What did Delaware? New Jersey.

PauliejerseyWhat happens when Paul Konerko re-signs with the Chicago White Sox and Brian Giles re-signs with the San Diego Padres? It means that your No. 14 White Sox Authentic Road Jersey and that No. 24 Padres Authentic Home Jersey are safe to bring back to the ballpark next spring. It also means a lot of White Sox and Padre fans are happy.

But what does it mean to the MLB.com Shopper at this time of year? It means you can now rest assured as you order that special someone a No. 14 home jersey and a No. 24 road jersey. Otherwise you are going to be doing laundry constantly next season, unless you smell really bad to everyone in your seating section. Customized jerseys have become a fact of life at 30 MLB ballparks, and the Gift Guru knows from email correspondence that some of you have closets that are jammed with customized jerseys the way Paris Hilton’s closets are loaded with shoes.

Why do we love customized jerseys so much? For many of us, it traces back to those days in youth baseball when we were given new uniforms each spring. There is something about these authentic and replica jerseys that make us harken back, feeling the thickness of the stitched-on block letters and numbers, seeing the precision of pinstripes and markings, feeling the pride as we step into the stadium and sense a shared spirit with other fans who are wearing the same item.

If you are an Astros fan, you never felt more at home than when you were wearing a No. 22 Roger Clemens home jersey during the last World Series. They were literally everywhere at Minute Maid Park. That is part of the thrill, a feeling like you are part of a team.

These days, it is important to have an easy, reliable place to keep up with the times. If you are a Toronto Blue Jays fan, then you were able to instantly go to the MLB.com Shop and order a No. 52 B.J. Ryan home jersey for either yourself or as the perfect holiday gift. Just select the style of jersey, the size, and the player’s name and number, and someone is set for 2006.

Important note: The deadline for ordering customized jerseys is 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 13 — if you want one shipped by Dec. 24. Keep that in mind as you watch the Winter Meetings activity and continue your holiday shopping.

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