In light of the A's recent six-game skid and Fuentes/Geren debacle, I thought I'd try to lighten the mood a little by sharing a project I worked on at the beginning of the season.
I have been going to A's games on a fairly regular basis for the past six years. Now, when I say "regular basis" what I mean by this is that I go to the promotional giveaway games whenever possible. During this stretch, I have collected a number of T-shirts, calendars, baseball card sets and bobbleheads. I especially enjoy going to the bobblehead giveaway games and have collected a fair number of them over the years.
What I started to notice about the bobbleheads was that I had the beginnings of the formation of a team. I had a couple of batters (Buck, Cust, Giambi), I had a catcher (Suzuki), and a couple of pitchers (Duchscherer, Bailey). I only had one fielder (Bradley), but after a quick search of the internet, I found out that a few other fielders were available. What got me even more excited was that the fielders were mainly from the infield of the 2006 team, which were amongst some of my favorites!
So, after a few choice internet purchases, I had the makings of a pretty good team on my hands. Yeah...so what? Now what do I do with them? I had them all clumped together on a lab bench at my work that didn't have enough space to show all of them off the way I would have liked.
This is when I decided to do something about this travesty. I decided to make my very own Bobblehead Baseball Field. So, without further ado.... I present the process of creating a suitable field for bobbleheads to do what they do best: Play Ball!
The first hurdle to get over when creating a bobblehead baseball field is dealing with the physical size of the bobbleheads themselves. I had decided to go with a wall-mounted display that showed the field from what could be described as a "satellite" view, but with the bobbleheads themselves situated sideways to the field. With each bobblehead averaging around 7 inches tall, and the need to have several layers of them top-to-bottom, this lead to the conclusion that the display would need to be pretty big--3 feet x 3 feet minimum!
Having measured the dimensions of all of my bobbleheads, I drew out the potential layout of the field on paper. I convinced myself that it would look as good in real life as it did in my imagination, so I set out for materials.
I found a really nice sheet of birch plywood that measured 4 feet x 4 feet that looked perfect for the job. I decided to go with green felt cloth for the infield/outfield grass and a textured paint for the infield dirt. I created the bases by hand using white leather wrapped foam squares, and used white ribbon for the chalk lines.
The first steps were to trim the board to size, draw out the pattern, cut and glue the felt and paint the infield. Here is the display after these initial steps:
The next step involves gluing each individual shelf into the cut-out locations. The infield shelves are covered with the textured paint and the outfield shelves are covered with green felt. I ordered a canvas bag with the A's logo on the side and cut out the logo and glued it to the upper right corner of the display. (If you happen to see a guy at the O.co carrying around a canvas bag with big hole in the center covered by yellow duct tape, chances are it's me.)
Now, the only things that are missing are the players themselves!
One thing that's noticeable in the above picture is that there seems to be an extra unoccupied shelf right next to third base! Luckily, I started this project early enough in the season to account for...
Unfortunately, there are still some empty shelves! First base, center field and left field remain unoccupied. Who should fill those spots? What I really want is a Barton bobblehead for the first base position, but I'm not holding my breath that he'll do anything bobblehead-worthy (like win a Gold Glove). I'd also like a Coco bobblehead to go in center field, but how likely is that? I'm at a complete loss as to who should take over the left field vacancy. Any suggestions?
One more view of the finished display. The players are: LF: Bradley, Base runner: Kotsay, 2B: Ellis, SS: Crosby, 3B: Chavez, Stealing 3B: Rickey, Pitcher: Bailey, Batting: Giambi, C: Suzuki, On Deck: Cust, Bullpen P: Duke, Bullpen C: Kendall, Dugout (left to right): Braden (perfect game), Chavez (gold gloves), Swisher, Buck.