May 27, 2010
There's almost nothing that you can't slap a White Sox logo on and sell to a passionate fan. Decorative velvet wine bag? Check. Hammer and tool belt? Sure. Pool cue. Why not?
It's the sheer quantity of must-have Sox-iana like this that makes Grandstand (600 W. 35th St., grandstandsox.com) an eye-popping retail marvel near U.S. Cellular Field. If you doubt me, try elbowing your way through the crowd there the hour before the first pitch on a beautiful, warm evening.
Inside the ballpark, you're likely to pay premium prices for your Sox stuff. But there is "the emotional pull" of saying you bought it at the game, says Trish Dolan, retail manager at The Cell.
Dolan says women's and green items for Irish Sox fans are in big demand. New this year is the shamrock Sox necklace ($20) and a leprechaun Sox plush monkey ($25). Other new plush items include Sox logo pizza (deep dish, natch) and a peanut or hot dog ($15). For almost instant gratification, fans can visit the custom T-shirt shops at Sections 544 and 122 ($25 and $27) or choose from four styles of custom jerseys ordered on a new touch screen at Section 142 ($135). The new clothing line by New Era, especially the flocked velvet T-shirts, pricey at $45, are brisk sellers, says Dolan. Also new for men and women are adjustable caps in colorful argyle for $25.
If you're looking for bargains, shop big retailers such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens etc. On a recent visit to Marshalls, I found a throwback logo Sox T-shirt for $4.99, a collared golf shirt for $14.99 and a basic Sox ball cap for a ridiculously frugal $2.99.
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