Chicken Mogul Perdue Lets Fame Go to His head.(BUSINESS)
Byline: Chris Baker, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.
It takes a famous man to become a bobblehead.
Now Frank Perdue has done both.
The Delmarva Shorebirds, a Baltimore Orioles Class A farm team, will honor the Salisbury, Md., poultry magnate with a bobblehead at its July 28 game. The little statues whose heads bob will be given to the first 1,000 fans that afternoon.
The team says it is the first time a business leader has been immortalized as a bobblehead, an honor usually reserved for famous athletes and pop culture icons.
"We wanted to pay tribute to a driving force behind this team, and we wanted that tribute to be as unique as possible," said Ryan Murray, a Delmarva Shorebirds spokesman.
Mr. Perdue, the former chairman and chief executive of Perdue Farms Inc., donated the land in Salisbury where the Delmarva Shorebirds built their stadium, Mr. Murray said. He also gave $4 million for the construction, which cost $10 million.
Mr. Perdue was traveling yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
"The only thing I ever wanted to do, besides raise chickens, was to be a professional baseball player. Unfortunately, I gathered more splinters from sitting on the bench than hits," he said in a statement.
A Perdue Farms spokeswoman said Mr. Perdue was "humbled" when he learned of the plans for his bobblehead.
"He is a huge Cal Ripken fan. The fact that his bobblehead might be included in a collection with the Cal Ripken bobblehead, that was pretty amazing to him," said spokeswoman Tita Cherrier.
Before becoming a bobblehead, Mr. Perdue was best known as the star of a series of popular Perdue Farms television commercials in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of the ads ended with his trademark slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken."
Bobbleheads were used to promote popular baseball players until the 1970s, when they began to gradually lose popularity. …