Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Buy Your Kid Any Sports Memorabilia Lately?

This is adapted from a small item I posted over at

I am no "sports memorabilia" guy, but I have started to collect certain stuff for Gabe: A personalized Gilbert Arenas jersey, a football signed by Urban Meyer, a framed photo of Steve Spurrier (as yet unsigned), every commemorative Sports Illustrated issue over the Gators' two-year run.

Two weeks ago, Gabe's grandparents came to town bearing a new addition: They ran into Tim Tebow at the local Gainesville Outback Steakhouse, and he signed a menu.

But the biggest yet arrived yesterday (and, remember, I claim I'm not a memorabilia person): A piece of the Georgia Dome floor where Florida won their most recent national title in basketball. Yes, it was an impulse buy in the days following the Final Four.

Are these for Gabe... or for me? Obviously, he doesn't appreciate them... who knows if he even will 10 or 15 or 20-plus years from now? I think that falls under "Using my kid to pursue my own child-like wish fulfillment."

Here's the question: Have you gotten your kids any sports memorabilia? (Or have the gotten any on their own?) It could be something as simple as an autograph or as elaborate as... well, some piece of laquered plywood. And, if so, which is the most treasured piece? By your kid... and by you.

-- D.S.


adihayes5 said...

Ever since I can remember I had an autographed menu from Mickey Mantles restaurant by Mickey Mantle in my childhood bedroom. It is a large menu with a cartoon drawing of his swing and his very recognizable signature at the bottom. I still remember the day asking my Dad who it was. Looking back now it's still fun to picture his passion talking about his favorite ball player. A feeling I hope to have someday talking to my son about Derek Jeter.

coach said...

I'm a big collecter, though not of sports stuff. My 10 year old son's favorite sports things are those he's collected himself. In 2004 ish, Carlos Pena threw him a ball from the dugout in between innings at Comerica Park. That means something to him because of the story and the memory. It's way more valuable than anything I bought that I liked and gave to him.

I used to have the complete collection of the action figures from The Tick cartoon on Fox. I gave them to him to open, cause I decided one day it would be cooler for him to play with them than it would for me to keep them locked in a box, mint on mint card, etc. He had great fun opening them, then a few days later they weren't anything to him anymore. Sigh, my poor Man-Eating-Cow.

Matt- NewEraScouting said...

We got my "daughter" a team signed 2005 Texas Longhorns team signed photo and a personalized Mack Brown autograph last year in Austin. It's in my office, not her room.

Larry said...

When my son was 3 months old, we went to an Expos game at Dodger Stadium, and my boy and I wore Expos jerseys (well, he wore a onsie). My wife took him down to the bullpen railing after batting practice and asked if there was a ball for "the smallest Expos fan." Joey Eischen kindly handed over a ball. I'm keeping the ball in a safe place until my son is older; I also recorded and burned that game on DVD. I hope he'll think it's cool one day.

I've also bought programs from all the games we've gone to that he can later have if he wants. At this point, his favorite things about the programs are the car advertisements.

SportsGirl365 said...

When I was a kid, my brothers and I used to go to Giants training camp every year (when they still had it in Jersey) and we'd wait by the fence for the players to come by and sign autographs. It was always the players who hadn't made the team yet who took the time to come over and talk to us kids, while the established (read: famous) players headed straight for the locker room.

To this day, I still have pages of autographs from players who never made it. It meant so much to us that those men, who seemed like superheros to us, took the time after a tough practice to come over to talk to us and sign our papers. To me, those autographs are priceless.

Troy said...

Those floor sections actually turned out to be pretty cool. Still, it's a bit pricey for me. But a buddy of mine has one on his wall, and I have to say I'm a little jealous.

When does Gabe get a brick on the Gatorwalk? Or, since the premise of this blog is that your kid will never be Lebron, why not go the other way and get him involved with college sports in other ways. Like, instead of a brick on the Gatorwalk, get a brick at the Gator by the UMA--where the marching band warms up. If you're not an athlete, the marching band is pretty much the best way to get in on the action and enjoy all the bowl games and some road trips on the University's dime. said...

Hey Troy: Gabe already has a brick on the Gatorwalk! His grandparents (my in-laws) bought one and included their names, the initials of their kids (and, ahem, kids-by-marriage)... and Gabe's FULL name. It's pretty awesome. Once we get to football season, I'll post one of the (many) pictures I have of the brick.

Bill said...

A friend of mine sent me this article because he thought I could relate and I can. I'm a pretty big hockey fan and subsequently got my wife hooked. We got season tickets to the Pittsburgh Penguins this year and my son attended almost all the games and he's 3. He knew all the players and can sing the national anthem. For his 2nd birthday we bought him a Sidney Crosby rookie card and a plaque picture with Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby.

thistlewarrior said...

When I was a kid, my dad had a coworker who had a relative close to the 76ers who was able to get me a personalized autographed picture of Dr. J, my favorite bball player. It is still one of my most prized possesions.

When I was 11-13,the local youth softball/baseball league would have Reds players come and visit once a year to talk to us and we could get autographs. My first year the players were Tim Birtsas and Norm Charlton. I happened to have both their Score baseball cards and had them signed. As it turned out the Reds ended up sweeping the A's in the WS that year and Charlton became famous as one the "Nasty Boys".

Jen said...

My son is 2-1/2 and already has a lot of Buckeyes stuff, although none of it is signed. Since he is probably going to be our one and only, I plan on making a shadow box of his baby Ohio State Nikes, booties, and "My first Ohio State T-Shirt" shirt.

I also still have his 12 month sized Indians jersey that I will do something with as well. I'd like to get some autographs on it, but don't know if I'll put the effort into that.

I may start getting some David DeJesus stuff together since he is my cousin's friend and my son can have a little personal "connection" there.

Kirk said...


Emily turned me on to this site -- I LOVE it! We will be having our first baby boy in the fall, so this site will be very helpful.

As far as sports memorabilia, we actually already have a TON of it. I think the little guy has a Gopher outfit, a Vikings outfit, a Twins outfit... and sad to say a Packers outfit (from the in-laws... this brings up a good question, how does a father turn down unwanted team wear from the in-laws?)

I agree with you 100% that all of this is so I can live vicariously through the baby... all of these items would be things I can no longer wear on a daily basis, but a way of showing off my own team allegiances through the baby who doesn't understand what's going on. Is that a bad thing???