Portland to honor Bob Leroy Head of Iowa as part of minor league promotion
|Bob Leroy Head (right, with his wife Joan) was chosen by Portland Beavers' fans as the Bob L. Head they'd most like to see honored on a bobble-head doll during a recent minor league baseball promotion.
By Chuck King
A name is everything to the minor league promotional team in Portland, Ore. For Bob Leroy Head of Maquoketa, Iowa, it’s his name that will allow his face to be immortalized in the Great Northwest.
Head won the nationwide minor league baseball promotional contest held by the Portland Beavers designed to create a bobble-head doll in the likeness of someone named Bob L. Head.
“I’m pretty much overwhelmed by the support of my family, my town, my state and my country,” Bob Leroy Head told a reporter for the Beavers’ Web site. “I would like to channel this into something positive for my community. I’m really excited, and it was a lot of fun all the way through the process. It brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces.”
In February Portland announced a nationwide search for baseball fans named Bob L. Head. The Beavers planned to pick the most qualified fan, regardless of home town, and put their face on a bobble-head doll.
The Beavers whittled six entries down to the top three and allowed minor league baseball fans everywhere to vote on the winner via their website. Bob Leroy Head’s 51 percent of the vote bested Bob Lee Head (34 percent) of Evansville, Ind. and Bob Louis Head (15 percent) of Vallejo, Calif. Nearly 30,000 people participated in the voting.
“Thousands and thousands of new people who had never been to our website have visited there,” Portland assistant general manager Chris Metz said. “We’ve had promotions that have gained national attention before. Overall, though, this was more than we expected.”
All three finalists will be flown to Portland for a weekend’s worth of promotions. The actual Bob L. Head bobble-head giveaway is slated for Aug. 18 at PGE Park. The first 2,000 fans to pass through the gates for the Beavers’ Pacific Coast League game against the Las Vegas 51s will receive the doll. Bob Leroy Head will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Beavers front office is already receiving requests from people around the nation wishing to purchase the doll. Portland is entertaining the idea of producing extra dolls, selling them, and donating the proceeds to a charity determined by Head, a chaplain.
“National attention is kind of cool for minor league team, but our main concern is, how do we do things locally to get people to come out for a game?” Metz said.
Check out my blog for more on wild minor league promotions and minor league baseball.