I got a Pottery Barn Kids catalog in the mail today because I’m a suburban father and that’s what they send us when they stop sending our wives the Victoria’s Secret Catalog.
Anyway, I was kind of interested in one of their new product lines:
Introducing our Major League Baseball collection of officially licensed products.
Bring the excitement of the big leagues to your child’s room. Sewn of pure organic cotton and featuring every MLB logo, our exclusive collection makes it easy to create a space that celebrates their favorite sport and their #1 team.
There’s bedding and rugs and framed jerseys and decorative shams and lamps and everything you can imagine. It’s pretty cool stuff! The bedspreads come in queen size too, so for the first time in years, Mrs. Shyster may soon be getting a surprise in the bedroom. Since she hates baseball, however, the surprise is likely to be just as disappointing as the last one. Anyway.
My only quibble — aside from introducing kids to the concept of decorative shams and merchandise that is approximately 200% more expensive than it has any right to be — is that they seem to be going out of their way to use mascot logos instead of the traditional team logo. This doesn’t bother me with the better-known mascots like Mr. Met and the Phanatic, but it seems a bit much to include that stupid Diamondbacks wolf, whatever the green Red Sox thing is, and any number of simply cartoonized animals that aren’t even official mascots.
Not to go all old man on you here, but when I was a kid I was fascinated by the actual team logos. They seemed cool and official and maybe even a bit grown up. If someone gave me a gift with baseball wrapping paper or something I would look at it forever, studying the logos and thinking how totally cool they were. There was something excitedly menacing in that realistic Tigers’ logo and something almost artistic or poetic in the Cardinals’ birdies on the baseball bat see-saw. Sure, those are commercial logos like the Nike swoosh and all of the rest, but I wanted to look at them longer and, more importantly for baseball’s sake, I wanted to own more stuff with the logos on them.
My kids get enough cartoons. If I was the kind of guy who bought them decorative pillow shams and got them one with a smiling cartoon bear (Twins) or dinosaur (White Sox) on them, I’m certain that they’d cast them aside when they got older and interested in more grown-up things. My worry, both as a father and as a baseball fan, is that they’d cast aside all that is associated with those silly cartoons too.