Just how popular is Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt? So popular that a bobblehead of the 98-year-old Loyola University men's basketball team chaplain just became National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s best-selling item ever.
In just 48 hours after its release, 5,000 people pre-ordered the Sister Jean bobblehead, setting a record for the Milwaukee-based company, co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said in a release.
Sister Jean quickly dethroned the company's second best-selling item, the Clemson National Championship bobblehead, by a wide margin of more than 2,000 orders, according to Sklar.
"Sister Jean and Loyola have been one of those amazing feel-good March stories, and we’re thrilled to be working with the University so that more fans across the country can have a Sister Jean bobblehead,” Sklar said. “Everyone needs some of Sister Jean’s positive attitude and great spirit in their life, and this bobblehead will be a great way to have that!”
Sister Jean has been with Loyola for 53 years and is now in the national spotlight as the Ramblers win upset after upset in the NCAA tournament. She travels with the team and prays with the players before every game.
The Sister Jean love extends even beyond American borders: The bobblehead has been pre-ordered in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and even Canada, Sklar said. Sixty-three percent of the orders, he said, are from outside Illinois.
Sklar noted that one person even bought 30 bobbleheads, which sell for $25 each. A portion of each sale will go to the Loyola Athletic Fund and the Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the company’s website.
The bobbleheads are expected to ship in June. Until then, you can always go to eBay and fork over upwards of $300 for one of the vintage Sister Jean bobbleheads given away at games in 2011 and 2015.
These bobbleheads might become an even hotter commodity if fans’ prayers of Sister Jean appearing on “The Ellen Show” come true.