Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrating 100 Years at Fenway

Unless you're living under a rock in Boston, it's hard not to notice the Red Sox are aggressively and actively celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.  It is the oldest active major sporting venue in the U.S. and no location or venue has seen more sports, concerts, and speeches combined in one venue over the past century. 

Thanks to this celebration, I have been regularly thinking of some ideas for collecting autographs from some Red Sox greats on 100 year items.  There are many, many ideas out there, all of which are good.  Some are elaborate and some very simple.  Here are some thoughts:

This year, MLB created a special ball to be used at Fenway for all home games.  This ball has a special 100 year logo on the side, that replaced the normal MLB logo ball.  This ball is perfect for autographs, and I would recommend having Red Sox hall of famers sign this ball under the logo with the years in a Red Sox uniform noted under their name.  The year inscription can be added for a minimal fee at public signings.  The balls are very expensive at Fenway ($40) each.  I would recommend purchasing them online for $20-$25 or purchase them in person at card/collector/autograph shows for about $20 each.  This will be a limited, one year item only, so purchase them now.

The 100 year ball used at Fenway this season.

Another idea is the 100 year mini truck.  Again these are very expensive at Fenway ($30), but you can find these at places like Modell's and Sports Authority for $16.99.  Perfect for about 8-10 autographs of your Red Sox favorites.  These trucks are also available in limited quantities.

Limited edition toy truck.

One neat idea I saw at Fenway, is the 100 year commemorative bat.  There are two sizes in a variety of colors.  The mini bat is $35 and the full size is $100.  What fun about these bats is that you can have a personal name, date or experience engraved onto the bat.  Then you can have them autographed by anyone you want.  I have done this for family and friends and it is truly a great keepsake.

100 year mini bat autographed by Mike Aviles, David Ortiz, Cody Ross and Franklin Morales

Lastly, next time you are at Fenway, take a photo of the field, green monster, maybe a part of the ballpark that is recognizable.  Make that photo into an 8x10 or 16x20 photo and have players autograph it.  This is a great personal keepsake that is your own, and it definitely will have more meaning with your own personal memory of it vs. a generic baseball or toy truck.
My personal photo of the green monster from 2001, not with 10 autographs.  Notice the years under the player names.

Have fun celebrating the 100th anniversary.  It is a great time to be a fan of Fenway.

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