SEATTLE -- No, that's not Ichiro Suzuki nodding. It's a life-sized bobblehead doll, and fans can start bidding on the collectible item on Friday, along with other replicas of Felix Hernandez, Kenji Johjima and Raul Ibanez. Mariners fans who have filed through the gates of Safeco Field this season are familiar with bobblehead giveaway days: the four-person set of Ichiro, Hernandez, Johjima and Ibanez have been very popular among the Seattle faithful. It was that popularity that inspired the Mariners to create six-foot, 200-pound replicas of the bobblehead dolls. Bidding for each item starts at $2,500, and bids can be cast on the auctions page at Mariners.com.
"I'm excited," said Jeff Richards, manager of marketing for the Seattle Mariners. "I'm definitely excited just to see what the response will be." The idea for the giant bobblehead dolls came about when the organization decided to promote the four-player set earlier this season. Richards said the Mariners had the company create a life-size mold of the players, and they came out looking "pretty close to what we gave away." The Ichiro, Hernandez and Johjima mini-dolls have already been given away at Safeco Field, with the Ibanez doll set to be given away on August 17 when the Mariners face the White Sox. The giant dolls have already generated some interest among fans, who are excited by the concept. The Mariners have been promoting the dolls throughout the season by informing fans on the concourse. "These are certainly one-of-a-kind," Richards said. "They are very, very unique." And for an organization that prides itself on being original, the Mariners organization has hit yet another home run. "I'm not aware of another ballclub [promoting life-size bobblehead dolls], but I don't want to speak out of turn," Richards said. "I know there are other, bigger bobble heads out there, but to take a giveaway item and make it into six-foot, 200-pound doll that's pretty close to life size, it's definitely unique."
Patrick Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.