When you search for "baseball" on SkyMall, you get 44 results. Nine of those results are basketball items. One of them is a heated pet bed. One of them is a poncho. One of them is this:
So things are working perfectly, basically.
HOWEVER, you get 28 results when you search SkyMall for "MLB," all of which are actually baseball things! Now we're cooking with gas!
Well, as soon as we unsheath our grill, we'll be cooking with gas! (By the way, these $39.99 Deluxe MLB Grill Covers are currently out of stock. Sorry, Angels fans with patios!)
At any rate, one of the things I'm apparently most known for on the Internet is goofing on SkyMall. And since this is my last week at SB Nation, Grant was nice enough to allow me one final chance to ruin McCovey Chronicles, so let's take a look at all the baseball crap you can buy on SkyMall dot com. It's partially Giants related!
Okay, first things first: a lot of the stuff that pops up when you search "baseball" is Lexan display cases for bats and balls. Great, whatever. People need that, I guess, and the people who buy stuff from SkyMall DEFINITELY have big houses where they display scads of stuff. No need to goof on that. Let's move right to the second bit of organizing goodness, the CUBEITS system, which comes in groupings of three, six, or nine cubbies (the latter of which is pictured below).
MLB 9 CUBEITS Organizer, $104.99
CUBEITS! Need to organize a thing? CUBEITS! Whoops, we're sold out of CUBEITS! CUBEITS!
Let's see what the description for CUBEITS has to say about CUBEITS.
Show your spirit for your favorite team by corralling books, toys, magazines or throw blankets in the bedroom or living area, rolled towels in the bathroom, organize supplies in the office and tools and hardware in the garage.
Yeah you gotta corral those bad boys, what am I, an idiot? But tell us more about these swank fabric boxes. Do those only come in the Chicago/New York pack or what?
This is the organizer only. Storeits Fabric Storage Drawers and Stackits Fabric Storage Cubes are sold separately.
"Oh, I'm sorry, you've reached CUBEITS. Take that STOREITS bullshit down the street. Pound sand, mister."
Personalized Baseball Charm Pendant, $44.99
Okay, now this is just classy. You can "personalize" this necklace with up to two numbers and "a name," which will be etched on the back and can contain up to eight letters. And listen to this purple prose of the description!
Reversible baseball charm scores high when you have it personalized with a special sports number and name. Sterling silver. Specify up to 2 numbers and a name, up to 8 letters. Chain sold separately. Personalized items are not returnable, unless the mistake is our error. Personalized items are not returnable, unless the mistake is our error.
Man, that copy just sings. REVERSIBLE BASEBALL CHARM SCORES HIGH WHEN YOU HAVE IT PERSONALIZED WITH A SPECIAL SPORTS NUMBER. SkyNet is still in beta and we should be really happy about that while we can.
Please note that they included the "unless the mistake is our error" bit twice. That's important.
Whoa, wait a minute: chain sold separately? loooooolll
Vortex Batting Trainer, $399.99
And now, a $400 photoshopped ball on a stick.
Get the realistic sight and feel of hitting a baseball
The Vortex Batting Instructor develops your hand eye coordination, hitting skills and helps you make adjustments in your swing. Baseball and fast-pitch Softball players of any age can become better hitters. While practicing with The Vortex Batting Instructor it provides instant feedback on every swing making you a more confident hitter. This fully self-contained portable training device lets you practice at the park, your garage or the driveway.
No assembly required. Lifetime warranty on aluminum frame and aluminum parts.
Endorsed by Robert Fick, 10-year Pro Baseball Veteran.
Includes carrying bag, 3 ground anchors and 3-15 lb. sandbags (excludes sand)
Use in the garage on rainy or cold days
Self-powering speed band mechanism
Hey, this thing provides instant feedback! I wonder if you can change the feedback settings. I would make a dial with the options being "DISILLUSIONED LOCAL REPERTORY THEATER DIRECTOR," "HIGH SCHOOL WOOD SHOP TEACHER," "SEC HEAD COACH," "CHARLES BARKLEY" or "FRENCH FILM CRITIC."
"You call zat hitting ze ball? I have seen better swings hanging from trees." [Vortex device exhales derisive plume of cigarette smoke]
The sad thing is, there are four photos on this product page and that's probably the best one. Check out the BEST PICTURE they could come up with of demonstrating that you can use this thing indoor during bad weather:
Yep. Nailed it. That's the picture you went with to sell your $400 product. At least there are plenty of paper towels.
And don't worry, everyone. If you cream the bejesus out of that fake baseball too many times, SkyMall has you covered.
Thanks, SkyMall. You're always looking out for me. Let's check out the related products for the Vortex Batting Instructor to find more baseball goodness!
[fights intense urge to write 4,000 words about "iPhone binoculars"]
Personalized Baseball in Cube, $25.99
Remember that time we James? Oh man, what a wild day. Definitely gonna have to memorialize that James. Just gonna write "James" on a ball and put it in a Tesseract. Gonna keep the James on the desk and look at it wistfully whenever James.
