My Twelve Days of Baseball Gifts

The twelve days of Christmas are upon us and we all know how the classic song of the same name goes.  In it the singer recites all the lavish gifts given to them by their true love over the course of twelve days.  As great as it would be to receive expensive gifts everyday for nearly two weeks, the choice of gifts handed out in the original song (including twelve drummers drumming, eight maids milking, and a bevy of different birds) seem a bit more like work than gifts. I mean, where would one keep 7 swans?

In case my wife is reading this and is getting the itch to shower me with twelve days worth of gifts this holiday season, I would like to make this a lot easier, and cheaper by providing a list of what my ideal twelve days of baseball gifts would be.

If I were to re-write the song…here’s how it would go:

On the first day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A Corpus Christi Hooks road/batting practice cap

I’m a sucker for merchandise of a team you don’t see too often so the minor leagues are a perfect place to find items that strike my fancy.  Corpus Christi’s Hooks, playing in the Texas League, in particular have piqued my interest with their double hooked “CC” road/batting practice cap, the only cap design I can find out there that features my initials – perfect!  Estimated cost: $29

On the second day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

An autographed Willie Cañate Toronto Blue Jays baseball card

I wish I could find one.  In fact, I’ve been looking for one for nearly five years now and I’ve yet to find one on sale.  Why Willie Cañate of all players? I have the autographed cards of 49 of the 50 players who played on the 1992 and 1993 World Series championship Toronto Blue Jay clubs except for Willie.  That’s the sort of empty spot on a framed collage that could drive a person mad.  Estimated cost: $1 (if you can find it, it actually might be easier to find Willie and get it in person)

On the third day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

An old-fashioned MLB standings board

It’s like having your own Fenway Park outfield wall that you can hang up in your own man cave.  The best part about this is you get to update it yourself, so when the day comes when your boys are way out of the race you can just stop updating it and forget it even exists until next season. Estimated cost: $60

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A bright orange Miami Marlins t-shirt

Do I hate the logo?  Absolutely.  Do I hate the team?  Without a doubt.  So why do I want some merchandise? Because it’s new and weird and different and nobody around me is going to have it.  For the Marlins the weirder the better, so a bright orange t-shirt?  Bring it on.  It’ll look great in my closet next to my bright-yellow Pirates shirt. Estimated cost: $35

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A “Florida Marlins” t-shirt which specifically says “Florida”

Yeah, I know we’re all still used to it today but in a few years that name and branding will seem old and distant to us baseball fans.  I gotta score some of that merchandise while it’s still on clearance and before it gets classified as “MLB Cooperstown Collection” and the price gets jacked up.  The more teal the better but I’ll be happy as long as it says “Florida”.  Estimated cost: $10 on clearance

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

2012 Topps Toronto Blue Jays team set

I don’t collect baseball cards nearly as much as I did back during their hey-day in the early 1990′s but I do try to maintain a Toronto Blue Jays annual collection.  Plus I’ll be heading down to Spring Training next March and what better venue to try to get a quick autograph? Hey, remember when all those cards from the ’90s were supposed to be worth big money one day? Yeah well, everyone else thought the same thing as you did so they’re all worth even less these days.  Fantastic.  Estimated cost: $8 (estimated value in 20 years: $2)

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A framed photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

No baseball themed office would be complete without a classy, framed photo of two of the greatest players of all-time hanging on the wall.  My preference would be this sketch print of the two sitting in the dugout with their pre-pinstripe Yankee uniforms.  Estimated cost: $70

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A Bluefield Blue Jays home jersey

Once again this is another case of me having to have something unusual, but the difference is so minor I doubt anyone other than the true logo nerds would ever notice.  The Bluefield Blue Jays home jersey is essentially the new Toronto Blue Jays home jersey with the maple leaf removed from the bird and a baseball added instead.  Maybe I can get away with claiming it’s a rare Toronto prototype jersey if anyone notices.  Estimated cost: $129

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

Mr. Celery Wilmington Blue Rocks batting practice cap

Mr. Celery is one of three mascots for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a minor league club in the Carolina League.  Legend has it that a stalk of celery was discovered buried beneath the ruins of the first ballpark ever built in Wilmington… actually that’s just the more interesting version of the story I just invented.  In reality, in 2000 the Blue Rocks general manager saw a discarded celery mascot costume leftover from past seasons concession promotions and thought it would be weird enough to be loved.  Well he was right, because I love it.  Mr. Celery has made his way onto the batting practice caps of the club so far and based on his popularity I wouldn’t be surprised if that role was expanded in the near future.  Estimated cost: $35

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A Toronto Blue Jays flex pack

Despite it costing 2-3 times more than the upper deck season pass while only providing access to a fraction of the games, I’m sorry but I need to sit close to the action.  Perhaps I’ve been spoiled from my days as an usher for the Jays getting paid to sit in the front row but since I stopped working Jays games I haven’t been able to watch a game from anywhere but the lower deck.  Also, please get two of these flex packs for me, I need someone to explain all the managerial strategies to while I’m watching the games.  Estimated cost: $1000 for the pair

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A Roy Halladay framed autographed photo and no-hitter lineup card

Roy may be a Phillie but he’s our Phillie and in his first post-season appearance for the Phillies Roy tossed a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.  Incredible.  This framed set is a pricey one but just imagine how much that’ll be worth after Roy gets into the hall – not that I’d ever sell it.  Another fantastic item to have on your office wall.  Estimated cost: $450

On the twelfth and final day of Christmas my true love should give to me…

A bevy of new Toronto Blue Jays logo merchandise for my car

When the new logo came out I had no problem taking the old logo magnet off the back of my car, and applying the new logo window decal, but I can’t do anything about replacing the logo on my license plate.  That needs to change.  It’s embarrassing.  And that new window decal?  Peeled right off the window during our first snowfall, lasted all of a week on there.  A license plate (you may need to call the government to set that one up), magnet, window decal… if you’re feeling generous I’d also be happy to accept a car floor mat set.  Estimated cost: $90 (those license plates are pricey)

On the surface these gifts may seem expensive but when compared to the traditional purchases of the song, which according to MSN Money would top $100,000 in 2011 dollars, it’s quite the bargain, and results in a much more enjoyable holiday season.

Estimated total: $1917

Merry Christmas everyone.

Check out Chris Creamer’s fancy sports logos and uniforms history site at SportsLogos.Net or give him a follow on Twitter at @sportslogosnet