View From The Bleachers

December 19, 2011

The Cubs Fan Gift Guide

Filed under: Featured,General — Jeremiah Johnson @ 3:03 pm

I know Christmas is only a few days away, but many unprepared souls (including me) are still shopping for their loved ones.  Here’s a moderately helpful gift guide for any Cubs fans still on your list.

CHEAP

  • Chicago Cubs Mr. Potato Head  I know it’s kitschy, but I don’t know a Cubs fan who doesn’t have one of these somewhere in their home or office.  And while it lacks the interchangeability of a full-sized Potato Head (its feet don’t even come off!), I’m pretty sure this toy is at least part of the reason my niece and nephew are able to recognize the Cubs logo.
  • Pennants  I can’t explain why I like pennants.  They’re not the easiest thing to display.  In a frame they look too bulky and weird.  Out of a frame, they’re magnets for dust.  And yet they’re appealing in some intangible way that no poster or painting could ever achieve.  The same goes for tin signs.
  • The W Flag  It looks like these are sold out right now in most official or unofficial Cubs stores.  However, you can still purchase the retired number flags for Banks, Williams, Santo, Sandberg, Jenkins, and Maddux.
  • Mitchell & Ness Duffle Bag  I have one of these, and I like it a lot.  It’s the perfect size for the gym or for short trips.  And thanks to the vintage styling, it’s a constant source of compliments (in case you’re the kind of person who needs strangers to approve of your hand luggage choices).
  • Underwhelming Autographs  Auctions sites like ebay are a great place to find joke gifts, like autographed Brant Brown and LaTroy Hawkins cards.  Last year I bought Jedi a baseball signed by The French Mistake himself, Jacque Jones.

NOT-SO-CHEAP

  • Autographs  Joke gifts aside, there is a ton of signed memorabilia on ebay.  And while nothing takes the place of waiting in line and getting your autograph in person, these can still be great gifts for the Cubs fan in your life.  And you can sometimes find surprising bargains.  For example, here’s a baseball signed by Mark Grace for less than $40.  Nevermind, I bought it.  Suffice to say, you can find some gems if you have the patience to look for them.
  • Fatheads  Decorate your basement, panic room, or fallout shelter with life-size wall clings.
  • Customized Jerseys  The Cubs.com store has a nice selection of customizable jerseys, and the cheaper ones can be had for around $100.  They’ve got the home whites, the alternate blues, and even the 80’s pullovers.  And in case you’re the one guy who thinks they look cool, you can buy a personalized batting practice jersey.
  • Bean Bag Chair  Watch the Cubs surrender a late-inning lead in slouched, semi-seated comfort.
  • Game-Used Baseballs  You can choose the specific game you want, although it looks like several dates are no longer available.  Or if you want to spend a little more, you can get that baseball turned into a wallet, a necklace, or cufflinks.  Although at that price, I think I’d prefer the cufflinks made from actual Wrigley Field seats.

CRAZY EXPENSIVE

  • Game-Used Base Stool  The “Game-Used” mania taken to it’s unnatural conclusion.  An interesting conversation piece, to be sure.  But does that even look comfortable?
  • Wrigley Field Murals  I don’t care if they’re simply Fatheads for rich people–if I had the space and the cash, I’d have one of these hanging in my home right now.
  • Vintage Jerseys  Hard to go wrong with any of these, but I think my favorite is the 1969 Santo.  Or maybe the 1984 Sandberg.  But then I’ve always had a thing for the powder blue/pinstripes road uni from the 70’s.  Oh, who am I kidding–I’ll take one of each.
  • Wool Jacket  Do I want to spend $450 on a jacket I can’t wear in the rain?  Yes.  Yes, I do.
  • Carpet Tiles  Make like the rest of the NL Central and walk all over the Cubs.
  • Recliners and Sofas  I see these proudly displayed online and in almost every MLB catalog that comes in the mail.  But has anyone ever actually bought them?  I’ve never seen one in the wild.

So there you have it.  Just a few suggestions as you wrap up your Christmas shopping.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pennants to bid on.

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  • Jedi

    Could I pull out the top of the base stool and throw it at a family member? Because that might put me over the top!

  • http://muppet Doug S.

    How much for a Carlos Zambrano beat up Gatorade cooler?

  • BLPCB

    You forgot something on the cheap list: Die-cut magnets. There is a sports memorabilia store near me, I am getting die-cut magnets for all the sports fans on my list. Cubs and Bears for my boss, Packers and Wisconsin, and Bears and Wisconsin for 2 of my drinking buddies, and White Sox magnets for a family I life-guarded with

  • Buddy

    A few Cub-related books and videos to stay away from this holiday season:
    1) “How To Ride A Bike” by Steve Trout
    2) “Winning Over Friends & Teammates” by Dave Martinez
    3) “Boxing Made Easy” by Michael Barrett
    4) “Managing Your Anger” By Carlos Zambrano
    5) “162 Can’t-Miss Jokes & Conversation Starters” By Len Kasper & Bob Brenly

  • Buddy

    You should also avoid “The Secret To A Strong Grip” by Moises Alou.

  • Doc Raker

    I picked up, “The art of managing a pitching staff”, by Dusty Baker. It is not a book rather a 2 paragraph brochure.

  • Buddy

    I think I saw that one Doc. “Step one: run starter into the ground. Step two: See step one.”

  • BLPCB

    Step 3: Rinse and repeat

  • http://swantron.com jswanson

    ^don’t waste your time…one of the two paragraphs is just a run-on sentence about forearm wristbands.

  • Doc Raker

    Step 4: Insert ‘closer’ in 9th inning if winning.

  • Seymour Butts

    More Books:
    “I thought it was a wine bottle, so I corked it” by Sammy Sosa.
    “The 100 MPH Towel” By Mark Prior.
    “Look I wasn’t the only one” by Raphael Palmeiro (Forward by D. Martinez).
    “The idiots keep paying me to hit” By Corey Patterson.
    “On proper enunciation” By Harry Carry.
    “Practical Dog Ownership” By Jim Edmunds.

  • Buddy

    Step 5: Say “dude” alot.
    Step 6: Blame the weather whenever possible.

  • BLPCB

    Step 7: When starter is left in the game too long, say you couldn’t call the bullpen

  • Buddy

    I just read some news that made my entire offseason…John Grabow signed with the Dodgers!

  • Doc Raker

    Step 8: Naw on toothpick and hope for the best.

  • MJ

    I have a Mickey Morandini autographed hat (the first home game after 9/11), and a Chris Stynes autographed ball. Who wants ’em?!

  • Buddy

    I’ll trade you my Jeff Pico and Matt Mieske bobbleheads.

  • MJ

    I said who wants ’em? Not who wants to trade for them! LOL!

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