Big League Stew sometimes requires on-the-ground reports from bobblehead giveaways. This time, it's from Roy Halladay(notes) Bobblehead Night in Philadelphia and Ryan Edmund of Long Drive was there to bring us the scene. Please enjoy his post.
One of the most sought-after tickets on the Phillies schedule this year wasn't a date against the division-rival New York Mets, or an interleague matchup with the Red Sox, but rather a mid-May weeknight visit from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Why did everybody in the Delaware Valley want to see the friggin' Bucs? Because it was Roy Halladay Bobblehead Night — that's why.
As soon as he was acquired, Halladay became an instant fan favorite in Philly. The Modell's Sporting Goods in my neighborhood sold out of his jersey number T-shirt (also known as a "shirsey") the day they were released in December. My girlfriend and I each got one.
In fact, the buzz for his bobblehead giveaway started when the original version of the promotions schedule was released in October. Back then it was called "Cliff Lee Bobblehead Night," which the team wisely changed soon after The Trade.
When tickets went on sale to the public, this was one of the first games to sell out. That's why I was so surprised to see them on StubHub for as low as $20 on Monday night.
I begged my girlfriend, who has a rather inflexible work schedule, to try and call out sick so we could both go. She told me I could go by myself, but I knew that was a trap. Going solo would result in me having to surrender my bobblehead to her collection. In order for me to get a bobblehead I could keep, I needed the Little Lady to come along so she could get her own.
We caught a break when, thanks to crummy weather, tickets for the game dropped to as low as $8. Also, the migraine that forced her to leave work early lifted just in time for us to make it to the game a little late.
Due to I-95 being the biggest parking lot in the world, we didn't arrive until the end of the second inning. Another surprise: Citizens Bank Park looked pretty vacant from the outside. Walking through the main gates, we saw lots of fans already leaving the park with bobbleheads in-hand. So why was the hottest game on the schedule also one of the lowest-attended of the season?
A quick check on eBay revealed at least 100 of the figurines up for auction already. Some have gone beyond $30 and with lots of time left to bid. One seller has eight of them up for sale, advertising that they were all kept in his car, out of the rain. These dealers were going into the park, getting their bobblehead, and leaving only to return with a new ticket.
As for the bobblehead itself, there's a lot to love. It doesn't look a ton like Roy, but it's not a McFarlane figure, it's a bobblehead — so all it really has to do is hit the high points.
Red stubble? Check. Steely blue eyes? Check. Kickass two-seam fastball (inset)? Check, although it would have been way cooler if they could have posed him throwing his cutter. They did manage to depict him wearing an accurate uniform number, at least.
Those who chose not to go were missing out, though weather was certainly another factor: High winds, low temperatures and rain kept some of the more timid fans away. Couple that with one of the biggest Flyers games of the decade going on right across the street and it's no wonder that the stadium looked empty compared to the announced attendance of 45,007.
A big BLS H/N to Ryan for the post. Follow him on Twitter @petzrawr