The Hank Aaron Fan’s Guide to Bobbleheads

The bulk of my Hank Aaron collecting is confined to items produced during Hank’s playing days. However, I’ve made an exception for bobbleheads. What follows is what I believe to be a complete collection of collectible Hank Aaron bobbleheads.

STANDARD ISSUES

While one could argue that any stadium giveaway has a limited release, I am regarding all of the bobbles below as standard issues. The Limited Release section will be reserved only for those bobbles that are individually numbered (e.g., 44 out of 755). Note that I own all of the bobbles in this section and am happy to provide additional pictures and information on request.

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DESCRIPTIONS (LEFT TO RIGHT)

  • 1975 Milwaukee Brewers – I believe this was sold at Milwaukee County Stadium souvenir stands in 1975; however, I am unable to find any confirmation. Expect to pay $70 or more for NIB, depending on the condition of the box.
  • 2001 Milwaukee Braves – This was released by Bobble Dobbles in 2001. I believe it was sold directly to consumers rather than given out as a stadium promotion. Expect to pay $60 or more for NIB.
  • 2002 Milwaukee Brewers – This was a stadium giveaway by the Milwaukee Brewers on August 11, 2002. Expect to pay about $45 for NIB.
  • 2003 Greenville Braves – This was a stadium giveaway by the Greenville Braves (former South Carolina AA affiliate) on July 5, 2003. At a glance, the bobblehead looks similar to the 2003 Atlanta Braves release. However, this scarcer minor league release is easily distinguished by the “Advance Auto Parts” signage, the round base, and the dark jersey.
  • 2003 Atlanta Braves – This was a stadium giveaway by the Atlanta Braves on September 19, 2003. Expect to pay about $45 for NIB.
  • 2010 Milwaukee Brewers – This was a stadium giveaway by the Milwaukee Brewers on May 16, 2010. The sponsor was the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which explains the hunk of cheese at Aaron’s feet. Expect to pay $25 for NIB.
  • 2012 Eau Claire Bears – Probably the toughest Hank Aaron bobblehead to find, this mini-bobble was a limited stadium giveaway by the minor league Eau Claire Express on June 14, 2012, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s minor league debut. Go here for more information on the promotion. Expect to pay $70-80 NIB, assuming you can find one!
  • 2013 Milwaukee Braves – This was a stadium giveaway by the Milwaukee Brewers on June 7, 2013, in commemoration of Hank Aaron’s 30/30 season 50 years earlier. There is a 44 on his bat, not representing his uniform number but rather his home run total that year; and likewise, there is a base with a 31 by his feet, reflecting his 31 steals. Expect to pay about $25-40 NIB.
  • 2014 Atlanta Braves – This was a stadium giveaway by the Atlanta Braves on April 10, 2014, in commemoration of the (approximately) 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s major league home run record. Expect to pay about $25-40 NIB.
  • 2016 Lakeshore Chinooks – This was a stadium giveaway for the first 1,000 fans by the Lakeshore Chinooks (Northwoods League) on June 4, 2016. Aaron was bobblehead 4 of 4 in the Chinooks “Outfield Wall” series. The dimensions of the team’s Kapco Park are 317 feet in left (Jim Gantner), 344 feet in left-center (Hank Aaron), 404 feet in center (Paul Molitor), and 319 feet in right (Robin Yount). Expect to pay about $25 NIB. (As a minor note, publicity photos showed the Aaron bobblehead with gray hair. However, the actual bobblehead is of a black-haired Aaron.)
  • 2016 Gwinnett Braves – This was a stadium giveaway for the first 2,500 fans by the Gwinnett Braves at their July 16, 2016, game. Expect to pay about $25-30 NIB.

LIMITED RELEASES

Bobbles in this section were part of individually numbered, limited releases. I don’t have original retail prices for any of the three, but I am assuming they were each around $90. Distribution numbers are included in the descriptions below the images.

