Mark Reynolds, Ryan Zimmerman, Bruce Smith(Set of 3) – 200 Fans – A Lucky 200 fans will receive the 2009 neighborhood heroes set…Drawing via lottery.

Palm Beach Cardinals 8/28/09 Albert Pujols – First 1,000 – The Florida State League affiliate honors their parent club’s MVP.

San Angelo Colts 8/28/09 Casey (Mascot) – First 1,000 – The Texas independent league team once again gives out their mascot, hopefully in a different pose from other years.

Tulsa Drillers 8/28/09 Jeff Francis/Matt Holliday/Mark Teixeira Triple – First 1,000 – This magnificent triple bobblehead is the final in the decade all-star series.

Hagerstown Suns 8/29/09 Vernon Wells Bronze Statuette – First 1,000 – Part of the Suns HOF statuette series.

Kane County Cougars 8/29/09 Ozzie (Mascot) – First 1,000 – No good alumni from the Cougars this season so Ozzie makes the perfect choice one more time.

Lowell Spinners 8/29/09 Extreme Blue The Frisbee Dog (Mascot) – First 1,500 – One of the few frisbee catching dog mascot sideshows around the minors.

Rockford Riverhawks 8/29/09 Sammy Sosa – First 1,000 – Last of the retro Rockford Cubbie series, cork or roids not included.

Round Rock Express 8/29/09 Sam Houston – First 3,000 – One of the most famous politicians in US History gets his due.

St. Paul Saints 8/29/09 Paint Your Own Bobblehead – First 2,500 – Remember the words of Obama, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig!!! Now you can paint your own.

Beloit Snappers 8/30/09 Kyle Weaver – First 500 – Current NBA Star and former Beloit Memorial High School Stand out Kyle Weaver will be honored by the Snappers in the final edition of the 2009 Bobblehead giveaways.

Milwaukee Brewers 8/30/09 Jeff Suppan – During 2009 Spring Training in Maryvale, AZ I congratulated Soupy for finally reaching bobblenirvana… We shared a good laugh of course.

St. Louis Cardinals 8/30/09 Adam Wainwright – First 25,000 fans – Wainright figures finally graduate to MLB status after having minor league bobbleheads in Memphis as a Cardinal and Myrtle Beach while still a Brave.

San Francisco Giants 8/30/09 Randy Johnson – First 20,000 – A late season addition to the Giants promo lineup that pays tribute for the latest 300 game winner in MLB history.

Keep track with the latest goings on in the bobblehead hobby at thetruebobbleheadboard.yuku.com

This Week in Bobbleheads – Week 20

Well the Happ bobblehead giveaway I went to was a mob scene. They even had to open up early since the line at the one gate was all the way into the parking lot causing a big problem with people that expected to have the gates open at 6pm, not 5:45 like they did. Unfortunately management didn’t care much, but also didn’t mention to the fans that only half were given at the fans gate with the other half being saved for their plan holders and luxury box people. Here’s this week’s giveaways:

Greeneville Astros 8/17/09 Davy Crockett – First 1,000 – Crockett was born on 8/17/1786 and he comes complete with outfit, funky hat and a bat to boot.

Memphis Redbirds 8/18/09 Jason Motte – First 1,500 – Motte had started his rookie campaign in 2009 as the potential closer until handing the job to Ryan Franklin.

Long Island Ducks 8/19/09 Frank Boulton – First 2,000 – The Atlantic League franchise finally gives their owner his due.

Los Angeles Dodgers 8/19/09 Matt Kemp – First 50,000 – Kemp won the fans hearts by their vote in the 2009 bobble stakes.

Norfolk Tides 8/19/09 Bruce Smith – First 2,000 17 and under – As a neighborhood hero, the Tides do their first football player bobble. The fact he’s in the NFL HOF makes it sweeter.

Philadelphia Phillies 8/19/09 Brad Lidge – Lidge was perfect in save opportunities in leading the Phillies to the 2008 WS title.

Trenton Thunder 8/19/09 Mark Melancon – First 2,000 6 and up – Melancon was one of the many who made their Yankees debut in 2009. The others should make up the 2010 set to come!!!

Erie Seawolves 8/21/09 Curtis Granderson – First 1,000 – Granderson is the player selected as the bobblehead of the Tigers era in this set.

