Bud Grant, 90, finally agrees to bobblehead to sell at his 'last' rummage sale
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—About to turn 90, Bud Grant finally has agreed to have a bobblehead made of his likeness.
The legendary Vikings coach has been approached many times about signing off on a bobblehead, but this time was convinced it could be an ideal item to promote his semi-annual garage sale, scheduled this year for May 17-19 at his Bloomington home.
The former Vikings coach said this will be his last sale.
"They've been after me for a bobblehead doll for years, and I just never felt the need to do that,'' Grant told the Pioneer Press. "It's an ego-trip kind of thing. But somebody suggested to have them at your garage sale to advertise. You've got to have a hook.
"You can't just say, 'Come to my garage sale and buy baby clothes.' ''
So, Grant has enlisted a man he would not name to produce 200 bobbleheads, which also will feature his beloved hunting dog Boom, a black Labrador who was put down last October at age 10 after being diagnosed with a cancerous tumor.
"I loved him dearly,'' said Grant, who traveled this week to Sioux Falls, S.D., to look at hunting dogs. "I'm standing there (on the bobblehead) and I've got a duck in my hand that he's just given me, that he's retrieved, and he's sitting by my side."
Grant hasn't determined a price yet. He said one factor will be shipping costs; the bobbleheads are being made in China, and at least some must arrive in time for the garage sale.
Asked to speculate on a price, Grant said, "30 or 40 or 50 bucks, I don't know yet. I also have to see how I look on it."
That could be a bargain considering the price paid for a previously released, unofficial bobblehead of Grant, who coached the Vikings from 1967-83 and in 1985, took the team to four Super Bowls and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
Scott Ploehn, a collector who lives in New Brighton, has posted a photo of a Grant-autographed bobblehead online that he purchased last year on Craigslist for $400. It depicts Grant in a Vikings cap and jacket, and wearing coaching headphones.
Ploehn does not recall the name of the man who sold it to him, but said about 10 years ago he made three Grant prototypes while pitching a deal to the retired coach. Ploehn, who collects only Minnesota bobbleheads, said it is the top item in his collection of more than 1,000 and the most he ever has paid for one.
"The guy made three because that's the number you can make without having Bud sign off to mass produce them,'' Ploehn said. "But he said Bud and he never could agree on a price on what Bud would get from the sales. He had Bud sign, I think, just this one. He said one of the others is with the Minnesota Wild — I don't know why — and he doesn't know what happened to the other one."
Grant was astonished when told that bobblehead sold for $400.
"Oh, my goodness. Tell (Ploehn) that I've got some more," Grant said with a laugh. "That was $400? It's a one-of-a-kind. That's what it is, I guess."
Grant and his extended family have held about a dozen garage sales over the past two decades at 8134 Oakmere Drive in Bloomington. Among items for sale: Vikings memorabilia, hunting gear, clothes, household items — and now bobbleheads.
Why will this one be his last?
"I'm running out of stuff," he said.