Phillies to Give Away One Million Bobble Heads June 4… Wait, That Can’t Be Right

Phillies to Give Away One Million Bobble Heads June 4… Wait, That Can’t Be Right

Okay, so the Phillies aren’t giving Carlos Ruiz bobble heads to the first one million fans in attendance at Tuesday’s game against the Marlins. However, they will be giving away the one millionth bobble head since the team began the promotion in 2001, a milestone the franchise will proudly celebrate over the next week.

Starting today until June 5, all 27 bobble heads in the line will be on display at the Phillies Authentic Shop (behind Section 133), including the storied 2004 collection of Randy Wolf and Mike Lieberthal, per A team press release. And if you happen to be attending the June 4 ballgame that features the second Chooch giveaway, one random fan could wind up with lucky No. 1,000,000.

The prize: among other things, a gold-painted Ruiz bobble head autographed by the catcher himself. Want.

The Phillies included a list of all the figures they’ve given away since the promotions began, which we’ve included below. There have been some bumps in the road, such as the Hunter Pence giveaway after he was traded from the team, or the infamous Roy Halladay where his glove was on the wrong hand. And of course, the dirty little secret with these things is they never look like the person they are supposed to. They are general fun items though that are usually a big draw for Citizens Bank Park.

2001

May 20 – Pat Burrell

September 27 – Larry Bowa

2002

May 5 – Phillie Phanatic Bobbing Belly

June 23 – Jimmy Rollins

August 18 – Harry Kalas & Richie Ashburn

2003

June 22 – Steve Carlton

September 1 – Mike Schmidt

September 27 – Phil & Phillis

2004

August 17 – Randy Wolf

August 29 – Mike Lieberthal

2006

May 26 – Chase Utley

July 26 – Ryan Howard

2007

April 29 – Phillie Phanatic Birthday

May 16 – Ryan Howard NL MVP

July 25 – Cole Hamels

2008

April 30 – Jamie Moyer NL East Champions

June 4 – Jimmy Rollins NL MVP

August 20 – Chase Utley (Alternate Jersey)

2009

April 28 – Charlie Manuel World Series Champions

August 19 – Brad Lidge

2010

May 18 – Roy Halladay

August 24 – Carlos Ruiz (catching)

2011

May 24 – Roy Oswalt

August 16 – Placido Polanco

2012

June 4 – Cliff Lee

August 21 – Hunter Pence

2013

June 4 – Carlos Ruiz (hitting)

August 21 – Cole Hamels #2

What are some of your favorites (or least favorites) in the collections? The Harry Kalas/Richie Ashburn combo is a personal favorite of mine, but I’m not sure anything beats an original – in this case, Pat The Bat.

Best of NBA: Bulls hand Spurs first road loss of season

uspresswire-bulls-dwyane-wade.jpg
USA Today Images

Best of NBA: Bulls hand Spurs first road loss of season

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, and the Chicago Bulls handed San Antonio its first road loss after a 13-0 start, hanging on to beat the Spurs 95-91 on Thursday night.

San Antonio fell one win shy of matching the NBA's best road start set by the Golden State Warriors last season. The Spurs cut an 18-point deficit midway through the third quarter to four in the closing minutes, only to come up short.

Kawhi Leonard scored 24 for San Antonio. Patty Mills added 16 points, hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers. Former Bull Pau Gasol had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his first game in Chicago since signing with San Antonio in the summer, but the Spurs lost a road game for the first time since Oklahoma City knocked them out in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

Jimmy Butler scored all of his 13 points for Chicago in the second half. Rajon Rondo added 12 points, nine assists and 10 rebounds, and Chicago picked up the win after dropping three in a row and six of nine.

The Spurs hadn't dropped a regular-season road game since Denver beat them on April 8 (see full recap).

Scoreboard malfunction, quiet crowd don’t stop Wizards’ rally
WASHINGTON -- Overcoming a sluggish start in front of a sparse, silent crowd and with a malfunctioning scoreboard, the Washington Wizards came back to beat the Nuggets 92-85 on Thursday night, thanks mainly to Bradley Beal's 26 points and Denver's season-high 29 turnovers.

John Wall scored only 15 points one game after a career-best 52, but nine came in the fourth quarter for Washington, which trailed by as many as 14 in the first half.

With starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay inactive because of what the team said was a sprained right ankle, the Nuggets went 5 1/2 minutes without a point in the fourth quarter.

