Some cheers, some boos; mostly indifference to the bobblehead battle between Whitman and Brown

Meg Whitman fans grabbed up bobbleheads faster than Jerry Brown fans at Friday night’s Sacramento River Cats game, which brought to mind Brown campaign manager Steve Glazer’s prediction that Whitman would likely buy out all the dolls ahead of time.

Not that that happened, though there were quite a few well-dressed folks who walked through the VIP glass doors, where Whitman dolls went like wildfire.

Perhaps if Roger Salazar, director of the labor-backed independent expenditure group, California Working Families for Brown for Governor 2010, had taken things more seriously and showed up earlier to the game, things would have been different.

“I’m just here for the game,” he said, having arrived a good half hour after the last of the 2,500 bobbleheads were given out.

When the River Cats announced Whitman had won, there were some cheers, some boos, but mostly indifference from a crowd that was there for the game with the Iowa Cubs, to see in person Hall of Famer and would-be Chicago Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg, and, especially, for the $1 hot dogs and ice cream bars.

The loudest cheers came as fans clamored for free t-shirts being launched into the stands.

Young Republicans were definitely better at the between-innings competitions, winning the chad-punching relay race and the fish-pole “vote casting,” though the public address announcer accused Republicans of cheating on the latter.

Some fans took the bobblehead competition seriously. Take for instance Ellen Frosch of Sacramento. “I wanted a Meg Whitman and they were out. they said ‘we have Jerry Browns,’ and I said no thank you.”

Fairfield teacher Monica Brown, wearing a Tom Torlakson for State Superintendent t-shirt, told a story of having dispatched her son on the Capitol Corridor train early to make sure she would get a Brown doll. She was worried that they’d be out by the time she arrived at 6 p.m.

“He got there at 3 p.m. and was the first in line, and it turned out I got there in time, too,” said Brown, not related to the Democratic candidate, though a Solano County Democratic official. “I’ll keep mine and take his and when we have a crab feed next year, we’ll put it out for a fund-raising gift. I think we’ll get $100 for it, easy, especially after Brown wins.”

R.J. Mann and his wife Rayma, of Ione, lounged at a picnic table outside the gates prior to the game without much interest in getting in line for the bobbleheads.

“It’s not the vote that counts tonight,” R.J. said playfully. “I don’t know if you know.”

Chuck Gardner of Sacramento said it didn’t matter which doll he got.

“You can have both of them. I don’t care for either one of them. I’d use them in target practice as far as I’m concerned. Why not? I have an Arnold Schwarzenegger one. I’ll just line ’em all up.”

Brenda Dawson and Zac Jereb of Davis got one of each.

“We agreed to do that so they could duke it out,” Dawson said. “It’s not representative of how we’re voting.”

Steven Harmon