Battle of the Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder

As I had previously reported, Sunday has been defined as kids’ day at Chase Field. Obviously the Arizona Diamondbacks have never met my mother. Throughout my childhood I lamented that we celebrated a Father’s Day and a Mother’s Day and there was even a Grandparents’ Day; but nowhere on the calendar could I find Kid’s Day. When I approached my mother with this obvious calendar oversight I was told, “Every day is kids’ day.” I’d never known my mother to lie before so I had to believe that what she was telling me was the truth so I went through the first 17 years of my life believing that every day was Kid’s Day. I don’t know about you but where I come from I found that my mom’s assertion was either totally bogus or the civic leaders of our town missed the memo. I tend to believe it was the latter rather than the former. I once approached the ticket counter of the local theater and asked for a free “Kid’s Day ticket” to see Star Wars. The woman stared at me incredulously and stated, “There’s no such thing as Kid’s Day; that will be $6.50.” I couldn’t believe it. This lady was calling my mother a liar! It’s a good thing she was trapped in that glass ticket box or I might have had to mess her up a little bit. Nobody calls my mom a liar, well except maybe my little brother but he got that beat out of him pretty good. So now for the Diamondbacks to assert that only Sunday is Kid’s Day, that didn’t sit well with me.

First off, I don’t think the Diamondbacks and my mom define a kid in the same way. Both Trina and my mother have told everyone that we have 6 kids. Each time I try to correct either one of them by naming our five children I am always told that they counted me among the six. Well I believed mom when she said there was a Kids’ Day, why wouldn’t I believe her when she said I was a kid? After all, I’ve been her kid my whole life so in a sense she was right. There seems to be a discrepancy though between the ticket takers at Chase Field and my mother. When I go to a Sunday Game and patiently wait for them to hand me a giveaway I am told that the prizes are only for kids. At first I tried just explaining that I am a kid but that never works. Next I tried showing them a picture of me with my mom and telling them that I was indeed her kid. They recognized the family resemblance but they still didn’t hand over the giveaway. I even tried bringing my mother to a game when she was visiting. I figured if I showed up at the gate with my mom they would HAVE to acknowledge that I was a child. Nope, they still did not hand over the prize. This probably would not bug me so much but the kids get all the cool stuff.

Take last Sunday for example. Not only was it Baxter’s birthday but it was also the day of the coolest giveaway of the season. For the first 5,000 kids attending the game they would be given a Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder. How cool is that? The Diamondbacks have somehow found a way to combine bobbing heads, proper dentistry, and birthday cake all wrapped up in Styrofoam and packaged in a pretty Sedona Red box. As an avid bobble head collection you know that this was the top item on my list of Diamondbacks memorabilia. In the games leading up to Sunday’s game they showed the Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder on dbTV. It was like seeing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You knew you just had to find a way to get the treasure. Of course they had to immediately burst my expectations with the small fine print, “* Limited to the First 5,000 Children Age 12 and Younger.” What is that all about? This was clearly reverse age discrimination. I briefly considered calling the duck, or the moose, or the condor or whatever that personal injury lawyer is that I see on television advertising his services to drunk drivers who can’t read cue cards. The thoughts of taking the Diamondbacks to court were too unthinkable. After all, they are my favorite team and fans don’t sue their favorite teams unless you’re a Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan. No there had to be another alternative.

Of course, how could I have forgotten! I have a child age 12 or younger. I would just use Dakota to procure one of these priceless items. The key to this of course is to make Dakota like the bobble head enough that he wants to go to the game but not like it well enough that he wants to keep the bobble head. This is a delicate line to walk along. What is even more precarious is the fact that he is now old enough that he is starting to clue in on my tactics. I therefore have to continually change my approach in order for him to not catch on. My problem in this case was the fact that the Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder was such a cool idea that it was immediately at the top of his wants list even before I could lay the groundwork for my plan. After much persuading I finally gave up and decided to go right to the point. I wanted the Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder and Dakota was the only one who could get one.

