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Suns decide against bobbling bin Laden

March 01, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

The Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team has decided against holding an Osama bin Laden bobblehead giveaway night because a poll on the team's Web site indicated the event would not be popular with fans, team General Manager Kurt Landes said Thursday.

"We are just listening to the fans," he said.

Of 194 responses to the poll, 72 percent considered the idea "way out of line," according to the team's Web site. The question was taken off the Web site Thursday afternoon.

The bin Laden event would have given fans a chance to line up and destroy the bobblehead dolls, which have heads that bounce and wiggle on springs, Landes had said.

Landes said Wednesday the team was considering holding the event but would not make a decision until he could determine the extent of public support for and interest in the event.

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"Due to response to the fan poll, we have decided not to have an Osama bin Laden giveaway night. We appreciate all the fans who went to the Web site to voice their opinions," Landes said.

To help team officials gauge the degree of interest in the event, the Suns' Web site since last week had asked visitors: What do you think of the Suns doing an Osama bin Laden bobblehead giveaway night?

Respondents could vote for one of three options.

- "Way out of line."

- "Great, if I can destroy it at the game."

- "Great idea, I love it."

The Suns had received enough votes to get a feel for what fans think, Landes said.

"The team does not want to take advantage of a tragedy," he said.

Bin Laden is believed to have been the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Landes said he was not sure why people disliked the idea. He would not say whether he thought the idea was appropriate.

The team, a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, will continue to use polls on its Web page to gauge interest in other promotions, he said.

Bobblehead manufacturer Alexander Global Promotions, of Bellevue, Wash., gets requests every week for bin Laden dolls, company chief executive Malcolm Alexander said.

"The answer from us consistently has been no. The reason is, I think it's tasteless," he said.

The Suns' Web site is at www.hagerstownsuns.com

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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