I am keeping with my Durham Bulls theme for the weekend for the Labor Day holiday and featuring some cool items I have picked up from my favorite minor league team over the past year. So far, I have posted a Chipper Jones bobble head from his jersey retirement ceremony and a game used Tim Beckham bat. My third item comes from Rays All-Star pitcher David Price.
One of the great challenges in collecting the Durham Bulls is the fact that many of the Stadium Giveaways are limited to full and partial season ticket holders. Single game ticket purchasers are often left out on promotional items. My wife started buying my a package every year for my birthday and I also get the set of tickets along with a pair of tickets which I can trade in for a promotional item on certain dates. Having the tickets for a pair of promotional items does not guarantee you that you will walk away with the coolest promotional items, so there are years where you have to back track and find the items away from the stadium.
Over the years I have done pretty well putting together the different bobbles given away by the team. I did not even live in North Carolina during the 2002, 100th Anniversary Season, but I have most of the set of bobbleheads that the team gave away that summer. By my count, I am still missing an Andruw Jones and a local radio host (blah). I am also missing a Jeremy Hellickson bobblehead from 2009 or 2010 and a triple bobble of Hellickson, Dan Johnson, and Charlie Montoyo.
Until recently, I was also missing the David Price statue which only was only given away to 1,200 fans. That is a really low number for a stadium giveaway. To compare, I also collect the Cardinals and one of their more limited bobbles was the 2001 Mike Matheny which was only given to the first 20,000 fans. I realize there is a huge difference in the size of the stadiums, but 20,000 is probably 40% of Busch Stadium. 1,200 is 10% of Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Luckily, I was able to track down the Price statue recently and add it to my collection. Let's have a look:
At first glance I really liked this statue. The Durham Bulls have always given out bobbles, so it was nice to see them give away something a little bit different for once. The details in the uniform are also fairly strong at first galnce. For example, from this view you will notice that the 125th Anniversary of Minor League Baseball Patch appears above the uniform number on the left-hand side of the jersey.
The back of the jersey is also pretty awesome with the accuracy on the double patch, USA flag and Minor League logos, located at the top back of the jersey. You can also see the facsimile signature of Price located on the base along with the numbering showing the copies of the SGA at 1,200. After first glance however, I dug a little deeper and became a little bit more disappointed in the statue.
My first disappointment in the statute was head of Price. I know David Price. This is not David Price. I am not sure it's in the same zip code as David Price. It's hard to be accurate with bobbles and statues, but you've got to come a little bit closer than this. At least throw the David Price stubble onto the statue.
The biggest problem with the statue however is seen in this picture above. It's a little bit like find that Goldbug guy in the Richard Scary books, but the second you realize what is missing from the statue you will kind of be shocked a team, or statute manufacturer could overlook such a detail.....Compare to the real David Price on the Durham Bulls circa 2008....
A little hard to see in this picture, but the right panel-back panel on Price as a left-handed pitcher, has the Durham Bulls logo. The statue? No. It's a little hard to believe that a statue can get every little detail correct from the special Minor League Baseball patch to the double Minor League and Flag Patches on the back to the fact that Price wore 41 on the Bulls and not his usual 14...on and on and on. Yet, the team logo is left off the jersey. Face plant.
Still cool and still going on the shelf. Maybe I will print off a Durham Bulls logo and tape it onto the statue.