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Mariano Rivera bobblehead night turns chaotic at Yankee Stadium

Sep 25, 2013, 8:21 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

The Yankees were giving away Mariano Rivera bobbleheads to the first 18,000 fans through the gates at Yankee Stadium last night. Only problem: they didn’t have the bobbleheads. The truck delivering them broke down in New Jersey. The Yankees held the gates closed late but, when it became obvious that the bobbleheads weren’t going to arrive in time, they opened the gates, bobblehead-free. Vouchers were given out instead.

You can imagine how that went over at Yankee Stadium.

The merch arrived midway through the game and the team made an announcement that people with vouchers could line up to get their bobbleheads. The lines stretched down the concourses and, according to the Daily News, it took people several innings on line to get what they came for. Click through to the Daily News for your requisite angry New Yorker quotes.

A couple of thoughts:

1. Why did the Yankees limit the bobblehead giveaways to the first 18,000? I never get that. Is the idea to incentivize people to get to the ballpark early so that they buy more beer and nachos? Would it really cost the team that much more to make sure everyone who buys a ticket can get one? Imagine how much less chaos it would have caused if the Yankees just handed them out when people left the ballpark, the way teams do with free tickets for ice cream and pizza and stuff; and

2. Chaos aside, given how poorly the Yankees played last night, one would think that standing on line in the concourse waiting for a bobblehead would be preferable to the game, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway: heckuva job, Yankees.

  1. jm91rs - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Think about the numbers. Give away 18,000 for all bobble head events and you can afford 2-3 times as many give-away days than if you gave one to everybody. Some teams need those stupid give-aways to draw fans.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Apparently, the Indians’ stadium was only half full last night and they are in a WC run. I mean, I know it was Tuesday night in Cleveland but still.

    • ctony1216 - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      The fans in the expensive seats didn’t have to scrounge among the masses for their bobble heads. This was yet another example of the Yankees catering to their rich corporate clients at the expense of their longtime regular fans. The best story I’ve read about the incident is by Wallace Matthews of, “A Tale of Two Stadiums” [link: ]


      “And never was the class separation more evident than Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. While, according to eyewitnesses, the Moat People had their Mariano bobbleheads hand-delivered by Stadium staff, the rest of the crowd — the Boat People — were left to congregate in the “Great Hall,” which looked more like steerage class on the Titanic.

      … the fact that the privileged few were not inconvenienced while the great unwashed masses were left to scrounge and grovel like rats illustrates what long-time Yankees fans hate about the new park.”

      The whole story is worth a read.

      • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:01 AM

        I find it hard to hold that against the Yankees. Every business does that – they cater to their best clients. Those people probably paid upwards of $500 a seat. Hand delivered bobbles probably keep them coming back. I don’t think it has anything to do with the new park, it has everything to do with how we conduct business these days.

        Have you flown lately? Every airline has the class system down to a t. United even has five lines and they make it very clear which one you aren’t allowed in. But hey, I’m not dropping thousands of dollars with them every month like their best customers are.

        It would be nice if we all got our bobbles hand delivered. But if I had a choice, I’d rather be able to afford the seats.

      • ctony1216 - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:50 AM

        “Those fans probably paid upwards of $500 a seat.”

        That’s the problem.

      • ctony1216 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM

        @jdilly: You have to remember that MLB and the Yankees are NOT just another business. They’re a monopoly, and they’re allowed to exist as a monopoly because of laws established by Congress. The Yankees also benefit from other financial arrangements provided by NY taxpayers.

        So the Yankees and MLB have a responsibility to make the game accessible for all fans, not just the hedge fund companies and Goldman Sachs executives. If the Yankees feel they have the right to charge whatever they want for tickets, then let’s strip away all their monopoly protections, eliminate all financial and other kinds of subsidies, and let them compete for our business fairly.

    • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:03 AM

      Ya, but we’re really only talking one game here. Pretty sure the Yankees weren’t worried no one was going to come to the game.

      Dropping the extra coin to take care of everyone would not only have been a nice gesture to the fans, but would have been a nice gesture to Mo too.

  2. ilovenacky - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    そのさきへ -Deep Sky Blue version- でリブログ& コメント:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

    • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Okay Rule #2 spending the night (particularly in line for a bobblehead) is Optional!

  3. nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I’m in a way, embarassed to say I was one of hte many fans waiting in line. Fortunately my seats were in the grandstand (300-400 section) in which we just had to go down the ramp. Anyone below us had to go up the ramp to our section all the way back down the ramp to the ground. It was ridiculous. For the record, only reason I ended up getting one is cause I had my girlfriend with me and Mo is her favorite player of all time (mine too, but I have so much Mo memorabilia that a Free bobblehead wasn’t necessary for me). Now that people for some wacko reason are bidding on these on Ebay for $100+, I might as well just sell it. It’s absolutely not worth that much at all.

