The Curious Case of the "MIKE SCHMIDT 2003 HOF SILVER SLUGGER VARIANT BOBBLEHEAD GOLD HOME PLATE"

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August 26, 2014

That has to be the longest title for a blog post I've ever done. But I wanted to make sure I got the accurate title of the item I'm going to be discussing here. About two weeks ago someone contacted to me to see if I knew anything about a Mike Schmidt variant bobblehead that was given to fans "with the purchase of 100 tickets or more, and it was the first 25 buyers." The bobblehead has a silver bat with gold stripe and a gold home plate. The person informed me that the seller was trying to sell them said bobblehead for $75 and sent me pictures.

My first thought (which is still my thought today) is that this is a fake and someone painted the bat and home plate. My second thought was that the seller knows it's a fake and is trying to make a few dollars quickly. The seller has an eBay account through which he sells sports collectibles that are mostly Phillies and bobbleheads. The seller has had 153 bobblehead listings since May. This guy isn't a naive person who just stumbled upon what could be the most rare Phillies bobblehead in existence and then was willing to sell it for a mere $75. There's no way he doesn't know the possible value of a rare bobblehead that was limited to 25, as he claims.

So after a little back and forth with the potential buyer of said bobblehead, we both came to the conclusion that this likely wasn't real. I even said it was funny this guy was trying to avoid selling it on eBay and "he wouldn't dare put that Schmidt on eBay" (because collectors would know it was fake), but last night he proved me wrong, as the "MIKE SCHMIDT 2003 HOF SILVER SLUGGER VARIANT BOBBLEHEAD GOLD HOME PLATE" was listed on eBay. There are a few things that this seller left out of his auction description that he told people when trying to sell it outside of eBay. Including where he claims he got this bobblehead and that the bobblehead was given to the first 25 fans who purchased 100 tickets or more. 

I'm not trying to disparage the seller of this bobblehead and I won't type his name or even link to the auction here. But if you're a Phillies bobblehead collector you've seen the auction and you've likely seen auctions from this seller in the past.

I'm just going give you a little list with some questions and everyone can come to their own conclusions about this situation.


Has anyone ever seen or heard of a 2003 Mike Schmidt Variant silver bat gold plate bobblehead? I didn't think so, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. After all, the 2003 Mike Schimdt Retail Version was only recently discovered. 


The seller tries to avoid saying this was a group leader gift, although stating "with the purchase of 100 tickets" makes the ticket buyer a group leader. Also the Phillies have never given a group leader gift with a sponsor logo on it.


What does a silver/gold bat signify? If it's for the silver slugger award, whats with the gold stripe? To my knowledge, the first SGA bobblehead to feature a silver bat was Vladimir Guerrero in 2006 but I could be wrong. When looking further at one of the photos provided in the listing, it looks as though the flash of the camera was so bright it caught a spot on the bat that wasn't painted well enough.  

What does the gold plate signify? I can't even give an explanation for what this could be.

Click to Enlarge


The seller of this bobblehead has two custom, hand-painted Phanatic figurines for sale on eBay. Here's one:


The seller is currently selling fake Phillies SGA flags and has sold multiple fake flags in the past. He avoids putting "SGA" in the title and doesn't state that they weren't given out by the Phillies. I do not know if this seller knows they are fake, but the fact that he avoids listing them as SGA leads me to believe he knows. In 2013, an eBay seller from California flooded the market with knockoff Phillies flags that look like the SGA version but are different, and weren't distributed by the Phillies. The fake flags are folded in squares and come with a piece of paper that has the specifications of the flag on them. I purchased two flags from the CA seller and I will admit, they look better than the version that the Phillies gave out. That doesn't make them any less fake, but they are nice as you can see in the photo below. After I purchased the flags from the seller he messaged me to see if I was interested in purchasing Phillies flags wholesale from him. I declined. 


The seller currently sells "limited edition" Dunkin Donuts Gift Cards. He has "limited edition" gift cards that include: Phillies, Eagles, the Phanatic, Pete Rose and even Elvis. The fact is that these aren't limited edition at all. They are custom gift cards from DD that anyone can make. It's a clever way to make a buck. But to sell these as "limited edition" as though they're some sort of collectible is a little shady in my opinion. 


I can't say the Schmidt is 100% not real because I didn't work for the Phillies in 2003 and I wasn't one of the first 25 fans to purchase 100 tickets or more. But I'm pretty certain that something isn't right with this one. 

