By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s Hunter Pence bobblehead night at the Phillies tonight. One problem: the Phils traded Pence last month.
Hunter Pence wears a San Francisco Giants uniform now, but all fans at Citizens Bank Park tonight will get a bobble figurine of Pence in a Phillies uniform. The giveaway was planned for months, so when Pence was traded on July 31, Phillies’ Director of Merchandising Scott Brandreth says the team had a decision to make.
“We kind of immediately talked with the sponsor, Liberty Mutual, and Hunter himself. We got him involved a little bit. And he was supportive — ‘I’d still like this to be given away. It’s a great honor.’ And I think it was pretty unanimous by us that we should give it away.”
Plus, Brandreth says the dolls were already in production.
“A.) It’s on our schedule. We’ve told people that we were going to give it out and a lot of people have bought tickets for the game to get the item. And you know what? It’s a collector’s item anyway even as it is. And now, maybe a little bit more of a collector’s item.”
Brandreth expects fans will still enjoy the long-planned bobblehead giveaway — even if Hunter Pence does wear a different uniform these days.
“He played here for, I guess a solid year, and he was a big part of the 102 wins a year ago. So, I think people still like him and they wish him well. So it’s a little collector’s piece of a small piece of Phillies history.”
Before now, the Phils had never given out an item tied to a traded player, but there is precedent: the Indians gave away Victor Martinez bobbles in 2009, days after he was traded to the Red Sox.