Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Collection

This past weekend Dean and I went to Carl Crawford bobblehead day at Tropicana field. The Devil Rays (also Dean’s former employers) chose this weekend for bobblehead festivities as part of fan appreciation weekend, and the last games of the season. Anyone who knows us is well aware of our, ahem, collection. What people don’t always understand about all of our bobbleheads is how the collection started and why on Earth we stand in line for hours to get them.
For starters, Dean and I are both “collectors.” This is why we have too much baseball memorabilia, too many books and too many cats. Obtaining one of anything usually begets obtaining more.
In the summer of 2000, the Twins had their first bobblehead days where the first 5,000 fans received a bobblehead doll of a Twins player. Popularity has led the Twins and other teams to give away closer to 10,000 dolls per promotion, and inevitably there are still people who stand in line but don’t get one. The very first bobblehead doll of the modern era was of Harmon Killebrew, arguably the greatest Twin ever. Our decision to go to the game was rather spontaneous, but after the decision was made we were advised by my step dad to get there an hour or two before gates opened. He and my mom were going as well, but waited at a different gate with the elitist crowd, unlike us who had to wait at the gates outside general admission.
We sat on the cement ground, in the heat with other Twins fans that alone are liable to drive you nuts. Just us, for two hours, telling stories about growing up, reminiscing, fantasizing about the life ahead of us. Together. And then, when the gates opened, an eternity later our mission was accomplished. I wasn’t convinced I ever wanted to wait in line for another promotion again. However, Dean’s exclamation of “Look at the craftsmanship of this!” made me realize I had little choice in the matter.
Five years later and we still avidly wait in line for bobblehead dolls when we can. Even though we no longer live in Minnesota, we collect dolls from the Devil Rays games and various minor league teams in the Bay area. Dean genuinely likes them, but like me he sees something in them that no one else can. He sees our experiences and our past.
For instance, when we look at our Doug Mientkiewicz doll, we both crack up at the time we had heard there were going to be people camping out overnight for it. Since we had little else to do that evening besides watch TV I packed a cooler full of iced coffee, pop, chips and sandwiches and we headed to the Metrodome at 11 pm. We brought a couple of lawn chairs and blankets. It was surreal there because there were people in tents and families with kids who were playing catch outside the gates at midnight. We somehow got in line behind a bachelor there who we later named “Voice-immodulated Tom” because he had absolutely no control over the volume or tone of his voice. Being there by himself he struck up a conversation with us about his extensive collection of baseball magnet schedules. There we were in the middle of the night, outside the Metrodome sipping coffee and listening while Tom YELLED at us about his collection. We didn’t sleep or hardly have time to spend with each other. Hell, we were afraid to make eye contact for fear we’d die laughing at poor Voice-immodulated Tom.
When the gates opened at 11 am we collected our prizes, bought a couple of hot dogs and made our way to our seats. We were exhausted having not slept a minute outside and sat down in time to watch the Twins Tribute to Little League Teams. This consisted of thousands of little league players on the field. When we realized that the same kids on the field would soon be in the stands and on the concourse drinking Cokes and eating cotton candy we panicked and went home to sleep. We didn’t even see the first pitch.
Each doll has a story like this that reminds us that our collection lets us spend time together and gather little nuggets of stories to bring up the next time. Instead of watching TV or reading separate books, we are connecting.
This past weekend for Carl Crawford I thought that being the veteran line-waiter that I am, I could easily stand outside for an hour. No food or water in October, in Florida. I thought I had succeeded beautifully until I got in the door and became inebriated from one beer. One beer led to another and another until I was obnoxiously drunk, yelling at the umps, crying over losing Lou Piniela and threatening to vomit out the window of the car on the ride home (incase you’re curious, I never actually vomited. I managed to spit feebly out the window a couple times though). One thing I do remember is talking to Dean about naming our children and how excited we both are to have kids as soon as the time is right. Maybe someday when little (insert name boy’s and/or girl’s name here) is grown we can tell him/her we named him/her at a bobblehead game.


mom said...

sweetheart, you're not telling your readers the ABSOLUTE HORRORS of bobblehead collecting. after our 3rd time we said NEVER AGAIN. do you remember the rod carew fiasco? you and deano and tom and i stood outside in 90 degree weather from 9am until 5pm to get that bobblehead. you and deano got into a big fight and ended up leaving us and walking downtown to work it out. then while you were gone all our co-workers (we work at the hospital across from the dome for those that don't know us) came over on their lunches and breaks to make fun of our "foolishness". then the grand finale when the gates opened deano broke free from the crowd and left us in the dust he was so excited! that was also the game that the 4 of us figured out that norm and rajani were an item, remember how late they showed up and didn't CARE that they didn't get a bobblehead? i think age remembers the past differently than youth!

bubba 69 said...

