Bobbleheads can be tricky. There's a science and an art to getting the doll to look like the player. Sometimes, the bobblehead engineers succeed. Sometimes they fail. Sometimes ...
Take the bobblehead issued by the San Francisco Giants for popular relief pitcher Sergio Romo, scheduled to be given away at AT&T Park on May 5. The overall likeness isn't bad. Designers obviously paid attention to Romo's beard, the key component. Hair covers his jowls perfectly. The eyes and shape of the nose are close enough. The ears (the one we can see) ... seem OK. It sticks out enough.
But the skin tone, eh ... how can this be put delicately? Romo just isn't that dark. Now, there's nothing wrong with black skin. It's beautiful, as the saying goes.
But doll and reality don't match, and Romo's bobblehead comes out looking like former major-league star Luis Tiant. Not that there's anything wrong with looking like Tiant, either. If I were a 71-year-old balding Cuban ace, I'd want to look like El Tiante. But the Giants aren't having a Luis Tiant bobblehead day, are they?
At least Romo showed a sense of humor about it on Twitter:
Well im super stoked bout gettin a bobblehead this year! take it everyone thinks its too dark of a skintone? I do! Lol
So, what should be done about this?
Oh, probably nothing. It wouldn't be cost-efficient for the Gigantes to send 25,000 Romoheads back to the bobblehead factory and ask for replacements with a lighter hue. And it's not like the Giants can pivot and say, "It's Santiago Casilla bobblehead day instead" — because the doll doesn't look anything like Casilla, except for the skin tone.
(That's the other thing about bobbleheads. Some created for black players make it appear that designers have never seen a black person before. They come out semi-racist caricatures, like something that makes you ashamed of your grandparents' lawn.)
Do these Romo bobblehead artistes have an idea of what a Mexican person looks like?
If changing the dolls won't work, the Giants could ask Romo to "do something" about his own skin. The conversation could be brief:
Bruce Bochy: "Serge, how do you feel about spray tanning?"
Sergio Romo: "Whatever the team needs, Skip."
Hey, it turns out that this scenario already has occurred to Romo:
Is this guy awesome, or what? But it's not reasonable for Romo to do a reverse Sammy Sosa. Let him be proud of his skin. The least the Giants can do is give him a bobblehead that reflects how Romo looks.
Big BLS h/t: @gggiants
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