MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have put out many bobbleheads over the years, but few have been as highly anticipated as the one handed out before Friday’s game at Target Field.
Fans were lined up for Friday night’s game as early as Thursday morning in order to get their hands on the Joe Mauer/Justin Morneau bobblehead. It was given out to the first 10,000 fans at Friday’s game between the Twins and Cleveland Indians, but some fans felt they couldn’t risk showing up closer to game time and decided to bring chairs and wait in line.
“To be honest with you, they were going to camp out regardless of who we were giving away,” said Twins president Dave St. Peter. “No doubt that a Mauer/Morneau bobblehead is going to be one of the more popular ones that we’ve ever given away. That certainly adds to that excitement.”
Seven hours before the gates at Target Field even opened, the bobbleheads were posted for sale on eBay, with a few actually garnering bids. A few hours before the gates opened, the line on Target Plaza stretched nearly the block or so to Target Center.
The bobblehead features the Twins’ two biggest stars — who have previously each had their own separate bobbleheads — high-fiving as Morneau crosses home plate. Both players are former MVPs (Morneau in 2006, Mauer in 2009) and they’ve both been staples of the Twins lineup since Mauer debuted in 2004. Mauer and Morneau have also often been referred to as the “M&M Boys.”
Mauer had a chance to see the finished product before it was handed out Friday, and the 2013 All-Star was impressed.
“It’s the first dual one I’ve seen, so I thought it turned out pretty good,” Mauer said Friday.
Earlier this year, the Twins gave away a Josh Willingham “Hammer” bobblehead that depicted the outfielder wielding a hammer instead of a bat. Two years ago, the team rolled out another fan favorite in a bobblehead of former first baseman Kent Hrbek pulling Atlanta’s Ron Gant off of first base during the 1991 World Series.
Minnesota did not give out any bobbleheads last year, so the fans who camped out Friday (or even Thursday) to get their hands on the Mauer/Morneau keepsake were making up for lost time.
“What we have is we’ve got a group of fans who are very passionate about bobbleheads. Part of that passion includes their strong desire to camp out,” St. Peter said. “A lot of those same folks did it repeatedly at the Metrodome. They missed it last year when we didn’t do a bobblehead at Target Field, the first time we haven’t done one in a long time.”