Oakland A’s 8/21/09 Jason Giambi – First 15,000 – Too bad Giambi was recently released before his comeback bobble to the A’s

Wilmington BlueRocks 8/21/09 Jed Lowrie – First 1,000 – Lowrie is one of the few bright spots from Boston’s tenure with the Rocks before they returned to a Royals affiliate.

Potomac Nationals 8/22/09 John Lannan – First 1,000 – A Long Island native made his debut with Washington in 2008 and has turned into their ace.

Quad Cities River Bandits 8/22/09 Jimmy Buffett with Parrott – First 1,000 – It’s a night for parrotheads in the Quad Cities, with a concert following the game.

Tri-City Valleycats 8/22/09 Steve Caporizzo – First 1,000 – The Cats fans have spoken and their favorite weathermaq is Caporizzo from an earlier poll.
Washington Nationals 8/22/09 Frank Howard – First 15,000 – Played for the Washington Senators from 1965-1971. During an amazing one-week stretch in the spring of 1968 (May 12–18), Howard hammered 10 home runs in 20 at bats, with at least one in six consecutive games; his 10 home runs are also the most ever in one week. He would go on to hit 13 homers in 16 games, a mark that would stand until Albert Belle matched it in 1995.

Florence Freedom 8/23/09 George Foster – First 1,000 – A 5-time All-Star (1976-79, 1981), Foster was a member of the 1970s Big Red Machine, leading the league in home runs in 1977-78, runs batted in from 1976-78, and OPS in 1977.

2 giveaways for me this week…Melancon in Trenton and Lowrie in Wilmington. Also have a friend getting me the LA Kemp. See ya next week.

This Week in Bobbleheads – Week 19

Well the Strawberry event was a rather interesting one.  At the beginning of the season, the Cyclones had announced that Strawberry was not only being honored with a bobblehead, but he was to make an appearance at Keyspan Park, and also do a free signing.  A week before this event was to take place, all was changed.  The only way you could get Darryl to sign anything was if you purchased 1 of 2 “Meet and Greet” packages.  Either you could go to a room for an hour prior to the game and he would sign for just $25 or you could sit with him in a skybox during the game for 3 innings for a mere $125.  There were very limited spots for either and also poorly advertised in their press releases, but I managed to wiggle in for the cheaper way.  Guess Madoff even had its effect on the minors as well.  Here are the Bobblehead giveaways for this week:

Great Lakes Loons 8/10/09 Chet Lemon -First 1,000 – Another link to the 1984 WS Championship Tigers team.

Huntsville Stars 8/10/09 Microwave Dave – First 1,000 – Ok boys mystery solved. Microwave Dave and the Nukes are a blues band from the area and they honor their leader in this promo.

Chicago Cubs 8/11/09 Ryne Sandberg – First 10,000 – Look for 2 Sandberg giveaways this week. See below for the minor league version.

Joliet Jackhammers 8/11/09 Jammer (Mascot) – First 1,000 – Jammer rocks the house with another bobblehead character.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8/11/09 Mike Napoli – One of the many MLB players to homer in his first big league AB.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs 8/12/09 J.A. Happ – First 2,500 18 and over – Everyone demanded Happ in trade talks, now the fans can command his bobblehead.

Worcester Tornadoes 8/13/09 Peterman (On Field Emcee) – First 1,000 – Dave Peterson, better known as “Peterman,” has worked for the Tornadoes organization since 2005 as the On-Field Emcee.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8/14/09 Nate McLouth – First 1,000 – I think this is the final team in the Pirates organization to honor Nate. A message to the organization for dealing him perhaps? Hmm…

Cincinnati Reds 8/15/09 Brandon Phillips – First 30,000 – Another original Expos prospect let go for an overachiever (I think he was part of the Fatolo Colon deal).

Lancaster Jethawks 8/15/09 SR71 Bobble Plane – First 1,000 – Part of an aviation night celebration.

Las Vegas 51s 8/15/09 Cosmo (Mascot) – First 2,500 – This mascot’s bobblehead is simply out of this world.

Orange County Flyers 8/15/09 Phil Nevin – First 1,000 – A veteran MLB ballplayer returned to Goodwin Field at Cal State Fullerton as the ESPN analyst for the Super Regional against Stanford. In December 2008, he was named the manager of the Orange County Flyers in the independent Golden Baseball League.

