The A’s Fan’s Non-Buyer’s Christmas Gift Guide

by Jason Leary | Posted on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
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To say the least, there's a wide array of odd items on sale at the A's Web shop that might not   scream, "Merry Christmas" for Oakland fans.

To say the least, there’s a wide array of odd items on sale at the A’s Web shop that might not scream, “Merry Christmas” for Oakland fans.

Christmas is right around the corner and if you’re an Oakland A’s fan like me you’re probably getting hit by a lot of promotional e-mails from OaklandAthletics.com pitching their holiday sales.

What better way to say I love you and merry Christmas to the die-hard A’s fan in your life than with a genuine piece of MLB merchandise from the team’s online shop? I’ll freely admit that I’m a sucker for any A’s-themed gift and about 90 percent of the stuff at the the team’s web shop is pretty good. But some of the items are total duds, some are purely amusing and some are head-scratchers.

So now, without futher ado, is the A’s fan’s non-buyer’s Christmas gift guide:

HATS

Oakland Athletics FlairHair Adjustable Visor by Concept One Accessories, $24.99

If a visor with hair shows up in my Christmas stocking I will not be a very happy A's fan.

If a visor with hair shows up in my Christmas stocking I will not be a very happy A’s fan.

This special little item has hair built into it. If you want to look like a Tribble died on your head this is the visor for you. Why didn’t the brain-trust in product development put a replica of Coco Crisp‘s awesome Afro on top of this? Instead, it looks someone scalped celebrity chef Guy Fieri and glued his hair onto a visor and then crossed their fingers that that some gullible fan would shell out 25 hard-earned bucks for this thing.

I can’t believe somebody actually got paid to come up with this idea and bring it to market. I’m mildy annoyed that this ridiculous product even exists but I’m also a little jealous that people make money for bad ideas like this. I have bad ideas – lots and lots of bad ideas – for TV shows, movies and consumer products. All I need is someone to start paying me for them and I can retire early.

If I see the hair on this visor poking out of my stocking on Christmas morning I’m going to climb back into bed and pretend that the gifting of this strange, fuzzy visor never happened.

Oakland Athletics Basic Cardinal 59FIFTY Fitted Cap, $34.99

There isn’t a shred of green and gold anywhere on this hat. Why does the world need a cardinal A’s hat? If you want a University of Arkansas hat, just go buy one and save yourself about $15.

I have no idea why the A’s are selling this but at least they’re not selling orange and black hats with an A’s logo on it.

Oakland Athletics White Pop League Basic 9FIFTY Snapback Adjustable Cap, $16.97

I guess it’s not fair to pick on one hat for lacking Athletics green and gold and then turn around and pick on this one for having nothing but gold. But just look at this abomination. It’s. Just. So. Yellow.

If a yellow highlighter threw up on an A’s hat this would be the end result. This hat’s so bright that it almost hurts to look at it but at least it’s only $16. If you have the bad taste to give this to an A’s fan for Christmas it won’t break your budget.

Oakland Athletics 1974 World Series Logo Adjustable Cap $18.99

I love retro stuff as much as the next guy and I fully embrace showing pride in the historical achievements of the Oakland A’s but this has to be one of the most boring hats in the history of hats. It’s painfully dull, it doesn’t have anything vaguely resembling an A’s color anywhere on it and there’s nothing on the hat to show you who played in the 1974 World Series. I’d rather hold on to that $18.99 until the season rolls around and buy a couple of beers at the Coliseum.

Oakland Athletics Sa-sweeter 9FIFTY Snapback Adjustable Cap by New Era, $31.99

This has to be the worst font I have even seen in my life. I’ve never seen anyone wearing this at an A’s game and I’ve never seen anyone wearing it anywhere in the East Bay. And I hope I never run into a sorry soul with this nightmare on top of their head.

And the price is just as ugly as the hat. For $32 you can easily buy a decent looking unlicensed A’s hat, T-shirt and a half dozen churros on the walkway to BART on your way out of the Coliseum after a game and still have enough cash left over to pay for the train ride home.

Be smart, save your money and at least pretend you have some fashion sense by avoiding this hat at all costs.

ACCESSORIES

Oakland Athletics Tornado MLB Authentic Collection Titanium 22″ Necklace by PHITEN, $40

Let’s be perfectly honest: These garish things look stupid on ballplayers. But at least MLB players are getting these ugly necklaces from Phiten for free.

On John Q. Public, one of these Phiten necklaces would look completely absurd, especially when you account for the fact that someone would actually have to shell out $40 for the honor of wearing the thing.

Oakland Athletics FanBand Home Jersey Wristband, $14.99

Wow, a home jersey wristband for just $14.99? Tempting, very tempting as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. Maybe if they had a set of four with the home, road, and alternate green and yellow jersey wristbands for about $60 I’d get a little excited. But it’s just the home jersey which would make it a little embarrassing to show up to the Coliseum in all my wristband-wearing glory only to clash with the team when they take the field in their gold jerseys.

