Father’s Day Gifts
by Tepid Participation
Stupid golf crap. That’s what you’re trying to avoid. I mean for Father’s Day. Dad’s day is Sunday the 17th and you don’t want to give or receive any more stupid golf crap. I am a condescending jerkface. Always have been, but hopefully I won’t always be. Bear this in mind while perusing my little Father’s Day gift guide for the baseball fan/Rangers fan.
Let’s get stared.
-First of all, anyone attending baseball games knows you’re almost certain to need a few key functional elements of style. One of these elements is sunglasses. I would like to take this moment to explain something about sunglasses. Over the last decade or so, “sport” sunglasses have taken up a huge portion of market share. I’m talking about the kind of shades meant to be worn during sporting activity. These sunglasses are great, functional, and frankly, Willie Mays would have really loved them while fighting the San Fran glare. They are, however, to be worn DURING SPORTING ACTIVITIES. The chances of Josh Hamilton asking to borrow your shades? None. So having said that, leave the Oakley’s at home and get a proper pair of leisure sunglasses. For the most part, they look great on all men. I normally suggest the classics. I don’t know you or your father but every man looks pretty cool in a proper fitting pair of aviators.
***warning*** you are unlikely to look “Newman Cool” in proper sunglasses. Do not let this discourage you from trying.
—Now let’s address my ultimate male-style pet peeve. Surprisingly, this conversation has permeated baseball talk, mostly due to the yeoman’s efforts of Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks’ Up and In Podcast. I’m talking about the proliferation of flip flops. Here it is: the pool, your house, the beach, your driveway, a gym shower, your backyard, Hawaii, any vacation. That is the entire list of where flip flops are appropriate footwear for a man. Your feet aren’t good looking. Furthermore, you’d like to look like you’re in charge of something, right? I don’t care what it is, be it a Fortune 500 company or simply your family, you don’t look like you’re in charge of a damn thing if you’re wearing flip flops. They are not “OK” at the ballpark. If you go to a Ranger’s game and you’re steaming down I-30 on your way back to Big D at 10:45 with sticky kids and an exhausted wife, you’ll be 100% screwed if you blow a tire. YOU CAN’T STAND ON A TIRE IRON IN FREAKIN’ FLIP FLOPS!” Also, ballparks are concrete hangouts filled with beer and 45,000 sweaty people. They are not clean. Put on some shoes. Here, try these:
Oh, and this is very important! For the last bazillion or so years, men have been using this to keep odor and sweat away. Go to CVS and buy a can and sprinkle some in all of your shoes. Quit being ridiculous:
And I’ll punch you in the left kidney if you wear Crocs. They’re for kids. You have a mortgage, your shoes shouldn’t float.
—Ask a woman if they like the way you look in cargo shorts. Go ahead, ask ‘em. Any woman will tell you, it’s not a good thing to balloon out around your hips and thighs. Do you work in the Safari business? No? Then why the hell do you need 12 pockets!? Go buy a proper fitting pair of long shorts with deep pockets to hold all the nonsense your kids hand you. I like to use the ones with buttons on the back pockets, so I know my wallet is safe. Whatever you get, just do me a favor and light a fire to your sloppy, droopy, wrinkly cargo shorts and eliminate all Velcro from your wardrobe. (side note- Velcro is only appropriate on “hunting clothes” section of your closet.)
—Golf culture is pretty annoying to me, but a man at a ballgame in a golf (polo) shirt, isn’t. Weird, I know. Can’t explain it really. I just know that you’re a grown man and wearing a shirt with lots of logos all over it gives you a bit of a silly air. Antigua is the manufacturer of choice for MLB and they make those crazy light-weight, simple, solid color golf shirts that tell people, “Hey, look, I support these guys, but I’d choose my family, my wife, my friends, my spiritual beliefs and my work before any team I’m not actually on.” Remember, less is more:
-If you must wear a t-shirt, understand a couple of principles. 1. It is going to show your sweat more than a golf shirt. Be cognizant of this. And 2. The fewer the words, the better. You know what, better yet, no words. If you want to amaze your friends with your Rangers fandom try one of these obscure gems from Low-A Hickory:
or this from High-A Myrtle Beach:
and finally, the good folks at No Mas make some fine T’s with words:
**on a less popular note, while I understand your desire to do it, I’ve always thought it a bit weird to have another man’s name on my back. I see it all the time and I know it’s a touchy subject, I’m just saying it’s weird to me. I don’t look up to any man, other than my own father, enough to wear his name on my back. Get a golf shirt and call it a day.
-Finally, headwear. I’ll be frank. The six-panel, wool, properly structured ball cap is a perfect style piece. Always has been, always will be. Remember with hats, less is more. You need one logo. On the front. I am a staunch supporter of the New Era 59/50. It holds it’s shape, has classic lines and it has that ridiculously effective sweatband. Yeah, it’s kinda hot at first, but there’s a reason the ballplayers wear it. If, however, your 59/50 starts to look like John Wetteland’s, get rid of it. Sweat lines and dirty hats are for college kids. Again, if you’re looking for something creative here, rock a hat from one of your favorite teams’ minor league affiliates. MiLB hats can get a little carried away though, so use caution. Or, ask your wife if it looks good. You should probably do that more often anyway.
I also own one of these DFW Spurs hats from the brilliant folks at Ebbets Field Flannels. The Spurs played in Turnpike Stadium before it became Arlington Stadium before it became the parking lot for The Ballpark in Arlington. You can get one here:
Ok, so those are my tips for you fellas out there. This was a lot more fun than that cocamamy idea I had about Martin Perez (which I still wholeheartedly believe in). Hopefully, this helps. If not, just keep wearing your Oakleys, cargo shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt with some other dude’s name on the back. Regardless of your gameday attire, remember, enjoy being a father and/or having one. Seriously. People get old and die and bad shit happens sometimes, so enjoy and savor every ballpark related moment. Baseball has always been a generational link and that’s one of the reasons we love it. Have a Happy Father’s Day.