Mariners crowds keep clamoring for beloved bobbleheads

Aug 7, 2015, 10:18 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm
Just some of the dozens of bobbleheads created for the Mariners over the years are shown in this di...
Just some of the dozens of bobbleheads created for the Mariners over the years are shown in this display at Safeco Field. (KIRO Radio/Josh Kerns)
(KIRO Radio/Josh Kerns)

As soon as the Mariners schedule comes out, it’s easy to determine which games will be the hot ticket.

Sure, there are the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays, but it’s the littlest guys that draw the biggest crowds.

Fans line up hours before the gates open to make sure they’re among the lucky ones to get a cherished bobblehead when the M’s give them away.

Related: Favorite Mariners bobbleheads

It’s been that way since their resurgence over the last decade or two.

“The early pioneers were the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants who brought back the bobbleheads as a giveaway,” said Gregg Greene, the Mariners Sr. Marketing Director.

“Fans just took to them like the three-dimensional baseball cards that you get to hold and collect,” he said.

It’s clear from the collection of bobbleheads adorning his office, Greene has a special connection with the keepsakes. He and his team are the ones who come up with the new ones every year.

Along with the Jamie Moyer Hall of Fame edition, this season’s highlights have included King Felix resplendent in his royal crown, Kyle Seager in a commemoration of last year’s gold glove, and Nelson Cruz’s boomstick bobble.

“We try to highlight a lot of our different players based on accomplishments that they had the previous year,” Greene said.

He admits it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite from among the dozens.

“Dave Niehaus &#8212 it’s nice to see him in bobblehead form &#8212 i some of the Ichiro ones when we started to take him from the pudgy form to a more athletic pose, I’m really fond of those,” Greene said.

That evolution is evident. When the bobbleheads first came back, their bodies and heads all looked pretty much the same.

A lot of the credit for that goes to Mariners marketing partner BDA. The Woodinville company is among the biggest sports merchandise firms in the world.

Their visionary co-founder and CEO Jay Deutsch and his firm was at the forefront of the bobblehead resurgence.

Along with making bobbleheads for the Mariners, the company makes thousands of bobbleheads for all of Major League Baseball.

“So when we kind of saw this trend, we saw this opportunity, we started immediately taking it into today’s athlete,” Deutsch said.

But since then, they’ve gone far beyond. Now they’re doing things with costumes. A few have even been dressed up as Star Wars characters. They’ve even created talking bobbleheads with sound chips for some teams, although the Mariners haven’t tried one yet.

But what really captivates Deutsch is the ability to capture precious baseball moments.

“You can go back in time and create memories,” Deutsch said. “It goes back and brings fans back to remember the best of times. It’s hard to do that with a T-shirt.”

And they’re not just for the fans. Even the players clamor for their own caricature. Greene says he’ll frequently get calls from the clubhouse during bobblehead games.

“They’ll kind of sheepishly say ‘Can I get a bobblehead, can I request a few bobbleheads?’ Greene said. “I’m like, ‘Sure,’ thinking they’re going to ask for 100 or 200. ‘Yeah, it would be great if I could get six bobbleheads.’ And you’re like, ‘Yeah, I think we can help you out with that. That’s no problem.'”

Among the Mariners, King Felix leads the pack with nine different editions, including his popular alter ego Larry Bernandez. Ichiro is just behind with eight. Ken Griffey Jr. is featured on five separate models.

Planning for next year has already begun in earnest. Greene won’t disclose who might have the honor bestowed upon them. But I’ve got one idea: Rick Rizzs.

“He is as much a part of Mariners baseball as anybody in the game. I don’t know, maybe we ought to start a petition or hashtag,” Greene said.

Alright fans, here’s your chance #RizzsBobble.

Local News

early primary, kim wyman...
Nick Bowman

Report: Washington Sec. of State Wyman could be leaving role for new job with Biden administration

Sources tell CNN that Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman could be leaving her role for a new job with the Department of Homeland Security.
1 day ago
vaccine, booster doses...
MyNorthwest Staff

Booster doses of COVID vaccines available in Washington for eligible individuals

Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccine types are now available for certain individuals in Washington, and can be safely mixed and matched.
1 day ago
salmon hatchery...
Dalton Day

Potential ‘irreparable damage’ to Puget Sound orcas over alleged illegal salmon hatchery expansion

Conservationists allege that Fish and Wildlife has expanded salmon hatcheries without lawful compliance under SEPA, thereby damaging native salmon and orca whales.
1 day ago
seattle relief fund...
Kathryn Altena

Mayor launches Seattle Relief Fund to help families impacted by COVID

Seattle city leaders announced the launch of a new relief fund Monday to help struggling families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

State recovers $495,000 in stolen unemployment benefits with ‘innovative’ legal strategy

For the first time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has used asset forfeiture to repossess $495,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims.
1 day ago
Washington Daylight Saving Time...
Nick Bowman

Washington looks for ‘alternative’ paths to end years-long wait for permanent Daylight Saving Time

With the state setting their clocks back again on Nov. 7, Sen. Murray says her office is ramping up work to end the twice-yearly time changes.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Mariners crowds keep clamoring for beloved bobbleheads