IF it's proven that this is real, I will gladly apologize to the seller of this auction and remove this post from my site.

Should you have any information or documentation that can verify that this Mike Schmidt Variant bobblehead was given out by the Phillies, please email me. 

©PhilliesSGA - 2014

Phillies add a giveaway and will honor the Taney Dragons

August 24, 2014

Photo courtesy of Phillies.com

After taking the country by storm this month, Mo'ne Davis and the Taney Dragons will be honored with their own recognition night at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, August 27 as the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals. All fans in attendance will receive a Taney Dragons t-shirt, and the Phillies also have discounted tickets available with $6 from each sale going to the Taney Little League. It's a great opportunity for kids to come cheer Taney for their great efforts in the Little League World Series, and everyone gets to take home a souvenir. 

If you're not into supporting Taney for some odd reason, the Phillies will also be hosting THREE other theme nights on 8/27. You read that right. Three. If supporting Taney isn't your thing, are you into Phitness? Do you even lift, bro?! Thats right, Wednesday night is also Phillies Phitness Night presented by NovaCare Rehabilitation. "In celebration of this event, there is a $6 ticket discount off tickets in the Pavilion Deck and the Terrace Deck." So come on out..and get your workout on or something.

Whats that? You hate working out and despise Little League Baseball but you love lacrosse?! Well 8/27 is your lucky day! It's also Lacrosse Night at CBP. "Be a part of the Phillies inaugural Lacrosse Night Celebration on August 27, tickets are offered at an $8 per ticket discount off tickets in the Outfield and Terrace Deck." 

F**k Little League. F**k Phitness. F**k Lacrosse. Are you a student? Anywhere? If you have to attend a class anywhere, Wednesday is YOUR theme night too! Isn't it exciting?! "You and your classmates can enjoy an $8 discount off tickets regularly priced $38 and under." Do we have everyone covered? 

UPDATE:

©PhilliesSGA - 2014

Ryan Howard Bobblehead Night and a Possible New Trend?

August 20, 2014

Last night was the final bobblehead night of the season and brings to a close a very mediocre bobblehead season for the Phillies. As you probably know, all fans in attendance received a Ryan Howard bobblehead. This is Ryan Howard's third bobblehead appearance, and to be quite frank, I hope it's the last.

With this bobblehead, a trend was broken: for the first time in the history of Phillies bobblehead giveaways, the bobblehead was not made by MLB giveaway powerhouse BD&A – it was made by Forever Collectibles. Forever is a leader in retail sports merchandise and holds licenses with all major sports leagues but has only dabbled in the stadium giveaway business over the years.

Starting this season Forever and MLB reached some kind of agreement in which each team had to pick an item from Forever to give away to fans. There have been some good choices throughout league, from bobbleheads to zombie figurines. Not all of the giveaways went off without a hitch. On August 15 the Detriot Tigers gave the first 10,000 fans in attendance a Miguel Cabrera two-time AL MVP award bobblehead. Upon recieving said bobblehead, fans noticed a subtle mistake that was made by Forever. They had used two NL MVP awards instead of AL MVP awards. Minor, but still something that should've been caught along the way. Forever issued an apology for their mistake:

"Forever Collectibles takes full responsibility for this error and we apologize to the fans. We are certainly disappointed this happened."

The fact is, Forever makes thousands of products each year and mistakes are going to happen. It's unfortunate for them that it occurred during one of their giveaways. 

Now on to the bobblehead of the hour for the Phillies. I really was not looking forward to it. It's another Ryan Howard bobblehead, which is completely unnecessary at this point. We already had one too many as it is. So from the door I was annoyed, and to make matters worse, it was a generic-looking Forever bobblehead. I really didn't have a chance to look the bobblehead over until I got home and that's when I wavered a bit in my disdain for this bobblehead. 

After holding it and looking it over, I kind of like it. I know that's not a popular opinion, as this bobblehead has been hated on by pretty much everyone, but it's actually well-made. The paint job isn't complete crap like 97% of the bobbleheads made by BD&A. I don't see any chips or lumps on random spots like so often happens with BD&A. Overall the quality is a lot better. Now, the likeness is not very good. This looks nothing like Ryan Howard (it actually more closely resembles Jimmy Rollins). If they could somehow get away from the generic head mold and create a mold that looks like the player/manager, and add something to each bobblehead like they did with the Miguel Cabrera, they could really improved the state of bobblehead giveaways. Would it have killed the Phillies to add something to this one to make it a little more interesting? Maybe a ROY trophy, or a decal of the 10th anniversary of Citizens Bank Park logo on the base? Something – anything! Just put a little more effort into the product you're putting out. 

