SBD/September 26, 2013/Franchises

Yankees Give Fans Free Ticket For '14 Game After Tuesday's Bobblehead Blunder

Fans are being offered a free ticket for next season following the bobblehead snafu
The Yankees last night announced that they would offer a free ticket to a '14 regular-season game, "excluding opening day and Old-Timers’ Day, to anyone who held a ticket to Tuesday night’s game" following the trouble with the Mariano Rivera bobblehead doll giveaway, according to David Waldstein of the N.Y. TIMES. The dolls "did not arrive until almost 15 minutes before the first pitch because of transportation problems." The team then "improvised by keeping the gates closed for an additional 30 minutes while they printed up 18,000 vouchers," but the distribution of the dolls in exchange for the vouchers "did not go smoothly" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26). Yankees COO Lonn Trost in a statement said, "We take (Tuesday) night’s event seriously, and to apologize to our fans and express our loyalty to them, we are inviting all ticket holders from (Tuesday) night’s game back." In N.Y., Dan Martin reports Bellevue, Wash.-based bobblehead maker Alexander Global Promotions officials "did not return messages seeking their comments" on the matter. Rivera said of how long people waited for his bobblehead, "It’s amazing. They showed a view from the outside, and my God, there were a thousand people there. Amazing." Police officers at Yankee Stadium said that they were "just grateful angry crowds didn’t turn violent" (N.Y. POST, 9/26). In Newark, Brendan Prunty writes, "The bobblehead kerfuffle has a resolution" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/26).

RIVERA'S REACTION: In N.Y., Peter Botte reports Rivera, when initially asked about the incident, declined comment, saying such things are "not my field or territory." However, when he was "asked kiddingly whether he was in charge of bobblehead distribution, a smiling Rivera cracked: 'No, I wasn’t. If I was, it would’ve been done.'" Rivera "quickly clarified that he understood the reasons for the delays, but Rivera admitted he personally did seek an explanation for what happened after hearing on the YES broadcast during the game that so many fans were angered and inconvenienced by the snafu" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/26). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Needleman & Barbarisi write, "Bobblehead management has become something of an issue with popular teams." The Dodgers in April "issued a rule limiting the number of bobbleheads given away at games to one per ticket holder to deter hoarders -- and to help ensure that the fans actually stick around for the action" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26).

YOU GOTTA LAUGH: CBS' David Letterman mentioned the bobblehead issue during his monologue last night and said, "What they did, at the last minute they had some old Chuck Knoblauch bobblehead dolls. They put Mariano Rivera’s number on the Chuck Knoblauch dolls, and everything was fine. It all worked out” (“Late Show,” CBS, 9/25).
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