30 bobbleheads we'd love to see in '21
I am a sucker for bobbleheads. I have a whole wall of them, and this wall is ever-growing. Every baseball season adds to my collection. Which is why 2020 was a problem. (Well, it was not the only reason 2020 was a problem.) As the terrific ESPN writer Joon Lee has noted, many bobbleheads were produced for 2020 but just never had any fans out to pick them up. If a bobblehead falls in an empty stadium, will anyone hear it?
A year’s worth of bobbleheads, lost. But this year, we’re going to have some fans. We don’t know how many, we don’t know exactly when, but we know there will be fans. Which means there will likely be bobbleheads. So today we take a look at the player for each team who has yet to be graced with a bobblehead by their team. This doesn’t mean they do not have any bobblehead: Nolan Arenado obviously has many bobbleheads as a Rockie. (He has one in which he is a “Gold Glove miner.”) But he has none as a Cardinal. So here’s a proposed bobblehead for each team that they have not already created. You know I’ll be buying them.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B/3B
George Springer could be the answer here, but Vlad Jr. was supposed to have a bobblehead day on March 28 last year but ... didn’t. Of course, the Jays might not be having any bobblehead giveaways until they are able to play in Toronto again.
Orioles: Adley Rutschman, C
It might be a year early for Rutschman to have one, but if he gets an early callup, there will be plenty of time for a September giveaway.
Rays: Randy Arozarena, LF
A bobblehead of him holding up his ALCS MVP trophy seems like a no-brainer.
Red Sox: Rafael Devers, 3B
Like Vlad Jr., there was supposed to be a Devers bobblehead giveaway last June. (You can actually find a few unofficial versions on eBay.) He’ll get the real thing this year.
Yankees: DJ LeMahieu, 2B
Joon Lee’s story looks at players who missed their bobblehead day and then didn’t return to their teams, deeming their bobbleheads instantly irrelevant. LeMahieu fortunately returned to the Yankees, so they can redo his bobblehead day now.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: Franmil Reyes, RF
Technically, Shane Bieber had a club-sponsored Spring Training bobblehead last year, which eliminates him here. Reyes will look terrific on a bobblehead.
Royals: Jorge Soler, RF
He was supposed to have a “Soler Power” bobblehead last year. That pun is too dumb to waste.
Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP
Do you want Tigers fans to have a bobblehead they can be sure will stay on their shelves for the next half-decade? Mize is the one.
Twins: Nelson Cruz, DH
Cruz had a “Boomsaber” bobblehead night canceled last year. But Cruz shouldn’t need any bobblehead gimmicks.
White Sox: Luis Robert, CF
The Charlotte Knights held an Opening Day watch party last July and gave away Robert Minor League bobbleheads. This year, hopefully, he’ll get the real deal.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: Anthony Rendon, 3B
Eventually Angels fans will get to go out and cheer on their huge free-agent signing from a year ago. So an accompanying bobblehead would make sense.
A’s: Mark Canha, OF
The A’s, helpfully, have a page with all their bobbleheads on it. Bat-flipping maestro Canha is overdue for one.
Astros: Yordan Alvarez, OF
A knee injury cost him almost all of the 2020 season, but the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year is the kind of franchise cornerstone that generally gets a bobblehead.
Mariners: Kyle Lewis, CF
I am not a Mariners fan, but man, would I want one of these.
Rangers: David Dahl, LF
Not a lot of options here given the ongoing rebuild, but Dahl never got one in Colorado even though he totally deserved one.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Marcell Ozuna, LF
This one is already scheduled for Oct. 3: It’s a selfie bobblehead.
Marlins: Sixto Sánchez, RHP
He’s the most electrifying pitcher the Marlins have had since José Fernández.
Mets: Francisco Lindor, SS
They may have to have three or four Lindor bobblehead days, especially if they can sign him to a contract extension.
Phillies: Bryce Harper, RF
Amazingly, they didn’t do an official one for him in 2019, and obviously 2020 was out. Maybe they can get him and Gritty on one together.
Nationals: Kyle Schwarber, LF
Schwarber was a terrific bobblehead with the Cubs, for what it's worth.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Brandon Woodruff, RHP
He missed out on last year’s, as did Buddy the Elf.
Cardinals: Nolan Arenado, 3B
Jack Flaherty hasn’t had one either, but an Arenado bobblehead would fly off the shelves.
Cubs: Ian Happ, CF
There’s an unofficial one of Happ wearing his Mother’s Day uniform (he got his first hit on Mother’s Day), but the Cubs haven’t had an official Ian Happ Bobblehead Day yet.
Pirates: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
He is the future of the franchise, and the clear answer here.
Reds: Michael Lorenzen, RHP
The Reds had a “Dual Bobblehead” Lorenzen giveaway scheduled for last year, in which they would have Lorenzen hitting and pitching. Let’s make sure to do that one again.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Madison Bumgarner, LHP
They didn’t get to do one last year … but after his down year, that might have been for the best.
Dodgers: Mookie Betts, RF
Since he couldn’t get one in his first year with the team, he seems like an obvious choice now.
Giants: Mike Yastrzemski, LF
He was supposed to have his April 6 of last season. He was even better in 2020 than he was in 2019.
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
They probably should have done one in 2019, and while we appreciate the dog one they were going to do last year, it’s got to be bat-flip related this year, yes?
Rockies: Austin Gomber, LHP
Well, you’ve got to make him happen somehow.