World Championship collectables are a fairly new category for Red Sox collections. Prior to about five years ago, obviously, items were a little bit hard to come by. There was an occasional t-shirt or magnet celebrating the 1918 World Champions. I picked up replica banners from each of the five titles. But, that was really about it. That all changed in 2004. Most companies can smell two things. A buck, and a sucker. The 2004 Red Sox championship provided plenty of the latter with plenty of the former. Suddenly you couldn’t move three feet without tripping over something with a World Series logo on it. No trip to the gas station, grocery store or mall was safe from stores wanting your World Series cash. If you didn’t set some limits on yourself pretty quick, you wouldn’t have any money left to buy things from the next championship.
To help with the impulse, I tried to get some advice. I asked a Yankees fan (as painful as it was) if there was anything he was glad he had, or wished he had from the 1996 championship. The 1996 one was similar to the Sox win in 2004 in that they both broke droughts of some length. The two things he mentioned were a World Series hat, and a picture of the pig pile after the win. Those made sense to me. They were pretty classic items that captured the feeling of the championship. Obviously, no self-respecting Red Sox fan would stop the buying with only those two things. But, it was nice to have some help in steering me in the right direction. As with anything else, World Series collectables can be broken down into a few themes, to help refine any collection.
There are things “used” in the World Series. Luckily, in this case, the St Louis Cardinals were a huge help. They raffled off, or sold, many items from the World Series that can be found if you look enough. There are pieces of the bench from the visitor’s dugout from game four. There are Gatorade towels from the visitor’s dugout. Dirt from the pitchers mound. Champagne bottles from the locker room. Ticket stubs from the game used tickets to game four. The list really does go on and on. Heck, an occasional World Series ring shown up on the auction block. It a great way to get an actual piece of history.
Beyond that, there are several more official items, just a degree or two away from being part of the action. You can find official World Series baseballs. Official celebration t-shirts and hats. Official parade sweatshirts. Official World Series hats, or sweatshirts, or knit caps. Official patches. Newspapers followed the money and printed edition after edition of championship headlines. Just about every paper printed at least two headlines the day following the win. These items may not have been used in any of the games, but they’re close.
From there, there really is everything else…probably including the kitchen sink. The logo was on soda cans, hats, pens, coolers, backpacks, statues, flashlights, key chains, cereal, and on, and on, and on again. The advantage of all the choices is that it’s easy to find something in your price range. The downside, is that it’s pretty easy to get carried away and end up spending a fortune.
It’s all out there. Anything you want to collect to celebrate a World Championship is at your fingertips. You just need to know what you want. Whatever it is, I’m sure you can find it.
Anyone have a favorite World Championship item in their collection?