November 2005

How you can play at Yankee Stadium

Yankeestadium

Today’s Gift Recipient Case Study is the Fan Who Always Wanted To Be A Major Leaguer. And that probably includes everyone here.

Now there is an extraordinary opportunity for that person to do something about it, and the Gift Guru will show you how to let that person live out his or her dreams with a one-of-a-kind holiday present. Do you think that special someone on your list could dig playing at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park next summer? Putting on a Major League uniform in those clubhouses? Being tended to by coaches like Bret Saberhagen, MLB trainers and traveling secretaries? Swinging personalized wooden bats at Monument Park or the Green Monster? And traveling from stadium to stadium on charter jets and buses?

The Guru is not kidding. This is all really possible now. Entries are being accepted for the first Ultimate Experiences East Coast Tour next July 16-22. It costs $11,995, is officially licensed by Major League Baseball, and will let the participant live exactly like a Major Leaguer for a week. Visit the Ultimate Experiences website or phone 1-818-591-1515 for more information or to at least leave a deposit to sign up that special someone. With a maximum of roughly 120 participants per tour, these tour openings will not last long — especially when you consider where you will be playing:

Turner Field in Atlanta
Shea Stadium in New York
Yankee Stadium in New York
Fenway Park in Boston

Yes, they cost a pretty penny to enter, but the clubs don’t exactly give up full use of their stadium for free and you know the price of jet fuel. This is for the fan who wants to live out his or her dream. Just ask Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton, who is a Partner in the California-based Ultimate Experiences venture.

"There are people whose lives are all about responsibilities," Hamilton said. "That’s really what all of our lives are like. But you get to a point where you need to acknowledge this and do something about it for yourself.

"In your daily life, if you said, ‘I’m going to take part of my day and go focus on baseball,’ people would get really mad at you — it would look like you’re not working. But it’s time to pay respect to that part of yourself and have a really great time with something like this.

"I talked to a lot of people who would say, ‘Oh, I used to play guitar in college and never made it.’ They put the guitar away for some reason and never play it. This is an idea for people to get reacquainted with the idea that they really love it. … The idea of being on tour with 100 or 120 other people who feel the same way as you, flying together on jets set up exclusively on tour, it’s really great. When we travel, we charter a small jet that’s big enough just for the band and a few people. You don’t go through the parking garage where the rest of the cattle are going. You get there and you’re on your new plane with all these people who love what you’re loving, and you fly off to a new destination."

The moment the Yankees gave their OK to have The House That Ruth Built included in an Ultimate Experiences tour, the phones started ringing a lot more often at this company’s headquarters in Calabasas. If you want to give yourself this gift or give it to someone else, the Guru suggests acting now. This one is truly an ultimate gift for anyone who wanted to be a Major Leaguer.

Fenway

Wow, do you like to shop

The Gift Guru just saw this press release…wow.   

MLB.COM REGISTERS SIGNIFICANT YEAR OVER YEAR SALES INCREASE ON CYBER
MONDAY

New York, NY, November 29, 2005 —  MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, said that sales to its online store rose 220 percent yesterday, over last year?s first Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. The significant jump in sales came on an increase of 200 percent in traffic to the MLB.com Shop.

The sales increase in the MLB.com Shop was evident across all merchandise categories with the 2005 World Series DVD leading the way. In addition to Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros World Series gear, other items in the top 20 included the 2005 Topps Factory Baseball Card Set, the 2005 Official World Series Program, the NY Yankees Comforter Sheet Set and the Boston Red Sox 2005 Authentic Collection Road Premier Jacket. Baseball fans also continued to demonstrate their intellectual prowess with purchases of the popular USAopoly Boston Red Sox vs NY Yankees Chess Set.

We Got The Funk

Today’s shopping case study is the music lover. And that
pretty much covers everyone on your list, doesn’t it? Here are some
suggestions:

Oh Say Can You Sing is a CD/DVD featuring 11 tracks performed by past and
present Major Leaguers, licensed by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players
Association. It costs $17.99 at the MLB.com Shop and here’s the news flash: These
guys are actually pretty good, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to
the players’ favorite charities. So you’re also helping some worthwhile causes.

SingThe album opens with Indians first baseman Ben Broussard
handling vocals and acoustic guitar on U2’s "With or Without You."
Suddenly you realize that this guy, who rocks fastballs out of Jacobs Field,
also rocks with a voice that has a hint of Eddie Vedder. After that are: Reds
first baseman Sean Casey ("How Do You Like Me Now?"/Toby Keith),
Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine ("Plush"/Stone Temple Pilots), Coco Crisp
(his original rap song "We Got That Thing"), Matt Ginter
("Dooley," a bluegrass banjo song), Devil Rays outfielder Aubrey Huff
("Letters from Home"/John Michael Montgomery), Padres reliever Scott
Linebrink ("Wave on Wave"/Pat Green), Phillies shortstop Jimmy
Rollins (rapping his original "Wish List"), Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith
("Cupid"/Sam Cooke); Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel
("Broadway"/Goo Goo Dolls); and Dodgers pitcher Kelly Wunsch (John
Mellencamp’s "Hurt So Good").

"The overwhelming response has been totally
positive," said Scott Schorr, who produced the album for Good Sports
Recordings. "A special thanks must go to all our participating Major
League players, who did an A-plus job."

Jimmy Buffett: Live at Fenway Park. Bet you didn’t know that the man from Margaritaville was responsible for removing that Curse of the Bambino in 2004. Order this CD/DVD set through MLB.com and you will believe it. This is a must-have for every Red Sox fan, every Parrothead, and everyone who just likes to drift into a tropical state of mind sometimes. You can sample some tracks through MLB.com’s partnership with Buffett, and enter a contest to win free 2006 Opening Day tickets and get a 2004 Red Sox World Champion cap just for ordering.

Scott Stapp: The Great Divide. Order someone special this brand-new CD from the former voice of Creed, and you are entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see him in concert and roundtrip airfare to get you and that person to the show. Stapp swung by the MLB.com studios recently to tape two new music videos for us, and the Gift Guru will highly recommend seeing him in person.

MLB.com Mobile ringtones. Load up your friend’s phone with the same songs that are played when your favorite players step up to the plate. Be part of the ever-growing generation of fans who are signing up for MLB.com Mobile team alerts while you are there.

City of Champions: The Best of Boston Sports DVD. You would want this just to hear the incredible soundtracks from Aerosmith and others. But it’s still a great gift for anyone who grew up on Beantown sports, and this one was produced by the son of the late and legendary Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most.