Ohtani bobblehead day in L.A. stirs stadium traffic


LOS ANGELES — The first Shohei Ohtani bobblehead giveaway snarled traffic outside Dodger Stadium on Thursday and created long lines for eager fans.

Cars snaked the roadways around Chavez Ravine and stadium parking lots were filling up quickly two hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the Cincinnati Reds. A line of fans waited on the sidewalk outside the main gate before it opened.

“Shohei creates a stir,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I can’t imagine what it’s like outside. It’s great for Shohei and it’s good for the Dodgers.”

Only the first 40,000 fans were to receive the bobblehead, which depicts a smiling Ohtani with his bat perched above his left shoulder. The box’s design features Japanese anime.

The giveaway attracted a sellout crowd of 53,527 — the largest in the majors this season and the most at Dodger Stadium since Sept. 20, 2019.

“Just overall a very nice setting to have a lot of fans in the stands,” Ohtani said through an interpreter after going 0-for-2 with a walk in Thursday’s 7-2 loss. “I’m very appreciative that they all came tonight.”

On eBay, the Ohtani giveaway was being offered for $150 and up with sellers advertising it as new in the box. As a surprise, 1,700 road gray jersey bobbleheads were randomly mixed in with the giveaway. One was listed for $2,300 on eBay.

“It’s going to be a hot-ticket item,” Roberts said. “The more I see him every day the more I realize how special of a person and a ballplayer he is.”

Game tickets were going from $168 to $388 with fees included on StubHub.

Roberts and the rest of the Dodgers didn’t need to worry about getting their hands on the souvenir. Boxes were set in each player’s locker before the game.

“I get one for each bobblehead night,” Roberts said, “so I’ve got quite the collection.”

The Dodgers have scheduled three other Ohtani giveaways this season to mark his first year with the team after spending six seasons in Anaheim with the Angels. They will offer a hat, a second bobblehead and a shirt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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