    Shame on the Yankees staff for having only 6 people hand out 18,000 bobbleheads.

    You make an excellent point Craig. Not sure why they limit it to 18,000, and I agree that they should give them out as you exit the stadium. I”m a die hard Yankee fan but there’s no denying that the organization, despite being the most valuable franchise in North America, cares more about the business side of things than the fans.

    Now I wonder if I should sell this bobblehead or not?

    • mybrunoblog - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      $100 on eBay for the Mo Bobble? Like most memoribilia if you have time and patience you’ll be able to snag that bobble for $20 next year.

      • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        Yep, check it out and you’ll see. Maybe it’s a good idea for me to sell it then.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        No no, sell it NOW, then buy it back next year. make $80 bucks. Kind of like shorting stock.

  4. bearssuck - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Wow NY’ers acting like animals, now thats a surprise!

    • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Nobody was acting like animals except for getting into the stadium where some people, including myself, even get pushed. It’s very unsafe..

      In the stadium though, people were just extremely pissed off and I’m sure you would be too. Who knows how much, or how little, a Mariano Rivera bobblehead would cost in a few years. Could be high, could be next to nothing. as I previously wrote, I”m thinking of just selling mine and making $100+ because apparently that’s what people are bidding them for on Ebay. It’s hilarious.

      • TheMorningStar - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        Way to go Yankee fans. Instead of cheering on your team who is battling for their playoff lives, you’d rather stand in a line for nearly the entire game just to be able to get your hands on a piece of molded plastic which most will then put up on ebay to sell to pathetic losers like this:

        Yankee fans = Clown figures.

      • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        I waited til after the game buddy, and they aren’t making the playoffs and already looked pathetic throughout the entire game.

        Not sure why that man is a “pathetic loser’. Maybe he’s just a die hard and collects memorabilia from his favorite team like a true fan would do. I bet you have Justin Bieber posters and CD’s around your room

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      New York is one of the safest large cities in America.

      • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        That may be true, but we do have a ton of rude people though. No denying that NY is not the friendliest of cities.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        Well that is undeniable, ha.

        I’m from Upstate but worked in the city a few summers…it is quite the place. Honestly, I don’t know how people deal with the rapid pace of life there day-in, day-out.

      • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        I live in Queens, it’s nice in my area (Bayside), but Flushing Queens, especially on Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue (not sure if you’re familiar with that) is worse than almost any part of Manhattan.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      Animals line up and demand collectibles?

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Of course!!! Did you not watch Madagascar? I’m pretty sure Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman were in the line.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        You got to move it, move it!

  5. proudlycanadian - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    A sad testament to the entire Yankee season. They will probably be eliminated today.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    I saw a funny joke, ‘they should have give the bobbleheads to the 18,000 people left at the end of the game,’.

    • nyyanksrdbest - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      That’s a good one actually lol

  7. chiadam - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    So does this mean I won’t find 18,000 Mariano Rivera bobbleheads on ebay today?

  8. raysfan1 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Actually got to see my Rays on TV last night, a rarity in OK, and thought the crowd was thinning out even before the game was out of reach. Now I know why.

    • indaburg - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      I thought the crowd sounded quieter than normal. The new Yankee Stadium is much quieter than the old but last night, it sounded like Tropicana Field.

      (Why can’t you watch the Rays in OK, out of curiosity? feed doesn’t carry the Rays feed?)

      • raysfan1 - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        MLB TV only recently got added to our cable package. However, other than highlight shows, they and ESPN only seem interested in showing the whole game (as opposed to cut ins and highlights) if they play the Yankees or Red Sox. Meanwhile, the Fox Sports channels think we are only interested in the Cards and Rangers.

        My 15-year-old daughter walked in the living room last night and said “Why is baseball on? …oh, I see, ok” (the last part was immediately upon seeing the Rays were playing).

  9. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Why did the Yankees limit the bobblehead giveaways to the first 18,000? I never get that. Is the idea to incentivize people to get to the ballpark early so that they buy more beer and nachos?

    I’d say 90% of my baseball watching involves the Yanks, but do other teams do this? Every promotion the Yanks run is always <50% of stadium capacity, and is usually around 10,000 [insert item].

    • Steve A - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      The Tigers almost always limit their giveaways to the first 10,000. Even the Pistons of the early ’00s (when they sold out the place) did the first 10K.

