It's time for another entry into the Eye on Baseball faux-toy collection: The Bobblehead Project. For those unfamiliar with what we're doing here, click on the above link to see the explanation along with the full collection.
This time around, we'll revisit the boneheaded play that earned Chuck Knoblauch the nickname "Blauch Head" in at least one publication:
Note the point down toward the base (and, yes, the ball is symbolic here, because it was a bit behind him on the actual play).
The referenced play came in Game 2 of the 1998 ALCS against the Indians. In the top of the 12th inning with the game tied, 1-1, Jim Thome singled to lead things off. He was replaced by Enrique Wilson as a pinch-runner. Travis Fryman was then tasked with a sacrifice bunt (watch it here on YouTube -- and sadly this is the best video of the play we could find. Boo Internet!).
What ensued was a bizarre play that inspiring a few requests for this Bobblehead (including one from my brother).
Tino Martinez would field the bunt and spin to make the throw to Chuck Knoblauch. Fryman, the ball and Knoblauch's glove all arrived at first base pretty much simultaneously and the ball got away.
While Knoblauch was arguing his case that Fryman was inside the line (where the base is, by the way), Wilson noticed there was a chance to score. And score he did. On the throw home, Fryman would get all the way to third base and score later in the inning, as the Indians would win, 3-1, evening the series one game to one.
What ensued on Knoblauch was what you'd expect in tough New York City. Headlines like this:
It was dubbed the "Blunder in the Grass" by columnist Mike Lupica, for example.
Knoblauch would say he didn't know where the ball was. That's probably true, but he wasn't exactly looking for it -- which is why we symbolically included it on the Bobblehead.
Regardless, that's our entry for this installment of the Bobblehead Project. Thanks, as always, to our artist Jarod Valentin.
For more, definitely hit up our entire collection.