FOR THE LADIES

Oakland Athletics Women’s Jacquard Knit Boots by For Bare Feet, $34.99

These knit boots are horrible, just truly horrible. They’re beyond ugly, they barely have a hint of A’s colors on’em, and smart money says no woman in her right mind would ever wear them to a ballgame. And if you’re a lady looking to show some pride in the A’s why would you wear boots that only have a dime-sized team logo on them?

Considering the fact that this is an officially licensed piece of MLB merchandise it’s probably a minor miracle that these things only cost $35. I love my wife, she loves the A’s, she loves shoes and there’s still no way I’d ever crack my wallet open for these booties.

Oakland Athletics Outfield V-Neck T-Shirt, $29.97

Alyssa Milano. Enough said.

Alyssa Milano. Enough said.

OK, I don’t have anything snarky or cranky to say about this product. I just wanted an excuse to run a photo of Alyssa Milano. Mission accomplished, now on the the rest of this post.

Oakland Athletics Sweep Knit Dress by Cutter & Buck, $94.99

I think every woman loves a little black dress and I think every woman looks fantastic in a little black dress, but I know for certain that my wife would smack my upside the head if I spent close to $100 to buy her a little black dress with a minuscule A’s logo on it.

It’s amazing to see the prices MLB tries to get away with for slapping it’s logo on totally generic products.

KIDS STUFF

Oakland Athletics Crib Shoe by SkidDERS Footwear, $11.99

These are cute as can be, they’re not really all that expensive and I’ll freely admit to buying up plenty of A’s-related baby merchandise when my kids were small. But take my word for it, the children you buy this for will grow out of these little shoes in less time than it takes for Coco Crisp to go from first to third on a deep single.

Trust me, save the $12 and throw it toward a college fund for the little one.

COLLECTIBLES

* Framed photos of fringe players from the 2013 team who are already gone, $69.99 each

Seth SmithChris YoungPat Neshek are all sitting there in the official online A’s shop waiting for you to snap’em up and hang’em on your wall.

If you want to cherish Young’s unforgettable .220/.280/.379 season with the 2013 A’s for eternity, just part ways with $70 in your bank account and this one-of-a-kind collectible is all yours.

A framed picture of Mount Davis is the equivalent of a lump of coal as a Christmas gift for an A's fan.

A framed picture of Mount Davis is the equivalent of a lump of coal as a Christmas gift for an A’s fan.

Oakland Athletics – O.co Coliseum Framed Limited Edition Screen Print, $119

It’s a framed drawing of Mount Davis. For $120.

Do you think team owner Lew Wolff has one of these babies hanging in his office? I seriously doubt it and if he does have this displayed in his office I’m sure it’s just there for him to throw darts at it.

What brainiac thought this was something any self-respecting A’s fan would want in their home? I still remember walking into the Coliseum and seeing Mount Davis for the first time when the A’s returned from playing “home” games in Las Vegas while construction wrapped up in Oakland. That monstrosity in the outfield was depressing then, it’s depressing now and it would be even more depressing as a Christmas gift.

Oakland Athletics Collin Cowgill Collectible Mini Figure, $12.99

I love a good, “We need more Cowgill” joke as much as the next baseball fan but why in the world is there a Lego Cowgill figure in the A’s shop for someone who didn’t even make it into 40 games with the green and gold? I’m willing to bet that the career of the product development guy who came up with this idea has been in a downward spiral ever since.

Oakland Athletics Brian Fuentes Collectible Mini Figure, $12.99

Brian Fuentes' gift to A's fans was chasing manager Bob Geren out of town.

Brian Fuentes’ gift to A’s fans was chasing manager Bob Geren out of town.

I know this post is supposed to be for less-than-spectacular gift idea on the A’s website but this one is actually kind of awesome. If there’s one man every Athletics fan owes a debt of gratitude to for helping bring the Bob Geren Era to an end it’s Fuentes.

I don’t think A’s fans owe anyone $12.99 for this silly thing but it’s amusing to know it’s out there. I’m willing to bet that the Fuentes figure wouldn’t get along very well with the Geren bobblehead.

Oakland Athletics Tapered Crystal with Game Used Dirt by Steiner Sports, $15.99

What says merry Christmas to a die-hard A’s fan more than dirt? What a brilliant idea, but why stop at dirt? Maybe the A’s could bronze some sunflower seed shells that have been spit onto the dugout floor? Maybe they could bottle up a few gallons of tobacco juice and sell it for $50 on the team’s Web site?

C’mon, A’s are you listening? These are some of those bad ideas I was talking about earlier that could be worth a lot of money. Call me, we can work something out and make millions.

By the way, even though I am mocking the sale of Coliseum dirt I’ll admit that I’m guilty of owning it. But in my defense, it was part of a limited edition, framed photo of Tim Hudson that was on super sale in the parking lot several years ago. I may be crazy, but I’m not crazy enough to get ripped off for buying nothing but dirt.

