This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled two officially licensed, limited edition Butler University Bulldog Bobbleheads. The first bobblehead features former legendary Butler University coach and athletic director Tony Hinkle while the second is a replica of the Butler Bulldog Statue that is outside the Atherton Union on Butler University’s campus. The special edition bobbleheads were produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum and are being released on National Bobblehead Day.
Wearing a Butler T-shirt with tan slacks and brown shoes, the Hinkle bobblehead is standing on a base bearing his name in front of a replica of Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler’s home basketball arena. The Hinkle bobblehead is holding a football in his right hand, a baseball in his left hand and a basketball under his left arm. The Butler Bulldog Statue Bobblehead is a replica of the bulldog statue that is proudly displayed outside the entrance of Butler University’s Atherton Union. The statue was a gift from the class of 1996 and is a favorite photo spot on campus.
Each bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,021 and they are available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The bobbleheads, which just arrived and ship now, are $25 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. They will also be available through the Butler Bookstore, which is in the Atherton Union. The two new bobbleheads follow previously released bobbleheads of Butler Blue I, II, III, and IV. Butler Blue IV has had both puppy and adult bobbleheads, with the adult bobblehead just arriving.
Born in Logansport, Indiana, Hinkle was a standout three-sport athlete at the University of Chicago. After graduation, he moved on to Butler University where he did it all for the Bulldogs for nearly a half-century. After serving as an assistant coach for five seasons, Hinkle had three stints as the school’s head football coach (1926, 1935-41 and 1946-69), compiling a record of 183-104-16 and winning 17 conference titles. He also had three stints as the school’s head baseball coach (1921-28, 1933-41 and 1946-70), compiling a record of 335-309-3. While he coached three sports, he was primarily known for his two stints as the school’s head basketball coach (1926-42 and 1945-70), compiling a record of 560-392 with 10 conference titles. Hinkle’s 1929 team was crowned as the national champion and he was instrumental in ending the jump ball after every basket rule, and the introduction of the three-second rule.
Along with winning more than 1,000 games across the three sports, Hinkle served as the school’s athletic director for 40 years. Hinkle was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Hinkle’s legacy is remembered on the Butler campus with Hinkle Fieldhouse, the longtime site of Indiana’s state high school tournament which was featured in the film “Hoosiers.” Originally named the Butler Fieldhouse, it was the largest basketball arena in the U.S. for decades. It was renamed Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1966. While he retired in 1970, Hinkle remained in Indianapolis and loyal to Butler University until his death at the age of 92 in 1992.
“We are excited to release these bobbleheads of Butler University legend Tony Hinkle and the Butler Bulldog Statue on National Bobblehead Day,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “The Butler University community has a deep pride in their school, and these bobbleheads will be must-haves for Bulldog fans of all ages.”