Every year when the Yankees release their promotional calendar for the season, I laser-focus in on the bobbleheads. Although I generally don’t collect non-Yankees bobbleheads, when it comes to my favorite baseball team, I can’t resist.
When I heard about about a new lineup of Yankees bobbleheads, I couldn’t help but get excited. They have so many different types and series of bobbleheads; there are plenty from which fans can choose. The good folks at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame were kind enough to send me a few complimentary bobbleheads so that I could review them for our readers here. Spoiler alert: I give them two pinstriped thumbs down.
Thumbs Down Series
The 2017 Bombers stood out as one of the most exciting teams to watch in recent history. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Yankees, but the team arrived a year early. The club shocked many when they not only made the playoffs, but then came one game within the World Series. The thumbs down served as the squad’s rallying cry.
The gesture famously originated after die-hard Mets fan Gary Dunaier gave Todd Frazier a thumbs down for hitting a home run at Citi Field. That series was played in Queens because the Tampa-area was recovering from Hurricane Irma. After the images of Dunaier went viral, it became the team’s new celebration for success. Even Yankees fans adopted the thumbs down to cheer on the team. Now thumbs down bobbleheads provide a good memory from a surprisingly fun team and a symbol of good times.
The resemblance to Dunaier here is uncanny. Even right down to the apathetic look on his face. This bobblehead cares not for your Yankee success and has no problem showing it.
No thumbs down bobblehead series would be complete without the man who inspired it all. Though he’s no longer with the Yankees, Todd Frazier’s short career in pinstripes will be remembered fondly. And speaking of uncannny resemblances, this bobblehead practically screams “I’m from Toms River and I won the Little League World Series!” The only thing missing here is a mini picture of him with Derek Jeter. I bet you didn’t know that he had one. Now I’m wondering if that picture can somehow become a bobblehead.
The thumbs down wasn’t just associated with Frazier, though. It became the whole team’s rallying cry last year and celebrated the team’s success. So adding Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius, three of the team’s most important players to the collection only makes sense. All the player bobbleheads are made by FOCO, the same people that inspired the Didi Gregorius Emoji bobblehead, and I’m honestly just impressed by how well they can match the players’ likeness.
Fans who can’t or don’t want to choose any one player to support will sometimes sport a jersey or shirsey with no specific player number or name on the back. Something that’s just about the team. Obviously as Yankees fans, one of the things we like to celebrate most is the team’s history, specifically the World Series victories.
Okay, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the obvious here. The face on this bobblehead is a little off-putting and I’m kind of worried this thing might eat me in my sleep, or audition for the next Annabelle film. Once I got past that though, it’s actually pretty cool! Chucky’s cousin holds the Commissioner’s Trophy and has a plaque behind him listing the 27 different years the Yankees won the World Series. I wonder if the folks at FOCO will update it after 2018?
Last year wasn’t just the first time in ages that the Yankees were fun. In fact, it was the first time, possibly ever, that all of MLB was fun. The league held the inaugural Players’ Weekend, where players got to wear jerseys with nicknames on the back instead of their names — or, in the Yankees’ case, instead of nothing — allowing them a chance to show their personalities.
Did you know that Giancarlo Stanton is now a Yankee? Well, this bobblehead is proof. Stanton’s full name is Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. His mother refers to him as Cruz, so for that weekend, Stanton chose to honor his mother by putting it on the back of his jersey. While this happened when he was on the Marlins, it’s cool to see it updated to his current team. Although I think Dongcarlo is a better nickname, I can’t fault him for honoring his mom.
All Rise. That’s really all that needs to be said about this one. Even if Judge’s last name wasn’t judicial, his home runs are so awe-inspiring that fans would probably rise out of their seats to see them fly to the moon anyway. I will add that I appreciate the gap in his teeth.
Now it’s time to look at my two favorite bobbleheads of the ones that were sent.
Speaking of sending baseballs to the moon, a ball definitely hurt Judge in a previous life and it’s his mission to destroy them all in this lifetime. He doesn’t just hit a lot of home runs, he crushes them. He hits them high, he hits them far, he hits them hard. “Tear the cover off the ball” is usually just an expression, but this one has fun and takes it literally because that’s the kind of power Judge displays.
The base of this one is pretty cool too as it showcases Judge’s name, nickname, and his number. But mainly, I just love the torn baseball here. Well done.
Bobbleheads don’t really get much better than this right here. When the Yankees acquired Stanton last year, I and many other Yankees fans salivated at the thought of him and Judge hitting home runs together. This here is a commemoration of those dreams becoming real life.
The base being a mock of the New York City skyline is a nice touch here. Judge and Stanton together should be the talk of the town for years to come. And as long as they do what they do best, they’ll own this city.
Thanks again to the folks at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame for sending me these bobbleheads to add to my collection! And kudos to the folks over at FOCO for producing such quality bobbleheads. The whole series of Yankees bobbleheads can be found at the Bobblehead Hall of Fame website here.