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Strasburg mania: the jersey prelude



"It's funny, we're in DC right now, and it's Strasburg everything," Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes said on Sirius XM's Baseball Today Sunday morning. "Strasburg tickets, Strasburg jerseys, Strasburg posters...."

I took my daughter to her first ball game on Sunday afternoon, and I saw what Gomes meant. If you've ever taken a three-year old to the ballpark, you know that it involves a lot more walking than sitting. So we made our way pretty much all over the place: before the game, between innings and during play.

We saw lots of fans and lots of concessions. And I'm here to tell you that Strasburg jerseys and t-shirts are already the second-most popular in the place, behind only Ryan Zimmerman's shirts. The Zimmerman stuff dominates, and that's not close yet. But for the second choice to be a minor-league pitcher who, as of this writing, has never taken a big-league mound, sort of tells you that the change won't take long.

(Aside from Zimmerman and Strasburg, the most-popular apparel-inspiration seemed to be Adam Dunn. And after that, I have no idea. Some Nyjer, some Dmitri Young, some Guzman, some Brad Wilkerson and Ryan Church, some Pudge, some Chad Cordero. It goes to show you how unmarketable this team -- and especially its pitching staff -- has been in recent years.)




(And I can't believe I'm writing this, but my daughter is already obsessed with Screech. "Look at that duck!!!!" she said when she first saw him, and was terrified, with tears and everything. But within a few minutes she was entranced, literally waving back at Screech when he wagged his feathers on the video screen, and demanding we follow him when he left the field. She even posed next to an advertisement featuring the duck. Kids.

On the other hand, he Racing Presidents -- or the "funny men," as she called them -- remained scary.)




Back to Strasburg. You know all those merchandise booths sprinkled between the concession stands? They mostly offer generic Nats stuff, but just about every one we saw was featuring Strasburg shirts, front and center. Often, his was the only personalized shirt available.




And the team store by the center field gates? First shirt you saw when you walked in on the right was Strasburg (one row in front of Zim), and first shirt you saw when you turned left was Strasburg.




The other team store, behind home plate? Racks and racks of the stuff. (That store was also displaying some Chien-Ming Wang shirts, which is a real head-scratcher.)




Just so there's no misunderstanding, I think it's great that the team is selling the heck out of Baseball Jeezus. And I think it's great that the fans are jumping on-board. I just think it's crazy how fast that's happening. All of which is my way of saying: Best buy your Harper jerseys now, if you want to be in front of the next trend.








By Dan Steinberg  |  June 7, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Next: Strasburg odds on everything

Comments

What a bunch of bandwagoners. Real fans had their Strasburg gear over a year ago, before last year's draft.

Posted by: cassander | June 7, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Welcome newbies - glad to see you at the Park. Tuesday is going to be surreal, I'm guessing about 85% of the crowd will be attending their first game at Nationals Park. I'll be avoiding the Green Line on my way to the game, going to be a beautiful day for walking.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't get...you can't find a Drew Storen Jersey/T-shirt anywhere! After leaving yesterday's game I started searching the Internet...There's Wang, Maxwell - but not Storen! What's up with that?

Posted by: capsnnats | June 7, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Yup, we noticed a few "Harper 34" shirts yesterday too. Can't be properly attired too early. :)

*********************************************
What a bunch of bandwagoners. Real fans had their Strasburg gear over a year ago, before last year's draft.

Posted by: cassander | June 7, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | June 7, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I've searched for Guzman Jersey's since he's been here. Not one! An all-star, .300 hitter, longest tenured player. What a crying shame. Nats fans should be embarrased!

Posted by: richs91 | June 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Here's what I don't get...you can't find a Drew Storen Jersey/T-shirt anywhere! After leaving yesterday's game I started searching the Internet...There's Wang, Maxwell - but not Storen! What's up with that?"

Go to shop.mlb.com. There you can order player/customized T-shirts and jerseys. Normally you should be able to select any player on the active roster, but you're right - for some reason Storen is not listed. However, you can create a jersey or T-shirt with his name and number simply by entering them in as if you were going to personalize a jersey with your own name on it. Which is kind of a tool thing to do anyway, having a jersey with your name on it. So put in Storen's name/number instead, and there you are!

Posted by: nunof1 | June 7, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of custom t-shirts, I hate how few options the Nationals have. There's red, blue and grey in the shop at the Park. But if you want to customize one online, just the lame red one (I hate the Nationals home jersey lettering - awful). Other MLB teams have as many as 5 or 6 options. Our branding and marketing really sucks.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 7, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How'd OV do? I'd guess behind Zimmerman and the new kid, right?

Posted by: caps1974 | June 7, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Saw you at the game, Dan. I hope your daughter enjoyed her first game with the Washington Strasburgs, er Nationals.

Posted by: justaguy43 | June 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Richs91: My husband bought a Guzman t-shirt several years ago and was lucky enough to be wearing it on a "retro" night when Guz was among the players greeting fans entering the park. Guz was so thrilled to see the t-shirt, and we got him to autograph it as I took a photo. This was a few days after Guz hit for the cycle.

Posted by: post5 | June 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Welcome newbies - glad to see you at the Park. Tuesday is going to be surreal, I'm guessing about 85% of the crowd will be attending their first game at Nationals Park. I'll be avoiding the Green Line on my way to the game, going to be a beautiful day for walking.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Your smug estimate of 85% of the crowd being first timers at Nationals Park is totally absurd. No way it's more than 20-25%

Posted by: Barno1 | June 7, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I took a picture of this guy at the game on Sunday. He's wearing a Yankees hat and a Strasburg shirt. Go figure.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46347505@N05/4678695705/in/photostream/

Posted by: Mustachio | June 7, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse


I can understand the potential reticence, but no pictures of the actual child at the game, having fun, eating candy, posing with the duck?

Posted by: metatext | June 7, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@metatext I'm not reticent, but my wife's not into the idea. She had loads of chocolate ice cream, if you're curious, though we never met the actual duck. I have photos.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | June 7, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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