The Tri-City ValleyCats, New York-Penn League Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, have revealed the Ben Zobrist bobblehead doll that will be given away to the first 1,200 fans at the ValleyCats game on July 12th. The giveaway, sponsored by NBT Bank, will highlight "Joe to the Show" night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, in which all former 'Cats to make it into Major League Baseball will be recognized.
Zobrist, selected by the Astros in the 6th round of the 2004 June draft out of Dallas Baptist University, spent his rookie season with the ValleyCats in 2004, in which he won New-York Penn League Rookie Of The Year honors while leading the league in batting with a .339 average.
Zobrist spent the 2005 season with Class-A Lexington and Salem before being promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi in 2006. He was then traded to the Rays on July 12, 2006 along with right-hander Mitch Talbot, in a deal that sent Aubrey Huff to the Astros. The 25-year-old switch-hitter played just 18 games at the Rays Triple-A level before making his Major League debut on August 1, 2006 against the Detroit Tigers.
He was named to the American League All Star team in 2009, and just last week signed a five-year deal with the Rays worth up to $30 million, making him the highest paid former 'Cat to play in Major League Baseball. Zobrist is also the first former ValleyCat to be immortalized into a bobblehead doll.
The ValleyCats open their season at home on Friday June 18th at 7pm against the Connecticut Tigers and will welcome their one millionth fan through the gates that weekend.
Season tickets, flex plans, group plans, mini packs, and gift cards are all available for purchase by calling a ValleyCats representative at (518) 629-2287 or at the Joseph L. Bruno stadium Box Office Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Individual tickets go on sale May 3rd. For the 'Cats complete 2010 schedule, promotions, and news, visit www.tcvalleycats.com. You can also follow the ValleyCats on Facebook and Twitter.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.