Classic Rawlings Personalized Leather Baseball and Acrylic Case. Perfect for the MLB enthusist, to commemorate a great win or to celebrate with as a wedding party gift.
Personalized with two lines up to 13 characters per line
Wedding party gift in 26 characters or fewer!
Reggie Jackson signed photo, $399.00
Okay, maybe that Vortex Batting Trainer isn't such a bad deal after all.
Of note: Limited edition of 24, in stock. Everything is going great over at SkyMall.
Yankees Replica Ticket Collage, $179.00
Here's something that I've learned over my many years of reading SkyMall on airplanes: there is a LOT of Yankees merchandise you can buy via SkyMall. Or at least, there sure has been a lot of Yankees merchandise available via SkyMall over the years. It's almost like they're the most popular baseball team in the world! Thanks for reading Pinstripe Alley! Pinstripe Alley: the website for humans!
Personalized MLB Ballpark Travel Map, $129.99
This is actually a totally decent (if super overpriced) thing. It's a cool detailed map of all the MLB ballparks and has a checklist so you can tick off which ones you're been to. The weird part is SkyMall's nearly pathological obsession with offering "personalized" everything. It says you can "personalize it with up to 50 characters" (ooooh, 50! A real embarrassment of riches!) to "make it feel special" but none of the photos offer any indication where the "personalization" will go or what it might look like.
Enjoy your $130 Donruss checklist, everyone!
Boston Red Sox Gift Set, $110
Okay, for some reason -- even though everyone loves the Yankess -- this is the only cufflink, money clip and tie bar gift set that SkyMall offers. Every other team just gets the money clip/cufflink combo. This fancy three-piece Red Sox set comes in an ... Astroturf box? Sure, okay, whatever.
Look, I'm all for being proud about your team, but I think if you wear all three of these things at the same time, you summon Zuul. It's not something classy, like this stuff:
Be classy, everyone. Only have two Giants-themed man accessories on you at any given time. Sheesh, show some decorum.
Team Parking Sign, $49.99
Fifty bucks for a cheesy fake street sign. Can't you get the same thing at a Pilot station for like fifteen?
The only fun thing about this is that I was gearing up to make a bunch of jokes about how aggressive the bottom of this sign was, before I realized right at the last second that "thrown out" is a baseball joke. Which is stupid as hell, but so stupid that it's almost super clever?
Still, I'm not paying $50 for this.
Man Cave Sign, $54.99
THIS ONE IS EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE OH MY GOD. Dial up the insufferable and you have to pay a premium. I appreciate, however, that anyone who is adamant about labeling their "man cave" with a team-specific "man cave" sign is going to get bilked for the privilege.
On second thought, maybe SkyMall has been doing us favors for all these decades by making sure fools are parted from their money?
Chewbeads Teether, $18.50
Okay, hear me out: buy your kids a Dodgers logo for them to slobber all over and leave teeth marks in. Don't get them a Giants logo. That's desecration. Roll up to Dodgers stadium with your rugrat just working away on their logo. Really going to town on that bad boy.
That's worth $18.50, probably.
Chewbeads Necklace, $34.50
Okay, I have no idea why these chewable, team-color beads are twice as much as the cool team logo that you can have your teething child deface. I also never realized that it might be convenient, if you're at a baseball game, to just have your kid slowly consume something that's wrapped around your neck.
Parenting is weird.
Magnetic Dart Board, $34.99
I like that the Diamondbacks are the display team for this item. I'd probably just spend all my time trying to get the darts to hit the "D-Backs" area. This might be another item where you should get a team that's not your own. You know, so you can throw darts at them.
Dart Cabinet, $179.99
Yes, not one, but TWO options for MLB team-specific darts fun. And both options are out of stock! Sheesh, not even 24 people want a giant Reggie Jackson autograph, but y'all will buy every last $180 darts cabinet that SkyMall has to offer? You people sicken me.
MLB 8-piece BBQ set, $59.99
SkyMall offers three-, five- and eight-piece BBQ sets. Guess what team they choose to go with for the top of the line eight-piece number? That's right. Giants, baby! CHAMPS OF GRILLIN'.
This set comes with a knife-edge spatula, tongs, a basting brush, a grill fork and ... four skewers. Okay, so it's a five-piece grill set.
Dammit, SkyMall, I've fallen for your tricks one too many times. Now you're misleading me with Giants-themed grilling paraphernalia? This is the last straw. That's it; I quit.
On a way-too-serious note, immense thanks to Grant for letting me hijack his wonderful website with my ridiculous nonsense one final time. McCovey Chronicles was the first SB Nation website I was ever made aware of and despite being a lifelong Giants fan, the first Giants website I ever thought to visit.
McCovey Chronicles helped me through some real hard times and given that I moved to Los Angeles in 2010, the three World Series titles would have been a whole lot less fun if I didn't have this site and this community there every step of the way to celebrate with virtually and otherwise.
I'm beyond lucky to have made so many real life friends with McCC members and to have been able to work alongside Grant and Bryan and everyone else for so long. I'll always be lurking in the comments and McCovey Chronicles will always have my heart.
See you soon, everyone.