Monday, January 27, 2014

Collecting the Sox: Patches

The other day I was doing one of my periodic eBay searches for Red Sox championship items. One of the items that came up included the “B Strong” patche that the Red Sox wore on their uniforms. For some reason, it was the first time that it hit me that collecting uniform patches would be a nice area to get into.

At the moment, I only have a couple patches. One from the 1999 ASG, and one celebrating the 2004 World Championship. Obviously, the 2004 version is different than the ones worn on the uniform. But it gets the idea across. I don’t know that I now have plans to expand on that, but it certainly seems like it could be fun.

The Sox have worn any number of patches on their uniform over the years. It might have been for special events like the ’99 ASG, or Fenway’s 100th birthday. Or, for participation in the postseason. That definitely allows for a lot of variety in a collection. Every patch would look a little different. There are different shapes and sizes and colors. If you wanted to focus on a specific player, you could do that. Say you loved Dustin Pedroia. You could collect different patches he would have worn, and include the ones from the All Star games he’s appeared in.

I guess my main problem with collecting patches is what to do with them. At the moment, I have one of my patches sitting on a shelf, and the other framed with a ticket stub. If you’re going to display a collection, it needs to be done better than that.

Since they’re patches, the obvious answer is to sew them on something. But what? A jersey is another obvious answer. But, I’m not sure a bunch of patches covering the front of a jersey would be the look I’d be after. You can always just sew them on a Red Sox blanket of some sort. That would look pretty sweet. But, it would be pretty large. You’d need to be able to drape it over the back of a chair or something. Perhaps a shadow box, or memo board they could be hung on the wall with. I’m not really sure. Does anyone have a great display of patches that works well?

I especially like the way patches allow you to follow history. You can see how the patches went from 75th birthday to 100th birthday. Or, remember specific events like World Series appearances. I like the idea of sitting back and looking over a collection and traveling back in time. A large group of patches would certainly accomplish that. I also like the “official” feel of it. Despite the modified ’04 patch in my possession, I like things that feel official. I imagine I’m not alone, which is why “locker room” hats and shirts sell so well. Somehow, a patch matching the one the Sox wore on jerseys makes more sense than, say, coke cans that have the same logo on them. Even if they’re just replicas, there’s a feeling that you have a piece of the game. I like that.

I may have to get more patches.

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