While holiday shopping today, I was taken aback – a leading Philadelphia-area retailer already had no less than six stacks of Michael Young t-shirt jerseys, affectionately known by fans in the Twittersphere and Facebook world as shirseys. Consider for a minute the implications of what buying said shirt has, listed in order of likeliness:
- You are made of money – i.e. you can afford buying a t-shirt of a player that you know for absolute certain is only playing one season with the team whose logo appears on the front
- You like the novelty of having a shirt that will only be factually accurate in real time for approximately ten months
- You anticipate liking the novelty of having a shirt that will only have been factually accurate in real time for approximately ten months
- You like the number ten
- You are a Michael Young fan
- You are an overzealous Sixers fan who saw “Young” and a “1″ and mistook it for a “Swaggy P”, aka Nick Young shirsey
Admittedly, we rarely cover or talk about Phillies merchandise. They likely do not need our help in selling merchandise. As much as I am a member of the media now, I frequently purchase Phillies merchandise as gifts, particularly for my brother Bill who is a die-hard Phillies fan living in Orlando, FL. The Michael Young shirseys got me thinking: with a lot of folks looking to buy gifts for Phillies fans for the holiday season, it might be helpful to narrow it down for the non-fan gift giver. After the jump is an info graph listing the Top 10 followed by a person-specific list. Click to make much, much bigger.
For the Tradionalist in your life: Mike Schmidt. Let’s face it: Schmidt, for all intents and purposes, was the Phillies identity from about 1977 through 2007. When there is one player baseball fans from outside of your city think of when they think of your team for 30 years, and you also happen to be the greatest third baseman of all time, that t-shirt is going to be welcomed by just about any fan from that city.
For the Guy or Gal Who Has Everything: Darin Ruf. If it was absolutely, 100%-certain Ruf was making the Phillies out of Spring Training, these things could hit the shelves and sell like hotcakes. Unfortunately, it’s not, and it would require a special order. The special order comes with the risk that he changes his number in Spring Training. Is that risk worth the extra couple bucks for rushed Holiday delivery?
For the Sentimentalist in your life: Cliff Lee. Lee’s dazzling performance after he was acquired in 2009 was nothing short of breathtaking. The city of Philadelphia fell in love fast and hard. Long after Lee is no longer a Phillie, many, many people will continue to wear his shirts and jerseys.
For the Hipster in your life: Domonic Brown. Brown’s on-field potential has a lot of fans excited. His on-field execution to this point has a lot of fans disappointed. Wearing a Brown shirt is the equivalent of wearing the shirt of a band that gets a lot of buzz before their major-label debut comes out: you’ve heard their stuff, you’re ready for them to get into the studio and make an album so you can tell your friends “I told you so!” and then proceed to abandon them when the next buzz-worthy group comes along.
For the Anti-Establishtmenter in your life: Michael Young. What says “I’m way too cool to have a shirt of anyone who will be on the team after 2013″ better than a Young shirsey? Wearing a Young shirt is proudly displaying that you are OK with taking the worst qualities of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the “DTA: Don’t Trust Anyone” attitude (doesn’t want to re-sign) and no defense (much like Austin couldn’t block a Rock Bottom, Young can’t block routine ground balls at third) right to the face as a fan every night.
For Everyone Else: Cole Hamels. Hamels has all of the intangibles when looking to purchase a shirsey: long-term commitment, top-tier performance, and long enough track record with the team. Hamels fell out of favor in 2009 after a quote was taken largely out of context during the World Series. Since? He’s been among the best lefties in baseball. This is the shirsey that says it all and is this year’s perfect holiday gift.
Well, perfect holiday gift other than the wonderful shirts Phillies Nation offers. Check out our $45 Holiday Package – it comes with things that are much cooler than shirseys.