The Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani bobblehead night was as packed as you'd expect

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 16: The Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani bobblehead giveaway before the MLB game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 16, 2024 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
People wanted their Shohei Ohtani bobbleheads. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Any baseball fan can tell you that nothing brings out a crowd quite like a bobblehead night, but the Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani bobblehead giveaway was on another level.

A horde of Dodgers fans, Ohtani fans and eBay users reported to Dodger Stadium hours before Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds to ensure they would receive one of the 40,000 bobbleheads handed out at the gates. Adding to the frenzy were the 1,700 special gray uniform bobbleheads available at random.

The hype around Ohtani's first season with the Dodgers has reached levels rarely seen in baseball, and the lines to get into any of the Dodger Stadium entrances Thursday might be the most tangible evidence yet:

The crowd stuck around, too, though there were some opportunists who took the collectable and ran. The concourses and stands were packed way more than usual at Dodger Stadium, where fans hold a reputation for not filling the seats until the game is well underway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts summed things up before the game:

"It's exciting. Shohei certainly creates a stir. I can't imagine what it's like outside. It's good. It's great for Shohei, it's good for the Dodgers, it's going to be a hot-ticket item."

Roberts wasn't wrong on that last point. On the eBay side of things, the market was robust before the game was even over. As of Thursday night, there doesn't appear to be a single bobblehead verifiably from Thursday night available for less than $250.

The demand for the gray uniform bobblehead is even wilder. Here is one such collectible currently selling for more than $1,000 after 17 bids.

If fans and collectors were expecting the hype to translate to a special night from Ohtani, they were left disappointed. Ohtani went 0-for-2 with a walk in a 7-2 Dodgers loss. He didn't finish the game either, as the Dodgers had rookie Andy Pages pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the ninth inning.

This won't be the end of the Ohtani collectibles, as the Dodgers are scheduled to hand out a second bobblehead, a hat and a shirt later this season after giving him a $700 million contract last offseason.