How the Yankees came up with George Costanza bobblehead promotion

Will Jason Alexander be there July 5 for "Seinfeld" night? Cllct seeks the answer.

Cover Image for How the Yankees came up with George Costanza bobblehead promotion
The first 18,000 fans in attendance for the Red Sox-Yankees game on July 5 will receive the George Costanza bobblehead.

Move over, Mick. You've got company, Babe.

There's a new name being immortalized by the New York Yankees: George Costanza.

While he's not quite headed to Monument Park, the legendary "Seinfeld" character will receive one of baseball's most traditional honors when he is featured with his own bobblehead.

The Yankees' legendary "assistant to the traveling secretary" will be showcased as a bobblehead July 5, when the Yanks play host to the rival Red Sox.

Why the Friday night game, the day after Independence Day, and against the team's biggest rival? Well, July 5 marks the 35th anniversary of the premiere of "Seinfeld"

The promotion was rated by cllct as the Yankees' best giveaway item of the year and ranked among our 30 best promos for the 2024 baseball season.

Usually, teams will host promotions for games in which they are expecting lower attendance in order to boost those numbers. The Red Sox coming to the Bronx certainly doesn't fit that bill.

According to Craig Cartmell, the Yankees senior associate marketing director, the team wanted to “protect the integrity of the anniversary.” And it has paid off fruitfully.

“We couldn’t have been happier with what we saw,” Cartmell said. “Outside of Opening Day, I believe it is one of the highest tickets sold so far.”

The first 18,000 fans in attendance will receive the complimentary Costanza bobblehead.

Costanza, played by actor Jason Alexander for nine seasons on "Seinfeld," worked for the Yankees from seasons 5-8. Show creator Larry David says he always dreamed of a job with the Bronx Bombers, so he decided to have Costanza live out that aspiration.

"First and foremost, we needed a job for George for the next season. He had been unemployed the year before. And we needed to give him a job," David said in Peter Botte’s book, "The Big 50: New York Yankees."

"I was thinking, 'What’s a cool job for George? What job would I want to have?' Well, I always wanted to work for the Yankees. So, I said one day, ‘Maybe he can work for the Yankees.’ And that was it. You know, we didn’t put as much thought into these things as people think. Everything was just a whim generally."

And while David’s dream to work for the Yankees led to Costanza’s job as the assistant to the traveling secretary, the idea of honoring George in real life came from Debbie Tymon and Cartmell.

Tymon currently works as the Yankees’ senior vice president of marketing and just began her 40th season with the organization. Her parking spot was actually featured in an episode of "Seinfeld."

After she and Cartmell hatched their idea, the Yankees still had to receive permission from Alexander in order to use his image and likeness, making the promotion a reality.

“(Alexander) said he’s not really a big baseball fan,” Cartmell said. “But he understood the importance of the character of George Costanzna ... and was on board with it.”

Now, there is no guarantee Alexander will be in attendance July 5. Tymon and Cartmell emphasized he is invited, and they certainly hope he will make an appearance. Alexander declined to comment on this story.

Finally, of course, the most important question: Do the Yankees actually have a traveling secretary? That question remains.

“There is a traveling secretary,” Cartmell said. “I believe he might have an assistant.”

Red Sox also get in on the "Seinfeld" anniversary

Ironically, in February the Red Sox added a right-handed pitcher named Jason Alexander to their roster. He is currently playing at Worcester for Boston’s Triple-A affiliate.

And the Red Sox are having a "Seinfeld" promotion of their own, four days later on July 9. Per the team’s website, pitcher Lucas Giolito’s grandfather, Warren Frost, played the role of Henry Ross, father of Susan Ross (George’s fiancée).

According to the team's release: “We remember Mr. Frost by paying tribute in having his grandson, Lucas, recreate the famous marble rye scene in which George attempted to sneak in a marble rye into the Rosses' household by reeling the bread up by a fishing pole.”

Matt Liberman is video editor and reporter for cllct.com.