Still Searching for That Perfect Gift?

Tip: Wait for sales.

‘Tis the season when Major League Baseball generously offers to intervene in your holiday shopping. For example, just last week fans learned “20 reasons to customize a jersey right now at the Shop.” Because I am acutely sensitive to the average fan’s extreme busy-ness during this, the busy-est of seasons, I have reformed MLB’s list from an intimidating 20 to a manageable 7, complete with helpful glosses. Without further ado:

2. [A customized jersey is] what a large chunk of the crowd wears at a typical Major League Baseball game — and there were more than 73 million fans at games in 2010. More fans wore customized jerseys this past decade than in any other, largely because it is so easy to customize them online.

Imagine if your loved one wore something that a large chunk of the crowd does NOT wear at a typical Major League Baseball game. What this atypical attire and their ensuing ostracization might consist of, I leave to your powers of imagination. I will only point out: It could be the stuff of nightmares.

Also, and I hope JFK forgives me, but I submit that we choose to wear customized jerseys in this decade and do the other things, not because they are hard, but because they are so easy to customize online. Right now at

5. [A customized jersey is] a great conversation starter. “I love wearing custom jerseys of random, lesser-known guys on our team so people wonder why I’m that guy’s fan,” said Pirates fan Kayla Thompson of Weirton, W.Va.

Don’t do the obvious thing and customize a jersey with the name of some well-known Pittsburgh Pirates superstar. Try to find a Pirates player who is “random” or “lesser-known,” so strangers “wonder why [you’re] that guy’s fan.” Good luck coming up with a Pirates player fitting those parameters! But it’ll be worth it.

6. There will be 750 active players on Major League rosters when the ’11 season opens next March 31 at Great American Ball Park, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Kauffman Stadium and Busch Stadium. Most of those players are assured now of being there then.

Premise A
There are a lot of baseball players.
Premise B
At this point in time, we have a good sense of most of their specific names.
You should buy a baseball jersey with a specific player’s name on it.

9. They are comfortable. “I looooove to sleep in my Pat Burrell No. 9 home jersey,” said Giants fan Katherine Rosenberger of Santa Rosa, Calif., in an email to “Yes, I do sleep in it.”

That one is actually a good reason.

12. Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto. They are your new Most Valuable Players, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now’s the time to get their road or alternate versions.
13. Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay. They are your new Cy Young Award winners, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now’s the time to get their road or alternate versions.
14. Buster Posey and Neftali Feliz. They are your new Rookies of the Year, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now’s the time to get their road or alternate versions.

I’m sure you already own authentic personalized home jerseys for the 2010 MVPs, Cy Youngs, and Rookies of the Year in both leagues. And I know, you’ve been focusing on finding the “perfect” holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones and haven’t really been thinking about shopping for yourself. And look — I hear you. It ain’t 2006 out there. The short-term economic forecast is still “wintry mix,” if you get my drift.

But you know what else? MAN UP. That’s what. Now’s the time to additionally buy yourself the authentic 2011 road or alternate jerseys for Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Felix Hernandez, Roy Halladay, Buster Posey, and Neftali Feliz. For God’s sake, the time is NOW.

18. You can’t have too many. If you are a season ticket holder who typically goes to multiple games during a given homestand, you don’t want to constantly wash them. And you certainly don’t want to stink or show off that mustard stain.

Only peasants wear individual items of clothing more than one time ever. Personally, I also always throw my MacBook out a third-story window after every NotGraphs post. I then fetch a fresh MacBook from the pallet of MacBooks currently cluttering up the southeast corner of my solarium. I hate clutter! But what can you do.

20. And maybe the most perfect reason of all, from Yankees fan Yahaira Brea, who emailed from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. She wrote: “It feels like home.”

Does anybody on your list normally live in a very small tent? Then they’d feel right at home in an authentic CC Sabathia jersey.

We hoped you liked reading Still Searching for That Perfect Gift? by Leo Martin!

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