‘Baseball hero’ PMP honored with bobblehead


May 21, 2024

This is a rendering of the Matt Hilton Bobblehead, slated to ship in November. IMAGE: NATIONAL BOBBLEHEAD HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM

This is a rendering of the Matt Hilton Bobblehead, slated to ship in November. IMAGE: NATIONAL BOBBLEHEAD HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM

This morning, the Milwaukee, Wis.-based  National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a limited-edition bobblehead of Matt Hilton. Hilton, the branch manager of Blue Sky Pest Control in Phoenix, Ariz., “created a buzz and achieved hero status” for successfully removing a colony of bees that delayed the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game on April 30 at Chase Field. The special-edition bobblehead is being produced by the museum in conjunction with Hilton.

The bobblehead stands on a circular turf-like base, emblazoned with “MATT HILTON – THE BEE GUY” across the front. Hilton’s smiling likeness has his arms extended in triumph before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The front of the base features a small bee, which also has a bobbling head. The bobbleheads, which will be individually numbered, are available exclusively through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. They are expected to ship in November and cost $30 each, plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. More information and the pre-order form can be found here.

As the news release recounts, “minutes before the start of the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game on Tuesday, April 30th at Chase Field, a bee swarm quickly formed atop the protective netting behind home plate. That caused a delay of nearly two hours as players and fans waited for someone to remove the colony and save the day. Enter Matt Hilton – the Bee Guy. The branch manager of a pest control office in Phoenix was watching his 6-year-old son’s T-ball game 45 minutes away when he got the call to help at Chase Field. The public address announcer informed fans the game would not start on time and a message flashed on the scoreboard: ‘We ask that you please bee patient.’

“Once he arrived at Chase Field, Hilton hyped up the crowd as he was driven in a golf cart to meet the bees. The crowd chanted ‘MVP!’ and the Bonnie Tyler song ‘Holding Out for a Hero‘ blared through the speakers. Ascending on a hydraulic scissor lift after putting on his protective suit, Hilton quickly got to work, spraying and vacuuming the bees into sealed containers. He got a standing ovation as he descended as he pumped his fist into the air to encourage even louder cheers from the appreciative crowd. When Hilton came to the ground, Diamondbacks officials asked him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and he obliged while still wearing his protective suit.

“The 37-year-old Hilton quickly became a viral sensation for saving the day. In addition to having his very own press conference after the incident, his efforts were further rewarded when Topps announced that they would be releasing his very own trading card. Autographed cards with his signature and ‘Bee Specialist’ would be released as well. Those cards are no longer available for purchase, as more than 16,000 cards were sold of the overnight sensation in just 24 hours. The Diamondbacks also announced that they would be offering ‘buy-one-get-one’ tickets for the weekend series against the San Diego Padres, calling them ‘free-bee’ tickets in honor of Hilton’s heroics.”

“I didn’t think much could top having my own trading card of that crazy night at Chase Field,” Hilton admitted in the news release. “When I heard about the bobblehead being made of my moment on the pitcher’s mound, I was stoked! How could I pass up an opportunity to have that once-in-a-lifetime moment molded into a bobblehead? This will be a family treasure!”


About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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