MLB.com has you covered with great holiday gifts
By Mark Newman / MLB.com | 11/13/12 12:00 AM ET
Welcome to Opening Day of the 2012 holiday shopping season at MLB.com.
It became official on Tuesday with the launch of the MLB.com Holiday Gift Finder presented by Philips Norelco, and this quest will gradually become one of the most common ways people spend their time on this site over the coming weeks. To get you started, take 25 percent off any single item at the MLB.com Shop between now and 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.
It is a season with its own schedule of major dates, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, Free Shipping Day and then the holidays themselves. Shipping deadlines will be emphasized along the way, so you always know when to get a move on so your gift gets there by Dec. 25. The Holiday Gift Finder lets you select gifts by shopping by categories and even by fan personalities, and then you'll want to be on the lookout in the coming days for the annual MLB.com Virtual Catalog.
Ready? Here to throw out the first pitch for the 12th straight season is the MLB.com Gift Guru, offering a sampling of the best items from the various Shop categories:
A&E Home Video Giants 2012 World Series Videos: If history is an indicator, this will be either the most popular MLB.com Shop item of this holiday season or right around the top. It is treasured every year by fans of the champion, and it's the Giants' turn again. MLB.com exclusive release dates are Nov. 20 for the single-disc versions and Dec. 4 for the Collector's Edition eight-disc sets.
Houston's new look: This category of gifts also figures to dominate MLB.com Shop action the next month and a half, as Astros fans help other Astros fans prepare for their first season in the American League next spring.
Control Pitcher Package Set: Here's an economy helper for the 2012 shopping season, and a new twist at the Shop. You get a short-sleeve crew neck tee and a long-sleeve hooded sweatshirt, two staples for the 2013 season. The package price is $59.99 at retail, which means you can get it right now for $44.99.
Baseball Bat Bottle Opener: 'Tis the season to be jolly, and you might as well open your festive holiday beverages with an opener made from a real, game-used bat. This is a can't-miss item from Tokens & Icons that is on back-order for two to four weeks, so strike quickly with this one.
Baseball Base and Retro Bobbleheads: You might be tempted to order one of each -- one as a gift and one for yourself. The 1972 Braves Retro Bobblehead is the Gift Guru's personal favorite, only because it looks exactly like Dale Murphy -- four years before he got to the big leagues.
Mike Trout No. 27 Authentic Home Jersey: We have a feeling this will be in style for a long time. Whether you're an Angels fan who still needs this or you have another player in mind, this is a golden opportunity to knock a fourth off the price of any in-stock jersey.
Women's Pullover Hoody: You can't go wrong with this Nike item. It retails for $64.99, so during this sale you can buy it at $48.75. It is 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester, with ribbed cuff and waistband, a front pouch pocket and drawstring hood, and satin twill and a zig-zag embroidered team logo on the front.
Seasonal KO Therma-FIT Hooded Sweatshirt: Gray is in, as you can see in this great Nike line. Save $18.75 with this sale.
iPhone 5 Cases: Great stocking stuffer, and you get to take 25 percent off 25 bucks.
Knits for the family: Reversibles, beanies, breakaway cuffs, sherpa and more. From knit caps for your baby to a baby blue Royals warmer. Cold weather means these are back in.
Cooperstown Dri-FIT Tempo Track Jacket: This Nike jacket is a popular item and features two-color contrast tape down each sleeve, with left-chest pocket and front zip pockets. Knock 20 bucks off right now.
Adidas Newborn Gift Set: Some fans say they are born to follow their favorite teams. Then there are those newborns who prove it, because Mom, Dad, family or friend had the foresight to swaddle them in a six-piece set with their future club's colors. We're talking two newborn bodysuits, booties and bibs.
Oakley sunglasses: Just imagine you are out in the stands on a hot summer day, watching your team contending for a title and not having to squint because you have glare reduction, UV protection, anti-smudge lenses and they are impact-resistant in case you take one in the face during batting practice.
Phiten Authentic Collection: You know you want this. Every year you get a little closer to putting that same necklace around your neck that your favorite players wear on the field. Bracelet, necklace, power sleeve, titanium sock . . . the time has come to go for the aqua-titanium permeated accoutrement.
Keep your eye on the MLB.com Auction this holiday shopping season as well. Surprises are in store, so feel free to jump into the bidding. You might want to start with the Postseason Auction that ends on Sunday night. For example, bidding is under way on the actual first base that was used in the first three innings of Game 4 of the World Series.
When in doubt, online gift certificates and MLB.com Gift Cards are safe bets for any fan.