As sports made it’s return in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a big question was if there were going to be any athletes who choose to wear a mask during competition. As we’ve seen so far with the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA and MLS, most players are not wearing masks while playing and that mainly has to do with the fact that there is frequent testing. But some players are actually wearing some sort of face covering during action and that includes Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier.
That inspired FOCO (Forever Collectibles) to create a bobblehead showing Frazier, who has become a fan favorite, in action while wearing a gaiter. As of games played through September 21st, Frazier was hitting .296 with 8 home runs and 26 RBI as the Yankees have clinched a spot in the 2020 post-season. For this bobblehead, Frazier is at the plate wearing a road gray Yankee uniform and wearing a blue and white striped gaiter mask with interlocking “NY” logos all over it.
“His performance is mostly what drove the decision to make this bobble,” said Anthony Davino, Marketing Coordinator-Licensing at FOCO. “When home runs and masks were jointly mentioned in every headline, we knew we could capitalize and make this fun.”
While you’re seeing managers and staff wearing masks and other face coverings in the dugout or players wearing them during pre-game or while they are not in the game, there aren’t a lot of players who have chosen to wear them while they are playing. That has led to Frazier getting a mixed-reaction to his decision to wear a gaiter.
“I got a lot of positive feedback,” Frazier told ESPN. “I got a lot of negative feedback, as well, just from wearing the mask. A lot of people have their own opinions. I got called a sheep by some people, but it’s all good.”
Frazier, and some of the other players who have chosen to wear a mask while playing, have also inspired many kids to wear a mask while they’re playing youth sports.
Their feeling is that if Frazier and the other MLB players can do it, so can they and that should certainly make this bobblehead popular.
Bobbleheads continue to be a big hit in the sports collectibles industry. Whether it’s a simple bobblehead of your favorite player, a bobblehead that was given out a sporting event, or one of the many dynamic items that FOCO has created, a collection can certainly include a little bit of everything and the Frazier bobblehead is the latest example of something out of right field.
No pun intended!
“This is certainly up there in terms of out-of-the-box concepts,” said Davino. “We’ve tried silly outfits, accessories, and retro uniforms, but to have a team gaiter as part of a “uniform” has been quite unique. There is a chance future players and mascots could be released in a similar fashion.”
Since the start of the pandemic, FOCO has been selling officially-licensed MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and college team face-coverings so that fans could show their team spirit during what has been a challenging time for everyone in our country. And now, those FOCO masks and gaiters are being seen worn by MLB managers, coaches, and staff in the ballparks and on the field.
Including Clint Frazier.
“We’ve had the support of many players, teams, and fans in our face cover business,” said Davino. “We haven’t heard any negativity surrounding the team licenses masks, in fact, many fans are using it as another way to show team pride. We feel we’ll have similar reactions in our collectible offering.”
FOCO has created some amazing and unique bobbleheads, many involving the New York area teams, including the likes of former Yankees Captain Derek Jeter, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, and Nets star Kevin Durant. And now, the Yankees Clint Frazier mask bobblehead is not only the latest in a long line of unique bobbleheads, but it’s also topical and a great visual for what’s going on in the world right now.