By: By BILL ARCHER Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Bowen Field was buzzing Sunday night in more ways than one. The Bluefield Bluejays exploded five runs in the bottom of the first inning, and C.D. Jefferies got a Steve Harvey bobblehead.
“I didn’t even have to wait in line,” Jefferies said. “I got here just a little after 5 p.m., walked in and got one. It’s the reason I’m here tonight.” Of course, once he was at the stadium, he enjoyed every minute of the game.
“Isn’t this a beautiful place to be,” Pastor Michael Bratton, ofthe First Baptist Church of Pearisburg, Va., said. Bratton lives in Bluefield, Va., attends Bluejays games frequently, but arrived just a little too late to get one of the 500 Steve Harvey bobbleheads that Grant’s Supermarkets provided.
“This is a great place to enjoy a baseball game,” Bratton said. “There are so many things that contribute to the overall atmosphere of the game.”
“They were going fast,” Randle Grant said. Grant, Ron Martin — both of Grant’s — and several members of the WVVA-TV staff distributed the bobbleheads to some happy people.
“There was a long line of people out there,” Randle Grant said. “I heard that someone from Canada called and offered $250 for one, but I think most people around here will be holding on to the ones they have.
“Oh sure, you’ll probably see some pop up on eBay, but I think most people around here are big Steve Harvey fans,” Grant said.
“The line was backed up all the way to the creek,” Jeff Gray, Bluefield Bluejays general manager said. “It’s a great night. I think we have a lot of people here tonight who aren’t usually at the games.”
According to the official Bluefield Blue Jays website 1,108 attended the game on Sunday.
Gray said he was thankful that Harvey agreed to the bobblehead. “We hope we can take one to him and present it to him on national TV,” Gray said. “Our goal is to get on the show, present his bobblehead to him and give a jersey from the Major League club.”
Charles Thompson of Bluefield sang the National Anthem, and said he was particularly proud to sing it on Steve Harvey bobblehead night.
“I have not met him, but I consider myself a good friend of his uncle, Elder Donald Conners,” Thompson said. “I’m missed seeing Donald here tonight.”
Gray said that Conners, who pastors a church in McDowell County, had responsibilities at the church on Sunday evening and was unable to attend.
Harvey was born in Welch on Jan. 17, 1957. Although his family left McDowell County when he was young, Harvey fondly remembers Welch, McDowell County and West Virginia frequently during his broadcasts. The people of West Virginia seem to love him too.
Lovetta and Butch Currence came early, waited in line and got one of the bobbleheads.
“But it’s not for me,” Lovetta Currence said. “It’s for our special needs grandson, B.J. He absolutely loves Steve Harvey.”
Judging by the smiling faces in the crowd at Bowen Field, that sentiment seemed to be shared by many.
— Contact Bill Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org