The Great Jersey Debate
For years now, the pride and joy of my St. Louis Cardinals attire has been my Willie McGee jersey.
I’m not, by any means, retiring old #51 (like the Cardinals should). But, as my only jersey, I’m worried about it not holding up too much longer. It’s already five or six years old, and now that I go to 40 games per year, well…you get the idea.
You may be asking yourself how it’s possible that a fan like myself only owns one Cardinal jersey. I ask myself that same question from time to time. I used to have another. After the 1998 home run chase, I got a Mark McGwire batting practice jersey. I was a big McGwire fan and wore that jersey everywhere. I even wore it on vacation to Cabo San Lucas in 2000. Five of my buddies and I went down there for Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash at his Cabo Wabo Cantina. In a less-than-sober moment, I decided it would be really cool to toss my beloved jersey up onto the stage because Hagar is known for wearing whatever clothes, hats, banners, etc. fans manage to fling at him. The good news is, my throw was good.
The bad news is, I never saw that jersey again.
So I need another jersey. I’d like an Albert Pujols or Yadier Molina jersey…they’re my favorite current Cardinals. But I love the retro jersey look. And there’s always that risk, when you get the jersey of a current player, that he’ll get traded or sign somewhere else or, as in the case of McGwire, not be there to talk about the past anymore. For instance, when McGee was playing for the A’s, Red Sox, or Giants during the 90′s I wouldn’t have bought his jersey. And I believe that Pujols and Molina are relatively certain to be Cardinals for a long time, but I kind of thought that about Scott Rolen a few years back, too.
There’s always the all-timers: Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith. And players that maybe weren’t the greatest but had tons of character: Mike Shannon, Al Hrabosky, Andy Van Slyke. Or maybe I’ll just play it safe and get a nameless batting practice jersey. I have plenty of Cardinals t-shirts and hats and such, but I see this jersey decision as a big deal. Feel free to leave your suggestions below; I can’t promise I’ll follow them but I will read them. Let the debate begin.