In the year 2000, the Mets held their first bobblehead giveaway before a home game in June. Tom Seaver was, appropriately, the first Mets player commemorated in bobblehead form. The team has continued the popular tradition ever since, hosting at least one bobblehead night every year. According to the 2017 promotional schedule, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes will be this year’s honorees.
Here’s a look at every bobblehead the Mets have given away at one of their home games. We’re not including garden gnomes, spring training bobbles, or limited-edition giveaways—only those given out as part of an official, regular season bobblehead day. Enjoy your trip down memory lane, and let us know in the comments which bobblehead is your favorite!
2000: Tom Seaver (06/25)
The Franchise was a fitting choice to be the Mets’ first bobblehead honoree. Seaver was the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met, the first player whose number the Mets retired, and quite simply the best player in franchise history. The righty’s 198 wins, 2,541 strikeouts, 2.57 ERA, 74 ERA-, 2.67 FIP, 68.0 fWAR, and 3,045.1 innings pitched are all tops among pitchers who threw at least 500 innings in a Mets uniform.
2001: Mookie Wilson (06/23)
For the second year in a row, the Mets honored someone who was not an active player. Wilson was, however, the team’s first base coach and an iconic player in franchise history. At the time, he was the Mets’ all-time stolen bases (281) and triples (62) leader, was in the top five in hits (1,112) and runs scored (592), and was the catalyst of one of baseball’s most famous moments.
2002: Mike Piazza (04/28), Roberto Alomar (07/14), and Al Leiter (08/03)
In 2002, the Mets commemorated three players who were supposed to be key parts of a revamped team. Piazza had an excellent year, hitting .280/.359/.544 (136 wRC+) with 33 home runs, 98 RBIs, and 4.6 fWAR. Leiter had a solid year himself, going 13-13 with a 3.48 ERA (88 ERA-), a 3.87 FIP (95 FIP-), and 3.2 fWAR. Alomar, however, struggled badly in his first season in New York. His disappointing .266/.331/.376 batting line (91 wRC+) and 1.4 fWAR were emblematic of a surprisingly bad Mets team that finished last in their division.
2003: Mo Vaughn (05/10), John Franco (06/08), Tom Glavine (07/26), and Ralph Kiner/Bob Murphy (07/27)
Bobbleheads’ growing popularity was apparent in 2003, when the Mets had four bobblehead days at Shea. The first three featured the likeness of Mets players, starting with Mo Vaughn. After a decent but somewhat disappointing first year in New York, Vaughn played just 27 games in 2003 before a knee injury ended his season—and, as it turned out, his career. Franco, nearing the end of his career, posted a strong 2.62 ERA (63 ERA-) in 34.1 innings of work that year, despite shaky peripherals (5.22 FIP, 123 FIP-). Glavine, the last of the three players, had a rocky debut season with the Mets in 2003. The southpaw had one of the worst seasons of his career, going 9-14 with a 4.52 ERA (108 ERA-), a 4.74 FIP (111 FIP-), and just 1.3 fWAR. The bobblehead giveaway season ended on a strong note, however, as the Mets honored longtime broadcast legends Kiner and Murphy with a very cool dual bobblehead.
2004: Mr. Met (05/22), Kaz Matsui (06/06), and Jose Reyes (07/17)
After giving their iconic mascot the bobblehead treatment, the Mets did the same for middle infielders Matsui and Reyes. Of course, that middle infield infamously featured Matsui at short, while Reyes was moved to second out of deference to Kaz. Matsui had an underwhelming rookie year in American baseball, hitting just .272/.331/.396 (90 wRC+) with 0.4 fWAR, while a hamstring injury limited Reyes to just 53 games. Steve Trachsel actually had a bobblehead of his own that year, which the Mets gave away in limited numbers at the home games that the right-hander started.
2005: Carlos Beltran (07/02), Pedro Martinez (08/07), and Willie Randolph (09/18)
The 2005 bobblehead honorees represented the rebirth of the Mets’ franchise. After a disappointing first year in New York (not the first time we’ve used that phrase here) that saw him hit .266/.330/.414 (96 wRC+) with 2.3 fWAR, Beltran became a centerpiece of the Mets’ strong 2006-2008 run and one of the best players in franchise history. Martinez, unfortunately, followed the opposite path. His 15-8 record, 208 strikeouts, 2.82 ERA (68 ERA-), 2.95 FIP (70 FIP-), and 6.1 fWAR made him one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2005. After that, however, the righty started just 48 games in total for the Mets over the next three years. Randolph, the last of the three honorees, led the Mets to three straight winning seasons and a division title in 2006. His .544 winning percentage is the second best in Mets history, behind only that of Davey Johnson.
2006: David Wright (09/10)
The bobblehead fervor hit a lull in 2006, the first of six straight seasons in which the Mets had just one or two bobblehead days a year. Wright was the sole honoree in ’06, a tremendous year for the third baseman that saw him hit .311/.381/.531 (132 wRC+) with 26 homers, 116 RBIs, 96 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, and 4.7 fWAR as he helped lead the Mets to their first playoff appearance since 2000.
2007: Paul Lo Duca (06/24) and Endy Chavez (07/13)
The 2007 season featured two of the better bobbleheads the Mets have given away. The first was of Lo Doca (.272/.311/.378, 77 wRC+, 0.1 fWAR in 2007), whose bobblehead came with its own detachable catcher’s mask. The second bobblehead depicted Chavez making “the catch” in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
2008: Billy Wagner (08/10) and Johan Santana (09/07)
Unfortunately, Wagner could not fully enjoy his bobblehead day, as he suffered a season-ending elbow injury just a week before. Until that point, the closer was having a typically excellent year, compiling 27 saves to go along with a 2.30 ERA (55 ERA-) and a 2.66 FIP (62 FIP-), with 52 strikeouts in 47 innings of work. Fellow southpaw Johan Santana was dominant in 2008, his first season in New York, when he went 16-7 with 206 strikeouts and a league-leading 2.53 ERA (61 ERA-), a 3.51 FIP (82 ERA-), and 5.3 fWAR.