Quad Cities River Bandits 8/15/09 Rascal (Mascot) – First 2,000 – Come early for the Rascal bobblehead giveaway and stick around for lively post-game entertainment consisting of an extravagant fireworks show and Dueling Pianos provided by Nan’s Piano Bar!

Reno Aces 8/15/09 Josh Whitesell – First 2,500 – Betcha Whitesell is glad he’s away from the Nationals, the team that originally drafted him!!! He was also a high school teammate of Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco.

Tennessee Smokies 8/15/09 Ryne Sandberg – First 1,000 – Great way for Ryne to cap off the week with his 2nd bobblehead promo.

St. Louis Cardinals 8/16/09 Fredbird (Bobble Frame) (Mascot) – First 25,000 – Capture your Busch Stadium and Cardinals memories to display in this one of a kind picture frame with a Fredbird Bobblehead attached.

I’ll be happy to take a Happ from Lehigh Valley this week. Come join me and say hey.

This Week in Bobbleheads Week 18

The 2009 non-waiver trade deadline has passed and you have to feel so sorry for the people in Cleveland. You would think the Tribe would have the decency to schedule a Victor Martinez bobblehead giveaway before you had ideas of trading him, but as Murphy’s law would have it, the catcher’s figure was given barely 24 hours after being shipped to the Red Sox. What a way to bring in the month of August eh?

Brooklyn Cyclones 8/3/09 Darryl Strawberry – First 2,500 – The straw man comes to Coney Island for a bobblehead, first pitch, and hopefully an autograph session as well.

Springfield Sliders 8/3/09 Danny Cox – First 500 – The former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and current Sliders pitching coach receives a figure. This is an encore of an earlier giveaway of the same bobblehead.

Memphis Redbirds 8/4/09 Rick Ankiel – First 1,500 – At least his diminished playing time since the Holliday trade hasn’t lessened his popularity as a giveaway.

West Virginia Power 8/4/09 Jesco White – First 1,000 – Nicknamed The Dancing Outlaw, he is scheduled to make an appearance to show his dazzling footwork and possibly his penmanship skills also.

Portand Seadogs 8/5/09 Michael Bowden – First 1,000 – Was the Bosox 1st round draft pick in 2005 hopeful to join the rotation someday in Beantown.

Springfield Sliders 8/5/09 Speedy (Mascot) – First 500 – Trying to think of something cute here…Ok to slide you should be speedy…Or if you are a White Castle fan, Sliders do go down kinda fast.

Augusta Greenjackets 8/7/09 Auggie (Mascot) – First 1,000 – A 6-inch tall bug, an exterminator’s nitemare.

Chattanooga Lookouts 8/7/09 TBA – First 1,000 – Why the Lookouts are always so secretive about their promos is beyond me. The only hint given is that it’s a local icon.

Erie Seawolves 8/7/09 John Lackey – First 1,000 – This time the Seawolves remember their times as an Angels affiliate.

San Francisco Giants 8/7/09 Jon Miller – First 20,000 – HOF Broadcaster for both the Giants and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball gets his first chubby figure.

Seattle Mariners 8/7/09 Ken Griffey Jr. – First 20,000 – Wasn’t on the original promo schedule, but when the M’s reacquired the future HOFer it’s a no-brainer.

Billings Mustangs 8/8/09 Chris Dickerson – First 1,000 – Has emerged as a top outfielder in Cincinnati.

Kansas City Royals 8/8/09 Frank White Figurine – First 20,000 – HOF infielder part of the 2009 bronze statuette series.

Springfield Cardinals 8/8/09 Bruce Sutter – First 2,500 – One of the sport’s dominant relievers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he became the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979-1982, 1984), and retired with 300 saves.

Stockton Ports 8/8/09 Noah (Bible) – First 1,000 – The Ports have a Faith Day promotion here.

Vermont Lakemonsters 8/8/09 Jason Bay – First 1,000 – This is the 2nd bobblehead in the Lakemonster’s history and continually asks the question,,, what if the Expos/Nats had held onto this future all-star? What a team they’d have!!!

Washington Nationals 8/8/09 Adam Dunn – First 15,000 – #1 will the Nats even draw 15,000? #2 Kinda funny that the day starts off with a pregame blood drive considering the team is so lifeless.

