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May 8, 2013

Out of Left Field

Your Summer Baseball Gift Guide

by Matthew Kory

It’s that happy time of year again when the air gets warmer, the sun heats up the skin, and thoughts naturally turn to baseball merchandise. “Excuse me attractive member of the opposite sex, kindly move out of the way of that AMAZING WHITE SOX-THEMED LAWN CHAIR WITH CUP HOLDER!!” Fortunately for you, Major League Baseball is here to help you, the baseball-obsessed consumer, out. Here are some ways to spend your summer dollars* other than just setting them on fire to cool you off. Note: I can’t vouch for the efficacy of one exercise versus the other.

*Never dollar, always dollars. Always dollars.

Item: The New York Yankees Butterfly Flag (now with pole!)

Because: Regular butterfly flags don’t have the Yankees logo. Duh.

Description: Is your garden clean, orderly? Well what are you doing with all of that? Get yourself a touch of class with just a hint of mystique with the Yankees Butterfly Garden Flag (now with pole!). Your friends and neighbors (judging by your choice in garden flags, mostly neighbors) will marvel at the bright colors and wonder at the randomness of a Yankees logo dropped, seemingly from outer space, onto the corner a run-of-the-mill garden flag.

Item: Minnesota Twins 'Lil Fan on Board Car Signs

Because: You have a child and everyone on the road must know about it.

Description: Remember those little yellow Baby on Board signs that parents used to put in the windows of their car? They thought, ‘Maybe if I put this little plastic sign in my window alerting you to the fact that I’m carrying an important part of the future of our human race, you won’t drive like such a jerk.’ You thought, ‘Oh, look, target practice.’ Now we have the same concept, the little sign that tells you someone’s special darling is in the car, but now we know that special darling’s parents are going to indoctrinate that special darling with their lousy taste in baseball teams. Go Twins, and slow the heck down!

Item: Yankees Meat Brander

Because: Unbranded meat is the devil

Description: So, okay, your garden is all Yankee-ified, but what about your meat? Imagine this scenario: you invite a group of friends over for a bar-be-que. You cook up some steak on the grill and serve it to them. But, as they’re eating it, they are not thinking about the Yankees! We can fix that with the New York Yankees Meat Brander. Now even charred carcass can have a Yankees logo on it!

Item: Rockies Burger Brander and Rockies BBQ Brander

Because: See ‘Yankees Meat Brander’

Description: Who knew there was such a market for branded meat? The Rockies see your “meat brander” and raise you specificity. They have both the Burger Brander and the BBQ Brander because using a BBQ Brander on your burgers would be some Paleolithic-level stuff. Here’s hoping you don’t have fish because if so you’re totally out of luck.

Item: The Minnesota Twins Desktop Replica Hat

Because: Putting a real hat on a desk would just be silliness.

Description:

Person 1: This is a hat that is made of wood.

Person 2: So you can’t wear it. So… what is it for?
Person 1:You look at it.

Person 2: Could you not just look at a regular hat?

Person 1:  Sure, I mean, no! No! Enough with your silly talk.

Person 2: Oh! I see. The Twins replica hat costs as much as a regular Twins hat so why buy a real Twins hat when you could buy one that you can’t actually, you know, use?

Person 1: Exactly!

Item: Umpire Polo

Because: Why spend $25 on your favorite player’s shirt when you could spend twice that on an umpire polo?

Description: Have you ever watched a major-league baseball game and marveled at the athleticism, the precision, and the incredible hand-eye coordination on display? Of course, we all have! Have you further thought, I’d like to wear the same shirts and apparel as my heroes? Of course! Now you can, with Major League Baseball’s umpire collection! All sizes are available except 3X, which, seriously, is sold out.

Item: Twins Let’s Go Light

Because: Let’s go!

Description: Have you looked at your desk recently and thought, “I’ve become entirely too productive. I should purchase some distracting kitschy garbage.” If so, the Twins Let’s Go Light is for you. Just try getting anything done while its lights blink incessantly and ceaselessly mere feet from your face. The Twins Let’s Go Light will surely get you out of the office to enjoy a sunny summer day. Or give you an epileptic seizure. Either way you’ll get out of the office.

Item: Los Angeles Dodgers Tool Belt

Because: How else are you going to carry your tools?

Description: Summer means fixing things and fixing things requires tools. Lots of ‘em! So many tools in fact that you’d be a fool to put them all on a bench, or a table, or maybe a different kind of bench. No, you need a belt to hold all your tools and that belt better have your favorite team’s logo on it and your favorite team better be the Dodgers or else we’ll hit you with one of the many tools in our Los Angeles Dodgers Tool Belt.

Item: Texas Rangers Sportula

Because: You don’t have a sportula and this is America/Canada!

Description: Do I really need to describe what a sportula is? It’s a type of spider. Or maybe an evil monster from the fifteenth century. In any case it has a Rangers logo on it so clearly you need one.

Item: Fenway Park Brick

Because: Making your point has never been more historic or expensive!

Description: Sure there are other ways to send angry messages to your enemies, but there’s none so classic, historic, or thoughtful as an official Fenway Park brick through the window. Nothing says class more than heaving a piece of baseball history heaved through plate glass. 

Item: New York Mets Rollershade

Because: Hiding is something all Mets fans could use help with.

Description: The sun can be bright, bright as the truth that is the morning standings. Because of that, even the best Mets fans occasionally need to hide from the summer sun, and nothing helps you do that more than the New York Mets Rollershade (other than the cold, cold embrace of death, but that’s clearly common knowledge). The Mets Rollershade keeps that pesky summer sun and it’s annoying truth outside, and as such it’s a bargain at twice the price.

Item: Kansas City Royals Cookie Tin

Because: Cookies are delicious and nobody knows cookies like a major league baseball franchise!

Description: It’s the hazy days of summer and the Royals are in the midst of their typical heat-and-lack-of-talent-induced fade. How better to comfort one’s self from the inevitable lost season than a tin of mass-produced cookies? Also, nothing says “Delicious cookies!” like a puke green background. Marketing!

Item: Arizona Diamondbacks Portable Refrigerator

Because: You can’t bring your regular Arizona Diamondbacks Refrigerator everywhere

Description: It’s summer and the living’s easy, except when it comes to dragging your refrigerator everywhere! It’s so heavy! That weight has, up till now, made you a prisoner in your own home. How can you get that cold blast of goodness on the go? The answer is easy and mostly unaffordable: the Arizona Diamondbacks Portable Refrigerator! It’s just not summer without a portable piece of winter.

Next week: New York Yankees garden gnomes, Red Sox golf balls, and big black Orioles car seat covers, because nothing says summer like scotching your back half when you get into your car! Happy buying!   

Matthew Kory is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matthew's other articles. You can contact Matthew by clicking here

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