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There was a buzz around the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday game as fans eagerly awaited the limited edition Shohei Ohtani bobblehead giveaway. Two hours before the game against the Cincinnati Reds, traffic clogged the roads around Chavez Ravine as fans rushed to secure a spot in the giveaway line that snaked outside the stadium. A sell-out crowd roared for Ohtani, who expressed gratitude for the massive turnout. However, a hidden detail left over 13,000 fans with a double dose of disappointment.

This excitement translated into a sell-out crowd of 53,527, the largest for the Dodgers this season and the most at Dodger Stadium in years, proving the immense popularity of the two-way superstar. “Shohei creates a stir,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I can’t imagine what it’s like outside. It’s great for Shohei, and it’s good for the Dodgers.” 

Only the first 40,000 lucky fans were to receive the bobblehead, featuring Shohei Ohtani in the Dodgers’ road uniform and an anime-themed box design. As a surprise, 1,700 limited-edition versions featuring Shohei in the road gray jersey were mixed with the standard bobbleheads, and as many lucky fans got their hands on it. That said, the remaining 13,000+ came out of that place that day empty-handed, with only the Blue Crew’s loss to remember. Quite heartbreaking, right?

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Analyst Rich Eisen thought the same. Known for his blunt ways, the host of The Rich Eisen Show noted, “If only the Dodgers had told everybody who shows up gets one, but it was just the first 40,000. So everybody went to the game early to get Ohtani’s bobblehead. 53,000 attended, which means 13,000 people showed up early for no reason.” His co-host, Suzy Shuster, had far stricter words for the Dodgers, though. Shuster exclaimed, “Dodgers, you can’t do that!” 

Shuster told the story of kids crying because they couldn’t get the two-way phenom’s bobblehead. “As a mom, I would say you have to have bobbleheads for everybody. There’s got to be another Shohei bobblehead night. You can’t turn off all those young kids who showed up there early,” Shuster said. She wasn’t the only one asking for this. Multiple fans are ruing the missed opportunity to get Ohtani’s bobblehead.

After all, Dave Roberts predicted that “it’s going to be a hot-ticket item.” But considering the Dodgers have scheduled three other Ohtani bobblehead nights – which will be much to Suzy Shuster’s liking – fans will have more opportunities to get their hands on the prized collectible. As for Shohei Ohtani, he seemed to have had a nicer time than the 13,000 fans who were at the stadium but couldn’t get a bobblehead.

“Just overall a very nice setting to have a lot of fans in the stands,” Ohtani said through an interpreter after going 0-for-2 with a walk in Thursday’s 7-2 loss. “I’m very appreciative that they all came tonight.” From what Dave Roberts had to say about the bobbleheads, there’s no question he’s impressed by more than just Ohtani’s talent on the field. His “hot-ticket” comment indeed turned out to be true following the free giveaway on the match day!

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The giveaway is now selling fast online

The Ohtani bobblehead giveaway turned into a collector’s frenzy! Standard versions were selling online for $1500 and up, but the real story was the surprise “chase” versions, whose value skyrocketed on eBay, with one reaching a staggering $2,300! This excitement extended beyond bobbleheads, as game tickets also saw a surge, with prices ranging from $168 to $388.

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Even Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn’t immune to the Ohtani craze – he gets a bobblehead for every giveaway night and is building quite the collection!” I get one for each bobblehead night,” Roberts said, “so I’ve got quite the collection.” The Dodgers are clearly capitalizing on Shohei’s first year with the team, scheduling three more Ohtani giveaways (hat, second bobblehead, and shirt) this season.