As Sam Sees It

If the Conner family Christmas was any indication, the Arizona Diamondbacks and other sports related merchandise got their share of the Christmas market and more this year. The Diamondbacks really benefited from their World Series appearance and victory.

There were two Curt Schilling bobble-head dolls under the tree as the big right-hander dominated in the market place much as he did on the mound. Schilling and Randy Johnson jerseys and tee shirts had already been given as “early” Christmas presents during the play-offs. Five or six “Diamondbacks World Championship” polo shirts and tee shirts were added to the many similar items also given “early”.

Souvenir baseballs and pins were also rather prominent at Christmas, as they had been during and immediately after the play-offs and World Series. A “Diamondbacks World Series Champions” jacket may have been my favorite present. The World Series Champions Christmas tree ornament from a friend who enjoyed this series almost as much as I did was and is much appreciated. Also among the Diamondback gifts were a couple of license plates and a video highlight film of the series that will make the rounds in the family.

When one remembers that these presents were preceded by gifts of Divisional and National League Championship Series merchandise (tee shirts, hats, balls, etc.), the windfall the Diamondbacks reaped just from our family was impressive. One has to wonder if there are many families like mine that contributed generously to the team’s bottom line. My guess is that there were more than a few. You still see quite a few Diamondback hats, tee and polo shirts, jackets and other items of apparel on the streets of Winslow. You will probably have begun to see more after Christmas.

Another sports team that got a share of the Conner family gift giving was the NBA Sacramento Kings. My older grandchildren got Mike Bibby jerseys and some got Sacramento Kings pins. Bibby played his high school basketball for my brother at Shadow Mountain High School. He was traded to the Kings during the draft period from the Vancouver Grizzlies. That meant going from one of the NBA’s least successful franchises to one that is among the league’s elite. Bibby has said that the Kings play a style of basketball that he enjoyed at Shadow Mountain and in college at the University of Arizona. The main change he likes, of course, is that he is playing for a winner again.

A number of sports teams probably got their share of Christmas business everywhere. We got a few Iowa Hawkeyes items from relatives in that state. The secret to getting the lion’s share, though, is the same thing that worked for the Diamondbacks - win. Remember how purple and white Phoenix and most of Arizona was the last time the Suns were in the NBA finals? Now imagine how red it would be if the Cardinals ever got to the Super Bowl. The Diamondbacks showed it is possible and that success was still paying dividends at Christmas time.

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