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White Sox Fri Feb 28 2014

The Best & Worst of the White Sox Shop

Sox_200.pngI was looking through the Blackhawks online store awhile back looking for gift ideas. I was pecking around when I came across this: "Chicago Blackhawks 2-Pack Absorbent Car Coasters." I was intrigued. What is this? Does anyone need this? Who would buy this? Did printing a Blackhawks logo on it increase sales?

Don't get me wrong, I love team merchandise. I'm a big fan of the aesthetics of pro sports (as Jerry Seinfeld famously said, we're just rooting for laundry), so I've always loved logos, jerseys and other apparel. I have team-branded shirts, hats, keychains, wallets and all that. But when making any purchase, I, like most normal people, buy stuff that's useful and at a good price.

"Useful" and "good price" probably aren't associated much with the White Sox store, though. To be fair, the shop has some quality items. It has both functional and visually pleasing merchandise... but it also has a lot of junk with "SOX" plastered on it.

I'll break it down for ya.

GOOD

white sox retro jersey• These throwback jerseys are really neat if you're the type of person who wears them. So, if you buy one, you're either a big Luis Aparicio fan or a rapper from 2003.

• I like these flip-flops mainly because they're so cheap. Hmmm... What's wrong with them?

• This is a good women's shirt. Cool throwback logo, and the shirt is feminine without being over-the-top girly.

• Kind of expensive for a sleeve patch (I'm sure you can find one on eBay for cheaper) but you can't go wrong with the early 1970s Sox look.

• I've always liked this photo of Old Comiskey next to New Comiskey. It's pricey, but at least it's a decent size and it's framed.

• Though these salt and pepper shakers aren't realistic depictions of the Sox's actual jerseys, I still like how the black shaker is pepper and the white shaker is salt. No need to label them.

• When I go to ballgames I save my ticket stubs. The stubs usually rot away in some drawer, but a ticket archive is a good way to organize them and put them on display.

• I'm a sucker for ice cream batting helmets, but they are a bit more fun when you collect them individually from Baskin Robbins and Dairy Queen instead of buying them in bulk online.

• Count me as a fan of these cufflinks made from seats at Old Comiskey. Same with this broken bat bottle opener. I like repurposing old objects into new items, especially if the old objects have some significance or history.

• This retro varsity jacket is absolute fire flames. It's fantastic. It looks really sharp and it will keep you warm. You'll get noticed, in a good way, with this jacket. Only thing is it's $450...

• ... so instead get this jacket for a more reasonable $125. It's thinner but sporty, and the red, white and 1980s Sox logo really pop on the dark blue. This is my favorite piece of Sox merchandise.

BAD

• The Sox have a lot of T-shirts for sale but this one is super expensive AND super homely.

• It seemed like 35 percent of the site's women's apparel had some sort of sexual innuendo.

• This is the quintessential gift that will never see the light of day again after Father's Day.

white sox study buddy• "Study Buddies are the best partners to help you with your homework!" says the Sox website. For $22, Study Buddies come with a pencil and, apparently, a placebo effect.

• This couch, chair, and bed set are so bachelor it hurts. Really. I just shuddered.

• The Sox couch and chair will fit well in your Man Cave, though.

• Sixteen pencils for $17. Oh, $17 plus $7 shipping. Plus tax.

• What type of person buys a White Sox-branded golf bag? No snark, I just want to know. Actually, it may be the husband of a woman who uses a White Sox fashion purse.

• Gah! KILL IT! So creepy.

• Want an expensive gold baseball with no significance to it? Here you go.

• I'll admit that these are cool, but it's still $13 for a Lego figurine.

• This Josh Fields autographed baseball will only appreciate in value.

Cutesy infant shirts always irritate me. Maybe I don't have a heart.

• A White Sox pool table isn't $70. Those are $2,500. No, the pool table cover is $70.

• What, is someone going to question your fanhood if you just have a regular fridge?

• I don't even have a quip for these items: A magnet arm for your car door, a kids cape, a pet cap, sock monkey ornaments, a cutting board, a personalized pitcher and an LED book lamp. All overpriced and/or needless, solutions to problems you don't have.

• I never understood why people would customize their own jersey. It's not like Robin Ventura's going to see you in your jersey, call you down from the stands and have you pinch run in the seventh, buddy.

My girlfriend has a friend with the last name Pyrzynski, and she wanted to customize a jersey with the number 12. I guess she wanted to fool people into thinking she had an AJ Pierzynski jersey on as a sort of an icebreaker. Had she bought it, though, most folks would think she had one of those chintzy bootleg jerseys on.

BAD, BAD, BAD

This is $25. Don't purchase it. Instead, just buy an upper-deck ticket, a beer and a walking taco at Sox Park for the same price.

Better yet, just buy four packs of Blackhawks absorbent car coasters.

 

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