All across SB Nation, blogs are running with the theme of jersey week. Over the next few days, we’re going to share some of our writers’ favorites and some of their purchases or gifts they’ve regretted. Feel free to share some of yours in the comments below.
Today’s question: What’s your favorite Orioles jersey or giveaway that you own?
Maybe you’ve got one autographed. Maybe you are one of the lucky few to win the “Shirts Off Our Backs” promotion from the last several seasons. Or maybe you just bought one yourself for your favorite player of all time and it still makes you happy. If you don’t have any jerseys right now, shirseys or other giveaways you can wear totally count.
Here’s some of our answers:
I’ve been in a “why bother with a jersey because anyone good is going to leave soon” mood since I contemplated buying a Manny Machado jersey in 2016 some time. So my favorite right now is a giveaway: The original Birdland Hawaiian shirt.
My whole family - my mom and dad, my sister, and me - got tickets for the game way in advance. We arrived an hour before first pitch only to learn that they had just run out. I went around trying to buy them off of the Nationals fans who’d clearly been given a ton of the jerseys. No luck. It was disappointing.
A couple of Christmases later, my mom secretly arranged to buy the shirts for all of us on eBay, so we all opened them at the same time and that’s my favorite adult Christmas memory. Now we all have them and it makes me happy.
Mine has to be a Ripken home jersey from around the turn of the millennium. It represents the end of Ripken’s career, but the beginning of my Orioles fandom. I inherited a love of the Orioles from my father, but grew up out of market. SportsCenter highlights or a rare nationally televised game against the Yankees or Sox were the only opportunities I had to see Baltimore. When I saw them, they were wearing these jerseys.
My favorite giveaway shirt is the Manny-Schoop handshake shirt. It was during such a fun time of baseball and unlike the standard number tees that were given out before. I loved that it captured the personalities of our guys, especially my favorite guy Schoop.
(Stacey added some disappointment that the cool jerseys are typically only sold in men’s sizes. Get it together, jersey makers.)
My favorite jersey is a grey road jersey with no name on the back. When the club announced they were putting “Baltimore” on the road jerseys for the 2009 season, I was so excited. Even though I’m from and still live in Pennsylvania just north of the Maryland line, I felt a connection with Baltimore and loved that the team would better represent the city. So I went to the team store in York, PA immediately after those jerseys were released and purchased the only “authentic” I’ve ever owned.
As for my favorite giveaway, I often use the Rockford Peaches cap from A League of Their Own night last year as my walking-around-outside hat. I’m also a fan of the Birdland Power Company t-shirt with the emojis of the six O’s 20-homer hitters from 2016. Of course only one of those guys is still on the Orioles and he’s arguably their worst player.
I have always personally been more of a shirsey guy. They are the perfect combination of cost and comfort, and that is a hill that I will die on. Anyway, my favorite shirsey in my collection is a black Brian Roberts shirsey that I bought when I worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods in college. I think it cost like $5 because Roberts was on the Yankees at that point, and all of his Orioles stuff was on clearance.
In my mind, Roberts is the perfect type of player to have on a jersey. He was really good for the Orioles, and he is in the team’s Hall of Fame, so the shirt is timeless. But he was not good enough to make it to Cooperstown, so he is likely a name that non-Orioles fans will start to forget years from now until they see your shirt and go “Oh, I remember that guy!”
What about you? There are no wrong answers, unless you’re going to tell us about your Red Sox jersey.