Yakima Bears 8/8/09 Shane Victorino – First 750 – Finished 1st in the online vote for last NL player in the 2009 All-Star game.

Florence Freedom 8/9/09 Tim Grogan – First 1,000 – Tim Grogan is in his 3rd season with the Freedom. He is a local product who has played most of his career as a 3rd baseman. Grogan was a 19th round pick of the New York Mets in 2005.

Toronto Blue Jays 8/9/09 Tom Henke Figurine – First 10,000 – The Jays pay homage to the greatest closer in the history of the franchise.

Speaking of the Mets, I will be in Brooklyn Monday for the Strawberry bobblehead.  Stay in touch with the hobby through the remainder of the season and beyond at http://thetruebobbleheadboard.yuku.com

This Week in Bobbleheads – Week 17

Dog days of summer have started in baseball and the big push for bobblehead giveaways in the minors are very apparent in the month of August as these posts get larger and larger. Let’s get to this week then shall we?:

San Francisco Giants7/27/09Lou Seal (Stitch & Pitch) (Mascot) – What is more relaxing then going to a San Francisco Giants game than going with your needle arts projects too! Get your craft circles together for a fun filled evening with stitching and baseball. Fans will receive a very special Lou Seal themed bobblehead to take home along with being able to sit in the Stitch-N-Pitch area with other creative people. Rocker not included.

Bowling Green Hotrods 7/28/09 Joe Blanton – First 1,000 – Started in the A’s system and hit a homer in the 2008 World Series with the Phillies.

Memphis Redbirds 7/28/09 Adam Wainwright – First 1,500 – Wainright is being portrayed in his 2nd Redbirds bobblehead.

Wilmington BlueRocks 7/28/09 Everett Teaford – First 1,000 – The Rocks will try once again to give out Teafords since it was last postponed by rain. He has also been promoted to AA since.

Auburn Doubledays 7/29/09 Adam Lind – First 1,000 – The Bluejays powerful slugger began his rise to stardom here.

Madison Mallards 7/29/09 Maynard G. Mallard (Pitching) (Mascot) – First 500 – This time the jack-of-all-trades mallard will try his hand at pitching in bobblehead form.

Trenton Thunder 7/29/09 Derby (Mascot) – First 2,000 6 and over – Derby is the son of the Thunder’s original batdog Chase.

San Francisco Giants 7/30/09 Lou Seal (Policeman) (Mascot) – This time Lou Seal is in Police garb on motorcycle as part of Law Enforcement night.

Wilmington BlueRocks 7/30/09 Joe Biden – First 1,000 – The Delaware native has some catching up to do in political bobbleheads as this is his very first giveaway.

Evansville Otters 7/31/09 Jerry Sloan – First 500 – HOF coach in the NBA with several teams is being honored in his hometown.

Lake County Captains 7/31/09 Omar Vizquel – First 1,500 – Long time Indian and future HOFer at SS will get a bobblehead here.

Norfolk Tides 7/31/09 Ryan Zimmerman – First 2,000 17 and under – Another member in the neighborhood heroes series. He’s the Nats lone hitting hope.

Sacramento Rivercats 7/31/09 Eric Byrnes, Nick Swisher – First 1,500 – Not quite sure if there are 1,500 of each or is there equal amounts of each as part of a Rivercats anniversary duo.

West Michigan Whitecaps 7/31/09 Matt Nokes – First 1,000 – Another part of Tiger Fridays, Nokes will make an appearance as well.

Cleveland Indians 8/1/09 Victor Martinez – Can he be another trade deadline commodity?

Hagerstown Suns 8/1/09 Mike Mussina Statue – First 1,000 – Mussina played here when the Suns were a longtime Oriole affiliate.

Mississippi Braves 8/1/09 Phillip Wellman – First 1,000 – From what I’ve been told, this bobblehead will not throw a temper tantrum and there are no spare bases included.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 8/2/09 Ted Toles – First 1,000 – Inducted into the Ebony Lifeline All Sport Hall of Fame, Ted Toles was honored in 1941 for his outstanding performance and leadership as a New Castle Indians baseball player.

Tampa Bay Rays 8/2/09 Scott Kazmir – Kids 14 and under – The 2008 AL champs series continues with this stud pitcher.

Wilmington will be my minors home away from home this week as I travel for the Teaford and Biden. Hope the weather holds up.