The Washington Post

Tyler Clippard on winning bobblehead contest: ‘I’m excited, man’

Tyler Clippard (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Tyler Clippard (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Despite being a mainstay in the Nationals bullpen for the past four seasons, earning an all-star appearance in 2011 and being among the elite relievers in the game, Tyler Clippard has never had a bobblehead in the major leagues to commemorate him.

A bobblehead was made of him in the 2007 for the New York Yankees’ Class AA affiliate in Trenton, the year he broke into the majors but returned to the minor leagues and was then demoted a level.

“I was actually there for that bobblehead, which isn’t a good thing,” he said this week with a laugh. “But it’s cool nevertheless. Obviously it’s a lot cooler to have your own big league bobblehead.”

Now, after five days of fan voting through Twitter, Facebook and text messages, Clippard will receive his own major league bobblehead. He beat out Manager Matt Williams and first baseman Adam LaRoche for the honor with 65 percent of the vote, according to the team announcement earlier this week. He was be immortalized on Sept. 27 when the Nationals give away 25,000 bobbleheads.

“I’m excited, man,” he said. “You can’t beat having your own bobblehead.”

He joins teammates Jordan Zimmermann, Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Ian Desmond, who will also have bobbleheads of them distributed at games this season. A garden gnome of Jayson Werth will also be given out this season. It is a minor recognition for players, but one that Clippard wanted to earn.

“I wasn’t wearing glasses back then so hopefully they’ll have the glasses now that I’m wearing,” he said. “I think that’ll be a cool thing about that bobblehead. My head bobbles anyway when I walk.”

When told that he lost the competition earlier this week, Williams smiled. “Daggone it,” he said.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010, wrote about high school sports across the region for two years and has covered the Nationals since the middle of the 2012 season.



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James Wagner · March 6, 2014