For just the second time since rejoining MLS in 2008, the San Jose Earthquakes are honoring one of their players with that quintessential American award marking sporting excellence — the bobblehead.
After a spectacular season where he helped lead the Quakes to the postseason, Chris Wondolowski has forever been memorialized as a desktop monument. In order to secure your golden-boot-clad trophy, make sure to arrive early at Buck Shaw Stadium this Saturday for the match against the Portland Timbers - only 5,000 fans will receive a bobblehead.
Wondolowski is certainly deserving of accolades for his efforts with the Earthquakes, and now he’ll be able to grace your home or office providing you with his infectious brand of confidence and inspiration. Plus, with the simplest of motion, he will bob his head to and fro, intently listening to your conversation and never wavering in his attention.
Cheaper than therapy or a ten-volume set of pompous self-help books, the Chris Wondolowski bobblehead will resolutely remain your ceramic companion through thick and through thin.
With Wondolowski bobblehead weekend upon on, the time seemed right to look back at some of the other tiny trophies that have been bestowed on the San Jose Earthquakes through the years. It turns out that the Bobble-Wondo will join an exclusive pantheon of miniature mementos that bedeck Bay Area homes and businesses.
[inline_node:9860]Darren Huckerby — The Norwich City legend made his way to sunny California in the summer of 2008, and instantly proved to be a fan favorite, as the English midfielder nearly willed the team into the postseason in their first season back in MLS. Huckerby bobbleheads were introduced in time for the start of the 2009 season, and featured his signature hair style and easy going smile. As a special detail, the figurines also had a pretty good representation of his tattoos running down his right arm.
Troy Dayak — When the time came to honor “The Beast” with a statue, it was a no-brainer that Dayak would be portrayed wearing his signature hat. Resplendent in a 2004 all-blue jersey, the lack of a toothy smile gives you fair warning about the kind of tackle he is ready to administer. This bobblehead marked the last spring-headed souvenir from the Earthquakes first stay in San Jose.
Landon Donovan — Arguably American soccer’s best player ever, Donovan was honored not once, but twice, with a bobblehead creation in his time in San Jose. The first trophy had the young Earthquakes forward sporting his 2001 jersey and — depending on your bobblehead source — either his natural brown or his legendary bleached hair. It is well known that most aficionados of the ceramic crafts prefer the blond Donovan. The second homage to the Quakes No. 10 came after the team captured their second MLS Championship in 2003. Immortalizing the MVP of that Final, Bobble-Donovan-II was fashioned with him holding a tiny replica of the Alan I. Rotenberg trophy.
Joe Cannon — A veritable collector’s item — legend has it that less than 1,000 were produced — this specially commissioned bobblehead of fan-favorite goalkeeper Cannon arrived on the scene in 2002. The offering was not given out at Spartan Stadium; instead, it was a creation of the Earthquakes supporters group Club Quake. The head of the Cannon staute was said to bobble with aplomb, but never did the sure-handed ‘keeper drop the precious replica MLS trophy secured firmly in his gloves.
Jeff Agoos — While it took many seasons for the Earthquakes to feel one of their own warranted a bobblehead giveaway, they couldn’t have made a better choice with the debut of the Agoos prize. Most old-timers know that this bobbler was not manufactured to the highest of standards — the paint job looked like it had been applied in the dark — but it is still treasured for the uniquely oversized head of the Quakes defender. To the bustling crowd that filed into Spartan Stadium back in early September 2001, the first of what was hoped to many Earthquakes bobbleheads was a cherished keepsake.
And there you have it, the complete history of San Jose Earthquakes bobbleheads. Hopefully there are none missing in the above list, but if you know of others, please share their stories in the comments section below. Also, who should be the next Earthquakes player bestowed with a bobblehead? Rumor has it that defender Jason Hernandez was jealous at seeing the Wondolowski model debut this week…