The Curious Case of the Chris Denorfia (bobbleheads)

On October 10th, Philip Jia and his roommates were going on with their night, just like it was any other normal evening. Little did they realize that their world would be flipped upside down and their lives would never be the same again.

They were about to be #norf’d

While they were at their University City condo, they saw a white Chevy Suburban, heard a loud noise and then saw the vehicle take off. It never looked back.

What they found was roughly 600 Chris Denorfia bobbbleheads, still in their boxes, 2 empty bottles of Vodka and a half empty jug of wallpaper peeler, just sitting there in their parking lot.

norf norf2

I spoke with Philip and he said that he reached out to various local news outlets and the San Diego Police Department. The police sent out an officer but said that there was nothing that they could do. Some news stations thought the story was hilarious, but didn’t send anyone out. And then Steven Luke from NBC 7 came out and started spreading the gospel on the greatest bobblehead mystery of our generation.

So now on to a little background about these bobbleheads. As someone who knows a thing or two about Padres bobbleheads, I can clearly say that these were never released to the public via sale or giveaway. Which leads me to the most logical theory. When the 2014 Padres promotional schedule was released, there was an unnamed bobblehead giveaway on September 20th. According to my sources, MLB and Forever Collectibles had an agreement that mandated at least 1 bobblehead (or figurine) giveaway per team that season, so for teams like the Padres, who never do bobbleheads, this was a welcome sight.

However there is a slight problem with booking a bobblehead giveaway after the trade deadline. The Padres bobblehead giveaway was canceled and replaced with an OAR concert. That lead many to believe that whoever was the Padres bobblehead that year was traded at the deadline. Denorfia was indeed traded to the Mariners on July 31st that season. Some other notable players that were traded include Nick Hundley (5/24), Huston Street (7/19) and Chase Headley (7/22).

Noticeably absent from the Denorfia bobblehead, if it was indeed a giveaway, are sponsor ads slapped all over it. However, if you look at some of the other Forever Collectible giveaways from that season, you’d notice that there isn’t a sponsor anywhere. Here is the Phillies Ryan Howard 2014 giveaway from August 19th.

HowardBobble

So many questions. So few answers.

What’s the story on the wallpaper peeler? Did the person get crazy drunk, break into the top secret memorabilia warehouse, steal them and then get upset that there was no market for them? Was it a disgruntled ex-employee who possessed 600 #norf bobbleheads and was slowly being driven mad seeing their faces every day? Was this all a Padres viral marketing campaign?

The world may never know.

Update: I met up with Philip and scored some of these amazing bobbleheads. It’s a great quality bobblehead but now I know why these never saw the light of day. Check out the description on the back of the box. It’s all about Will Venable!!! How did that get through the press checks?

Nothing like a bobblehead story to get ‘ol Rick to write something again, eh? I also finally did a “Curious Case…” title. Hi Bryant!
Follow me on Twitter @RJsFro if you’d like

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  • Tim Stoops

    Seattle’s Best Coffee would have been a good sponsor ad on the Denorfia bobblehead.