Suns give nod to Schulze via bobblehead promotion

June 05, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Thomas B. Riford, the president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, carefully qualified the milestone attached to the Hagerstown Suns' newest bobblehead doll.

This will be the first time "a professional baseball team will give away free bobbleheads in the likeness of a female symphony conductor," he wrote in his news release.

It will happen Saturday at Municipal Stadium, when the Hagerstown Suns give out bobbleheads of Elizabeth Schulze, Maryland Symphony Orchestra's music director and conductor.

As Riford discovered, Schulze isn't the first conductor with a bobblehead.

A Google Web search shows that The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York created a bobblehead, with a bobbling arm, for its principal pops conductor.


Last year, the Lowell Spinners minor league baseball team in Massachusetts planned to give away bobbleheads of Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart. The dolls were given away, but only after the promotion was changed to a generic "orchestra conductor" bobblehead.

Bobbleheads - plastic dolls with springy heads - used to only depict athletes, but no more.

The Hagerstown Suns have given away about a dozen in the past five or six years, according to General Manager Will Smith. Likenesses have included NBC25 weatherman Lou Scally, Willie Mays and romance writer Nora Roberts.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau has sponsored some bobblehead giveaways, including the Schulze doll.

Schulze is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game. The MSO will play the national anthem.

"It's all about celebrating what's best in our community and a wonderful partnership between the different institutions of sports and the arts ...," she said. "We are a team as well. We do it a little differently. We call it music, but it is a participatory sport and we play wonderful games that we call symphonies and concertos. We enjoy what we do.

"I think there are a lot of things in common, in terms of the training necessary, the discipline and the fun that we have making music."

Schulze smiled as she looked at the doll showing her dressed in black, her raised right hand holding a conductor's baton. She called it "a little disconcerting."

"I'm slimmer and prettier in effigy than in person, so that works," she quipped.

If You Go ...

What: The Hagerstown Suns will give away 1,000 bobblehead dolls depicting Elizabeth Schulze, the music director and conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra

When: Saturday. Game starts at 6:35 p.m.

Where: Municipal Stadium, Hagerstown

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