I come from a long line of baseball fans… OK fanatics. And couple my tri-state location (some of my family is in Connecticut, I am a New Yorker) with an Italian lineage and you end up with Yankee fans… Shhh, my son is the rebel Met fan. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to religiously watch games and would pray for the players. I remember her telling me about going to a book signing for Daryl Strawberry (when he was a Yankee) and when she got up to speak to him, she said: “I’ve been praying for you.” Graciously, he replied: “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take all the prayers I can get.”
When my husband and I got married, he made a few things very clear: loved me, the kids, his family and the NY Yankees and no one could say anything bad about any of us. His love of baseball goes very deep, and I wish he could have known my grandmother to be able to share this passion together and she would have loved to see her great-grandson get in on the action. So as I watch the Yankees play Toronto (actually I’m watching my husband watch the Yankees play Toronto), I put together this unique list of gifts for the baseball fanatic.
1. Stats Encyclopedia:
My husband could (in his words) read baseball stats all day. I don’t know why or how, but apparently he isn’t an edge case. The Encycolpedia of Baseball Statstics ($41.95 List Price, Amazon) is one option.
2. Baseball by Ken Burns:
This series, Baseball, is 1,380 minutes of everything you ever wanted to know about America’s pastime. Through baseball, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns tells the story of the trials and triumphs of our culture.
3. Game They’ll Never Forget: Up the ante on a day at the ballpark. Surprise your recipient with a tour of the stadium, most do private ones–inquire and don’t wait until the last minute (also some may do this in the off-season). Bonus points if the stadium is one with a rich history or a museum (Wrigley, Fenway, Yankee).
4. Baseball Everywhere: A subscription to MLB At Bat is a great gift for the fan on the go. They can watch games, see plays, get breaking news, access the archive and is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle and Windows phones ($9.99).
5. Instruction and Hitting: Especially great for aspiring coaches, players and anyone who once dreamed of being an all star hitter for a major league team, the gift of lessons, cage time or private coaching is an affordable extravagance that will be forever remembered…not to mention so useful. Finding a place is your area is pretty easy, I have personal experience in NYC (where I live) with The Baseball Center on the Upper West Side. But I also found the Triple Play Baseball and Softball Facility in Trumbull, Connecticut and the Bergen Batting Center in North Bergen, New Jersey.
6. Off The Cuff:
For the dapper fan, these MLB Cufflinks made from game-used balls are fun, stylish memorabilia that make interesting conversation pieces to boot ($169.95, Red Envelope).
7. Baseball Fantasy: They don’t call it Fantasy Camp for nothing. Let your fan go and play with former major league players (note: ideally they will have a slightly above-average skill level and knowledge of the game).
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- 10 Great Baseball Brawls of the Last 40 Years (VIDEOS) (manolith.com)