Polyester Pandemonium!

Before the season started the Arizona Diamondbacks announced their promotional schedule. This is always a big thing around our house as it usually determines which games each of my kids choose to attend. It never ceases to amaze me that free stuff given away at the gates will actually factor into whether you go to a baseball game or not. I just figured that you always go to the game and the free stuff was just a bonus. Looking around the stands though that is obviously not the case. On days of cool giveaways there are always larger crowds. There are times where the giveaways just jump off the page with all the subtlety of a Las Vegas neon sign. Bobble head dolls are one of those items that just demand you go to the game. Sometimes these great giveaways have a hidden cost that you don’t realize until you get to the game. This was one of those nights.

It pays to read the fine print when it comes to Diamondbacks promotions. When I saw that it was Bob Melvin Manager of the Year Bobble Head Night I immediately bought extra tickets for the kids. I learned several seasons ago that wars have been started on the grounds of bobble head ownership. I am not talking minor border skirmishes; no I am talking about full scale invasions and diplomatic breakdown to the point of worldwide conflict. So in the name of world peace I make sure all the kids have an equal opportunity to obtain one of these treasures.

One of the great benefits of being an Arizona Diamondbacks season ticket holder is that you are given the opportunity to enter the gates of Chase Field 30 minutes before the general public on Saturdays. One of the great scheduling decisions the Diamondbacks ever made was to have all bobble head giveaways on a Saturday. This means that season ticket holders can always be assured of an opportunity at a bobble head since they get in before everyone else. There is also something soothing and a boost to your ego when you are able to walk through the masses waiting for the gates to open and go directly to the front of the line, flash your membership card and be admitted. It is probably as close to feeling like a rock star I am ever going to get so I have to enjoy that.

Our family entered the gates and collected our prize. Ah, there is nothing quite like a bobble head to make a guy thankful for being alive. It is just something soothing knowing that you will have the National League Manager of the Year agreeing with your every decision with just a flick of the finger. We made our way to our seats to relieve ourselves of bags, water bottles, snacks and other game paraphernalia. Taking a family to a baseball game is akin to packing for a trek to the South Pole. You never quite know what dangers you will encounter and it is always better to be safe than sorry. We made our way to our seats to watch batting practice. It is great being there early as it gives you an opportunity to see the Diamondbacks hit, something that normally doesn’t occur since the home team is nearly done when the gates are open.

Soon the public address announcer stated that the gates to Chase Field were now opened. You could probably have guessed that without the announcement as hundreds of people suddenly appeared at the top of the sections and began a mad rush down the stairs to the wall hoping that some of the Diamondbacks players would find their way to sign autographs. This is a normal occurrence so I didn’t really think much about it. That is until I happened to look up and see the fans. It was one of the scariest sights I had encountered for quite some time. There were several in the stands who had afro hairdos that literally would take up 2 seats. There also seemed to be an abundance of polyester clothing. I immediately grabbed my D-Backs Insider magazine and flipped to the article on upcoming promotions. Under July 19 was listed Bob Melvin Bobble Head Dolls. Below that were two words that made me scream, “70’s Night”.

Oh no! How could they do this? The Diamondbacks scheduled a bobble head giveaway on Disco night? I just barely survived Disco the first time it came out. There were just too many frightening memories from that era that I definitely didn’t want to relive them. I was definitely not prepared for this. Throughout the night we were reminded of the painful era that was the 70’s. Players were introduced and their pictures on dbTV portrayed them as disco dudes. The players’ normal music was replaced with Disco music. I fully anticipated that the Diamondbacks would be swinging at the first pitch they saw if for no other reason than to erase that incredibly bad image and music from their consciousness. Somehow we seem to have survived 70’s night and the Diamondbacks were even victorious over the Dodgers. By the time the game ended I was shaking worse that a Bob Melvin Bobble Head. That was one painful game.

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