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MailTribune.com
  • BASEBALL

    Rogues hit home run with B.G. bobblehead

    Veteran Medford scorekeeper B.G. Gould 'flattered' by hype leading up to promotional night on Saturday
  • Well before the West Coast League baseball season started, the Medford Rogues were able to create the kind of buzz General Manager Chuck Heeman could only dream of stirring.
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    • ON DECK
      TODAY: Medford Rogues vs. Northwest Star Academy, 6:35 p.m. Fireworks following the game.
      • FRIDAY: Medford Rogues vs. Bend Elks, 1:05 p.m.
      • SATURDAY: Medford Rogues vs. Bend Elks, ...
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      ON DECK
      TODAY: Medford Rogues vs. Northwest Star Academy, 6:35 p.m. Fireworks following the game.

      • FRIDAY: Medford Rogues vs. Bend Elks, 1:05 p.m.
      • SATURDAY: Medford Rogues vs. Bend Elks, 6:35 p.m. B.G. Gould Bobblehead Night for the first 1,000 fans through the gates.
      • SUNDAY: Medford Rogues vs. Klamath Falls Gems, 6:35 p.m.
  • Well before the West Coast League baseball season started, the Medford Rogues were able to create the kind of buzz General Manager Chuck Heeman could only dream of stirring.
    All of it was positive and almost entirely due to the announcement of one promotional night that tugged at the heartstrings of those in the Rogue Valley and beyond: B.G. Gould Bobblehead Night.
    "We have five bobbleheads this year and the only one people really get excited about is B.G. Gould," Heeman said Wednesday. "It's funny as hell."
    That much-anticipated promotional night finally arrives on Saturday, with the Medford Rogues giving away B.G. Gould bobblehead dolls to the first 1,000 fans through the gates — as well as season ticket holders — prior to the 6:35 p.m. game against the Bend Elks.
    Saturday's giveaway is the third of the five planned this summer and is sponsored by U.S. Cellular. Previous bobblehead promotions have been for Dick Fosbury (June 14 by Airport Chevrolet) and Grange Co-Op mascot Floyd (June 21), with Kyle Singler (July 19 by D.A. Davidson) and Rogues mascot Rowdy (Aug. 9 by Rogue Federal Credit Union) still to come.
    Nothing, however, has approached the uproar that's only increased in intensity since Heeman announced in March that Medford's lovable statistician and ambassador to the area would join those in bobblehead lore.
    "It's just a great, great honor," Gould said prior to Wednesday's Rogues game in Corvallis. "I'm very flattered and appreciative. Being around professional and collegiate baseball all my life and seeing all the major league baseball players and guys around the world who have something like that ... to have my own (bobblehead) now is kind of awesome."
    His honor didn't come without a little trepidation, mind you.
    "At first I said, 'What's this going to look like?'" said Gould. "When Chuck Heeman got the final product, I go, 'Hey, that's not bad.'"
    Gould has been a fixture at football, basketball, baseball and softball games since moving to the Rogue Valley in 1967. The 1970 Medford High graduate has worked for the Medford School District since 1986, compiling statistics for coaches and the media and rolling out the red carpet for visiting sports teams.
    Beyond his current work with the Rogues, Gould also served as the official scorer for the Medford A's/Southern Oregon Timberjacks from 1986-99, a stretch of 1,033 games, and was a baseball umpire for more than 20 years.
    Through all those years, Gould has made quite an impression on those he's come in contact with, and many of them are now vying to take home his impression.
    "It's going to be a fun night (Saturday) and a lot of people who haven't been to a (Rogues) game this year are trying to come just to see if they can get a bobblehead," said Gould, who turns 63 on Aug. 14. "A lot of people are trying to pre-order them with me and I said, 'You might have to camp out Friday night.'"
    While camping out may be a stretch, the B.G. bobbleheads have been the talk of the spring and summer thus far around Harry & David Field. Gould has had his likeness stationed in front of his scoreboard operator since it came in and it's a rare day when he isn't asked about his bobblehead and how people can get their hands on one of their own.
    "Everyone's said, 'Save me one,' when they hear about it," said Gould. "They're going to have them for the first 1,000 to come into the ballpark and I was just kinda like tongue-in-cheek with (Rogues assistant GM) Griff Boyd the other day saying I don't know if 1,000 is enough."
    The bobblehead promotions put forth this season by the Rogues have been a year in the making.
    "We started out always looking for something different than we used the year before in our promotions and we hadn't ever done a bobblehead so we looked into it," said Heeman. "My original thought was one would be enough or all we could handle but then we priced it out and the corporate partnerships came through. With five Saturday nights on our regular season schedule we thought, 'Why not do a bobblehead every Saturday night?"
    The team's mascot Rowdy was a logical choice, as was the case for the Grange Co-op mascot and Singler, who just completed his second season in the NBA and will be on hand for his bobblehead night. Heeman said he then took a Facebook poll of Rogues fans requesting suggestions to fill out the list and one name kept coming back: B.G. Gould.
    "I thought, 'Well, that's kind of cute,' but I did not realize the universal appeal of B.G. Gould until I started asking around some more," said Heeman. "We had 10 to 12 different names, some that were kind of off the wall and some that fit, and I started asking about B.G. and every single person I asked loved it and said you've gotta do that."
    That response was more than enough to satisfy Heeman, who had already been teasing Gould about the bobblehead possibility during the team's first season before ultimately setting his plan in motion.
    "He didn't believe me and didn't think I was going to do it," Heeman said. "I teased him all last year about that and when we did the Facebook poll, I finally went to him and said, 'We're going to do that thing I've been talking about.' Ever since then, you just see him and it's like the greatest thing ever to happen to him. It's great."
    Gould's reaction to Heeman's plan was, well, exactly what one would expect.
    "I said, 'What?'" Gould said in typical animated fashion. "I was just like, 'Oh boy ... OK, that's fine.'"
    The six-month process to develop the bobblehead started with a submitted photo of Gould and then a clay unpainted mock-up was returned to Heeman. After a little back and forth and some tweaks — the original came on a standard svelte body frame — Heeman was able to present the final option for Gould's approval.
    "We had to get written permission from all of the subjects and every one of them were just thrilled to death," Heeman said of the bobbleheads. "I mean, how many people get a bobblehead?"
    Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry
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