Having an easily-found email address listed on a blogsite means, you get offers for odd stuff. Most are from gambling sites looking to do a cross-promotion, that sort of thing. Which is not my department. (Our wonderful former Blog Pope, myjah, got some very cool free bobbleheads, which she wrote about here.)
Some people at a place called “Ballpark Blueprints” offered me a Target Field poster. The thumbnails looked neat. The company does exist, it’s not address phishing. I said, “sure,” and got this in the mail two days later. (Pinstripe Alley’s excellent former overlord Tanya Anderson got one of Yankee Stadium a few years back – PA has always had very good writers about a very annoying team.)
It is neat! What’s more, Mrs. James thinks it is neat. (When you’re married to someone who tolerates your interest in sports, you don’t move into their dead parents’ house and start putting up sports crap all over everywhere unless they also think it looks pretty neat.)
These aren’t actual architectural schematics of Target Field (I’d assume those are strictly the property of Populos/HOK, or the Metropolitan Sports Commission). No, they’re hand-drawn pseudo-schematics made from widely-available photos and in-person visits.
It’s two guys with graphic-arts degrees, as far as my intrepid journalism of a few internet searches can tell, who are definitely Nerds. (Mrs. James is also a nerd, one of the reasons we get along... we may be nerdy on different things, but true Nerds appreciate nerdiness in all its forms. A park ranger zipping open your tent at 8AM to ask “do you want to hear my lecture on invasive tree beetles” is totally awesome, in our book.)
You know what this poster absolutely reminds me of, now that I mention nerds? One of those “blueprints” you can buy online diagramming the NCC-1701. (Original, or the 1701-D.)
It’s a little pricey, so far as a poster goes (but absolutely comparable to those Trek posters, price-wise, at $50). It’s printed on very sturdy paper, mailed in a cardboard poster tube inside a larger box that could probably withstand the outer reaches of a nuclear explosion (we will be using this tube/box for sending small candies & sugary cereal to sweets junkies we know in Denmark).
Really, too neat a poster for sticking thumbtacks in, so I put it in the frame you see here. This was an old jigsaw puzzle Mrs. James’s parents completed and framed. Mrs. James at first thought I could just throw out the puzzle (we have several of these), but agreed with me that it’s bad mojo to simply toss out wall kitsch your ancestors put some effort into. So, instead, the Target Field poster is on top of that jigsaw puzzle (it’s why the frame doesn’t quite fit).
Someday, when somebody’s disposing of my stuff after I’m dead, they may want to use this frame for a wedding photo or whatever, maybe a painting of their constantly flatulent dog, and they’ll be intrigued to find there’s a jigsaw puzzle behind it. What more secrets lie within? I should print up a bullhonky treasure map leading to a sidewalk sewer drain, or something like that. Send the new frame owners on a total Da Vinci Code chase. Then haunt their house going “don’t throw away stuff dead people put in frames, gotcha!”
Ballpark Blueprints also has some sheet-aluminum stadium posters, which is even Nerdier (and more expensive). And coffee cups. And ties. And face masks! Personally, I think the coffee cups are their best deal. $25 is a bit high for a coffee cup, but those will last forever if you don’t drop them and somebody after you’re dead will think it’s an absolute thrift-store/garage-sale find. Your ghost will approve of such people!
The company website has some neat stadium reviews, here. They’re appropriately mean to Carl Pohlad, not mean enough to the Dodgers (hello, Chavez Ravine), and entertaining reading even if you have no interest in a stadium-diagram tie. They also have comments which vividly demonstrate why sites with comments usually run spam filters.
If nothing else, I’d recommend those stadium reviews. They’re free to read, quite fun. And the stuff for sale on that site is nerdy cool — I think these would make fantastic birthday gifts for a spouse/partner/relative/old friend. (I’m terrible at gifts.)
Thanks, Ballpark Blueprints! Now back to some free book reviews I never seem to finish…
(Hey, book reviews are HARD. You never want to turd on a fellow writer, it’s a rule, yet you want to engage with their work enough to say what you enjoyed or liked less as a reader: “I loved it, two thumbs up” is an insult. Poster reviews are much easier.)