I'm glad we're not mentioning that intellectual designer stuff anymore, but, I must admit I like
that John Deere guy, last week I got got a shirt that matches my tractor. Now that's intellectual!
Anyway, I'm excited to help name your kids, there are so many possibilities when you live in the south. I'm thinking Bubba if it's a boy and Dixie if it's a girl. I'm sure Dean wants some input, so, how about Dean I, II or III or Deanette, Deanequa or Deanarrhea if it's a girl? Also, Dale, Buddy or JimBob are some of my other favorites. Well, I have to go now, I put some new magnets on my helmet and the aliens are telling me to have another Busch light.

Scott said...

I'm convinced now that it doesn't matter what you do as long as it's together. You and I sound like similar drunks. I have to stay away from it because I tend to lose friends when I over-do it. But it sure is fun.

sylvia said...

Please be sure alcohol isn't involved when you name the children!! Remember how long the process was to get Nellie to be called "Nellie" and not "Bill Self"? I would hate to see a little girl running around with the name "Bruce Webber" and having to change her name every time a coach didn't perform well. As for as the Bobblehead collecting - I remember rain, humidity and accidently wacking a lady with a bat/umbrella and having to tell her a good place to go for recovery.

amberdusk said...

Natalie- Hi:) I thought I would stop by your blog and take a look and I really enjoyed reading about your Bobblehead collection! I have a Disney Snow Globe collection that nobody appreciates unless they are under the age of 12 :) But My husband and I remember each Holiday and trip to Disneyland that corresponds.

Also I happen to be a big fan of Alcohol but don't do it arround anybody anymore because of all the cracks I get the next day. I get really excited about everything.
Thanks for letting me jump in! amber

magnetbabe said...

This must be true because I don't remember that fight! Neither does Dean. I remember figuring out about Norm and Raj though. I also generally have a good attitude about bobblhead games now that we live in Florida and people here don't care as much. We only usually wait in line for an hour or two now. I'm also used to Dean being a spazz when the gates open. We usually just meet back up at the seats.

You are forgetting that if things go as planned we won't live in the South anymore when we have kids. There is no way I'm raising my kids within 1000 miles of Nebraska avenue. Oh yeah, and Dean doesn't get any input. He used up his input when he named Wrigley and we decided on his name after SEVERAL vetoes.

Spending time together is why I (and many families) like baseball so much. People complain that the game moves too slow, but it is during the slow parts that people do their best bonding, chatting, reminiscing. I'm a football and basketball fan as well, but there is something about our National pasttime that tends to be a catalyst for storytelling.

Dean is well aware that our children's names are to have nothing to do with Illiois sports. Everytime we bump into footage of a Kansas game I say, "See? Aren't you glad our cat isn't named after the KANSAS coach?" No offense, but my name ideas while I'm inebriated are better than his when he's sober!
BTW- I still chuckle when I remember me accidently hitting that lady with the umbrella and what you said to her. I remember telling the story to Dean and him saying "My MOM said that?!"

Thanks for stopping by and reading! As a person with an obscene amount of baseball memoribilia, I can't judge you for your snowg lobes. I think they sound pretty cool and the memories attached to them are what matters most. I live in Florida and have yet to go to Disneyworld (I know it's not the same as Disneyland) but I hear Chistmas is the best time. Maybe this year...
Thanks again for visiting and feel free to come back again!

Hot4Teacha said...

Nat -

Do you have the David Duchovny doll still? I realize he's not a bobble head, but as far as collector's items go, he holds some fond memories (mostly of me & my cleavage, but also just as THE MAN OF OUR DREAMS). Just wondering...

Also, check out my updated blog, I had a crisis o' my own.

hairless said...

You know what they say about people who collect stuff. They have more stuff than people who don't. I would take some digital photos for the kids though. They may be surviving the cats, but combine the current kid, the 3 cats AND 12 more children, and you're looking at bobble melted blobs of goo, squished pieces of plastic, and bobble piles.