Although the Reds ended the season in a skid, die-hard fans can always look to next year. Having grown up watching the Big Red Machine, I remember what a good team looks like — and this club has talent.
Listed below are 10 great gift ideas for die-hard fan who is counting on next year’s team:
Since the offseason was dismal, it’s probably best to stay away from any team clothing that mentions it, instead try an authentic winter hooded jacket for the winter months. This polyester, one-quarter zip, hooded jacket holds in the heat while showing off your team’s colors. Available in sizes medium to 2X.
Baseball Card Set
Grab either the 2013 Topps Baseball Hobby Factory Set or the 2013 Topps Baseball Hobby Factory Set — or both for the avid collector. These complete sets contain bonus cards unique to their version — and are a must for any serious baseball card collector.
Autographed Bat or Ball
Celebrate one of the major highlights of the 2013 Reds season by getting an autographed ball to commemorate Homer Baily’s second no-hitter. Or, purchase an autographed Jay Bruce bat — Bruce drove in a career high 109 RBIs and hit 30 home runs for the third season in a row.
Todd Frazier Jersey
Although Todd struggled offensively this year hitting only .234 — down nearly 40 points from the previous season — he was part of another one of the season’s highlights. In April, as Todd went to the plate, honorary Bat Boy Ted Kremer, asked Todd to hit a home run. Somehow Todd, not known as a home run hitter, connected with a 2-run shot to center field — giving Cincy an 11-1 lead. The reaction of the Kremer is priceless. You can get a replica jersey for just under $100.
Joe Morgan Memorabilia
Celebrate the unveiling of the Joe Morgan statue at the Great American Ball Park with some Morgan memorabilia. Choose from an autographed photo of his playing days, his No. 8 jersey or even a signed baseball.
World Series Greatest Moment
This current Reds team has World Series potential, so grab this DVD and spend the winter months reliving the franchise’s past moments of greatness. From the 1990 sweep of the Oakland A’s or Game 6 of the 1975 Series — which many consider to be the best game ever (maybe not Reds fans, though — since they lost).
Pitcher Tony Cingrani and outfielder Billy Hamilton were two rookies that brought a lot of enthusiasm and skill to the team this year. Get a MLB sanctioned framed photo of Cingrani in action to hang in your den or at the office. Billy Hamilton, who was 13-for-14 in steals in the few weeks he played at the end of the season, is one of the team’s top prospects. Although, you may to search for it, a signed top Reds prospect baseball card of Hamilton is worth the hunt.
Be on hand when the Reds open the season in March against Central division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals. If March is too chilly — or too soon — select series tickets for another favorite rival like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Don’t forget to check out season promotion for great pre- or post-game events — like playing catch on the field — usually around Father’s Day or by early July.
Although the 2014 Reds Fantasy Camp is already sold out — there is always next season. The camp, held in Goodyear, Arizona in late January or early February, lasts a week and is for anyone over 30 years of age. Attendees get to mingle with former Reds players, but make sure you come to play since teams take on the pros during the week.
Spring Training Tickets
For the ultimate die-hard fan, purchase tickets so they can watch the Reds gear up for the 2014 season in Arizona. Fans can get an inside look at how the players are progressing and get a feel for what is in store for the new season.