The other thing I noticed about this bobblehead was its packaging. The box is a Forever retail box and has a UPC code on it. I'm not sure, but my guess is this was an option that was given to teams that knew they'd have leftovers. I have not heard of nor seen leftover Ryan Howards for sale, but I'm assuming they're coming. I wanted to see if this was the case with the other giveaways made by Forever and distributed this season, and for almost all that wasn't the case. All of the bobbleheads I've seen are in normal giveaway boxes, with no UPC codes. The only other UPC-emblazoned giveaway I found was the DBacks Zombie figurine. 

The Phillies giveaway policy with an emphasis on not selling leftover giveaways as stated on their website is:

The Phillies policy is to distribute one giveaway item per eligible fan entering Citizens Bank Park. An eligible fan is a fan that meets advertised age limits or other requirements (i.e. kids 14 and under promotions). Extra tickets for a game may not be redeemed for giveaway items. The Phillies do not make giveaway items available for sale. Giveaway items are not licensed through Major League Baseball Properties, therefore cannot be sold at retail.

The Phillies found a way around the "not licensed by Major League Baseball Properties" issue years ago. They started giving a "free gift" with purchase of a yearbook. The gift is usually whatever leftover giveaways they have. I've seen bobbleheads, figurines, bats, books...pretty much every giveaway is at some point sold with a yearbook. So for $10 you get a yearbook and a previous giveaway and the Phillies in turn get to unload yearbooks and leftover giveaways. But now, with all Forever products being licensed by MLBP and Forever entering the MLB stadium giveaway market, the Phillies may have found a way to unload some of their leftovers for cash without the yearbook. Time will tell if this is the strategy, but you don't put a UPC code on a giveaway for nothing. 

It's been a long season for the Phillies in many ways. But in my opinion, their merchandise and promotions department crapped the bed this year. And this last move, if it turns out the way it looks like it will, is just another poor decision made by this organization. 

©PhilliesSGA - 2014

2014 Phillies Stitch N' Pitch Night!

The 2014 Phillies Stitch N' Pitch Night gift included a bobblehead, tumbler, and tote bag - ©PhilliesSGA 

August 7, 2014

Last night the Phillies held their 8th annual Stitch N' Pitch Night at Citizens Bank Park. Every year knitters come down to the ball park to show their support for the Phillies and...do some knitting. To each her own! As with every year except 2007, the Phillies gave the first 1000 fans who purchased tickets using the code STITCH a gift. This year's gift was a retread from 2010, the Phillie Phanatic knitting bobblehead, and as an added bonus everyone received a tumbler and a tote bag.  Both of those were also gifts from previous years.

Phillie Phanatic Pitch N' Stitch Bobbleheads - 2010 on the right - 2014 on the left - ©PhilliesSGA 

For most Phillies bobblehead collectors, this was a huge disappointment. I'm sure the collectors and fans who missed out on getting the bobblehead in 2010 were very pleased. Prices on the  secondary market for the Phanatic SNP earlier this year were in the $200+ range, and once it was announced that the Phillies were giving away the same Phanatic SNP bobblehead for 2014, the value of the 2010 version fell through the floor. I kept track of ticket sales for this theme night because I was interested to see if the bobblehead giveaway would draw people to the game. A month after the announcement, ticket sales plateaued at around 500. Yesterday morning I checked the tickets left and there were just over 100 tickets still available. So the Phillies came very close to reaching their goal of 1000 tickets sold for a theme night, and had they given out a different bobblehead, they would've likely sold out the theme night in the first couple of months. 

As for the bobblehead itself, it's nearly identical to the SNP bobblehead from 2010.  After looking over both versions, I found only a slight difference between the two: they have different head molds which feature slightly different hats. On the 2010 version they used a decal "P" on the back of the cap and the Phanatic's hat was a little floppy looking. On the 2014 version the hat looks like a standard baseball cap and the "P" is molded on the hat. They've been using this head mold since 2012 with the MVP Club bobblehead. 