      I agree with Craig that it’s a way to get people in the gates early and spending money there than at surrounding establishments. My wish is that they do giveaways to all fans and hand them to the fans on the way out of the stadium. That way you don’t have to carry your promo item with you all game. I can’t hold beer, food, and a bobblehead box in two hands. Of course, that goes back to the whole reason for the giveaway, which is to drive early entrance to the park.

      I did go to an Indians game back in 2007 where everyone received a CC Sabathia ’70s funk bobblehead.

    • nbjays - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      The Jays usually give their promotional items to the first 20,000 fans.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        I see the personal trolls are back. Sigh. I really cannot understand such sorry people for the life of me.

    • billybawl - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      My vague recollection is that when I went to A’s promotions in the late 70s and maybe even into the 80s, even they’d give away 35,000 bats,caps or whatever. The only lower limits I recall were for items given only to kids, and I don’t recall having to arrive early to be guaranteed one. Granted, they were cheap crap, but still, you’d leave with something. I’m sure somebody figured out that the marginal return (if any) from ticket sales on 15,000 vs. 35,000 bobbleheads isn’t worth the goodwill it would generate. Now I hesitate to take my little kid to a promotion if there’s a chance he’ll come away empty handed. I’d rather go to a different game. If he really wants a bobblehead, I can buy him one and save the hassle.

    • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:07 AM

      The Mariners usually do it for the first 12.

      They generally have about 4 left over.

      Too soon?

  10. TheMorningStar - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Way to go Yankee fans. Instead of cheering on your team who is battling for their playoff lives, you’d rather stand in a line for nearly the entire game just to be able to get your hands on a piece of molded plastic which most will then put up on ebay to sell to pathetic losers like this:

    Yankee fans = Clown figures.

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I am a very conflicted Yankee fan. I have been a Yankee fan my whole life as I grew up in NY. I want to be supportive of the team, even in what appears to be a down period for the franchise. Yet I find myself not wanting to support the current ownership group as they continue to make terrible baseball decisions in the name of squeezing just a little bit more profit out of the most profitable sports franchise around.

    Now, if they said, “Hey, we are rebuilding a bit so tickets are going to be 40% off next year” or offered in some other way to pass some of these savings along to the fans, I could be on board. I simply do not see that happening.

  12. sirwalter1967 - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I’ll tell you what went down. You had people like me and my girlfriend lining up outside the stadium at about 3 oclock, nice and orderly waiting. Then people coming off the trains started creating a line next to us to cut in front of us. The cops did nothing but complain to us when we told them what was happening. The female cop at gate 6 took it personally and whined that she wanted to go home to her family, etc.. Wah wah wah! There was a captain with a bullhorn who kept droning on the same thing and ignored what we were telling him. So MYC’s finest are nothing but a bunch of pathetic sheep who did nothing to keep the cutters out of the line. The Yankee staff were also a bunch of idiots. People pushed and shoved past us and a few fights broke out. Then handing the stuff out during the game, sending us downstairs only to make us go back up, amazing! And a lousy performace by the Yankees to boot. Say what you want about the Mets, even they wouldn’t have botched this up. Yankee Management are a bunch of morons!

    • beachnbaseball - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      The Mets wouldn’t have botched it up is right. Because if they were giving away 18,000 bobbleheads, each fan in attendance would have received 2. No problem!

    • billybawl - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      FWIW, I’ve stood with my kid in line for bobbleheads at other stadiums and watched hundreds of adults cut in plain view of security with no consequence. Infuriating, and I avoid bobblehead games now.

  13. beachnbaseball - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    The logic is that people like something for nothing. When you limit the number of bobbleheads being given away it makes the piece more rare or exclusive in the minds of the fans. It creates demand.

    Fans do line up earlier to claim their prize. Stadiums send vendors into the streets to sell merchandise and food. Because fans come out to the stadium earlier, they get into the stadium earlier. When they get into the stadium earlier they buy more food, beers, snacks and other merchandise.

    It’s a very effective marketing ploy.

  14. losanginsight - Sep 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    18,000 bobble heads for all the roach people in NY? The Dodgers appreciate their fans and treat them like humans. The Dodger can afford to hand out 50,000 so every fan is happy and getting ready for a playoff run.

    • bbk1000 - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      That’s why they left Brooklyn….the Dodgers are a joke……

      losanginsight – Sep 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      The Dodgers appreciate their fans and treat them like humans.

      • jdillydawg - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:10 AM

        So the Dodgers are a joke because they appreciate their fans and treat them like humans?

        What bastards.

  15. moogro - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    It’s really strange to hear standing “on line.” I’ve been in line before, and knew that if I was on the same line, the people would be squashed like ants.

  16. bbk1000 - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I followed the link and I see dopes wearing Yankees jerseys with names on the back…..

    This silly bobble head could have been in a Mets uniform and these fools would not have known the difference…..

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