Balls for the Holidays: MLB's 2010 Holiday Catalog


I don’t know about you baseball fans, but my breakfasts are usually ghastly affairs:  Just me, my increasingly panicked looks at the microwave clock, and the cramming of food down my throat in a motion that probably looks and definitely feels as if I am punching my own face.

If one thing could slow me down and inject an aura of relaxation into my morning, it would be more aesthetically pleasing toast.  Yes, if only there were some soothing method of creating heated-up bread with the therapeutic presence of something I am passionate about.  I could take a break from reading stories about the horrifying things in this world and just sit back and watch the morning unfold, rather than explode in my face.

MLB has provided me with sweet, sweet holiday vindication:  Team toasters; complete with the imprinting of your team’s logo on the toast itself.

“WOW!” you are literally screaming right now.  But that’s hardly all.  Go ahead and take this moment to warn your cubicled co-workers that you are about to repeatedly shout with glee at a collection of MLB merchandise so necessary , so affordable, and so negating of any other sources of holiday gifts, they’d make Santa put a candy-cane pistol in his mouth.

We here at Call to the Pen would like to bring you our favoritest parts of MLB’s treasure trove of usable (and reusable!) 2010 gift catalog.

My source material would be this list of the TOP gifts in the catalog, penned by enterprise editor Mark Newman.  He wrote this article, which I did not read, but based on the picture and headline, I assume it’s about Mr. Met being busted for a string of hijackings.

Here we go!

Phiten Rope Necklace ($49.99)

What was your playoff experience like?  Jubilant?  Intense?  Clogged with mockery?  No matter how openly you sobbed into your hands or ecstatically squeezed a stranger, you probably had some relative nearby who didn’t always watch baseball and was only along for the post season ride because nobody wanted to change the channel.  If that was the case (it was), you definitely heard this question:

“When are you going to start paying back your father and I?!”

To which the MLB catalog has no answer.  But if you heard this common inquiry:

“Why are they wearing those rope necklaces?!”

… then MLB’s got you covered!  Not with the answer, of course, but with the necklaces themselves!  They’ve even got bright orange Giants-themed ones; because don’t forget, the Giants won the World Series!

They’re only fifty fucking dollars!  Seriously!  $49.99!

Cooperstown Collection Fitted Caps ($24.99)

Hats!  Of COURSE you have a hat.  Hell, you probably have 37.  But I’ll let the MLB.com “Gift Guru” break this one down, because he makes an excellent point.

“You’ve got the standard 59FIFTY lids that the players wear on the field, right?”

YOU KNOW THAT I DO.

“But do you have throwback specials like this Orioles 1901 Road version?”

… no.

Oh no.

Do I suck?

Is this what “sucking” is like?  God, I feel awful.  I mean, I’m not even an Orioles fan, but still.  And actually I checked, and I don’t have the “standard 59FIFTY lid.”  Its just a hat with a logo on it.  Is that… am I terrible?  I feel like I’ve killed someone.  Someone on the 1901 Orioles.  I’M SO SORRY, CHAPPIE SNODGRASS!

Let’s move along.

Boat Shoes ($124.99)

Like all average Americans living in the wake of a national financial meltdown, you own a boat.  Well, what are you going to?  Walk around in your bare feet like a jackass?  Ha, ha!  Look, just shut up and buy these.

Highland Mint Etched Acrylic Desktop with Infield Dirt Coin ($39.99)

WOW!  I didn’t even know all those words could be next to each other and still MEAN something until now!

They press the dirt from your team’s home field right into the coin!  Just think about how that’s gonna appreciate in value over the years, from, say, Citi Field, or the Oakland Coliseum!

Mickey Mouse Popup Youth Adjustable Cap ($17.99)

All right, think about your favorite team.  Close your eyes.  Imagine their greatest moments, their highest triumphs, and their most spectacular players.  The legends, the fables, the heroes from decades past; the whole warm collection of glory you turn to in the frigid winter of bad times.

Now, imagine each and every one of those times with Mickey Mouse slowly encroaching from the right.

Are you doing it?  Good.  Now imagine Mickey just looks FURIOUS for some reason.  Just pure, savage rage that sends a shiver down your spine.

Okay.  Now.  Put that on a hat and give it to your kid.

Merry Christmas!

Steiner Dirt Coasters ($39.99)

I knew YOU’D like that “put dirt in stuff” idea!  Well, here it comes again!

These coasters (remember, coasters are those things you have with your favorite team’s logo on them that sit on the coffee table and serve as a preventative measure from condensation, not just “Yankee-squares” as you’ve referred to them in the past) are FULL of the dirt from your team’s home field!  That’s why they cost forty dollars!  Because of dirt!

I’m going to break character here for a second.  If you’re a person who can afford to pay $40 for a thing to put your drink on, I hate you.  I really, really hate you, and I want you to stop reading this and go Google pictures of children in third world countries.  Terrible, right?  Try explaining to them why you’d play $40 for dirt in a square.

Guidecraft Children’s Toy Box ($179.99)

Well, if your kids have a hat, they’re going to need somewhere to PUT it.  And if they’re like children in the digital age, then they just have a ROOM full of bulky, plastic toys that take up tons of space.  What better to store all this crap in then a giant, wooden box!

I know, great idea, right!  No, put the hammer down.  You’re not “getting back into carpentry,” so stop saying it.  I don’t care WHAT you promised your wife.  I know it’s “just a big box with a lid,” but what are you going to do?  Paint a Brewers logo on it?  Ha ha, come on.  You’re kidding yourself.  You can’t–what?  You’re an “accomplished painter” too?

*Pulls out pistol*

Give me your money right now.

Justin is the lead writer of That Balls Outta Here, a weekly columnist for this thing, a frequent annoyance on Sports Talk Soup, and the sports lead for Philthy Blog: The Unofficial Blog of Philadelphia

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Tags: Catalog Christmas Gifts Holidays Merchandise MLB Money Recession Santa Claus