Oakland Athletics 4×6 Game Used Dirt Plaque by Steiner Sports, $19.99

Wow, more dirt. But this time it’s framed dirt along with a picture of the exterior of the Coliseum. Has anyone ever bought one of these things? Has anyone anywhere ever bought framed dirt? Trading a cow for a handful of magic beans is a smarter investment.

Oakland Athletics Jerry Blevins Sublimated Plaque, $29.99

Don’t get me wrong, I like Jerry Blevins. He’s fun to follow on Twitter, he’s a good interview on 95.7 The Game and it’s cool that he’s still providing a payoff for the Jason Kendall trade in 2007 but who wants a framed photo of a LOOGY? Do the A’s do any research before they invest the time and money to make this stuff?

I have to figure that the sales of this framed photo of Blevins topped out after his mom and extended family bought a few of them.

HOME & OFFICE

You know what would look fantastic on Christmas morning? This A's pool table.

You know what would look fantastic on Christmas morning? This A’s pool table.

Imperial Oakland Athletics Pool Table, $2,499.99

Nothing says Oakland A’s baseball like a $2,500 pool table, am I right? Maybe the thousands of people who don’t show up to weeknight A’s games are actually all at home playing eight ball on their $2,500 A’s pool table while watching the game on TV or listening to Ken Korach, Vince Cotroneo, and Ray Fosse on the radio.

Oakland Athletics Classic Sofa, $998.99

If someone buys me the $2,500 A’s pool table for Christmas without buying me this $1,000 couch to go along with it I will be very, very annoyed. Throw in this $700 A’s recliner too while you’re at it Santa.

Philadelphia Phillies 3-Gallon Stainless Steel Jug, $64.99

Yeah, I know the A’s used to play in Philadelphia but what the heck is Phillies gear doing in the A’s online shop? And you know what, even if it had an Oakland A’s logo on it what the heck would I do with a 3-gallon stainless steel jug anyway?

Oakland Athletics Home Sweet Home Wood Sign, $19.99

Hey A’s fans, let’s all chip in some spare change and buy this “Home Sweet Home Oakland” sign for owner Lew Wolff this Christmas just to annoy him. The cost of this sign would be covered if everyone in the crowd at a Tuesday night game at the Coliseum chipped in a penny.

Oakland Athletics Portable Refrigerator, $249.99

If an A’s fan somewhere out there desperately needs a portable refrigerator it’s ready and waiting for you at the A’s online store for just $250. Personally, I’d rather spend the $250 on parking, tickets, beer and food and just tailgate with a cheap Styrofoam cooler.

Oakland Athletics Fan Mask, $24.99

Nothing says baseball more than an Oakland A’s hockey mask. And nothing says, “I’m a dork” at an A’s game more than wearing an Oakland A’s hockey mask (yeah, I’m talking to yoou chunky kid in left field). If a young man matches this mask up with those home jersey wrist bands he’ll be ready to ward off single women from field level through the bleachers.

Oakland Athletics Fiki Baseball, $10.99

This is only $10.99, so of all the silly things mentioned in this post the Oakland Athletics Fiki Baseball won’t set the Christmas shopper back too much. But it’s a flick football game for a baseball fan which makes as much sense as slapping a Lakers logo on a cricket bat. What the heck does one sport have to do with the other?

I guess the one angle you can play up to make sense of this item is that the A’s share a stadium with the NFL’s Raiders so if there’s one MLB team that can get away with selling something like this its the Athletics.

Oakland Athletics Roller Shade, up to $299.99

An Oakland A’s window shade? This is exactly what I need when the A’s lose in yet another Game 5 of the ALDS and I want to hide from the world and wallow in my misery. Someone really needs to be me this for Christmas because I’m tired of the neighbors looking in the window and seeing me cry like a baby after the final out of far too many disappointing Game 5s.

SOME OTHER GIFT IDEAS

With so many of these gifts hovering around the $30 to $40 mark you might as well head over the the A’s auction site and get something a little more unique. Go for a champagne bottle used during the AL West division clinch celebration for $30 or a Josh Reddick or Yoenis Cespedes mini plaque with a game-used jersey swatch for $40.

The auction items easily beat almost anything else on this list of must-not buys.

So there it is, my rundown of all the odds and ends lurking in the A’s official online store for holiday shoppers.

Now I’ll just sit back, relax and hope my wife and kids read this post and remember that visors with hair are bad and game-used auction stuff is good. Oh, and if my family happens to find several thousand dollars lying around somewhere that pool table, couch and recliner would look just great in the family room …

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Jason Leary
About the Author

Jason Leary is a lifelong, die-hard A's fan and busy father of two who blogs about baseball in those rare moments when he isn't chasing his kids around. Follow and interact with Jason on Twitter @JasonALeary or check out his blog at junkball.wordpress.com.







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