I had this photo given to me from someone who just finished up a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. At the EPCOT park, they have a world showcase with different pavilions for different countries around the globe. At each stop, since it’s Disney, there are gift shops where you can buy country-appropriate items. In Germany you can buy beer steins, in England you can buy a little red phone booth…that sort of thing. In the American pavilion, you can buy Obama mugs, and baseball stuff. Here’s is a picture of the baseball display. It would appear to feature three teams. The Dodgers have a hanger or two and a hat shelf. The Red Sox have a large prominent display. The Yankees also had a similar display to the Sox, but it was cropped out for the picture. (I don’t recognize the logos on the hats and shirts above the Dodgers. Maybe a minor league team? Anyone?) I especially like the Red Sox “punching gloves” on the top shelf. Not only would I imagine them to be expensive, they look pretty bulky. You’d have to be a real fan to want to lug those things around all day in 90-degree heat.
It makes sense to have baseball stuff in the shop. Baseball’s still America’s pastime after all. What’s interesting is the team selection. I can see the Yankees. Like it or not, they’re still the Yankees and one of the most recognizable teams worldwide. They also play in the biggest city, so it makes sense. The Dodgers play in the second largest city, so I can see their inclusion as well. The Red Sox don’t play in the third largest city. If I remember correctly, they’re around #6. They’re not a local Florida team, like the defending AL Champion Rays. They’re not the defending World Champion Phillies. So, it’s simply a testament to the marketing of the current ownership that they demand the attention they got. The people at Disney have two teams from the Northeast because they had to include the Sox. They could have picked a Chicago team to get a big city in there, that would have also spread things out a bit. I could understand them changing in every defending champion. But, no. They went with the Red Sox, and made sure everyone saw it. Pretty incredible.
Anyone else have a picture of the Red Sox showing up unexpectedly? Send it along.