Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel gets own bobblehead

When meteorologist Mike Seidel of The Weather Channel fame received a call from Delmarva Shorebirds officials, telling him they wanted to have a bobblehead made in his likeness, and honor him at a game, he was surprised.

“I was like, ‘Me? Why?’” he said with a laugh during a phone conversation this week.

“They said, ‘Well, you’re from here.’ I first heard about it around the first of the year. I said, ‘Sure.’ They had to run it by our folks here first, then we had to decide when I would be home,” said Seidel, a native of Salisbury who worked for both WMDT-TV and WBOC-TV before joining The Weather Channel in 1992.

Friday, July 20, was chosen as the night Seidel would be at Shorebirds Stadium, signing autographs, posing for photos and greeting fans, each who was given a bobblehead if they were among the first 1,000 in line.

The collector items were boxed, with photos of Seidel on the outside of the box. Inside was the bobblehead, with a smiling Seidel dressed in storm gear.

“I think it’s a good likeness. I thought, ‘Wow. I got a bobblehead. Now I can die happy,’” he joked.

“It really was a great night. I threw out the first ball. A lot of people came up and said, ‘We appreciate what you do.’ I signed for like an hour and a half. And the Shorebirds won. The game ended with a broken bat and two-out single walk. If you see the video, the bat splits but it splits from one end to the other and it goes flying out from third and short. It might have distracted the third baseman and we won. Then the fireworks were great. My family was there, my wife and my kids. The weather was perfect. The game was exciting. I got to meet a lot of viewers,” Seidel said.

When Shorebird Zach Jarrett hit the ball and his bat severed, he won the game for the Shorebirds with a final score of 3-2, causing the announcer’s voice to rise with excitement.

“Jarrett’s broken bat grounder deflects off (third baseman Marcos) Rivera into a left base hit. The birds will win the ball game … Zach Jarrett on snapped lumber wins it for Delmarva in the ninth. He is being mobbed out beyond first base. Watch the bat, boys. Don’t trip over it. Zach Jarrett, the walk-off hero for the Delmarva Shorebirds. A chomping ground to the third. Rivers couldn’t handle the short. He had to worry about the barrel of the bat charging after him. The Delmarva shorebirds walk it off 3-2 over the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the ninth,” the announcer said.

That night, the 23-year-old Jarrett, a native of Hickory, N.C., and Seidel went home happy, as did hundreds of fans.

Seidel has a spot saved for his bobblehead, between Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Orioles bobbleheads he owns. More than 50 years ago, when they were made, they weren’t in the likeness of a particular player, but generic.

“They were kind of the mascot for the teams in the 1960s,” Seidel explained.

Bobbleheads in his likeness are being sold on eBay for $19.95.

Chris Bitters, Shorebirds general manager, said unique giveaways like bobbleheads are regularly featured at the stadium.

“We look for individuals from this area or outside the area who did something special in their lives. We think what Mike is doing is great. He started here in Salisbury and became a national name on television and is out there braving the elements at various times of the year. We thought recognizing him with a bobblehead would be nice. We were able to line it up at a time when he was going to be in Salisbury,” Bitters said.

“As the season winds down and we are preparing for the next season, we are always trying to think of unique ideas — people in our community who have ties to our local community,” he said, explaining the bobblehead process takes several months.

“Mike was engaged in every step of the process,” Bitters said. Seidel was happy with the experience.

“I was with my family and back in my home town. It was a great night,” Seidel said.

“It was an incredible evening. Everything was perfect.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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