2009: Francisco Rodriguez (09/06)
The Mets welcomed K-Rod to New York with—in addition to a hefty contract—his very own bobblehead day at Citi Field. Rodriguez had an up-and-down year for the Mets in 2009, saving 35 games while pitching to a better-than-league-average 3.71 ERA (91 ERA-) and 4.01 FIP (96 FIP-).
2010: Jason Bay (07/11)
As they did with Rodriguez, the Mets celebrated Bay’s arrival in New York with a bobblehead day at the park. As was also the case with Rodriguez, however, Bay’s first year in New York did not go according to plan: The outfielder hit just .259/.347/.402 (106 wRC+) with six home runs, 47 RBIs, and 1.3 fWAR in what would be his best season as a Met.
2011: Mr. Met (04/08) and Ike Davis (07/19)
In 2011, Mr. Met became the first of five multiple-time honorees on this list. Ike Davis had his own bobblehead day three months later, although a season-ending ankle injury prevented him from being on the field to enjoy it. Before the injury, Davis had a tremendous first six weeks of the season following a strong rookie campaign in 2010.
2012: Tom Seaver (05/05), Rusty Staub (05/26), Keith Hernandez (06/17), Edgardo Alfonzo (07/21), and Mike Piazza (08/25)
The Mets celebrated their 50-year anniversary with five bobblehead days honoring some of the franchise’s all-time greats. Two of them featured second-time honorees Seaver and Piazza, while the other three featured Staub, Hernandez, and Alfonzo. Staub was a fan favorite in New York who hit .276/.358/.419 (119 wRC+) during two stints with the Mets, and helped lead the team to the 1973 National League pennant. Hernandez, the Mets’ first team captain, was a face of the franchise during its mid-eighties championship run and hit .301/.388/.437 (134 wRC+) with 13 home runs, 82 RBIs, and 4.4 fWAR, on average, from 1984 to 1988. Like the other four bobblehead honorees in 2012, Alfonzo was a key player on some great Mets teams, including those in 1999 and 2000. During his six-year peak from 1997 to 2002, Alfonzo hit .296/.380/.464 and averaged 19 homers, 76 RBIs, and 4.6 fWAR per year.
2013: Ron Darling (04/21), John Franco (05/25), David Wright (06/30), Dwight Gooden (07/21), and Tom Seaver (08/25)
For the second year in a row, the Mets honored a number of franchise greats in 2013, this time in celebration of that year’s All-Star Game at Citi Field. Franco and Wright got bobbleheads for a second time, and Seaver for a third. Darling was, deservingly, the first new honoree: The righty was a mainstay in the Mets’ rotation from 1984 to 1989, when he averaged a 14-9 record with 161 strikeouts, a 3.40 ERA (96 ERA-), a 3.76 FIP (104 FIP-), and 2.3 fWAR per year on a number of winning teams. The other first-time bobblehead honoree was Gooden, who ranks second among Mets pitchers only to Seaver in most pitching categories, including wins (157), strikeouts (1,875), FIP (2.77), and fWAR (52.4). As an aside, the Mets distributed four other bobbleheads—Mr. Met knitting and Star Wars-themed bobbleheads, a Jay Horwitz bobblehead, and a Gary, Keith, and Ron three-man bobblehead—in limited quantities that season.
2014: Nolan Ryan (05/10), Curtis Granderson (08/30), and Casey Stengel (09/28)
This 2014 bobblehead trio included an interesting mix of two sixties-era Mets and one active player. The first vintage Met was Ryan, a member of the 1969 world championship team. Despite enjoying most of his success after leaving New York, Ryan did, as a Met, flash signs of the pitcher he would become: From 1966 to 1971, his five years with the Mets, the righty’s 8.70 K/9 rate was the second highest in all of baseball among pitchers who threw at least 500 innings. Stengel, the second vintage Met, was an iconic figure in New York and the team’s first manager. Granderson was the only contemporary player to be honored with a bobblehead in 2014, his bumpy debut season with the Mets, when the outfielder hit .227/.326/.388 (107 wRC+) with 20 homers, 66 RBIs, and 1.2 fWAR. Limited-edition bobbleheads that year featured Zack Wheeler in FDNY gear, David Wright in a law enforcement uniform, and Travis d’Arnaud dressed as a Jedi Knight.
2015: Juan Lagares (07/11) and Jesse Orosco/1986 World Champions (08/29)
Fresh off his Gold-Glove-Award-winning 2014 campaign, Lagares got a bobblehead day at Citi Field the following year. Unfortunately, the center fielder’s production in 2015 fell to just .259/.289/.358 (79 wRC+) and 0.9 fWAR. The second bobblehead that year commemorated the Mets’ 1986 championship team and depicted Orosco’s celebration after striking out the Red Sox’ Marty Barrett to win the World Series.
2016: Mike Piazza (07/31) and Matt Harvey (08/27)
Last year, Piazza joined Seaver as the only Mets with three bobblehead days dedicated to them. The team also gave Harvey a bobblehead day in 2016. But after helping take the Mets to the World Series the season before, Harvey was limited to just 17 starts last year before a diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome ended his season.