From ill-fitting t-shirts to cheap hats, MLB teams sometimes crap the bed when it comes to the freebies. The Cleveland Indians avoided that fate with Saturday’s giveaway: the Albert Belle Bicep-Point Bobblehead.
For you youngsters, the story behind the bobblehead goes like this: During the epic Game 1 of the 1995 ALDS between the Red Sox and Indians, Boston manager Kevin Kennedy had umpires check Belle’s bat after the surly Tribe slugger had homered to re-tie the game in the 11th inning. Belle, who made Barry Bonds seem congenial, had been suspended the previous season for a corked bat.
After umpires took the bat, Belle glared across the diamond at Kennedy from the Cleveland dugout, pointed to his bicep and said: “Right here, (expletive).” Just like this:
Saturday’s bobblehead giveaway commemorates the event. That’s a serious credit to Cleveland, because most MLB teams would shy away from a polarizing figure like Belle, and few would tribute his brashness.
If Prince Fielder wasn’t so damn happy all the time, he’d could have been a great modern day equivalent to Belle. For now, however, fans will just have to hang on to the bobblehead and reminisce. If there’s a better MLB giveaway out there this season, we haven’t seen it.
[UPDATE: already on eBay for $50]
[H/T: Cleveland Scene]