This article originally appeared on CultureMap.
With the Houston Astros 2019 opener barely a month away, it's time to get down to serious business. Like, how many bobblehead giveaways will there be this season?
Answer: Nine, with a few more specials, like Star Wars and Game of Thrones-themed b'heads available for sale.
"Bobbleheads are one of the most popular gate (free) giveaways we provide for our fans," says Anita Sehgal, Astros senior vice president marketing and communications. "Many of our fans treat these as collector items and it gives us a chance to showcase a player, a special moment, or create a series of them where fans want to obtain the entire collection. Our team also has done a great job on the box art and many fans cherish the packaging as much as the bobblehead."
Sehgal did not say which players would be immortalized in ceramic and plastic this year, or what dates they'll be given away. The Astros use a few different companies to produce their bobbleheads, but most come from BDA and Success Promotions. The players do not see their bobbleheads prior to production. So far, no complaints, though.
Bobbleheads, or "Bobbing Heads" or "Nodders," have become such a part of the baseball experience that a Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum recently opened in Milwaukee. We can't snicker. Houston is home to the National Museum of Funeral History. Given a choice, I'd rather be headed to the Bobblehead Museum...than beheaded in the Funeral Museum.
I contacted Bobblehead HOF co-founder Phil Sklar and ran 10 questions by him. Of course, I wanted to know how much presence the Astros command.
Ken Hoffman: How many bobbleheads are on display in the museum?
Phil Sklar: We have about 6,500 unique bobbleheads on display and about 10,000 in the collection. This gives us the opportunity to have several bobbleheads from each team and all different genres on display at any given time. We are also able to rotate bobbleheads in and out and change things up so that people will always find new bobbleheads when they visit.
KH: What was the first bobblehead?
PS: Most people are surprised that the first bobblehead dates back to the 1760s in a painting of Queen Charlotte of England. We have a pretty extensive history section on our website, bobbleheadhall.com.
KH: When did bobbleheads catch fire as MLB giveaways? Which team was first to use bobbleheads as a promotion? Who was the first baseball bobblehead?
PS: The first bobblehead giveaway was on May 9, 1999. It was a Willie Mays bobblehead by the San Francisco Giants. The marketing team wanted some very special promotions during the final season at Candlestick Park. Soon nearly every team was doing a bobblehead giveaway.
KH: What is the holy grail of bobbleheads, the most valuable and hardest to find?
PS: That would have to be an oversized New York Yankees promotional bobblehead from 1961 which sold for just under $60,000 ($59,750 to be exact) a few years ago. We've seen some sell in the $30,000 range, but nothing that high before or after. You can see the picture of that one at the history link on our website.
KH: How many Astros bobbleheads are on display?
PS: We have about a dozen Astros bobbleheads on display right now and just switched out the full set of Houston Astros 2017 World Series Bobbleheads with the 2018 Boston Red Sox on our 'Champions Wall' that features the most recent baseball, football, basketball and hockey champions.
The Astros World Series bobbleheads are among the most popular champions bobbleheads ever because it was the team's first title. Of the ones currently on display, I really like the Nolan Ryan bobblehead from the early 2000s with the vintage Astros rainbow uniform. Other Astros bobbles include: Final Out of 2017 World Series, Alex Bregman, Charlie Morton, Yuli Gurriel, George Springer, and Jose Altuve-Carlos Correa Celebration.
KH: What about politicians, rock stars, and other bobbleheads? How do they compare with baseball bobbleheads?
PS: Popularity is a bit difficult to determine. Given the number of teams and number of games, there are far more baseball bobbleheads than any other type. However, there are bobbleheads in nearly every category, from politicians to actors, super heroes, celebrities, animals and every sport. All of those categories have some very popular bobbleheads.
Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about the long-term collectability and value of bobbleheads.
One of the big factors that led to the Texans' loss to the Jaguars on Sunday was the secondary. Multiple flags for pass interference gave Jacksonville more opportunities to pick up first downs and score points.
Can confirm #Texans backup CB Shaq Griffin was cut.
Griffin started 6 games this year when Derek Stingley was out with a hamstring.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 29, 2023
So it's no surprise that DeMeco Ryans is making some changes to his defense this week. According to several reports, Texans corner Shaq Griffin has been cut.
Nickel corner Tavierre Thomas was flagged for PI more than once on Sunday, and was burned badly by Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.
DeMeco was asked after the game if he considered replacing Thomas with Desmond King or Shaq Griffin. Ryans didn't give a definitive answer, but it looks like we got one today.
One has to wonder if Desmond Kings' experience playing nickel was the reason for his promotion to the active roster and why Griffin was released. If Thomas continues to struggle, King looks like the next man up to replace him.
#Texans activate Denzel Perryman, promote Desmond King to active roster, release Shaq Griffin, sign Matt Ammendola and Garret Wallow to practice squad, released Gerrid Doaks from practice squad and placed Tytus Howard (knee-patellar tendon surgery pending) on injured reserve https://t.co/knyyoqo7yC
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 29, 2023
The Texans also made some other adjustments to their roster on Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson. Linebacker Denzel Perryman returns from suspension, kicker Matt Ammendola and linebacker Garret Wallow join the practice squad. They also released Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
The other big piece of news involves left guard Tytus Howard. He heads to injured reserve, ending his season after hurting his knee against Jacksonville.