The many heads of the mini Phanatic Bobbles! - ©PhilliesSGA -2014

History of the Phillies Pitch N' Stitch Giveaways:

  • 6/26/2007 - No giveaway
  • 8/5/2008 - Tote bag with scorecard and yarn
  • 4/29/2009 - Tote bag
  • 8/10/2010 - Phillie Phanatic knitting bobblehead
  • 6/15/2011 - Tote bag and a limited amount of leftover Phanatic bobbles
  • 8/7/2012 - Tumbler cup
  • 8/27/2013 - Tumbler cup
  • 8/6/2014 - Phillie Phanatic bobblehead, with leftover tote bags and tumbler cups

©PhilliesSGA - 2014

Congrats Jimmy Rollins! A look at the milestone print given away Monday


June 25, 2014

On Monday night the Phillies gave away a Jimmy Rollins print commemorating his breaking the team all-time hits record and passing Mike Schmidt. Its great that they called an-in season audible to add this print to the schedule, but I would've done this and more if it were my choice. Of course I can't just be happy with whatever the Phillies come up with; it's just my nature. I like more creative, thought-out giveaways with a smidgen more effort.

If the Phillies had to settle with the print, why not add a minor twist? How about having Jimmy Rollins sign 11 or 20 or 50 and randomly give them out at the gates? Or designing the poster to feature just Rollins and Schmidt and having them both sign 25 or 50 and to give out randomly? I mean, they knew this moment was going to happen this season. It's not like Rollins suddenly approached the Phillies hit record and they had no time. 

In my opinion, they should've done a bobblehead, of course. That's a serious no-brainer. The Baltimore Orioles concluded a fan-vote bobblehead contest in mid-May that will be released on 9/21 – about a four-month turnaround. If the Phillies had their bobblehead producer, BD&A, prepare a new mold for a Rollins bobblehead to be ready to go on June 16, all they would have to do is tell them to put Rollins in the Sunday day-game uniform and start production. They could've added the giveaway on 9/28, fan appreciation day, and that would've put them at about three and a half months for production. Clearly doable.

My last opinion on this topic: since the bobblehead giveaway was a no-go, it would still be great for the Phillies to get a Rollins stadium exclusive bobblehead in the works. This could actually happen, but at the rate the Phillies are selling Phanatic of the Month bobbles it's highly unlikely. At this point they should be able to build an addition to CBP out of all the extra POTMs they have sitting around. 

©PhilliesSGA - 2014

Phillies to host their first STAR WARS Night at Citizens Bank Park

Photos courtesy of Phillies.com - ©Phillies

Photos courtesy of Phillies.com - ©Phillies


June 24, 2014

Well, the Phillies are finally taking the plunge into a theme night that's been a hit around MLB for years, STAR WARS Night! I think it's a good idea, and with the Phillies unable to print money like in years past we should finally start to see some better promotions. In case you were wondering, of course I have some type of problem with this promotion. If you don't know by now, the Phillies can never do anything right in terms of SGAs in my mind (sorry, it's the truth).

So with every STAR WARS Night promotion done around baseball over the years, each team has given the first 1000 fans or so a gift for purchasing tickets specifically for SWN. Many teams do shirts, hats, and of course bobbleheads. Some of the bobbleheads are very creative and beloved by fans. Last year the Mets gave out a "Master Met" bobblehead, which was Mr.Met dressed up like a Jedi. The Giants did a Buster Posey Clone Trooper bobblehead with removable mask, another solid idea. This season the Marlins are giving away a "Jedi Billy" bobblehead which of course is their mascot Billy the Marlin dressed as a Jedi. All of these are very cool.

So, what are you thinking for the Phillies?! Master Utley, Jedi JRoll, Darth Phanatic, Palpatine-bon? No? Oh, I see. It's a baseball figurine that looks like the Death Star. Awesome. Of all the SWN gifts I've seen, the Death Star Baseball, which was done by the Giants already, ranks somewhere toward the bottom, just above hats and t-shirts. It's ok, and yes I bought tickets for this game (so who's the sucker? this guy!) but c'mon. You have an opportunity to knock a theme night giveaway out of the park and you give us a generic Death Star Baseball that's already been done by another team? Clearly The Force wasn't with the Phils on this one. 

©Phillies

Tickets are available in locations regularly priced $38 & under and $5 from each ticket sold will benefit Stand Up to Cancer. Click Here for all the information!


STAR WARS Night gifts from around MLB for this year and years past:


©PhilliesSGA - 2014

Photos courtesy of Marlins, Phillies, Giants, Rays, Reds, Mets, Dodgers, and Tigers.

All rights reserved to their respective owners.

Please visit MLB.com to find all information on the teams above.