The Yankees' decision to pass out 18,000 bobbleheads on "Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night" turned into a promotional nightmare after a shipping snafu kept the valued souvenirs from arriving by 5 p.m. —when the gates were scheduled to open — after thousands of fans lined up outside the Stadium.
The gates opened more than 30 minutes later than usual, and the Yankees handed out vouchers instead, reported CBS New York. An announcement was made during the middle of the third inning that vouchers for the Little Mos could be redeemed from that point until 30 minutes after the game.
Lines formed immediately and stretched from beyond the right-field foul pole to third base on the main level, then up a ramp to another level and back down to the first level, as some fans waited several innings to scoop up their gifts. Pushing and arguing broke out among the anxious fans waiting for the freebies.
Deborah Tymon, the Yankees’ senior VP of marketing, said the shipment arrived shortly after 6 p.m., adding "everyone with a voucher will be receiving a bobblehead tonight."
According to Tymon, the shipment originated in Seattle and traveled by train through Chicago, before the truck transporting the dolls broke down in New Jersey.
Tymon added that the Yanks typically receive giveaway shipments on the day of a game due to storage restrictions at the Stadium. But fans were in no mood to hear excuses.
Before the game was over, some of the bobbleheads showed up on eBay with a $250 asking price.