The Best Baseball Gifts for the Holidays

Dan Van WieContributor IIINovember 21, 2011

The Best Baseball Gifts for the Holidays

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    You have somebody on your holiday shopping list that you have yet to cross off of your list. You know that they are a baseball fan, but you have no clue what to get them.

    That is where we come in, as we have designed this baseball holiday gift idea presentation to offer you a number of ideas worth exploring.

    Since we don't know how strong of a passion your baseball fan has for the game, nor do we know what your budget allows for, our ideas will span the gamut of price ranges from inexpensive to pricey.

    It would make sense for you to do some homework by asking around to make sure you know what his or her favorite team or favorite players are. After all, you don't want to offend anyone by buying a product from a team that your baseball fan can't stand.

    Once you have the right team or players down pat, you can then take the following ideas and hone in on the items that you think will allow you to hit a home run with your holiday purchase.

Baseball Jerseys

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    Baseball jerseys are an interesting holiday gift choice from the standpoint of what player's jersey to buy. Baseball has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. Players frequently played for the same organization for at least 10 years, or retired with the same team that they started out with.

    Nowadays, players might not even still be with the same team they started with when they arbitration-eligible. That is how much the landscape in baseball has changed.

    So, just know that if you decide to purchase a jersey, it could become obsolete if the player is no longer with the team in a year or two. You could buy a jersey without any name on the back, or you could buy a personalized jersey, eliminating the problem of players moving around to different teams.

    Here is a link to the store for MLB.com, where you can look at various deals for purchasing your desired team jersey.

Baseball Tickets

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    When it comes to purchasing baseball tickets, there is a number of directions you can go in. You want to do some digging to know what his/her favorite teams are.

    Due to the MLB schedule, every team in baseball will play each other over the years, so you will have to look at the upcoming schedule to see when that favorite team will be coming to town.

    Another option, if your budget is large enough, is season tickets. That obviously is a much larger purchase, but it would be a home run for any baseball fan. If your special person can't attend every game, you can give away certain games to other people that you will like to treat for the holidays.

    Finally, you want to look into package deals. Many MLB teams will offer some sort of 10-game or 20-game package that is more affordable and offers the chance to see a variety of teams coming in to play.

    Check the team's website or call their ticket office to inquire if they have any deals available to purchase.

Baseball Fantasy Camp

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    Assuming your intended gift recipient is still physically able to play baseball, a great baseball gift is to purchase a fantasy baseball camp. They typically run for one week. For example, the fantasy camp put on by the Cincinnati Reds will run from February 4-11, 2012 and is being held in Goodyear, Arizona.

    While the cost and dates of the fantasy camps will vary for each MLB team, the general concept is the same. Camp attendees will receive hands-on coaching from baseball legends of that specific team. They will play in games against fellow campers and have a lifetime of memories from the camp.

    It is not a cheap gift, but if budget is not a concern, this is one very special gift.

Arizona Fall League

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    One of the more pleasant surprises that few baseball fans are aware of is the Arizona Fall League. The league is a chance for the best prospects of every major league baseball team to gather for roughly six weeks (October 4 - November 17) and play against fellow rising stars.

    As you can see from the empty seats in the background, the games are sparsely attended, so you have the ability to easily get a foul ball, or move around to watch your favorite team's prospect up close and personal.

    I attended some games and thoroughly enjoyed the intimate setting and chance to see why certain players were so highly touted.

    The other benefit is that while the rest of the country is starting to see snow and temperatures turning to freezing conditions, you are able to enjoy the warmth of Arizona in November.

Baseball HQ

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    If your special person is into fantasy baseball, I can't think of a better website that offers fantasy baseball advice than Baseball HQ. I have personally subscribed to their service for at least the past dozen years, and they continue to generate the best fantasy baseball service to the masses.

    You can sign up for a wide variety of services or products from the company. One of the musts for any fantasy baseball player is Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster. Mr. Shandler has been publishing the Baseball Forecaster for 25 years, and it is one of the best publications I know of for gaining insight into the strengths and weaknesses of MLB players from a fantasy perspective.

    As the baseball season comes and goes, Baseball HQ stays on top of injuries, trends, trade advice, players due for corrections, minor leaguers ready to come up to the majors and a host of other handy advice to keep a fantasy team in contention.

    In addition, they have a symposium in November in Arizona, called First Pitch Arizona, as well as a tour around the country where they give fantasy advice for the upcoming season to all attendees.

    Baseball HQ can be found here.

Road Trips

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    Another fun holiday gift idea is to plan a road trip to follow your favorite team on a destination that you would enjoy. Whether it is to New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Florida or anywhere in between, there are 32 teams to pick from as options.

    You can buy tickets for the road trip, and then make plans around those games to take in the sights of that city.

    Another variation of the road trip is to take in some exhibition games during spring training. If the team you want to follow trains in either Arizona or Florida, it sure makes for a great break to get away to a warm, sunny climate and see your favorite team or players in the relaxed atmosphere of exhibition baseball.

    Another reason for attending exhibition baseball is that players are more accessible. You can watch them playing in different jerseys than they typically wear, and you will see players jogging around the outfield track in the middle of the game. Spring training is another special gift for your baseball fan.

Baseball Memorabilia

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    Baseball memorabilia is a huge business. From signed baseballs to jerseys, caps, photos, bats, posters, programs and baseball cards, your baseball fan will be delighted to own merchandise that is signed by their favorite player or team.

    There is a wide variety of places where you can find these items, ranging from memorabilia stores to baseball card shows, the shops at baseball stadiums and eBay.

    You would be well advised to ask a number of questions to know what to look for and how to find items that are authentic and carry the MLB seal of certified authenticity so that you are not buying something that is forged or a cheap ripoff.

Binoculars

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    Based on the location of the baseball tickets that were purchased, you may want to consider adding some binoculars for your baseball fan to be able to follow the action closer.

    Depending on your budget, there is a wide range of options available in terms of the quality of the binoculars you want to purchase, or how many other uses you might have for them besides watching baseball games.

    To give you a better idea of what your options are, here is a link to the binoculars available through Sharper Image.

MLB Subscriptions

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    Another great baseball gift idea is purchasing a subscription from MLB.com. If your baseball fan has since relocated away from where his favorite team plays, he or she can now watch their favorite team play throughout the year with a subscription through MLB.com.

    You can go to this link here to learn more about the package deal and the cost involved. Your baseball fan will truly appreciate this gift all season long.

Baseball Apparel and Novelty Gifts

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    In case you have not been inspired by any of our earlier thoughts or ideas, you can always go to the various online stores to find various novelty items or team apparel ideas that would provide you with some less expensive options.

    You can find some items on close-out sale or that are going to be discontinued. You can find gifts for the children or for the female fans in the family. Whoever remains on your list, you can probably find at least one item in these stores that should bring a smile over the holidays.

    Options you can shop at include the MLB fan shop at Amazon.com (link to that is right here) or the individual online stores of every major league baseball team. Finally, you never know what items people will put up for sale on the auction websites like eBay, so you might want to do some searching there to see what you can find.

    We hope our list has inspired you and given you some creative ideas for your baseball fan. Happy shopping!