This tact put me at a severe negotiating disadvantage and Dakota seized the opportunity. He began to lay out his demands that would need to be fulfilled if he were to consider turning over the Toothbrush Holder. For a brief moment I wondered whether I was dealing with a ten year-old or Scott Boras who acts like he is eleven. The cost of this giveaway was quickly escalating. There was an amnesty request for all missed chores, a renegotiation of his allowance, extended television privileges including game systems, there was also a new food allowance that was discussed that included choice of dessert. There was no way I would be willing to meet these demands. This one child was part of a team and if I allowed my child payroll to be controlled by one player I would never be able to afford the other kids salaries as they too would want to be renegotiated. No, this was going to require sticking to my request to reopen the Children Bargaining Agreement (CBA). I would do so under the guise of tougher drug testing but really what I would be trying to do is to subtly introduce a salary cap. Oh sure the family as a whole was making money but these kids didn’t understand the overhead associated with running a family. They may think the family would fold without the children but I can assure you that management, in this case parents, would just replace them with replacement kids. It’s not like the fans really care. Sure some of them may miss their favorite kid but over time they would come to love the new kids as much as the old ones. In fact I was so excited about this new epiphany that I rushed to Trina to tell her my plan to replace these selfish kids with more cost effective ones. We would offer them long-term comforts early in their lives in order to maintain the core of the family at least through their arbitration years and maybe even through the first couple of years of free agency. Let the high priced kids we have now go sign with a family in New York or Boston where they don’t care as much about homegrown talent.

Trina quickly shot holes in my plan by saying that we would have to continue to pay for the existing kids even if they resigned with another family and so our payroll would actually be higher under my plan. Besides, there was just no way to get a replacement kid made and ready for the game by Sunday. She was of course right but that didn’t make it any less intriguing to think about the process of getting a new kid. I’m kind of like Billy Beane in that way though, I don’t mind them when they are young but once they hit their prime they are just too expensive to keep around and it’s time to roll them over for prospects. And the prospects of holding our own “bedroom draft” did pique my interest. No sense dwelling on that though, I had more important problems to tackle like how was I going to pry that Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder away from Dakota. As the game day approached I was still stuck and Dakota knew he held the upper hand. As the deadline approached the demands continually increased. It didn’t help when the girls saw the Toothbrush Holder on dbTV and stated their desire to have one. Now I found myself bidding against other team members for this giveaway. This was quickly escalating out of control.

We went to the stadium and I again attempted to convince the ticket takers that I was indeed a child and that I deserved a Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder. I was again met with stoic faces that would not budge. I began to become desperate. Part of that may be because Dakota could see my plight and began dancing in front of me holding the Toothbrush Holder over his head taunting me. Perhaps one of the other children in attendance would be willing to part with their Toothbrush Holder. I began approaching other families asking if they would be interested in making a few bucks. It’s funny what kind of strange looks and reactions you get when you walk up to a parent and motion towards their child and ask if they would like to make a couple of dollars. After a relatively long discussion with Chase Field security and a promise not to bother the other fans we entered the stadium. For the entire game all I heard was how cool it was that Dakota had gotten a Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder and he wondered what it must be like not being able to obtain one.

After the game I lingered in the stands wandering up and down the aisles hoping beyond hope that someone had inadvertently left their Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder behind. I know, I was completely dreaming. What kid would leave such a priceless item behind? I was feeling fairly forlorn at my plight. I came home and composed a note. No, it was not a suicide note but I did feel that desperate. Instead it was a letter to the Diamondbacks where I spoke at length about my plight and my feelings about the whole anti-age discrimination thing. I didn’t expect a response but I did think they should know the pain they were inflicting on the innocent bobble head loving public over the age of 12. But much to my surprise I did get a note back from Guest Relations. They thanked me for the feedback and explained that they thoroughly enjoyed reading about my pain. I envisioned an entire staff made up of people just like my wife who somehow seem to enjoy seeing me in pain. The letter ended with a note stating that they happened to have an extra Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder and that they would be sending it do me so that it could proudly be counted amongst my collection.

I was overjoyed and a tear fell down my cheeks. I was not going to be bobble headless after all. Of course this news brought about a whole new set of questions and a new dilemma. Does a Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder be displayed with the other bobble head dolls from Chase Field or does it go in the master bathroom where it can function as it was intended holding a dedicated Diamondbacks fan’s toothbrush? These are the kinds of difficult decisions that I deal with every day. In the end I compromised. The Baxter Bobble Head Toothbrush Holder is now perched upon the top of my desk in a place of honor among the other bobble heads. I moved my toothbrush from the bathroom to the living room and mounted on the toothbrush holder. It must have touched Trina too because when she came home to see it there was a tear of joy running down her cheek too.

1 Comment

  1. Great story! You are a lucky man…we saw that Baxter bobblehead on the Dbacks’ announcers’desk and of course both kids wanted one. Um, make that three kids…including me. So I hear ya. We’ll look on ebay now. 🙂

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