It's not unusual for baseball teams to come up with promotions that make us do a double take. In fact, it's become a common occurrence over the years as they search for fresh and creative ways to lure fans into the ballpark. Another of those promotions came to light on Friday when it was learned the Los Angeles Dodgers will be holding a Babe Ruth bobblehead day for their Sept. 9 game against the San Diego Padres.
You read that correctly, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be giving away bobbleheads of the former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees great. It's the last of a series of bobblehead promotions that will include Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, rookie sensations Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodger legends Pee Wee Reese & Roy Campanella, and even new owner Magic Johnson. None of those names required a second thought, but Babe Ruth stood out as a name that wasn't quite like the others.
But apparently it shouldn't, because Ruth actually spent the 1938 season with the Brooklyn Dodgers — as the first base coach. It's a small connection — a stretch even — but it counts. And the Dodgers are happy to take advantage of it.
The coaching gig was actually Ruth's final job in baseball. According to multiple reports then and now, his hiring was nothing more than public relations move, which makes the bobblehead day a bit more fitting. It's said Ruth wasn't even allowed to relay to signs to baserunners during his time there, and was told up front he wouldn't be considered for the managerial position if it became available. Managing was his ultimate goal following his playing career, but the Dodgers stayed true to their word, instead hiring Leo Durocher as the new manager following the season. Ruth was not a part of his staff.
That's not exactly a memorable relationship, but the good news for other teams is that this opens a whole new door for possible promotions.
Babe Ruth bobblehead at Dodger Stadium? That'd be like the Marlins giving away a Mike Piazza bobblehead.
— Dustin Nosler (@FeelinKindaBlue) November 15, 2013
See what we mean?
Think of all the 'cup of coffee' relationships involving great players at the end of their careers or even as short-term coaches post-career. A Dale Murphy bobblehead with the Colorado Rockies? Doesn't sound so crazy now. Neither does a Rickey Henderson bobblehead for his 72 at-bats with the Dodgers in 2003.
A new can of worms is open, and it'll be interesting to see how quickly other teams jump on the bandwagon to create a little extra revenue. In fact, feel free to help them out by offering some suggestions of short-term baseball relationships that could be turned into profitable promotions in the comments. We're sure they'll be reading.
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