Constable: It's no Cubs World Series parade, but Pat Hughes bobblehead will call the victory
According to my calendar entry filled out months ago, today should be the parade and rally for the 2018 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs after that unbelievable and thrilling Game 7 victory over the Red Sox on Halloween night at Fenway Park in Boston.
Instead, we must wait 147 days until the Cubs open the 2019 season on the road in Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, against the Texas Rangers.
If that's just too long to wait for a Cubs fix, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has a little something for you today: a Pat Hughes bobblehead that rekindles fans' memories of the good old days.
"A little bouncer slowly toward Bryant. He will glove it and throw to Rizzo. It's in time!" comes Hughes' memorable radio call from the bobblehead showing the Cubs' play-by-play broadcaster holding a microphone. "And the Chicago Cubs win the World Series! The Cubs come pouring out of the dugout, jumping up and down like a bunch of delirious 10-year-olds. The Cubs have done it!"
So many Cubs fans have heard that call over and over again that it seems logical that people might want to own a bobblehead that plays it at the push of a button.
"Pat's call of the clinching play that gave the Cubs and their fans the team's first World Series title in 108 years will be something that will give goose bumps to many generations of Cubs fans," says Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee. "To have it captured in a bobblehead is something that will live on forever."
The always-modest Hughes shies away from taking a role promoting his bobblehead.
"It didn't feel right touting my bobblehead while millions of Cubs fans were sitting around brokenhearted," Hughes says. The 2018 Wild Card game loss to the Colorado Rockies ended any plans he had to be at a Cubs' World Series championship parade and rally today.
"I wish. I wish. Doggone it," Hughes laments.
About 2,000 of the bobbleheads, which debut today, are in production. Some will be available for delivery before Christmas at an expedited cost of $45 each, with an $8 shipping charge per order. The rest will sell for $40 and will arrive in time for the Cubs Convention in January, which also begins ticket sales today. The bobbleheads are being produced for the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum by FOCO, a manufacturer of sports and entertainment merchandise.
"I'm just glad the words tumbled out in the right order," Hughes says of his call that described the action, named the players and noted the history. "I felt nervous."
He is the first broadcaster ever to say, "The Chicago Cubs win the World Series!" as there was no radio when the Cubs last won in 1908. Hughes' call was part of the pregame radio show introduction during the 2017 season.
"It sounds corny, but it gave me motivation and inspiration," Hughes says. "It still gives me goose bumps -- not because of what I did, but because it meant so much to millions of people."
The "bobblehead is fun," Hughes says, but that memory of the Cubs' extra-inning 8-7 win on the road against the Indians is special.
"We'll always have Cleveland," Hughes says. "They can never take that one away. And I would love to do it again."
Fans would agree. But remember. It took two years to come up with a 2018 bobblehead of Hughes announcing the moment when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. So don't look for the bobblehead of Hughes announcing the 2019 World Series championship until 2021.
-- Play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes in 2016, when he became the first broadcaster ever to declare the Cubs the World Series winner.