INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Indians are bringing back a fan favorite-three of them, in fact. Player bobbleheads make their return to Victory Field on three dates in 2018. The lineup features former Indians pitcher Steven Brault (Saturday, May 5), first baseman Josh Bell (Saturday, June 2) and shortstop Gift Ngoepe (Saturday, July 28).
"We consistently hear from fans who miss our player bobblehead giveaways," said Joel Zawacki, assistant general manager for corporate sales and marketing. "This year's lineup features three players of whom we're very proud. Their stories represent the success we've had in recent years, and our fans and this organization continue to root for them as they pursue their dreams in the big leagues."
The first 2,500 fans through the gates for each game will receive a bobblehead. The games are also Team Autograph Nights, so gates open early at 5:00 p.m. Autographs begin at 5:15 p.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m. First pitch for each game is set for 7:05 p.m.
Steven Brault, 25, led the International League in ERA last season (1.94). Besides his performance on the mound, his outgoing personality and colorful tattoos make him a fan favorite. The left-hander started 35 games for the Tribe the last two seasons, racking up 190 strikeouts over 191.2 innings. He ended 2017 in Pittsburgh and will be competing for a roster spot with the Pirates throughout spring training.
Josh Bell, 25, provided one of the most exciting postseason moments in recent franchise history with a walk-off base hit in Game 4 of the 2015 Governors' Cup Championship. After playing 149 games in Indianapolis in 2015 and 2016, he spent all of last season in Pittsburgh. The first baseman finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .255 with 26 home runs and 90 RBI.
Gift Ngoepe, 28, is fresh off a season where his feel-good story transcended the game of baseball. Pittsburgh called him up to the big league roster in April, making him the first African-born player in the history of Major League Baseball. The versatile infielder played 200 games for the Tribe the past three seasons. He starts 2018 in the Toronto Blue Jays system.
Indianapolis Indians single game tickets go on sale Thursday, March 1. Season, flex and mini plans are available now. To purchase tickets, visit IndyIndians.com or contact the Victory Field Box Office at (317) 269-3545 or Tickets@IndyIndians.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.