PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Giveaway days at the ballpark are always a fan favorite, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some MLB teams have stores of bobbleheads they never got to hand out last season. So what will happen to these collectibles?
"They're the phantom bobbleheads," said Randy Policar, a sports memorabilia collector in Tempe. "I can just imagine the bobblehead collectors like myself salivating over the chance to get ahold of these bobblehead dolls that no one's seen and may never see."
The pandemic threw a curveball that Major League Baseball didn't see coming.
"Bobbleheads take anywhere up to six to seven months to plan," said Jay Deutsch, the CEO of BDA Sports, which handles many of the promotional events for Major League Baseball teams.
Deutsch says there are millions of bobbleheads that had to be set aside and stored last year.
"I think almost all of the bobbleheads are going to be given out in some way, shae or form," Deutsch said.
That's what the Arizona Diamondbacks are planning to do. They have around 40,000 bobbleheads from 2020 that they're planning on giving away to fans this season.
"We got very lucky that we didn't have anything specific. In years past, we have had things that either were for an anniversary or specifically highlighting a date," said Josh Rawitch, senior vice president of content and communications for the Diamondbacks.
Also, the two players with commemorative bobbleheads ordered for last year's season, Christian Walker and Ketel Marte, are still on the D-backs.
"Thankfully, even though they arrived at Chase Field in 2020, we'll still be able to give them out in 2021," Rawitch said.
Though that wasn't the case for Arizona State University alumnus Trevor Williams.
"When the season got shut down last year, everyone thought we'd be playing in May in June so I thought my bobblehead night was gonna be safe, relatively safe. But now we know it wasn't," Williams said.
Last year, Williams played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but now he's on the Chicago Cubs. So the pitcher used some of the bobbleheads to help raise money for his charity which helps people with spinal cord injuries.
"I'm thankful that they gave me a couple of boxes, and I have more bobbleheads at my house that I can have and give them to whoever I want," Williams said.
And for collectors like Policar, it'll be these kinds of bobbleheads that'll be worth the most from 2020.
"We've all said it's a year we want to forget, but for me personally as a collector, 2020 is the year I want things from because of the rarity of it," Policar said.
Meaning Policar and other collectors will likely be on the hunt for those oddball items from a year everyone hopes is a one-off.
"You're gonna want to have something to remind you like, 2020 happened, they did play sports!" Policar said.