DESCRIPTIONS (LEFT TO RIGHT)

  • bonds-big-head-427848094591994 Atlanta Braves – This was a 1994 limited release of 1,000 somehow-licensed Hank Aaron bobbleheads by Sports Accessories and Memorabilia (SAM) of Menlo Park, CA, as part of their “500 Home Run Club” collection. While I don’t expect complete physical likeness from any bobblehead other than Barry Bonds, I have to call out the SAM bobblehead as looking so unlike its subject that it’s completely uncollectible. At minimum, one should at least require that a Hank Aaron bobblehead look more like Hank Aaron than me! Still, assuming you can’t live without this one, expect to pay $90-120 for NIB. UPDATE: I wonder if the SAM I have pictured is an “error” bobblehead that was subsequently corrected to look at least a little more Hank-like. See photo below. (For what it’s worth, this lot of nine 500 HR Club HOFers garnered no bids in a 2010 Huggins and Scott auction.)
  • 2013 Atlanta Braves – This was a limited edition from a Forever Collectibles “Legends of the Diamond” release of 2,013 made. I believe distribution was via the Forever Collectibles website. Expect to pay $90 and up for NIB.
  • 2014 Atlanta Braves – Also from Forever Collectibles, this was the April 2014 Turner Field “Bobble of the Month” with a limited release of 360. My personal opinion is that the design is much too similar to the prior year’s issue, so I have been content to have only the 2013 release for now. Expect to pay $90 and up for NIB.

23635_bobbleheads

UNAUTHORIZED BOBBLES

While the bobbleheads above were all “official” releases carrying the approval of Major League Baseball, Hank Aaron, or some other entity, the bobbles below are what I’ll euphemistically call labors of love.

  • Bobblehead City – This business allows you to create your own bobblehead, right down to player name, skin tone, uniform, and other variables–all for about $80 (painted) plus shipping. At one time, the site’s front page featured the Hank Aaron image above. However, it now features mainly “generic” players.
  • Cat Man 755 HR  – Limited release of 44 by Canadian bobble maker “Cat Man.” Despite (or possibly because of) the cartoonish, South Park (or maybe Davey and Goliath) style of his bobbleheads, Cat Man has something of a cult following among bobblehead collectors who even know his work exists. Registration/login is required, but you can learn more about Cat Man and his many bobbles at this site. As for prices, I have seen two of these “755 HR” bobbles sell on eBay, one at $90 and one at $100. NOTE: If you purchase a “Cat Man” of any player–not just Hank Aaron–note that they are VERY fragile. Anecdotal data suggest that nearly half are damaged in transit.
  • Cat Man 1957 WS  – Limited release of unknown (to me) size. See notes above.

MISCELLANEOUS

In the early 1960s (c. 1963-1965), generic team bobbleheads were produced for each team. Additionally, “black player” bobbles were produced for each team except the Athletics, Giants, Pirates, and Twins. None of these bobbles included names or uniform numbers; however, the two produced for the Braves (Milwaukee and Atlanta) could arguably be considered as part of a complete Hank Aaron bobblehead collection. A handful of notes on the topic–

  1. The Atlanta version (c. 1965) is identical to the Milwaukee version, except that the “M” hat decal the word “Milwaukee” on the base have been colored over.
  2. Both bobbles are very scarce, but the Milwaukee one is more so. In good condition, expect to pay around $500 for Atlanta and $1000 for Milwaukee.
  3. The “black player” bobbles are known to come in two variations: “realistic face” (includes eyebrows) and “traditional face” (smiling). Traditional is more rare. (I don’t know whether both variations exist for both Braves bobbles.
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4 thoughts on “The Hank Aaron Fan’s Guide to Bobbleheads

  1. Hi Jason, a card-collecting friend sent me the link to your blog because I am a huge Hank fan. I love this. I may have to take a good inventory of my bobble-heads to see what I may be missing or what may not have:>) Anyway, more importantly, you need to go to our online group of vintage card collectors at http://www.oldbaseball.com and check us out. We are nationally recognized by a lot of the vintage card sellerS at the National and regional shows as OBC. You might like what you see. And if interested in joining, please contact me for questions.

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    • Jason, I did notice that as well and will be going thru my mags to see what I’m missing there as well. I collect one of each of Hank’s cards up to present day. Still need some vintage oddballs. Would you mind sending me a personal email so I can ask you a question? Lynn

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