Last week, we broke down how to be a fan in the American League and not break the bank when buying a jersey. Just in case a baseball cap doesn’t cut it…
This week we head over to the National League, where this decade’s winningest team resides, with the jersey prices to match.
Here are some of the cheaper MLB jersey options for the National League. While the pickings are a little slimmer, deals can be had.
If you’re a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, you probably already have a Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling jersey. But if you don’t, there have been many heart-breaking seasons and player departures in the desert to take advantage of.
Maybe a Martin Prado jersey will work for you. He was on the Diamondbacks for a whole year in his veteran travels through MLB, enough to have a jersey but not enough to make his trade to the New York Yankees painful. Heck, he isn’t even with the Yankees anymore.
Justin Upton isn’t exactly a franchise player, having been traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Atlanta Braves, and then to the San Diego Padres. But it’s just this lack of limelight that makes a Justin Upton jersey just what an Atlanta Braves fan needs to show off his team colors.
If all else fails, you can pretend that you’re wearing a B.J. Upton jersey with the wrong number.
If you ever play for the Chicago Cubs, you’re a Cub for life. Just ask any self-tortured Cubs fan, or John Cusack. Cubs fans love their players, and refuse to think that players ever leave Chicago for another team, which means they may be burning the jerseys in the parking lot of Wrigley Field. That means that those jerseys aren’t usually available.
But why wear an old player, when you can be part of the Cubbies for life on the cheap with a generic jersey?
The great thing about relief pitchers is that they can stay in the league forever, especially if they’re decent, but not great.
Such relief pitchers are extremely interchangeable between teams. Such is the case with Aroldis Chapman.
Luckily, this means that his jersey is readily available, considering few people will buy the jersey of a relief pitcher.
Another team that star players seem to come from but rarely stay with are the Colorado Rockies. This seems to have to do with the low density of air at higher altitudes, turning all hitters into sluggers into high-priced free agents and pitchers into used car salesmen.
So buying a generic Colorado Rockies jersey could be a step towards you being the team’s next clean-up batter.
Los Angeles Dodgers
There are a lot of jerseys on sale for both former and current Dodgers — Josh Beckett, Kenley Jansen, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez.
However, a Dodgers fan would probably rather pretend to be a Dodger, especially if they grew up during the team’s days in Brooklyn. So a generic Dodgers jersey being on sale is perfect.
Last year, Cuban-born pitcher Jose Fernandez became the latest casualty of pushing young arms too hard. He injured his elbow in May, prompting Tommy John surgery.
Luckily, Fernandez is throwing off a mound as he rehabs his way back into the Miami Marlins pitching rotation. But it hasn’t stopped his jersey from making the sale rack for a few more weeks.
You have to love the idea of the Milwaukee Brewers. They may only have brief moments of talent before they trade it away, but they will always be “the team” that makes the connection between baseball and beer a reality.
So grab a beer and a jersey, and be a Brewer.
New York Mets
With the New York Mets building up to swap their pitching depth for someone who can swing a bat, it’s anyone’s guess who will be on the team. Maybe you will be the next backup third baseman for the Mets!
With generic Mets jerseys on sale, your dream just may come true.
Okay, you may be wondering, “Why should I buy the jersey of a former closer for the Red Sox that got his pay-day from the Philadelphia Phillies and promptly turned into an inning filler?”
Well, for one, a Jonathan Papelbon jersey is dirt cheap as far as MLB jerseys go, and he’s still on the team. Duct tape is pretty cheap, too.
There was a time when players were on the Pittsburgh Pirates before going on to bigger and better things. It got to the point that I thought Andrew McCutchen wouldn’t last through 2013 without being traded.
During those times, cheap former player jerseys were plentiful. Now Pirates fans are stuck with the jersey of journeyman relief pitcher Jason Grilli.
San Diego Padres
Sometimes a baseball team is so great or has such a rich tradition that player jerseys just aren’t on sale. It’s impossible to buy something that is snatched up as soon as it hits the racks, right? How can you compete with die-hard fans?
The San Diego Padres have the opposite problem. They are one of baseball’s forgotten teams in one of America’s vacation spots. No jerseys are on sale because they are probably still made to order.
San Francisco Giants
What happens when your baseball team wins three World Series in five years, and happens to be the defending world champs? Quite a bit, actually. But one thing that does not happen is a price reduction on player jerseys. This is particularly true with the San Francisco Giants.
Even players that left for free agency or were traded don’t get their jerseys discounted because of one fact: they were champions while they were in San Francisco.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis loves their Cardinals. It’s gotten to the point that people in St. Louis sometimes forget that they even have a football team. Of course, one day soon, they may not even have a football team to forget.
In terms of local baseball jerseys, this also means that jerseys of former players are more expensive than the generic ones.
The worst thing about a team that makes waves in their division is that they keep their players instead of trading them away for more prospects. Such is the case with the Washington Nationals.
After taking the NL East division last year, mostly because no one else wanted it, the Nationals sucked in their collective guts to keep their team together as much as possible. This means that the cheapest jerseys have no one’s name on them.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.