In that final period, they had 10 of their turnovers and shot 1 for 14 on 3-pointers -- including 0 for 4 in one last-minute possession (see full recap).

Gasol, clutch free throws lift Grizzlies over
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol scored 36 points and Toney Douglas made two free throws with less than a second left to give the Memphis Grizzlies an 88-86 comeback victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Douglas finished with 11 points, scoring the game's final six points to seal Memphis' fifth straight victory.

Gasol was 13 of 24 from the field, including 4 of 6 from outside the arc. But Douglas, signed by Memphis this week because of injuries, took over down the stretch. The guard scored on a 19-footer with 34 seconds left, then converted two pairs of free throws in the last 20 seconds.

CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 24 points, and Damian Lillard had 19 on 6-of-18 shooting. Evan Turner had 15 points and 10 rebounds (see full recap).

Sixers beat Pelicans without Joel Embiid leading the way

uspresswire-sixers-ilyasova-rodriguez.jpg
USA Today Images

Sixers beat Pelicans without Joel Embiid leading the way

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS -- Joel Embiid shot just 5 for 15 from the field and the Sixers … wait … the Sixers won. 

Surprising? Actually, that’s just how the Sixers envision finding success.

It’s not about Embiid having a relatively quiet night on offense with 14 points, especially going 0 for 5 from three. It’s about other players getting involved and taking the burden off the rookie. Embiid has proved he can do a lot of things, but carrying a team each night in his first season isn’t what the Sixers have in mind. 

“I think that’s when we’re at our best,” Nik Stauskas said after the Sixers beat the Pelicans 99-88 (see Instant Replay). “Obviously there are a few guys in the NBA like a LeBron (James), KD (Kevin Durant) or Steph (Curry) that can single-handedly win a game throughout the entire season. But most of the teams are going to rely on bench players to step up and make shots and make plays. I think that’s when we’re most effective.”

Embiid entered Thursday night averaging 24.3 points and shooting 48.9 percent in Sixers wins (three games played). His 14 points against the Pelicans were his fewest in a victory this season. He also grabbed seven boards with four blocks and three steals. Embiid was a game-high plus-27, which Brett Brown called "massive."

Instead of being powered offensively by their centerpiece, the Sixers received solid efforts from the starters and reserves. Ersan Ilyasova scored 23 points (along with eight rebounds) for the second straight game. Sergio Rodriguez chipped in 16 points and eight assists. Off the bench,  Stauskas hit three treys en route to 14 points while Dario Saric scored 10 points with five rebounds as the team snapped an overall eight-game losing skid and a 23-game road losing streak. 

Embiid’s teammates attribute their success to the fact he is such a focal point of the opponents’ defense. In comparison to the beginning of the season when Embiid was getting stifled by double-teams, he has been learning how to pass out of them. Embiid expects to see two defenders every game and has been making adjustments to create opportunities for others to shoot rather than committing turnovers. 

“We’re not standing around a lot and just focusing on what Jo can do,” Robert Covington said. “Jo is making great moves to find guys that are open. He’s willing to pass. We’re starting to build the chemistry that everyone’s been looking for.”

Ilyasova has noticed a change in the flow of the offense and has capitalized on defensive mismatches when opponents swarm Embiid. 

“We just share the ball well,” Ilyasova said. “I find myself open. Obviously Joel does a great job of as far as when there is a double-team, just kicking out. When I see the open look, I try to knock that shot down.” 

This style of play is mutually beneficial for both Embiid and his teammates. Just because Embiid is passing out doesn't mean he's not getting his looks. Oftentimes, dishing out of a double-team allows him to get a better look on the next touch. 

“It’s a team effort," Covington said. "We’re doing so much as a unit that we’re not just focusing on just get Jo the ball and let him do his thing. He’s getting the ball, he’s surveying the floor and then he’s making his moves. He’s reading the defense really well. He’s doing a lot of [kicking out]. Then we find him a lot of re-posts and finding the open shot and making it easy for him to find the easy bucket.” 

Embiid is capable of scoring 20-plus in spite of his 28-minute restriction. The Sixers are making strides, though, by finding ways to win when he isn’t the running up the scoreboard. 

“I think there’s no doubt Jo is our best player and our offense is going to revolve around him most of the time,” Stauskas said. “But we’re playing our best when he’s posting up and kicking out to guys and they’re hitting threes or we’re taking pressure off him by making plays and the defense can’t just be solely focused on him. In a game like tonight, that’s kind of what you saw.”